Lionsgate, Icahn in settlement talks
Boardroom presence reportedly part of discussionsTORONTO – Lionsgate may have the making of an agreement with Carl Icahn that includes giving the corporate raider coveted boardroom representation, Dow Jones reported Friday.
Citing a source close to ongoing settlement talks, the newswire report said Icahn may agree to withdraw his $7.00 per-share hostile tender offer in return for a boardroom presence at the mini-studio.
A Lionsgate spokesman on Friday declined comment on the news report.
Lionsgate's current management has so far been successful in thwarting Icahn in installing his own representatives in the company's boardroom.
Given its disclosure requirements as a public company, Lionsgate would be required to disclose details of any specific settlement proposal with Icahn, which the company has yet to do.
Asked Wednesday during a Toronto press conference whether Lionsgate was holding informal back-channel talks with Icahn representatives to put their escalating legal and corporate feud behind them, vice chairman Michael Burns said only that Lionsgate did not publicly reveal details about conversations with major stockholders.
Representatives at the Icahn Group, which holds a near-19% stake in Lionsgate, were not available for comment at press time.
Talk of a possible settlement follows Lionsgate on Wednesday securing majority support from shareholders for its poison pill defense against a rebuffed Icahn.
At the same time, that vote was little more than a public relations gesture as the British Columbia Securities Commission had already invalidated Lionsgate's shareholders rights plan.
For his part, Icahn has extended his unsolicited tender offer to May 21, but with no assurance he will bring enough major stockholders on side to,successfully seize control of Lionsgate without sweetening his takeover bid yet again.
Lionsgate executives have consistently rejected Icahn's tender offer, initially at $6.00 per share and now at $7.00, as inadequate and coercive.