Lionsgate Action: Icahn Raises His Bid, Mark Cuban Joins The Fray

Big doings in Lionsgate ($LGF) this week as Carl Icahn announces a raise of his bid for the rest of the company to $7 per share from $6.  We’ll get to that in a moment below, because another 13D has been filed this week – by none other than Mark Cuban!  Battlestations!

From the WSJ:

Separately, billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban disclosed he now holds a 5.4% stake in Lions Gate, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Cuban declined to comment by email, but the timing of his purchase suggests that he may think Icahn is likely to succeed in his efforts to take over the company.

So far, the normally-vocal Cuban has been silent as far his intentions, his filing simply states that his position is for “investment purposes”.

As I’ve suggested on my activist investor show Stock Wars, this is prime time for proxy battles and Lionsgate may be the most exciting one we’re following right now.  Icahn has essentially given shareholders until April 30th to decide.  I’ve posted the beginning of his letter to fellow shareholders below.  If you’re so inclined, I recommend reading the whole thing as we are watching an epic fight for value unfold before our very eyes. 

Here’s Carl:

767 Fifth Avenue, 47th Floor  

New York, NY 10153


April 15, 2010

Dear Fellow Shareholders:

Today I announced that the purchase price in the tender offer by my affiliated entities for up to all of the outstanding common shares of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. is being increased to $7.00 per share in cash. In addition, following the expiration of the initial offering period of the tender offer, if we have taken up Lions Gate shares tendered during the initial offering period, a 10 business day subsequent offering period will be provided, during which shareholders who do not tender during the initial offering period will be able to participate in the offer and receive the same $7.00 offer price. I am writing to you now to address the many criticisms and claims that the Lions Gate public relations machine has disseminated (at shareholders’ expense) with respect to our offer and to express my dissatisfaction with the failure by the Board of Directors to hold management accountable to the shareholders.

When we first announced our tender offer to purchase up to 13,164,420 shares of Lions Gate, the Board claimed it was “coercive” because it was a partial bid. We disagreed then, and continue to disagree, with that assertion. Nevertheless, in an attempt to take this issue off the table, we amended our offer to provide that we would purchase up to all of the outstanding shares of Lions Gate. The Board’s response to our amended offer was that it was still “coercive.” It appears to me that any offer which threatens the status quo at Lions Gate will be labeled as “coercive.”

Read the rest:

Icahn Announces Increase in Tender Offer Price for Common Shares of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.  (PRNewswire)

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