1. MGM studios given fourth debt extension

    By Devin Zydel on 2010-04-01

    The Wall Street Journal – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.’s creditors agreed to extend the troubled film studio’s debt deadline on Wednesday as it explores strategic options, like a sale of the company.

    The extension, the fourth such move in the past few months, allows MGM to put off payments on its nearly $4 billion debt load until May 14, according to Susie Arons, an outside spokeswoman for company.

    MGM’s management is expected to present a plan to its major creditors on Thursday that would allow the company to remain a standalone entity, according to two people familiar with the matter. The plan could involve a restructuring in bankruptcy.

    Several investors have expressed interest in helping MGM finance a restructuring. Meanwhile, Time Warner Inc. , billionaire Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries and Lions Gate Entertainment Inc. recently bid to acquire MGM, according to people familiar with the matter, but Lions Gate has signaled that it has left the running.

    Time Warner bid roughly $1.5 billion for MGM, according to people familiar with the matter, but the bids have disappointed many of the studio’s major creditors, and the expected presentation of standalone plan on Thursday suggests the company may be moving away from a sale.

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