Icahn extends offer to buy Lionsgate notes

Investor trying to scoop up $325 mil in convertible bonds

Carl Icahn, trying to raise his stake in Lionsgate to as much as 30% through the purchase of debt, extended an important deadline Tuesday.

The billionaire investor has been trying to scoop up $325 million in convertible bonds to boost his 14.5% stake in Lionsgate, a recently hot studio with a $554 million market cap.

Icahn's offer to buy notes due in 2024 and 2025 allegedly expired at 5 p.m. Monday, but Tuesday he said it now expires May 1.

The financier said some debtholders, to the tune of just less than $9 million, already have accepted his offer.

Icahn was dealt a setback Monday when Lionsgate disclosed it had exchanged $66.6 million of convertible debt, which buys the studio an extra three years but under less-favorable conversion terms.

Previously, that debt could have been turned into shares in 2012 at a price of $14.28 a share; now, it's at $8.25 a share in 2015. The deal also included a promise not to tender $24 million, reducing the debt available to Icahn by almost $91 million.

Icahn on Tuesday blasted the refinancing-exchange agreement by claiming it "favors a select few bondholders at the expense of all shareholders and the other bondholders."

Icahn began his quest of wresting more control over Lionsgate several months ago by trying to install board members. When those efforts failed, he made his move to acquire debt.

Lionsgate is home to the "Saw" film franchise and TV shows including "Mad Men." It recently scored hits with Tyler Perry's "Madea Goes to Jail" and "The Haunting in Connecticut." Its library consists of 12,000 movie and TV titles.

Shares of Lionsgate were 3% higher Tuesday at $4.79, about 30% less than what Icahn paid for his shares.
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