Carl Icahn Reveals Nominees for Lionsgate Board
As his proxy fight with Lionsgate comes to a climax, Carl Icahn has unveiled five rebel board nominees for Lionsgate Entertainment¹s upcoming shareholders meeting, led by former Overture Films CEO Chris McGurk.
In response, Lionsgate late Friday said it had received notice from Icahn that he intended to nominate five dissident board members, but added the move "has not articulated a vision for Lionsgate regarding how he (Icahn) would improve" on recent financial results.
The proposed directors from the billionaire investor include Canadian TV producer Jay Firestone, former Bertelsmann Entertainment executive Michael Dornemann, Princeton economics professor Harold Shapiro and Daniel Ninivaggi, president of Ichan Enterprises.
The five dissident director nominees will be nominated for voting by shareholders at Lionsgate¹s upcoming AGM in Los Angeles on Dec. 14.
Lionsgate earlier unveiled its own slate of directors, with 11 of its incumbent directors up for re-election.
Only Brian Tobin, a former Canadian politician and a current director of Lionsgate, will not stand for re-election at the AGM.
In his place, Lionsgate is putting forward as a director nominee Frank Guistra, who founded Lionsgate in 1997, and was replaced as CEO of the mini-studio in March 2000 by Jon Feltheimer.
The other director nominees are Canadian entertainment lawyers Norman Bacal and Arthur Evrensel, Feltheimer and vice-chairman Michael Burns, businessmen Morley Koffman, Darryl Simm and Harald Ludwig, Canadian entertainment executives G. Scott Paterson and Phyllis Yaffe, Hardwick Simmons of Raymond James Financial and Mark Rachesky, a major shareholder with a 28.8% stake in Lionsgate.
Lionsgate, in a statement on the upcoming shareholders meeting, said the mini-studio had momentum and "now is not the time to make a change."
The Lionsgate boardroom further urged shareholders to vote a white proxy card to elect the mini-studio¹s slate of board nominees and to "discard any Icahn Group proxy materials."
"The Lionsgate board and management team are focused on leading Lionsgate and look forward to continuing to execute on its growth strategy for the benefit of all Lionsgate shareholders," the company said in a statement.
Icahn's proxy fight with Lionsgate promises to bring to a head a long-standing bid by the mini-studio's largest investor to take control of the company.