Icahn keeps two legal fights going with Lions Gate
Carl Icahn isn't giving up in either of his legal battles with Lions Gate Entertainment.
The activist investor announced Tuesday that he will appeal yesterday's decision by the British Columbia Supreme Court in favor of Lions Gate. Icahn had sued the film and television studio over a debt-for-equity transaction in July that diluted his stake and hindered his attempt to take control of the company.
In addition, Icahn's investment firm filed a response Tuesday to a suit Lions Gate filed against him and his associates last Thursday. Jesse Lynn, assistant general counsel of Icahn Enterprises, said in an affidavit that contrary to Lions Gate's claims, his firm fully complied with securities laws in publicly disclosing its ownership of debt in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and interest in merging that struggling studio with Lions Gate.
In the affidavit, Lynn said that Lions Gate's latest suit was filed last week to interfere with scheduled depositions in an earlier lawsuit Icahn filed against the studio in New York on grounds similar to those in the British Columbia case. It was also intended to interfere, Lynn said, with Icahn's plan to next week ask the New York court for a preliminary injunction preventing Mark Rachesky, Lions Gate's second-largest shareholder, from voting the shares he got in the July transaction at the company's annual meeting expected to occur in December.
If the injunction is issued, it would be easier for Icahn to win a proxy war to replace Lions Gate's board of directors with his own designees since Rachesky would be prevented from voting the approximately 10% of Lions Gate stock he received in July.
-- Ben Fritz