Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. is urging its shareholders to reject investor Carl Icahn's increased hostile-takeover bid of $7 a share for the movie and television studio, calling it "financially inadequate, opportunistic and coercive."
The company's board recommends that investors not tender their shares to Icahn, who raised his $6 offer 17% to $7 on April 15 -- placing its value at $825 million, up from $707 million.
"We believe that the offer pales in comparison to the value inherent in the world-class platform we have established over the past 10 years," Lions Gate Chief Executive Jon Feltheimer said in a statement.
All of Lions Gate's directors and top executives, including Feltheimer and Vice Chairman Michael Burns, have said they do not currently intend to tender their shares to Icahn.
Icahn, who in February had said he was not looking to take control of Lions Gate, reversed that position and has expressed his intention to replace the board and top management.
Lions Gate reiterated its plea to shareholders to vote for the so-called poison pill that the company -- which is domiciled in Canada but operates out of Santa Monica -- has proposed that would make a hostile takeover much more expensive for Icahn.
Icahn is lobbying the British Columbia Securities Commission to throw out the poison-pill provision at a hearing set for April 26 before shareholders are scheduled to vote on it May 4.
Icahn, Lions Gate's second-largest shareholder, with an 18.7% stake behind Mark Rachesky, is urging investors to vote against the pill.
The activist investor's latest offer expires April 30. Icahn did not immediately return calls and Lions Gate executives declined to comment.