Cuban may tender Lionsgate stake to Icahn

Move would make Icahn mini-studio's largest shareholder

TORONTO -- It was always going to be major Lionsgate stakeholders tendering their shares that gets Carl Icahn ultimate control of the mini-studio.

And Icahn apparently caught a big fish Thursday after Mark Cuban told CNBC that he's "most likely going to tender" his 5.3% stake in Vancouver-based Lionsgate to Icahn.

If that comes to pass, Icahn, with his 18.9% stake, will pass Mark Rachevsky and his near-20% holding, to become Lionsgate's largest shareholder.

Icahn already has another 3.7% of Lionsgate shares tendered into his $7 per-share takeover offer, which expires on June 16.

Adding Cuban's stake could get Icahn to nearly 28%, and add muscle to a threatened proxy fight Icahn may wage against Lionsgate senior management to secure board representation.

Icahn earlier this week said he will extend to June 30 the time investors have to tender their shares to the Icahn Group.

The activist shareholder securing more than 20% of Lionsgate shares could trigger a default under the company's credit facilities, and surpassing 33% could force the removal of senior management at the mini-studio, with severance payments.

Besides Cuban and Rachevsky, other major Lionsgate stakeholders include Steinberg Asset Management and Capital Research Management.