UPDATE 2-Canada won’t block Icahn’s Lions Gate offer

* Says gets approval from Minister of Canadian Heritage

* Says to preserve Canadian control of Maple Pictures

* Says committed to keeping Lions Gate in Canada

(Recasts)

TORONTO, June 9 (BestGrowthStock) – Canada won’t stand in the way
of Carl Icahn’s offer to buy Vancouver-based Lions Gate
Entertainment Corp (LGF.N: ) after the billionaire pledged to
maintain the Hollywood studio’s Canadian operations.

Icahn, one of the world’s richest men, is locked in a
battle to take over the company, best known for blockbuster
productions like the “Saw” films and the “Mad Men” television
series. Lions Gate operates mostly out of Southern California.

Under the Investment Canada Act, the Canadian Heritage
Ministry must approve any transaction that could result in the
acquisition of a Canadian cultural business by a foreigner.

“The investor has shown its willingness to promote Canadian
cultural products,” Heritage Minister James Moore said on
Wednesday in a statement announcing the approval.

Icahn Group, the activist shareholder’s investment vehicle,
promised to maintain or increase Lions Gate’s current
employment levels and film production activities in Canada,
Icahn said.

It was not immediately clear how many people are employed
by the company in Canada or what portion of their production
activities occur on Canadian soil.

While the approval clears another obstacle to his bid, the
corporate raider still must sway Lions Gate shareholders, who
have said his $7-a-share, hostile takeover bid undervalues the
company.

Icahn’s latest offer — for the 81 percent of Lions Gate he
did not own as of early April — values Lions Gate’s equity at
$825 million.

Icahn has held Lions Gate shares since 2006, and has
criticized management on the performance of the stock, which
has fallen from a high of $12 in 2007 to around $7.

Now he plans to launch a proxy battle to oust the Lions
Gate board.

Lion Gate shares were up 0.7 percent, or 5 cents at $7.05 in
midday trade on Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

Stock Market Advice

(Reporting by Ashutosh Joshi in Bangalore and Pav Jordan in
Toronto; Editing by Prem Udayabhanu and Frank McGurty)

UPDATE 2-Canada won’t block Icahn’s Lions Gate offer