Continuing his battle with the board of leading US independent Lionsgate, billionaire investor Carl Icahn has again extended his offer for the company and said he will stage a proxy fight to replace the board later this year.
Icahn, who currently owns just under 19% of Lionsgate, has extended his $7-a-share offer for the rest of the company to June 16. This is the sixth time the offer has been extended during Icahn’s battle with Lionsgate.
Icahn also removed the condition stipulating that the offer would only come into effect if enough shareholders accept it for him to raise his stake to more than 50%. Now Icahn may be able to raise his stake to levels that would give him significant say in the company’s dealings without full ownership.
Lionsgate responded to Icahn’s offer extension with a statement saying that shareholders, fewer than 4% of whom have tendered into the offer, had “again rejected” the bid. “Lionsgate’s shareholders have demonstrated that they believe the Icahn Group’s offer is financially inadequate,” the statement said.
Icahn also said this week that before Lionsgate’s next annual shareholders’ meeting he will put up his own slate of directors to run against the company’s current board. Lionsgate’s annual meetings usually take place in September, though the date for this year’s has not yet been set.
Separately, Lionsgate this week announced financial results for the year to March 31, 2010.
The company reported revenue of $1.584bn (up 8% on the previous year) and net loss attributable to Lionsgate shareholders of $19.5m (compared to net loss of $178.5m for the previous year).
The company attributed the revenue rise to increases in television production revenue and new revenue from TV Guide Network and TVGuide.com which offset declines in the film business driven by fewer theatrical releases.
Overall motion picture revenue for the year was $1.12bn, down 9%. Within the motion picture segment, theatrical revenue was down 38% to $139.4m. Lionsgate put the drop down to a smaller release slate of only 10 films, compared to 16 the year before.
Lionsgate’s home entertainment revenue from both motion pictures and television was down 10% to $608.2m. Television included in motion pictures revenue (primarily pay television) rose 10% to $186.7m.
International motion picture revenue (excluding Lionsgate UK) was down 10% to $73.4m. Lionsgate UK revenue was up 22% to $74.3m.
Mandate Pictures’ revenue was up 118% to $99.1m, thanks to the strength of films including Juno, Drag Me To Hell and Horsemen.