Lions Gate shareholders rebuff Icahn
LOS ANGELES — Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. said yesterday that its shareholders rebuffed the latest challenge from billionaire investor Carl Icahn, rejecting his candidates and electing all 12 people that management put forward for Lions Gate’s board of directors.
The niche film studio’s shares fell as investors reacted to Icahn’s announcement on Monday that he was letting his tender offer for outstanding shares expire.
The activist investor had given up hope Monday that his five board nominees would be elected. A court ruling last week made it virtually impossible for him to succeed, Icahn said in a statement.
The studio behind the “Saw’’ horror franchise and TV shows like “Weeds’’ and “Madmen’’ said preliminary election results showed shareholders continue to back its strategy.
The shares fell 45 cents, or 5.4 percent, to close at $6.64. They had fallen as low as $6.51. Icahn’s bid was for $7.50 per share.
Icahn’s lawsuit sought to prevent rival shareholder Mark Rachesky from voting shares he acquired in a complex debt-for-equity transaction in July that boosted his stake and diluted others, including Icahn’s. After the transaction, Rachesky owns about 29 percent, compared to about a third for Icahn.
After the supreme court in British Columbia, where Lions Gate is based, rejected his case, Icahn took it to New York, where a trial court is to hear it, though a judge declined to bar Rachesky from voting his new shares.
Icahn dropped his offer to buy more shares because it was contingent on winning an injunction barring Rachesky from voting those shares. Icahn said he would continue to monitor the situation at Lions Gate, which operates out of Santa Monica, Calif.