Ars Gratia Argentum?
The seemingly all-but-settled negotiations between MGM's creditors and Spyglass Entertainment have been thrown into confusion following word that an Indian conglomerate, Sahara India Pariwar, had offered $2 billion to buy the company's $3.7-billion debt and convert it to equity. The London Financial Times commented that the move "would deepen ties between Bollywood and Hollywood." But today's Los Angeles Times reported that MGM's creditors had received nothing more than an inquiry from Sahara. It quoted a person close to the senior debt holders as saying that he was not aware of any negotiations between the lenders and Sahara. The Times also quoted several other unnamed people close to the company as saying that they don't expect the Sahara offer to affect the deal with Spyglass. Nikki Finke's DeadlineHollywood.com published a memo to MGM staff from the current management that referred only to the Spyglass deal and made no mention of the Sahara offer. Finke commented "It doesn't sound like MGM's current management is taking [the Sahara deal] that seriously." However, Bloomberg News reported today that the deal not only has the blessing of of the Broccoli family, producers of the James Bond movies, but that they are "involved" in the Sahara bid to buy the studio. Bloomberg quoted a person with knowledge of the offer as saying that the Broccolis are part of the Indian offer "and would receive an undisclosed equity stake in MGM if it succeeds."