Lionsgate appeal hearing delayed

Issue concerns gov't decision to annul poison pill defense

TORONTO -- The British Columbia Court of Appeals has delayed until Friday hearing an appeal by Lionsgate of last week's regulatory decision to annul its poison pill defense against Carl Icahn's hostile takeover bid.

The British Columbia Securities Commission last week ruled in favor of Icahn to enable Lionsgate shareholders to freely consider his $7-per-share takeover offer without any anti-takeover hurdles.

The Lionsgate appeal was to be heard Monday but was delayed to give the indie studio more time for the B.C. Securities Commission to publish the grounds for last week's setback.

Lionsgate shareholders are scheduled to vote May 12 in Toronto on the shareholders rights plan, pending the results of the May 7 appeal.

Icahn currently has an 18.9% stake in Lionsgate and has been thwarted by the studio's current management from installing his own representatives in the boardroom.