MGM update: another bidder may drop out

On the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. front, another bidder may be dropping out.

Billionaire Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries is looking at ending its attempts to buy MGM, according to a March 31 story on Bloomberg.com by Ronald Grover, a veteran Los Angeles-based journalist, and Serena Saitto.

The reason, according to the article is this:

Access Industries, vying for control of the Los Angeles- based studio with Time Warner Inc. and Qualia Capital, hasn’t received a response to its restructuring proposal from MGM or its creditors. The story cites a person with knowledge of the situation.

A few days earlier, Lions Gate Entertainment bowed out of the bidding.

This may be like watching paint dry for Bond fans. Still, MGM controls half of the 007 franchise so it’s unlikely anything happens on the Bond 23 front until MGM’s fate is resolved.

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The billionaire who may buy a piece of 007

Bloomberg.com has a report about a billionaire who buy a piece of Agent 007. The story by Ronald Grover and Michael White begins thusly:

Feb. 3 (Bloomberg) — Billionaire Len Blavatnik is among the second-round suitors for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., distributor of the James Bond movies, two people with knowledge of the situation said.

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., Time Warner Inc., Liberty Media Corp. and Elliott Management Corp., working with Hollywood financier Ryan Kavanaugh, also are in the bidding, according to people close to the process who sought anonymity because discussions are private. They declined to discuss amounts proposed in the non-binding first round.

Advancing to the second round gives suitors access to more detailed information before making a formal bid for the Los Angeles-based studio, which owns a 4,100-film library and is exploring a sale after failing to make payments on $3.7 billion of debt. Last week, lenders extended a moratorium on interest payments to March 31, allowing more time for negotiations.

Who is this chap? The Bloomberg story has some additonal details:

Blavatnik’s bid marks an effort by the Ukrainian-born industrialist to expand in the U.S. Blavatnik, a U.S. citizen, is chairman of New York-based Access Industries Holdings LLC, which owns a stake in Top Up TV, a U.K. pay television service, and in 2008 acquired control of the U.K. arm of actor/director Mel Gibson’s Icon Productions Inc., the U.K.’s Daily Telegraph reported at the time.

A spokesman for Blavatnik declined to comment, as did Susie Arons, an outside spokeswoman for MGM. Ed Adler, with New York- based Time Warner, and Courtnee Ulrich of Liberty Media also wouldn’t comment.

All of this, course, may directly affect the future of James Bond movies because MGM owns half the franchise. To read the entire article just CLICK HERE.