Lionsgate has released its first trailer for The Hunger Games, the Gary Ross-directed adaptation of the first of a trilogy of Suzanne Collins novels. The film stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth and will be released March 23. Coming off a bad quarter and surviving a takeover attempt by Carl Icahn, Lionsgate needs The Hunger Games to take it to the next level, the way that Twilight Saga did for Summit Entertainment. The Collins book series has been a bestselling phenomenon with a strong youth demographic, so the ingredients seem to be there.
So much for last week’s breathless reports about how this secondary offering for 19.2M of Carl Icahn’s shares was put “on hold” due to a drop in Lionsgate’s stock price. The deal with Icahn requires Lionsgate to pay him $7 a share, which should then put an end to the billionaire’s effort to control the film and TV company. Lionsgate didn’t want to have to make up the difference if it couldn’t collect that much from this offering. That doesn’t seem to be a problem now; Lionsgate closed yesterday at $7.10.
OK, so how did Icahn fare in this Hollywood drama? Not well. He probably ends up with a slight profit on his Lionsgate stock, which cost him an average of $6.90 a share. But that likely was more than eaten up by the legal bills for his applications to the Securities Commission in British Columbia, the suits he lost in the Canadian province’s Supreme Court and Appeals Court, as well as cases at the New York Supreme Court and District Court. Here’s the announcement of the offering:
Has Lionsgate’s effort to sell 19.2M shares in the company owned by Carl Icahn been put “on hold,” as Reuters reported yesterday? The answer is: sort of, but not exactly. Yes, the company wanted to price the shares this week …
Lionsgate said in a regulatory filing today that Mark Rachesky, the former Carl Icahn protege and the mini-major’s largest shareholder, has been appointed co-chairman of the board, a title he will share with current CEO Jon Feltheimer. The …
SANTA MONICA, CA, and VANCOUVER, BC, August 30, 2011 – Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF) (“the Company”), a leading diversified global entertainment company, announced today that Carl and Brett Icahn have reached an agreement with the Company under which the Icahns have agreed to sell up to 44,161,971 shares of Lionsgate common stock, representing substantially all of the Lionsgate shares currently owned by the Icahns. The parties also agreed to dismiss all outstanding litigation between them and release all claims that they may potentially have against each other.
BREAKING: In a move that ends a protracted hostile takeover attempt, Carl Icahn and Lionsgate have announced that Icahn and his son Brett will sell up to 44,161,971 shares of Lionsgate common stock, which is virtually the entire stake held by the family. Both Lionsgate and Icahn in turn have dropped the various litigation between them. Those shares will be sold for $7, which is below the $7.52 that the stock was worth at the market close today.
Through a series of tender offers that ranged from $6 per share to $7.50, Icahn accumulated a total of 33.2% control of Lionsgate, blasting the company’s management every step of the way as he tried to oust the company’s board. Those shares will fall into the hands of Lionsgate’s largest shareholders in a series of transactions that will take place over the next 35 business days. Right away, Lionsgate has bought 11,040,493 shares for $7 each. Another 11 million shares will be bought by one or more affiliates of MHR Fund Management LLC, which is controlled by Mark H. Rachesky, a Lionsgate director whose moves during the takeover battle helped management keep Icahn from accumulating enough shares to win a proxy battle.
This is the biggest deal Google has ever made. We’ll see whether it gives the Web giant the resources it needs to make its Android-powered handsets even more potent competitors to Apple’s iPhone. But Motorola Mobility investors should be happy with the $40 a share offer — a 63% premium from Friday’s closing price: Billionaire Carl Icahn, who owns 11.4% of the company and had urged it to consider cash-generating options such as selling its patent portfolio, says the deal is “a great outcome for all shareholders of Motorola Mobility, especially in light of today’s markets.”
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. & LIBERTYVILLE, Ill.– Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) and Motorola Mobility Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: MMI) today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Google will acquire Motorola Mobility for $40.00 per share in cash, or a total of about $12.5 billion, a premium of 63% to the closing price of Motorola Mobility shares on Friday, August 12, 2011. The transaction was unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies.
The acquisition of Motorola Mobility, a dedicated Android partner, will enable Google to supercharge the Android ecosystem and will enhance competition in mobile computing. Motorola Mobility will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open. Google will run Motorola Mobility as a separate business.
Now that the Harry Potter series is done, it’s only natural that Wall Street would start to wonder: What’s the next movie franchise that will drive teens and adults to the box office in droves? And two analysts today think they have an answer. Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games, a four-movie series based on Suzanne Collins’ trilogy about two teens in a post-apocalyptic society struggling to survive a life-or-death contest. PiperJaffrey’s James Marsh raised his target price for Lionsgate shares to $12 from $10 based largely on his expectation that the films will “provide a material and identifiable catalyst” for the company. Cowen and Co’s Doug Creutz used similar language to project that Lionsgate shares will “outperform the market by at least 20% over the next 12 months.” That would be a welcome change for Lionsgate. Many investors soured on the company while billionaire Carl Icahn battled to take control and DVD sales began to collapse for the industry. Lionsgate’s shares have appreciated just 5% over the last 12 months while the overall market was up 20%. But the analysts say investors will turn the page as they begin to feast on news about Hunger Games. Marketing will begin late this year for the March 2012 release. Marsh says he expects it to become “the highest grossing film of all time at Lionsgate” with $150M in domestic box office sales.
Billionaire Carl Icahn suffered another setback today in his hostile takeover attempt of Lionsgate. The Court of Appeal for British Columbia upheld a lower court ruling that Lionsgate had acted appropriately last year when it allowed a lender to swap his debt …
The Blockbuster video chain slogan “Make it a Blockbuster night” hasn’t been relevant in a long time. But it was apt last night. Bidders battled through the evening to capture the distressed asset before Dish Network closed a deal worth $320 million at around 3 AM East Coast time. That bested rival offers that included one from Carl Icahn. The deal has to pass bankruptcy muster, but the bid includes $228 million in cash, which at least gives studios a chance to recoup some of the money owed for past merchandise shipments. Can Dish figure out a way to capitalize on a once mighty brand? I can remember standing in long lines on a Friday to rent a movie, and enduring exorbitant late charges because Blockbuster had more copies than rental store on the hot movie you wanted to see. But with the $1 Redbox option available in kiosks at every supermarket, and Netflix’s painless streaming program and mail rental system, can anyone remember the last time they even stepped foot in a Blockbuster store? Blockbuster’s brick and mortar strategy was exposed as a dinosaur strategy when those other services began to rise, and the behemoth moved too slowly to adapt to the times and protect its turf. Here is the official statement from Dish:
UPDATE, 2 PM: An investor group led by Carl Icahn made a leading bid of $310.6M for Blockbuster today in U.S Bankruptcy Court in New York, topping a $307.1M bid by Dish Network, Bloomberg is reporting. Icahn attended the …