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Canadian regulators nix Lionsgate poison pill

Icahn offer for studio expires Friday

Canadian regulators have tossed out Lionsgate’s poison pill defense against Carl Icahn, which would have prevented the billionaire from accumulating more than 38% of the stock.

The British Columbia Securities Commission issued its decision late Monday but did not elaborate.

Lionsgate had created the poison pill in early July as Icahn continued a proxy fight for control of the minimajor. However, Icahn also teamed with Lionsgate last week on a merger proposal with MGM.

Icahn, who owns 33% of Lionsgate, was also able to persuade the British Columbia Securities Commission in April to overturn a previous poison pill that would have capped Icahn’s holdings at 20%. The commission is located in Vancouver, where Lionsgate is headquartered.

Icahn’s current tender offer of $7.50 a share expires on Friday but the offer’s not expected to generate much interest among shareholders. Shares of Lionsgate were off 7 cents to $7.48 in trading Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

Icahn and Lionsgate also went to court last week at the British Columbia Supreme Court over Lionsgate’s debt-to-equity transaction that diluted Icahn’s stake from 38% to 33.5% while boosting Mark Rachesky’s from 19% to 29%. Icahn’s attempting to void that transaction.

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