The war of words between Lionsgate and the man who would own the Santa Monica-based studio stepped up on Wednesday [March 24] as both parties issued open letters.
After the Lionsgate board rejected Carl Icahn’s hostile bid to take control of the company on Tuesday, the corporate raider, who already owns roughly 19% of Lionsgate, said the company lacked a meaningful vision.
Icahn criticised Lionsgate’s pursuit of MGM and said library values were in “secular decline.” Lionsgate is believed to have lodged a bid for the beleaguered MGM this week.
In response Lionsgate issued a letter in which it said Icahn was trying to distract shareholders and referred to his “woefully inadequate” offer to acquire its outstanding stock at $6 per share.
“Contrary to Mr Icahn’s statement, Lionsgate’s board and management team are focused on leading the company and are committed to building value for all of our shareholders,” the letter said.
Lionsgate listed its accomplishments in the film and television operations, citing a feature film business that housed the Tyler Perry and Saw franchises. It flagged up anticipated releases such as Kick-Ass, Killers, The Expendables, and Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too.
Lionsgate top brass highlighted the success of the 12,000-title library, an important plank in its argument if as believed the company is pursuing MGM and its 4,000-title catalogue. Lionsgate claimed its library had generated an average of $267m in annual revenue for the past three years.
The letter concluded: “Lionsgate is a strong and diversified company with a proven strategy to generate value for our shareholders. We are confident we can better serve our shareholders by continuing to execute our strategic business plan.”