MGM would appear to be the latest media company to fall into bankruptcy after being sold to owners who paid too much for it in a leveraged buyout ($4.8 billion) and then discovered that they weren't earning enough to pay interest on the debt. Published reports said today (Friday) that the studio is attempting to gain support from its lenders for a prepackaged reorganization under Chapter 11 bankruptcy that would give them a 95.3 percent stake in The Company in exchange for more than $4 billion in debt. The remaining 4.7 percent would go to Spyglass Entertainment, which would run the studio. (Spyglass chiefs Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum have reportedly signed a non-binding letter of intent to run MGM as co-CEOs and co-chairmen. MGM's owners, who include Sony Corp, Comcast, Providence Equity Partners, and TPG Capital would see their stakes vanish. The approximately 100 lenders have until Oct. 22 to vote on The Deal. More than 50 percent must approve it -- something that is by no means a certainty. It was unclear how the studio would continue to fund its day-to-day operations as well as underwrite new productions if the plan is approved.

08/10/2010