On Thursday, Malone and Malone-affiliated trusts sold a total of 2.4 million shares for $22 million to Mark Rachesky, Lionsgate chairman who now owns about 22.2% of the company. Malone also sold another 517,437 shares on the open market from Sept. 23-30.
Malone has been in the process of selling Lionsgate shares for the past two years. He exited as a member of the company’s board of directors last year and was replaced by his nephew, Daniel Sanchez.
While Malone has sold his interest, Liberty Global, one of the companies he controls, has in recent months acquired Lionsgate shares to raise its stake in the company to 4.9%. In early 2015, Malone, Discovery Inc. and Liberty Global acquired just under 10% of Lionsgate in a series of transactions.
Lionsgate declined to comment on the transaction. Malone is known to have been in the process of shedding some of his personal investments and cutting back on the number of board seats he holds.
Lionsgate has become a takeover target as its stock struggles amid questions about how the company will remain competitive in a fast-changing entertainment marketplace. News of the Malone stock sale came on the day when Lionsgate shares gained 11 cents to close at $9.06. In after-hours trading, shares climbed another 13 cents.