Billionaire investor Carl Icahn said he has not recently spoken with Lions Gate Entertainment Corp
The activist shareholder, who controls 14.5 percent of Lions Gate shares, has launched a tender offer to buy $325 million worth of convertible notes issued by the Hollywood film and television studio.
If Icahn were to successfully buy the debt and convert it all into equity, his stake would double to about 28 percent to 29 percent. The offer expires on April 20.
Lions Gate said its board has decided to adopt a neutral stance toward Icahn's tender offer. However, it warned that if Icahn owned more than 20 percent of the company, it may constitute a change in control that could result in default and accelerated payment obligations on another Lions Gate credit facility.
Icahn told Reuters in an interview that he had not spoken with Lions Gate recently and that his tender offer was a good one. He had offered to buy convertible notes due 2024 at a 25 percent discount, and notes due 2025 at a 27 percent discount.
They should also consider that the offer is at a meaningful premium to where it last traded before we announced the offer, Icahn said.
Earlier in March, Icahn criticized Lions Gate for overly high expenses and said its acquisition of the TV Guide cable channel was reckless. He has not outlined his plans for the studio should he get control, saying only that he does not want to push for a sale in the current environment.
Lions Gate said Icahn has not made, nor announced, any intention to make an offer to buy common shares of Lions Gate's parent entity.
Shares of Lions Gate fell 11 cents, or 1.99 percent, to close at $5.41 on the New York Stock Exchange.
(Reporting by Susan Zeidler; editing by Richard Chang)