Lions Gate to buy back stock, eyes U.S. listing

Distrib, prod'n co. to recover 3.7 million shares

VANCOUVER (Reuters) — Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. is planning a stock buyback of more than 3.7 million shares over the next year.

The film and television producer and distributor, now listed on the Toronto Exchange, said Friday it also wanted to improve its visibility in U.S. financial circles, and is exploring listing its stock on a U.S. exchange.

Lions Gate’s shares have suffered this year in part by being dumped by institutional investors, and officials acknowledged at a shareholders meeting this week they want to do a better job communicating with the investment community.

Obtaining such a listing on a U.S. exchange will require a minimum share price, and the company said Friday it has scheduled an Oct. 30 shareholders meeting to approve a consolidation of share capital to meet such requirements.

Lions Gates said both the planned stock buyback and getting a Stateside exchange listing will improve shareholder value. The buyback, if approved by regulators, would involve about 10% of the outstanding common shares,

“The company believes that the current price of its common shares does not adequately reflect their value in relation to the company’s assets and its future business prospects,” Lions Gate said in a statement.

Lions Gate’s shares closed Friday on the Toronto Exchange at C$1.53 ($1), down 1¢ from Thursday’s close, and far below its high for the year of $4.12 per share.

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