MGM bidding: Round Two starting
Written by Chris Forrester
Sunday, 28 February 2010 08:10

The sale of the MGM assets is about to move into its next stage.

MGM is understood to have set mid-March for a final auction. Up for grabs are a 4100-titlemovie library, rights to the never-ending James Bond franchise as well as co-distribution rights to J R R Tolkien’s The Hobbit.

MGM is some $3.7bn in debt, and likely buyers are said to include Time Warner, Lions Gate Entertainment, Liberty Media and Access Industries (the investment arm of billionaire Len Blavatnik). Some 500 staff at MGM’s Culver City HQ could be affected.

MGM was bought by a consortium led by Providence Equity Partners for $5bn, and with Texas Pacific Group, Sony and Comcast also involved. Those buyers look like losing a significant sum on that deal. Most observers suggest that a sale of perhaps $2bn is all that can be expected from likely bidders.