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Sep 4, 2019

Lionsgate will be taken over 'eventually,' billionaire founder Frank Giustra says

Lions Gate will be taken over eventually: Founder Frank Giustra


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Frank Giustra, the Canadian billionaire businessman who founded Lionsgate Entertainment Corp., said he believes the independent studio will eventually be taken over.

“I’m no longer on the board. I haven’t been on the board for four years, so I’m speculating,” Frank Giustra told BNN Bloomberg, when asked about recent merger speculation surrounding Lionsgate. “My guess is yes, [a takeover] will happen eventually.”

The film production studio that’s behind blockbusters such as The Hunger Games and John Wick has been the target of takeover speculation after its shares fell nearly 60 per cent in the past year. 

Giustra – who was recently appointed as a member of the Order of Canada and is now president and CEO of Fiore Group of Companies – founded Lionsgate in Vancouver in 1997. He stepped down as the company’s chief executive officer in 2000.

“I had an idea to create the Canadian version of an American movie studio. It was a pretty bold concept and a lot of people thought I was crazy,” Giustra said, reflecting on Lionsgate's launch.

The mining entrepreneur added that filmmaking is a tough business and he’s now focused on television content as a major investor in Vancouver’s Thunderbird Entertainment.

“It’s a big boy business. For a medium-sized company to compete in the movie business is way too tough. It needs way too much capital, way too much staying power and diversity,” he said.