Lionsgate rejects Icahn's $7-per-share bid

Latest bid described as 'opportunistic and coercive'

TORONTO -- No surprise here. Lionsgate has urged investors to reject activist shareholder Carl Icahn's latest $7-per-share bid for the indie studio as opportunistic and coercive.

In a new pitch to shareholders after mulling Icahn's raised offer from last week, Vancouver-based Lionsgate recommended that they not tender their stock and repeated support for a proposed shareholders rights plan to be voted on in Toronto on May 4.

If Lionsgate is feeling heat from Icahn's 17% increase in his offer price, it didn't show it as it denounced the latest unsolicited bid for corporate control.

"We believe that the Icahn Group's offer remains financially inadequate and does not reflect the full value of Lionsgate shares," Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer said Wednesday.

"We believe that the offer pales in comparison to the value inherent in the world class platform we have established over the past 10 years," he added.

Lionsgate repeated earlier arguments to reject Icahn's takeover offer, including that the indie studio's current management has a plan for long-term value and profitability, while Icahn remains inexperienced and inconsistent on Lionsgate's future course under his possible control.

"Mr. Icahn's flip flops and contradictory statements further demonstrate that Mr. Icahn lacks an understanding of and a coherent plan for the company," Lionsgate told shareholders.

Reasons to reject Icahn's overture were also contained in Lionsgate's latest schedule 14D-9 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission and a directors' circular filed with Canadian securities regulators.