Billionaire investor Carl Icahn on Monday said he is letting his tender offer to buy all the outstanding shares of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. expire after failing to block a large shareholder from voting all his shares against Icahn’s board slate at Tuesday’s annual meeting.
Icahn, the company’s largest shareholder, was attempting to take over Lions Gate and elect five directors at the annual meeting. He had received endorsements from two influential proxy advisory firms.
But Icahn admitted that his prospects for winning board seats weakened after a New York court last week refused to block board member Mark Rachesky from voting his full stake. The Santa Monica studio in July used a controversial debt-to-equity transaction that made Rachesky the second largest shareholder with nearly 29 percent of shares. In the process, Icahn’s holdings were diluted to 33 percent.
Icahn’s latest $7.50-a-share tender offer for the film studio was conditioned on being able to get courts to block Rachesky from voting the shares.
“We will continue to monitor the situation at Lions Gate and will aggressively take all actions necessary to protect our investment,” Icahn said in a statement. “We reserve all of our rights with respect to Lions Gate and its securities.”
Lions Gate, which has its corporate headquarters in Vancouver, has not commented on Icahn’s announcement.
Shares were down 32 cents, or 4 percent, to $7.12 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
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