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Roy Disney Seeks $1.25 Billion for Corporate Oversight Fund

From Bloomberg News

Roy E. Disney, fresh from a boardroom brawl with Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Michael Eisner, is seeking $1.25 billion for an investment fund to promote shareholder rights at other companies.

Shamrock Holdings Inc., which manages investments for Roy Disney’s family, last month set up a so-called corporate governance fund, documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission show.

Managers of such funds typically invest in troubled companies and then try to boost their performance by pushing for improved management and board oversight.

Roy Disney, 74, took an “active and aggressive position” in trying to oust Eisner as Disney’s chairman and CEO, said Charles Elson, director of the University of Delaware’s Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance. Publicity from that fight may help Roy Disney recruit investors for his new fund, said Richard Koppes, the former general counsel at the California Public Employees’ Retirement System.

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“Undoubtedly Shamrock wants to use the challenges in relation to the Disney board in marketing the governance fund,” said Koppes, who is now a San Francisco-based attorney at law firm Jones Day.

A Shamrock spokesman declined to comment. Disney spokesman John Spelich also declined to comment.

The new fund, based at Roy Disney’s office in Burbank, filed with the SEC on Oct. 21 under the name Shamrock Governance Fund.

The filing described the fund as a private partnership “formed to make equity and equity-related investments in the U.S.” The fund said it hoped to attract as much as $1.25 billion and has received $220 million from five investors so far.

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The SEC filing didn’t specify the role of Roy Disney in running the new governance fund.

Stanley P. Gold, 62, CEO of Shamrock Holdings, was listed as a vice president at a limited liability company that would control the fund.


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