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Icahn Denied Entry to Lions Gate

3/23/2010 11:45 AM Eastern

As expected, Lions Gate Entertainment, parent of Lionsgate studios, has rebuffed Carl Icahn for a second time, calling the former corporate raider's latest tender offer for the company inadequate.
Icahn launched an unsolicited tender offer for all of Lions Gate's shares last week for $6 each in cash.  That offer came seven days after Icahn had launched a partial tender offer for 13.2 million shares of the company's stock for the same price, which would have made him Lions Gate's largest individual shareholder. Lions Gate had rejected the earlier offer as too low.
Icahn already owns about 19% of Lions Gate's outstanding stock, so the latest offer would have been for about 95.7 million shares and cost the former corporate raider about $574 million. His partial tender offer would have cost about $79 million.
In a statement Tuesday, the company said the offer again fell short of the mark.
"We believe that nothing has changed - the offer remains financially inadequate and still does not reflect the full value of Lions Gate shares," said Lions Gate co-chairman and CEO Jon Feltheimer in a statement. "The only substantive change is that the Icahn Group is now bidding for full control of the company without offering a meaningful vision, without demonstrating a relevant track record of industry experience and without paying a control premium."
Investors appeared unfazed, as Lions Gate shares were up 1 cent each to $5.83 per share in early trading Tuesday.
Icahn has been a vocal critic of the studio, which owns the TV Guide Channel, is a partner in premium channel Epix and produces several hit cable shows like Mad Men and Weeds. The former corporate raider tried to gain control of a large block of Lions Gate stock last year. Last March, after failing to successfully negotiate a seat on Lions Gate's board of directors, Icahn launched a tender offer for the studio's convertible debt (which would have given him a 20% interest in the company), only to abandon the effort in May after a fraction of debt holders took advantage of his offer.

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