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Publishing

Lions Gate, Icahn had talks on takeover bid

* Billionaire Icahn has spoken with Lions Gate on takeover

* Lions Gate Asian JV to launch 5 films over next 2 years

HONG KONG, May 19 (Reuters) - Lions Gate Entertainment LGF.N has spoken to billionaire investor Carl Icahn a couple of times over his hostile $7 per share offer for the company, its chief executive said on Wednesday.

Shares of the Hollywood studio behind “Saw” and “Mad Men” had fallen more than 3 percent after it said it was exploring whether or not to negotiate with Icahn, who has been frustrated with Lions Gate’s management and the stock’s weak performance.

“He’s (Icahn) recently communicated some ideas,” said Jon Feltheimer, co-chairman and chief executive of Lions Gate. “We’ve said $7 is grossly inadequate, and I certainly wouldn’t put a number on it right now.”

Feltheimer was speaking to reporters in Hong Kong after Tiger Gate, its Asian joint venture with Saban Capital, signed an agreement with Singapore’s Media Development Authority to produce movies for distribution within Asia.

Tiger Gate will launch five films over the next two years with a budget of about $3-$5 million each, Feltheimer said, primarily for its own channels KIX and Thrill.

“Almost all of the Tiger Gate original content will be aimed at projects that can air on these channels,” Feltheimer said. “So we wouldn’t do a motion picture right now.” (Reporting by Kelvin Soh; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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