Icahn Cooling on Hollywood
Activist investor Carl Icahn didn't amass $12.5 billion, enough to put him 23rd on Forbes' list of richest Americans, by making bad bets. But you might think otherwise if you trained your focus on his entertainment ventures of late. Recent investments in Blockbuster, MGM, Lionsgate and Yahoo haven't worked out as planned. Icahn, 75, called Blockbuster his worst financial play ever, losing an estimated $200 million by the time Charlie Ergen's Dish Network purchased it from bankruptcy April 6 for $320 million. So does he have any other Hollywood assets in his sights? "We're really not looking right now," Icahn tells THR. Still, he adds: "I do think there's a secular change in distribution. There are opportunities in that area." But he declines to name specific companies he would target. Instead, Icahn made $700 million in the first quarter by focusing on the energy and biotechnology sectors, an impressive 42 percent annualized rate on his roughly $7 billion investment portfolio. That's not to say Icahn is done with entertainment. He holds stakes in toymaker Mattel and video game company Take-Two Interactive Software, plus a nice chunk of Lionsgate that he hasn't given up on despite his unsuccessful effort to wrest control of the studio and merge it with another entity. "The last word hasn't been spoken there yet," he says. "There's an old saying, 'He who laughs last, laughs best.' "