By David Poland firstname.lastname@example.org
Uh… Toldja? Lionsgate Sues Icahn
I guess blowing my own horn is obnoxious, but if you have been reading my coverage of Lionsgate/MGM, this lawsuit today wouldn’t be much of a shock. Analysis, not regurgitation.
What I don’t buy, in terms of the lawsuit, is that Icahn was setting Lionsgate up for the fall here from the beginning. I do think he completely believed that Lionsgate was being mismanaged. His argument, whether you agree with it or not – that Lionsgate should not be in the over-$30 million movie business – makes sense to a lot of people. And the lawsuit is clearly coming from LGF leadership that sees their exit becoming inevitable if Icahn buys up enough MGM debt to control the merged business… today at a much better price!.
What really changed in the last few months was the economics of the deal. When MGM debt holders decided to take the “No Merger” road, treading water with Spyglass, waiting for the market to improve, the map changed dramatically. Combine that with the ferocity with which the LGF Kings were fighting him off there and BOOM!, eating the whole thing to create value for himself was easily the best way out.
And then, yeah, he fucked over the guys at Lionsgate by agreeing to do what they asked him to do. Support a merger… a merger they have wanted to make happen for a long time.
They just missed one little thing. If he couldn’t buy up any more Lionsgate to take that company over, he was and is free to buy as much of MGM as he likes.
Scoreboard: Pissed Off Billionaire 3, Feltheimer/Burns/Drake 2
And the game plays on…