Carl Icahn ups stake in MGM’s takeover bid

MUMBAI: Billionaire financier Carl Icahn has upped his offer to buy the entire debts of MGM. That amounts to a 8 cent premium above the debt‘s current trading value and a similar rise from Icahn‘s offer last week.MGM owes more than 100 debt holders almost $4 billion and has been seeking approval from the creditors of a company-proposed financial reorganisation plan. MGM has been seeking ways of restructuring its finances for more than a year.

The "prepackaged" bankruptcy plan would turn outstanding debt into lender equity and hand operating reins of the studio to Spyglass Entertainment co- toppers Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum.

But Icahn is backing a rival proposal by Lionsgate, that seeks the merger of Lionsgate and MGM to give the former a 45 per cent stake in the new entity. Lionsgate‘s biggest shareholder, Icahn already has accumulated more than $400
million in MGM debt.

MGM lenders have, till Friday, to vote to approve or reject the Spyglass-proposed MGM reorganisation. An MGM source said there is little chance of a second extension of the voting deadline; the first deadline had been set for last Friday.

MGMs current owners -- including Providence Equity, TPG Capital, Sony, Comcast, DLJ Merchant and Quadrangle -- would see their equity positions in the studio wiped out in virtually any MGM restructuring.

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