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Laurene Powell Jobs Cuts Disney Stake in Half

Laurene Powell Jobs is no longer Disney’s largest single shareholder, after she recently reduced her ownership stake in the Mouse House by half, regulatory filings show.

Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, beneficially owned 64.3 million Disney shares as of the end of 2016, representing a 4% stake in the company, according to an SEC disclosure last month. That’s roughly half of the 128.3 million shares Powell Jobs owned at the end of 2015. Powell Jobs’ reduced stake in Disney was reported earlier by the L.A. Times.

The largest Disney shareholder now is investment management firm Vanguard Group, which owns 5.5% of the company’s outstanding shares, per Disney’s proxy statement filed Jan. 13.

After Steve Jobs died in 2011, the 138 million Disney shares he owned — from Disney’s $7.4 billion acquisition of Pixar — were transferred to a trust run by Powell Jobs. Because she now owns less than 5% of Disney’s outstanding shares, Powell Jobs is no longer required to disclose transactions involving Disney shares under SEC rules.

Powell Jobs’ primary endeavor is running Emerson Collective, a philanthropy-focused venture focusing on education and immigration reform and environmental issues that has recently made investments in the entertainment biz.

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Laurene Powell Jobs remains a significant shareholder in the Walt Disney Co. after divesting a portion of her holdings as part of normal long-term financial planning and portfolio diversification,” an Emerson Collective rep said in a statement. “Such diversification is part of Powell Jobs’ philanthropic and impact investing efforts through her firm, Emerson Collective LLC, which focuses on education, immigration and the environment.”

Last year Emerson Collective acquired a minority stake in management-production company Anonymous Content, whose productions include “Mr. Robot” and Oscar-winning film “Spotlight,” and also has invested in Macro, a production venture launched by former WME agent Charles King.

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