Two weeks into his offer to purchase Lionsgate’s $325 million in debt, Carl Icahn and the independent studio have reportedly restarted talks to give the corporate raider a couple of seats on the studio’s board.
Icahn offered to buy the company’s debt shortly after the first round of negotiations over board seats collapsed, when Lionsgate refused to impose standstill agreements on all major stockholders, as Carl Icahn wanted.
But neither side wants to lose this battle for control. Icahn already lost takeover attempts at Yahoo and Motorola. And Lionsgate has spent millions on an expensive team of lawyers, bankers and PR experts to thwart the corporate raider.
But now that investors are increasingly lining up behind Lionsgate’s management, Icahn may have a tough time convincing bondholders to sell their debt to him. The company’s largest debtholder John Kornitzer has already publicly (and vehemently) refused to sell Icahn any bonds.
An executive close to the situation told The Wrap that a proxy fight, which seems to be where Icahn’s headed, might not be successful either: “It would be presumptuous to say Icahn is in a box. But the shareholder maths for a proxy battle would be very challenging for him.”
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