Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., which is in the middle of a shareholder battle with activist investor Carl Icahn, is cutting 8 percent of its workforce, according to a wire service report.

The Santa Monica independent film and TV studio will eliminate 45 positions by laying off 27 people and leaving 18 jobs unfilled, a person familiar with the matter told the Associated Press on Friday. The source requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about it publicly.

The studio's reorganization began last summer with a hiring freeze and the elimination of 41 staff positions in November. The combined reductions are expected to reduce the company's $135 million corporate overhead by $15 million to $20 million, the person said.

Icahn, who recently increased his stake in Lions Gate to 14.5 percent, has a pending tender offer to buy up $325 million in convertible bonds issued by the company that can be eventually converted to shares.

The company's board said Thursday it was taking a neutral stance on the offer, but warned that if Icahn's stake exceeded 20 percent, it could constitute a change in ownership that might adversely affect the company's credit facility.

Lions Gate shares closed down 33 cents, or 6 percent, to $5.08 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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