The LA Times is reporting that Lions Gate has thrown its hat in the ring one more time for control of MGM. Earlier this year, Lions Gate’s $1.4 billion bid was rejected by MGM and its creditors as being too low. The new proposal calls for a merger between the two companies with MGM lenders coming out of the deal with a 55% ownership in the new company, and a 45% share for Lions Gate. According to the Times, the development comes one day before Lions Gate is scheduled to square off in a Canadian court with dissident shareholder Carl Icahn. Ichan, Lions Gate’s biggest shareholder, is suing Lions Gate over bad management decisions. Interestingly, he has also been purchasing MGM debt which, if converted to equity in a merger, would give him a substantial stake in MGM.
Where is Spyglass in all of this? Their offer to take over management of the studio in return for a 5% stake is still on the table (current lenders would get the other 95%). MGM lenders are scheduled to vote on the Spyglass deal on October 22 (another day to mark on your calendars). According to the Times, if MGM takes the Lions Gate offer instead, there will be a breakup fee owed to Spyglass of $4 to $5 million. Check out the following two Company Town blog entries at the Times for updates on the latest Lions Gate offer and where Carl Ichan fits in. Thanks to message board member ranger123 for the link to the first blog article.