NEW YORK (
squared off Wednesday against Michael Burns, the vice chairman of
(LGF - Get Report)
's "Fast Money" TV show.
Melissa Lee, the moderator of the show, noted that Icahn had made a tender offer of $6 for all of the shares he doesn't own in the company.
For a breakout of some stocks from a recent "Fast Money" TV show, check out Dan Fitzpatrick's "3 Stocks I Saw on TV."
Burns called Ichan's offer "woefully inadequate" and defended the company's performance over the past 10 years. He said the company had done well with the assets it acquired and in its handling of its television and movie productions.
Lee pressed Burns on reports that the company is preparing to make a bid north of $1 billion for MGM Studio. Burns declined to comment on the reports but he declared, "We don't do dumb deals." He said his company carefully goes over every deal to see whether it can leverage it with its infrastructure and channel platform.
Icahn was quick to pounce on the statements. He said Lions Gate shouldn't be making money-losing movies and television productions, adding it was "absurd" to spend $1 billion on MGM Studio. He said the company shouldn't have anything to fear from his tender offer, adding the shareholders would decline to tender if they thought the price was too low.
Burns said the shareholder vote was fair because the company's poison pill would be removed if Icahn got more than 50% of the vote. Icahn, though, complained he wasn't allowed to vote.
Afterward, the panelists agreed that Burns had won the exchange. Guy Adami said he liked the stock, while Gary Kaminsky said he thought both sides might be close to a deal.
The debate came on a down day for the markets. The
Dow Jones Industrial Average
fell 52.68, or 0.48%, to 10,836.15, while the
dropped 6.45, or 0.55%, to 1,167.72. The
was down 16.48, or 0.68%, to 2,398.76.
Kaminsky said there was a good bit of news from the market reaction to three IPOs that began trading today. He has maintained all along that a healthy IPO market would be one of the keys for the market in 2010.