Carl Icahn came out swinging again today, and Lionsgate hit back. Icahn released a statement answering the question of why he offered $7 per share when the stock dropped to $4.85 several months ago. Icahn said that the only positives that served to enhance the share value since the stock dropped to $4.85 was his tender offer, and the fact Lionsgate joined the Russell 2000 Index, both of which are short-term gains. Icahn charged that library value has “declined precipitously,” and that adjusted earnings before EBITDA was only $82 million. “I cannot help but wonder who will purchase stock when my tender offer expires on Wednesday,” Icahn wrote. He said there is long term potential for a rebound for Lionsgate in TV and as a distributor–not producer-of feature films, and if the company cleans up its balance sheet by halting the production of big budget films and trying to acquire another film library.
Not surprisingly, Lionsgate–which previously chronicled the drop in share value of other companies Icahn acquired–said Icahn’s statements about its 2010 earnings (EBITDA) “is simply the latest in a series of factual inaccuracies, errors and misleading statements. While Icahn pegged the number at $82 million, Lionsgate reported it as $128 million. The company also said it posted record revenues in library income ($323 million) and TV ($351 million), and that overhead was down 8% from last year, at $112 million. “Continued misstatements and inaccuracies shouldn’t distract our shareholders from the simple truth that our financial performance is strong, our momentum is growing and our direction is clear.”