BREAKING NEWS! The studio just filed a 14D-9 a few minutes ago announcing that “settlement discussions” with Carl Icahn have begun. A sources tells me that the corporate raider/shareholder activist came to Lionsgate “and wanted to talk. LG has a fiduciary responsibility to listen. He is their second largest shareholder and they will listen. No guarantees that this will lead to an actual settlement.”
Icahn’s $7 a share offer is still out there until May 21st. Should it fail, and it probably will, Icahn has said he’ll “probably” wage a proxy fight for Lionsgate. That will be expensive for him, and destabilizing for the studio. On the other hand, Lionsgate toppers Jon Feltheimer and Michael Burns find their hands tied against Icahn’s hostile takeover attempt. Both a British Columbia regulatory commission as well as a British Columbia Appeals Court have ruled that the studio can’t use a poison pill defense. Nevertheless, Lionsgate called a special meeting of stockholders and went forward with ratification of its so-called “Shareholder Rights Plan” — no matter how meaningless.