BREAKING: In the ongoing courtroom battle between Liongate and Carl Icahn, Lionsgate came out a big winner today. A New York State Supreme Court judge dismissed Icahn’s suit against Lionsgate over the studio’s de-leveraging transaction on July 20, 2012. That maneuver converted $100 million in convertible subordinated debt to shareholder equity. The shares ended up in the hands of Lionsgate board member Mark Rachesky, and diluted Icahn’s ownership percentage at a crucial time in his takeover bid. Icahn first sued on the matter in British Columbia, and essentially the New York court sided with the BC decision. Here is the full opinion.
Separately, a trial looms in New York Southern District Court in a lawsuit that Lionsgate filed against Icahn alleging he attempted to interfere with Lionsgate’s efforts to merge with MGM when he secretly had the same move in mind. As part of that suit, the court will decide an allegation by Lionsgate that shareholder Mark Cuban was improperly offered a side deal that would potentially have been better than the $7 per share given other Lionsgate shareholders. A federal judge last week threw out the other Lionsgate’s other claim. US District Court Judge Harold Baer disagreed with Lionsgate’s assertion that because Icahn did not disclose his own plan to merge the two companies, or his efforts to buy Mark Cuban’s Lionsgate stake, he committed securities fraud.