Liberty Media chairman John Malone has sold his remaining shares in Lionsgate Entertainment to the studio's non-executive chairman Mark Rachesky and his own international cable firm Liberty Global.
According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Oct. 3 by Rachesky’s MHR Fund Management, MHR agreed to buy 2.4 million shares of Lionsgate stock from Malone for about $22.1 million on Oct. 2. After the deal, MHR beneficially owned about 22% of Lionsgate’s Class A voting shares and 11% of its Class B non-voting shares.
In a separate SEC filing Thursday, Malone revealed he sold about 520,000 shares of Lionsgate stock on the open market between Sept. 27 and Sept. 30 for between $9 and $9.80 per share. With those sales, the filing stated that Malone “beneficially owns no shares” of Lionsgate Class A voting stock.
Malone sold about 1.2 million shares of Lionsgate stock between Sept. 9 and Sept. 20 at prices ranging from $9.48 to $11.73 per share and from Aug.19 to Sept. 6 shed 1.4 million shares at prices ranging from $8.90 to $11.33 per share. At about the same time, Liberty Global revealed in an SEC filing that it had increased its stake in Lionsgate to 4.9% of its outstanding shares.
Malone has been actively cutting down on business travel and reducing his board positions over the past several months -- last year he stepped down from Lionsgate’s board of directors (he was replaced by his nephew Daniel Sanchez) and also retired from Charter Communications' board.
The Lionsgate sale comes about three years after Malone became one of Lionsgate’s top individual shareholders when Liberty Media sold its Starz LLC premium network to the studio for $4.4 billion in 2016. As part of that deal, Malone -- who had swapped his 4.5% interest in Starz for a 3.4% stake in Lionsgate and a seat on its board of directors a year earlier -- saw his overall interest in the studio rise to about 8.1% of outstanding shares. He has been gradually reducing that stake ever since.