WASHINGTON (AP) — The Securities and Exchange Commission levied a $7.5 million fine against movie studio Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. for failing to properly disclose its role in a complex debt-equity swap that helped it fend off a hostile takeover bid from Carl Icahn in 2010.
The SEC said Thursday that Lions Gate had agreed to pay the fine and admitted wrongdoing.
A Lions Gate spokesman declined to comment.
The commission said that the company orchestrated the move to put about 9 percent of company shares in the hands of Mark Rachesky, a director friendly to management. The agency said such a large sale of stock would have required the approval of other shareholders according to New York Stock Exchange rules.
Lions Gate had already accounted for the cost of the fine in its third quarter earnings ending in December.
Andrew Ceresney, director of the SEC's enforcement division, said the investigation was continuing but didn't elaborate.
Lions Gate shares fell $1.12, or 3.4 percent, to $32.14 in afternoon trading Thursday. The Santa Monica, Calif.-based company's shares are up 38 percent over the past year.