That crash you heard last week? Carl Icahn barreling into Lionsgate.
The corporate raider recently acquired 4% of the last standalone (and only publicly traded) studio after MGM, DreamWorks and Pixar were picked off in rapid succession.
Icahn’s timing is intriguing. Over the past six months, CBS (Les Moonves and Jon Feltheimer are good friends), Viacom, Comcast, Verizon, NBC Universal and a handful of private equity firms have all kicked the tires at Lionsgate. (Viacom did it before it bought DreamWorks, NBC U after that deal.)
One Wall Streeter believes the last indie will sell or go private within a year.
Despite its library, an upcoming horror channel, lucrative franchises (“Saw” and the Tyler Perry pics) and several high-profile movies including Oscar winner “Crash,” the company’s stock remains at the mercy of its latest box office perf.
“It takes money and time going to conferences, sweet-talking investors,” says one analyst. Lionsgate does that famously well, inviting armies of hedge fund managers to every premiere.
Question is, will Icahn — famous for pressuring management to squeeze value from stocks — have a starring role in this story?