Activist shareholder Carl Icahn has again raised his stake in Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., and may attempt to add or oust directors from the board of the Santa Monica studio, according to regulatory filings.
Icahn's High River Limited Partnership raised its Lions Gate stake to 14.3 percent, according to filings with securities regulators in U.S. and Canada, where the company is separately registered. Icahn said in a press release late Monday that his group may take action to change the board makeup at the company's annual meeting or at a special meeting he might convene.
Shares of the independent film and TV studio, which also has offices and operations in Vancouver, have lost half their value over the past year, making the company vulnerable to an acquisition or merger attempt. Lions Gate has a valuable film library and recently spent $255 million to buy TV Guide Network.
Lions Gate's latest release, Tyler Perry's "Madea Goes to Jail," raked in $41.1 million at the North America weekend box office last week, but other recent films, such as "Transporter 3" and "The Spirit," have disappointed. The company earlier this month scaled back expectations for its fiscal 2009 U.S. box office sales to $400 million from $550 million.
Icahn, who has held Lions Gate shares for nearly three years, has been raising his stake in the past few months, doubling it to 9.2 percent in October. Representatives of Icahn Affiliates have had discussions with top company executives, Icahn said in the release.
A Lions Gate spokesman declined comment Tuesday morning.
Lions Gate shares were up 4 cents, or less than 1 percent, to $4.58 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.