Shareholders of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. on Tuesday rejected a slate of board candidates nominated by billionaire investor Carl Icahn in favor of management’s choices.
The result was expected after Icahn on Monday let his $7.50-a share tender offer to buy all the outstanding shares of the Santa Monica studio expire, admitting it would be "virtually impossible" to get his five nominees elected.
"The biggest losers are the shareholders of Lions Gate who were deprived, as a result of the machinations of Lions Gate's board and senior management, of the opportunity to receive a large premium for their shares in our tender offer," said Icahn in a statement on Tuesday.
Despite receiving endorsements from influential proxy advisory firms, Icahn, who controlled less than 33 percent of shares, had been considered unlikely get any of his candidates elected. A New York court last week denied his request to bar Mark Rachesky, a board member who had become the second largest shareholder through a controversial debt-to-equity transaction, from voting all his shares in favor of management’s candidates.
Shareholders approved all current directors up for re-election, including Rachesky, and elected a new board-supported nominee, Frank Giustra, to replace an outgoing director.
Lions Gate, which has its corporate headquarters in Vancouver, thanked shareholders for their support. “Today's outcome reaffirms that Lions Gate shareholders continue to have confidence in the board's and management team's strategy to enhance value for all Lions Gate shareholders,” the company said in a statement.
Shares closed down 45 cents, or 6 percent, to $6.64 on the New York Stock Exchange.
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