Icahn's Lionsgate debt gambit falls far short

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Carl Icahn's bid to amass Lionsgate debt so he could hold more sway over the company largely has been a bust.

The investor, who owns about 14.5% of the studio, has purchased $583,000 worth of Lionsgate's $316 million in outstanding bonds, according to a regulatory filing.

Having failed to persuade Lionsgate to allow him to replace board members, Icahn on March 20 launched an effort to buy up debt. Lionsgate countered by refinancing nearly $67 million in debt, which prompted Icahn to extend his offer beyond an April 20 deadline.

Icahn did just that, and the new deadline expired Friday. When Icahn announced his extension, he said he had less than $9 billion in bonds lined up, indicating that when all was said and done, his extension reversed any traction he might have had, resulting in him obtaining far less than expected.

Icahn's reputation, though, is that he is not one to give up without a fight, especially concerning an investment that, so far, is a money-loser.

Icahn could purchase more stock or resume a proxy battle. If he intends to offer a slate of board members to elect, he'd need to do it in the next month or so because Lionsgate's shareholder meeting is scheduled for September.

Lionsgate shares dropped fractionally Tuesday to $5.01. (partialdiff)
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