Carl Icahn would have won one Lions Gate board seat had he succeeded in court, final count shows
If Carl Icahn had prevailed in his court battle against Lions Gate Entertainment, he would have received a single seat on the company's board.
Preliminary vote totals from the Santa Monica film and television studio's annual meeting on Tuesday show that even if its second-largest shareholder, Mark Rachesky, had not gained 16.2 million shares in a debt-for-equity transaction this past July, just one of Icahn's five nominees for the 12-person board would have won.
Icahn sued Lions Gate in British Columbia, where it is legally domiciled, and in New York to block Rachesky, a supporter of the company's current leadership, from voting the stock he acquired in the summer's controversial transaction.
But both courts denied the corporate raider's request, making it nearly impossible for Icahn, whose holdings were diluted in the deal, to garner a majority of votes for any of his dissident nominees.
When all of Lions Gate's management-backed board nominees won on Tuesday, Icahn said in a statement that if not for the Rachesky transaction, he believed his slate would have won. But precise vote totals show that only Michael Dornemann, the former chief executive of music and television company BMG Entertainment, would have prevailed. He would have beaten Hardwick Simmons, a board member since 2005 who previously worked with Lions Gate vice chairman Michael Burns at Prudential Securities.
-- Ben Fritz