Final Push in Lionsgate Proxy Battle
Rival camps amp up get-out-to-vote messages to shareholders
TORONTO -- Lionsgate Entertainment, locked in a proxy battle with Carl Icahn, on Friday ramped up its get-out-the-vote machine by reminding shareholders to back its director nominees at its annual general meeting Tuesday.
The final appeal is less about shareholder value or knocking the rival camp as getting shareholders to use the right blue or gold proxy card.
Lionsgate took pains to urge shareholders that voted a gold proxy card from the Icahn Group to unwind that support by using mini-studio's blue proxy card.
"Do not vote the Icahn proxy card at all, even as a vote against Icahn, as it may cancel your previous vote for Lionsgate's director nominees," Lionsgate added in a note to shareholders.
The reminder to vote comes a day after Lionsgate won a key legal victory over Icahn in New York that will make it more difficult for the activist shareholder to get his own board nominee slate approved at Tuesday's showdown (HR, Dec. 9).
Despite that setback, Icahn has his own ground game, having earlier this week launched the website savelionsgate.com to pull the vote for his slate.
The activist shareholder's pitch to shareholders is more direct, as he points to Lionsgate's slate: "Shareholders, would you want these guys running your family business, let alone Lions Gate?"
Lionsgate's 2010 AGM is set to go Tuesday in Los Angeles.