Lionsgate, the independent Hollywood film and TV studio, has stalled investor Carl Icahn’s takeoverbid by agreeing a $66.6m refinancing deal with two of its largest bondholders.
Under the terms of the refinancing agreement, more than $90 million of the company’s debt, which is about 28% of the company’s total debt, cannot be sold to Icahn.
Lionsgate vice-chairman Michael Burns said the refinancing agreements were motivated by timing. He said: “We saw this as an opportunity to do a private transaction with a few of our major bondholders on terms that were attractive for them and also for our company.”
Icahn, who has made unsuccessful bids for Yahoo and Motorola, owns 14.5% of the company and is Lionsgate’s third-largest shareholder. He initially launched a tender offer for the company’s debt on March 12 but he had attracted just $9m worth of notes – 2.8% of the company’s debt – by the April 20 deadline. He has now extended that to May 1.
The move to acquire the company’s debt followed a breakdown in talks between the studio and Icahn over his attempt to acquire seats on Lionsgate’s 12 person board.
Meanwhile, Lionsgate are reported to be in talks with potential with a view to selling off a stake of its TV Guide cable channel. Icahn has been critical of the company’s $255 million purchase of the channel, which took place in March of this year.
In February, the company reported $93.4m net loss for the third quarter of its financial year due to poor film performances.