Did Carl Icahn Give Up On Lionsgate?*

UPDATE: This morning we found an SEC filing Icahn made yesterday, which incidentally was not listed in the SEC’s system under Lionsgate’s filings. It says nothing about extending the offer, but it does reveal that by the time the offer expired on May 1, Icahn had gotten $154,000 in notes due in 2024 and $429,000 of 2025 notes, or $583,000. Considering that the total value of the notes was $325 million, this means Icahn only got 0.18% of the debt he was seeking.

EARLIER: Carl Icahn began his pursuit of Lionsgate earlier this year with a roar, and he may have finished with a whimper.

The raider’s tender offer for Lionsgate’s debt was already extended once after it originally expired on April 20. The new offer expired on May 1 at 5 p.m., and since then there’s been no indication from either side that Icahn’s still seeking to buy the studio’s debt.

The terms of Icahn’s original offer stated if Icahn chooses to extend the offer, he will “make a public announcement of the extension by issuing a press release prior to 9 a.m., New York City, time on the next business day after the scheduled Expiration Time.” That was the procedure he followed back on April 20, issuing a press release before 9 a.m. on April 21 that he was extending the offer’s deadline until May 1. He said in his extension that, “[o]ther than the extension of the expiration date, the terms of the Offer remain unchanged.” Ok, so if he hasn’t extended the offer by now, then that must mean it’s expired. Right?

Neither Lionsgate nor Icahn himself could be reached as of press time, but a rep for Lionsgate’s PR firm hired to keep Icahn at bay, Joele Frank, said they had not seen a new filing nor had Icahn reached out to Lionsgate, to the best of their knowledge. Icahn’s attorney Keith Schaitkin declined to comment on Icahn’s offer beyond what comes out about it in public filings.

If Icahn has given up, we’d be surprised. (Frankly, Carl, we expected better from you.) Then again, he wasn’t making much progress in his attempt to buy the company’s debt, and Lionsgate had tried to cut him off at the pass, so logically, it would make sense for him to throw in the towel. It’s also possible, but unlikely, that Icahn just forgot he had the offer out. We certainly did until this morning.

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