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Lionsgate board candidates won handily

Top Icahn candidate Dornemann drew 42.4%

Lionsgate shareholders opted for management’s candidates for its 12-member board by a solid margin over five dissident candidates backed by Carl Icahn.

Lionsgate announced the results Thursday, two days after the shareholder meeting in which the mini-major disclosed that its slate had won the bitter proxy battle with Icahn.

Seven of the Lionsgate candidates — Norman Bacal, Arthur Evrensel, chief exec Jon Felthimer, Frank Giustra, Morley Koffman, Daryl Simm and Phyllis Yaffe — each received at least 96%.

The five candidates that Icahn opposed — vice chairman Michael Burns, Harald Ludwig, G. Scott Patterson, Mark Rachesky and Hardwick Simmons — all received more than 55%.

“These results are a clear indication that Lionsgate shareholders understand our vision for Lionsgate and the tremendous potential for continued value creation under this board and management team,” the company said in a statement. “With the right leadership in place, Lionsgate is focused on continuing to build on the momentum over the last year, in which we achieved record results across our business.”

Icahn, who owns 33% of Lionsgate, accused Lionsgate execs Tuesday of subverting shareholder democracy and reiterated his strong opposition to the debt-to-equity transaction that Lionsgate used in July to cut Icahn’s holdings from 38%.

The debt-for-equity transaction boosted Rachesky’s stake from 19% to 29% and Icahn dropped the hostile takeover effort after a New York court denied his request last week to issue an injunction blocking Rachesky from voting his shares. The billionaire said after the meeting that his slate would have been elected had an injunction been issued.

Icahn’s slate included former Overture Films topper and MGM exec Chris McGurk, who received 36.5% of the votes. Former Berterlsmann exec Michael Dornemann received the most support among the five dissidents with 42.4%.

Icahn disclosed Monday that he had let his $7.50 a share hostile bid expire, though speculation persists that he may make a higher offer. The stock, which took a 6% hit on Tuesday, closed down 8¢ to $6.59 Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.

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