Carl Icahn Won't Sweeten $7.50 Per-Share Bid for Lionsgate
TORONTO – Carl Icahn will not raise his $7.50 per-share hostile bid to acquire majority control of Lionsgate Entertainment, he told CNBC on Tuesday.
The billionaire investor was asked during a telephone appearance on the TV business channel whether he might sweeten his offer for the mini-studio if he fails to draw enough investors to his side.
“No, we’re not going to raise the offer, because we’re very concerned about the company,” Icahn responded.
“We’re paying a big premium, not even for control, but to get on the board to safeguard our investment,” he added, referring to a proxy bid to install dissident directors in the Lionsgate boardroom at a Dec. 14 annual shareholders meeting in Los Angeles.
Icahn, who has a near-33% stake in Lionsgate, reiterated that his current offer for outstanding shares in the mini-studio is conditional on a reversal of a July 20 debt-for-equity swap between the mini-studio and rival shareholder Mark Rachesky.
“I’ve been doing this for many years, we think what they (Lionsgate) did was one of the most flagrant abuses of corporate governance we’ve ever seen,” he told CNBC.
“It’s literally they took a printing press and gave one of their board members, Mark Rachesky a gift of around $25 million by printing up stock and giving it to him,” Icahn added.
Lionsgate's largest shareholder on Monday launched a website, Savelionsgate.com to lobby shareholders to vote for his proxy slate as Icahn continues his battle for control of the Vancouver-based indie studio.