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Lions Gate Appeals ‘Poison Pill’ Ruling

Court will hear the company’s side on May 3

Lions Gate has appealed a Canadian regulator’s ruling that would’ve allowed investors to vote directly on a $7-per-share tender offer from corporate raider Carl Icahn.

The appeals court is set to hear the motion next Monday.

The "poison pill" clause had been adopted by the company’s board to block a potential hostile takeover by Icahn. The British Columbia Securities issued a "cease trade order" Tuesday with respect to the provision, "restoring to shareholders the right to decide for themselves — without interference from the Board," according to a statement from Icahn.

Lions Gate issued a statement a the time, saying it was considering an appeal.

In a Wednesday statement announcing the appeal, the company said the provision was to protect "shareholders who, without the protection of the Shareholder Rights Plan, may be coerced to tender into the offer."

It maintains that the Canadian regulators should’ve waited until after its special shareholders’ meeting to make its ruling. In its Wednesday release, Lions Gate rescheduled its meeting for May 12.

The Icahn group’s tender offer to purchase up to all of Lions Gate’s outstanding common shares at $7 expires on Friday night.