Icahn extends Lionsgate offer until MGM vote

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 45¢ 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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