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The buzz that’s reverberating from Hollywood to Main Street to Wall Street this week is the eminent release of The Hunger Games today. The movie is based on a best-selling trilogy of books by Suzanne Collins and depicts a dystopian society where teenage “tributes” are chosen to fight in a twisted battle to the death while others watch.
Everyone’s expecting the movie to be a smashing success, and judging by the long lines at events around the U.S. and the pre-sale ticket revenues, it will be—financially, at least.
In particular, the movie’s distribution studio, Lions Gate, has been the stock to watch this week. The stock is up over 15% for the past month, and nearly 10% this last week.
The owners of LGF stock are probably cheering—but where there are winners, there are also losers. And the most prominent one among them is famed activist investor Carl Icahn.
Icahn owned Lions Gate stock for three years and attempted an unsuccessful takeover of the company before selling his whole stake for $7 a share last summer, according to The Wall Street Journal. He held approximately 44 million shares—or about 33% of the company, according to Reuters. Based on calculations according to Lions Gate stock’s closing price of $14.55 yesterday, that’s about a $332.2 million gain he missed out on.
If he had held on for another year, imagine the profit Ichan would’ve made. And Lions Gate is likely to see its stock surge more as another one of its valuable entertainment properties—the hit show Mad Men—returns with its new season this weekend.
The odds were not in Icahn’s favour this time around.
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