1. A New Owner For James Bond?

    By Tim Roth on 2003-12-19

    Hollywood observers are tracking reported early merger talks between Warner Bros Pictures owner Time Warner and MGM. A source told the Reuters news agency talks were "at very early stages".

    A resulting deal would combine the world’s largest media company and its film production and worldwide distribution divisions with MGM’s enviable film library.

    Various factors militate against the likelihood of a merger, not least Time Warner’s need to cut its debt rather than increase it to finance a major new acquisition.

    Early last year MGM put itself up for sale for $7bn but later withdrew the offer when the asking price was considered too high.

    The Hollywood rumour mill has long speculated about a take-over at MGM, which is the lowest grossing major studio in Tinseltown. Its jewels in the crown are the library of more than 4,000 films and the highly profitable James Bond franchise.

    Source: The Guardian

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