MGM lenders to decide course of action on Thursday

MUMBAI: Lenders of MGM will meet on Thursday to decide a course of action in the wake of not-so-happy bids for the studio.

Further bidding for the entire studio is unlikely, but a handful of investors may likely be asked to make offers on narrow equity stakes as a means of raising operating capital.

It may be noted that Wednesday is the deadline on a $200 million-plus interest payment by MGM, the credit facility of which expires on 8 April 8.

To get past those two deadlines, something like a 15-day extension of the most recent debt-forbearance agreement is envisioned. MGM and its consultant Moelis & Co. have asked for a 45-day extension, but lenders seem in no mood to comply.

Though attempts to sell the studio outright seem to have hit a road block, an eventual restructuring of the Lion appears inevitable. Companies keen to assist in the process are expected to meet representatives of Moelis and MGM chief Stephen Cooper in an effort to detail investment proposals key to any restructuring.

While Access Industries, Qualia Capital and Anchorage Advisors are among those willing to invest $500 million-$1 billion in MGM to obtain a chunk of studio equity, News Corp. has also show interest.

While Sony has evinced interest in the James Bond rights, Warner Bros. would be willing to buy out MGM‘s share of Hobbit which Warners controls 50-50 with the Lion.

Meeting in Los Angeles, a J.P. Morgan-led lenders committee will discuss ways to restructure MGM, with the aim of making a recommendation to the entire lenders group.

The debtholders would have about a week to vote, with two-thirds majority needed to approve any plan.

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