Mark Rachesky named co-chairman of Lions Gate

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Unlike the previous largest shareholder of Lions Gate Entertainment, the new No. 1 shareholder will have a big title to go with his big holdings.

Mark Rachesky, a doctor and investor who has been supportive of the Santa Monica studio’s management during its long battle with dissident shareholder Carl Icahn, was named co-chairman at a meeting of the board of directors Tuesday.


He shares the title with the company’s chief executive, Jon Feltheimer.

The 52-year-old Rachesky became Lions Gate’s largest shareholder recently after he acquired about 11 million shares from Icahn as part of a settlement under which the billionaire corporate raider, previously Lions Gate’s largest shareholder, sell all of his stock. In exchange, Icahn and Lions Gate are dropping their litigation against each other.

Rachesky now owns 37.4% of Lions Gate shares. He previously owned 29.3%.

He has been a member of the Lions Gate board since 2009, the same year he became an activist investor in the company and began to oppose Icahn’s efforts to take control of the studio and to oust Feltheimer and Vice Chairman Michael Burns. It was a surprising move at the time, as Rachesky had worked for Icahn’s investment firm from 1990 to 1996.

Rachesky is chairman of several other companies, including Loral Space & Communications, Telesat Canada and Leap Wireless International Inc.

Spokespeople for Lions Gate and Rachesky said there are no photos available of the press-shy investor.


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-- Ben Fritz