Billionaire's $7.50 a share offer won't expire until Nov. 1

Carl Icahn’s extended his tender offer to buy more Lionsgate stock for another 10 days to Nov. 1.

That means the $7.50 a share offer won’t expire until after MGM debtholders have voted on a recapitalization plan that would leave Spyglass Entertainment toppers at the head of MGM following a prepackaged bankrupcty. The deadline for voting on that plan is Oct. 29.

Icahn’s allied with Lionsgate on a rival plan that would merge MGM and Lionsgate.

Icahn, who already owns 33% of Lionsgate, said that 6.5 million shares have been tendered so far under an offer that was set to expire Friday. Icahn had built his ownership stake to 38% in July but Lionsgate reduced that to 33% with a debt-to-equity deal that boosted Mark Rachesky’s stake from 19% to 29%.

Even though Icahn’s teamed with Lionsgate on the MGM bid, he hasn’t backed off from his announced plan for a proxy fight to replace the Lionsgate board at the minimajor’s next annual meeting.

The extension of the tender offer came a day after Icahn’s aggressive offer Thursday to buy up more MGM debt as a way to control the outcome of a proposed merger for the Lion, according to sources close to the creditors. Icahn disclosed Thursday that he’s offering to buy some $963 million in debt by guaranteeing to debtholders that they will receive at least 45ยข on the dollar as long as they agree to vote against the proposed merger with Spyglass.

Icahn already owns a substantial amount of MGM’s $4 billion in debt. An MGM spokeswoman declined comment.

“We should not allow ourselves to be railroaded into the Spyglass plan,” Icahn said in a prepared statement Thursday. He called the Spyglass plan a “prescription for disaster.” Spyglass toppers Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum have not commented.

Under Icahn’s favored plan, MGM would merge with Lionsgate, and the Lion’s debtholders would end up with a 55% stake in the merged company. Under that plan, the company would be valued at $1.8 billion.

Shares of Lionsgate were off 4 cents to $7.37 in mid-session trading Friday. Shares hit a 2-year high on Oct. 15 at $7.65 and are up over 30% over the past year.

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