MGM’s impending deadline for bidders

Next Friday, Jan. 15, is the deadline Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer has set for bids. From a Jan. 6 story by Michael White on Bloomberg.com:

Jan. 6 (Bloomberg) — Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., the film studio burdened by about $4 billion in debt, set a Jan. 15 deadline for potential buyers to say whether they are interested in acquiring the company.

About a dozen parties, including film studios and investment groups, signed non-disclosure agreements allowing them to examine MGM’s finances, said a person familiar with the process, who declined to be identified because talks are confidential. The person wouldn’t name the interested parties.

Of course, this is of interest to James Bond fans because all this may affect Bond 23, the as-yet-untitled next entry in the film series that began in 1962. It has already caused work on the script to be suspended, as disclosed by screenwriter Peter Morgan. MGM controls half of the Bond franchise and the 007 films are part of MGM’s film library.

You can get all the MGM details by clicking on the link above. Meanwhile, the story has an explanation for 007 fans confused about what happened to Sony and Columbia Pictures, which released Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. Some fans were under the impression that Sony had bought MGM. But as the story explains, it was a lot more complicated:

MGM is controlled by Providence Equity Partners Inc. and TPG. Comcast Corp. and Sony Corp. each own 20 percent, while DLJ Merchant Partners holds 7 percent and Quadrangle Group holds 3 percent. Led by Providence, the group bought MGM for $5 billion in 2005. Sony and Comcast have written off their investments.

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