Former SBS chief Harry E Sloan named MGM CEO

MUMBAI: Harry E. Sloan, who has built three successful publicly traded media companies over the past 20 years, has taken over as the chairman and CEO of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. (MGM).

The companies Sloan has invested in and headed include SBS Broadcasting, Lions Gate Entertainment, and New World Entertainment. Most recently, he was executive chairman of SBS Broadcasting, a leading European media company, which he founded in 1990. The sale of SBS for about $2.6 billion was completed this month.

"Harry has a superb track record in developing both content and distribution businesses and in exploiting growth opportunities in emerging technologies," said Jonathan M Nelson, who is the current chairman of MGM and chief executive officer of Providence Equity Partners, MGM's largest shareholder.

"He has a thorough understanding of MGM's business and opportunities, and we believe he is the right leader to help us build on the Company's strong foundation. Now that he has successfully completed his work at SBS, we look forward to working with him on a full-time basis as our partner in growing the business and creating value for our investors."

An official release has quoted Sloan as saying, "I plan to pursue MGM's many compelling growth opportunities in the domestic and international markets. The proliferation of digital channels and other new content delivery options is dramatically increasing the demand for the quality content MGM can provide. I look forward to working with my MGM partners and the talented MGM employees to make the company a strong player in the creative community and to grow the business significantly in the years ahead."

Sloan, a member of the MGM Board of Directors, will also invest in MGM and become part of the ownership group, which includes four private equity firms and two media companies. Ownership is currently as follows: Providence Equity Partners (29 per cent), Texas Pacific Group (21 per cent), Sony (20 per cent), Comcast (20 per cent), DLJ Merchant Banking Partners (7 per cent), and Quadrangle Group (3 per cent).

This year, MGM has co-financed and co-produced six movies with its strategic partner Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), including The Amityville Horror, Into the Blue and Capote. In 2006, the studio plans to produce and co-finance several movies with SPE, including new titles from the Pink Panther, Rocky and James Bond franchises. Among these, Pink Panther will be released on 10 February 2006.

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