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MGM's Future Comes Due: Spyglass Closing Deal

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood August 10, 2010 at 12:15PM

Time is running out on MGM, which has staved off six debt payments and owes another in September.
Thompson on Hollywood

Time is running out on MGM, which has staved off six debt payments and owes another in September.

The threat of bankruptcy looms, reports THR. Only the promise of a piece of the James Bond franchise has kept the wolf from the door thus far. Several franchise properties are waiting for the situation to resolve, from Bond to Peter Jackson's The Hobbit.

But it looks like the hundred lenders for the beleaguered studio, which has been up for sale for a year, but garnered a mere $1.5 billion bid from Warner Bros.--MGM owes $4 billion--are finally coming to terms on a deal that would see MGM exiting a streamlined bankruptcy by year's end. Spyglass's Roger Birnbaum and Gary Barber (pictured) would get a 4 % stake and would run the reorganized MGM with a new nine-member board after merging their film library--said to be worth $80 million--with MGM's.

The Wall Street Journal explains the complex deal for the studio, which will be valued at about $1.9 billion. Film chief Mary Parent would likely exit MGM and the door is still open for a possible partnership with Summit, or less likely, Lionsgate, which is tangled up with Carl Icahn.

Here's David Poland's analysis.

This article is related to: Directors, Franchises, Studios, Hollywood, Peter Jackson, Lord of the Rings/Hobbit, MGM/UA

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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.