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Mark Rachesky Becomes Lionsgate Co-Chairman

Studio’s largest shareholder will share the title with CEO Jon Feltheimer

Mark Rachesky has been named co-chairman of Lionsgate, TheWrap has confirmed. 

Rachesky is the company's largest shareholder, controlling nearly 40 percent of the Vancouver based studio. 

He will share the post with CEO Jon Feltheimer. 

Rachesky played an important role in helping the studio's management beat back a hostile takeover bid from billionaire Carl Icahn. 

Also read: Carl Icahn Gives Up on Takeover Bid, Sells His Lionsgate Stake

A Sept. 13 regulatory filing revealed that Rachesky was appointed to his new position during the annual shareholders meeting in Toronto.  

Last month, after more than a year of tender offers and legal challenges, Icahn ultimately abandoned his efforts to take control of Lionsgate. He sold up to 44,161,971 shares for approximately $7.00 a share to the studio, Rachesky, and a third party. 

The bitter legal fight between Icahn and the studio has centered on Icahn's efforts to reverse a controversial debt-for-equity swap that reduced his stake from 32 percent to 38 percent, while awarding a larger share in the company to Rachesky.

Their role on opposite sides of the struggle to control the studio was ironic, because Rachesky has previously worked for Icahn as an investment advisor before leaving to open his own firm, MHR Fund Management. 

Though Rachesky has made a fortune investing in the wireless and pharmaceutical industries, he is a relative question mark in Hollywood. 

In addition to his success running a hedge fund, Rachesky boasts some pretty impressive education bona fides, holding a B.S. in molecular aspects of cancer from the U. of Pennsylvania, an M.D. from Stanford and an M.B.A. from the same university.

Variety first reported Rachesky's new title.