Tags: lions | gate | icahn | carl | takeover

Lions Gate Blinks, Revives Icahn Takeover Talks

Tuesday, 18 May 2010 11:01 AM

In a significant appeasement to hostile suitor Carl Icahn, movie studio Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. said that it would respond to the billionaire's recent communications with the company to see if negotiation is possible.

The studio also set aside $16 million in cash to pay severance just in case a change of control results in the termination without cause of CEO Jon Feltheimer, Vice Chairman Michael Burns, Co-COOs Steve Beeks and Joe Drake and general counsel Wayne Levin.

The funds were put in an irrevocable trust for one year and was set up "to permit the company's senior management team to remain focused on executing Lions Gate's strategy," the company said in a securities filing.

In the same filing, the company said it continued to see Icahn's $7-per-share offer "financially inadequate, opportunistic and coercive," but said it would respond to his communications to see if there is a "basis on which to engage in negotiations."

Icahn, who owns nearly 19 percent of Lions Gate shares, has been in a battle for control of the company since March of last year.

The company's shares closed down 16 cents, or 2.4 percent, at $6.54 on Monday.

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