Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, an investor-rights law firm, has launched a securities fraud investigation against Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (NYSE:LGF) (“Lionsgate” or “the Company”) following allegations that the film studio giant lied to its shareholders about the company’s transactions which prompted a probe from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Hagens Berman alerts investors of the Sept. 9, 2014, deadline to file for lead plaintiff. Investors who purchased Lionsgate stock between Feb. 11, 2013, and March 13, 2014 (the “Class Period”), may contact Hagens Berman Partner Reed Kathrein, who is leading the firm’s investigation, by calling 510-725-3000, emailing LGF@hbsslaw.com or visiting http://hb-securities.com/investigations/LGF. The complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on July 11, 2014, alleges that unbeknownst to the company’s shareholders, Lionsgate made a series of transactions designed to prevent a company takeover from shareholder and founder of Icahn Enterprises Carl Icahn. While the transactions caused Lionsgate to fall under an investigation from the SEC, the film studio allegedly chose to mislead investors about the true purpose of these transactions and failed to inform investors about the SEC’s investigation. Lionsgate publicly stated that the transactions were “a key part of the Company’s previously announced plan to reduce its total debt, as well as its nearer term maturities,” while the SEC investigation found that Lionsgate had not announced any such debt-reduction plan, according to the lawsuit. Lionsgate shares dropped 3.19 percent or $1 per share on March 13, 2014, and fell 9 percent or about $3 per share between March 12, 2014, and March 17, 2014, following news of the SEC’s investigation. The stock is currently trading around $29 per share. “While drama is typically for the silver screen, Lionsgate brought its share of drama to investors when it withheld the truth about its dealings and caused undue risk from false and misleading statements,” said Mr. Kathrein. “Transparency and honesty are paramount responsibilities that a publicly traded company has to its investors, and we believe Lionsgate has outright failed in both of these respects.”
According to the complaint, Icahn began a series of tender offers in March 2010 and intended to take over the company by increasing ownership, allowing him to appoint new members to the Lionsgate board of directors.Lionsgate’s management and board of directors sought to block Icahn’s plans, according to the complaint. The suit states that on July 20, 2010, the board – with management’s assistance – approved and facilitated transactions that placed more than 16 million shares of LGF stock in the hands of director Mark Rachesky and/or entities he controlled, diluting the interests of other Lionsgate shareholders, including Icahn. Upon allegedly misleading investors about the nature of the transactions, Lionsgate received a cease and desist order from the SEC. Lionsgate settled the investigation, paying $7.5 million in fines and acknowledging that it had violated federal securities laws. The deadline to file for lead plaintiff in the securities fraud class action is Sept. 9, 2014. Persons with non-public information regarding Lionsgate should consider their options to help in the investigation or take advantage of the SEC Whistleblower program. Under the new SEC Whistleblower program, whistleblowers who provide original information may receive rewards totaling up to 30 percent of any successful recovery made by the SEC. For more information, call Reed Kathrein at 510-725-3000 or email LGF@hbsslaw.com. About Hagens Berman Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP is an investor-rights class-action law firm with offices in nine cities. The firm represents investors, whistleblowers, workers and consumers in complex litigation. More about the firm and its successes can be found at www.hb-securities.com. Read the firm’s Securities Newsletter at http://www.hb-securities.com/newsletter. The firm’s blog is located at www.meaningfuldisclosure.com.