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Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer Stays Mum on Alibaba Rumors

Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer has remained mum as to whether Alibaba is buying a controlling stake in the studio.

The exec was asked during Friday morning’s conference call with analysts to comment on a recent report that hedge fund manager and Lionsgate Co-Chairman Mark Rachesky is considering selling his 37.4% stake to the Chinese e-commerce giant.

“We can’t comment about that,” Feltheimer said.

In July, Lionsgate and Alibaba unveiled a subscription streaming service for mainland China that will offer the “Twilight” films, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” “Divergent” and “Mad Men.” Dubbed Lionsgate Entertainment World, the service will launch by the end of the year.

Feltheimer said that more of the same kind of partnerships are likely.

“We’ve shown with our relationship with Televisa, with Canal Plus and Studio Canal that having interesting partners in other territories can be a benefit,” Feltheimer said. “It doesn’t need to be on an equity basis. You’re going to see me spending a lot of time in China at the beginning of next year.”

Feltheimer was in Hong Kong last week to deliver an address at the CASBAA Convention 2014, an engagement that was scheduled six months ago.

Rachesky, through his MHR Fund Management investment firm, owns 37.4% of Lionsgate’s shares. He and reps for Alibaba have not commented on the report.

Alibaba is flush with cash following its $25 billion IPO and CEO Jack Ma met with Hollywood studio execs last week.

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