Carl Icahn Launches Website to Justify Proxy Battle for Lionsgate Control
SaveLionsgate.com went live Monday in an effort to lobby the studio's shareholders to vote for Icahn's board nominees Dec. 14.
TORONTO -- Carl Icahn has gone online to justify his proxy battle for control of Lionsgate Entertainment.
The billionaire investor launched the website SaveLionsgate.com on Monday to lobby the mini-studio’s shareholders to vote for his slate of rebel board nominees at a Dec. 14 AGM in Los Angeles.
Icahn’s online arguments against Lionsgate’s current senior management and directors include recalling a “sweetheart” debt-for-equity swap on July 20 between Michael Burns, vice chairman of Lionsgate, and major shareholder Mark Rachesky.
“Through the years I have seen many transgressions of corporate governance, but they all pale in comparison to what has taken place during a week in mid-July 2010 at Lionsgate,” Icahn states.
The behind-the-scenes debt exchange, which raised Rachesky’s stake in Lionsgate while reducing Icahn’s holding, “could be the basis of a great business movie on the abuses of shareholders in corporate America,” the activist shareholder wrote.
“Lionsgate has first right to the script,” he added.
Icahn’s new website also includes a report by investment bank Salem Partners LLC into “misconceptions” surrounding the value of Lionsgate’s film library and cash flows.
And a third report compares Icahn’s proxy slate to Lionsgate’s own slate of incumbent directors to be voted on at the upcoming AGM.
Of the current Lionsgate boardroom, Icahn writes: “These are our directors. They are supposed to be safeguarding our assets. Shareholders, would you want these guys running your family business, let alone Lions Gate?”