Disney to buy MGM?

#1

A member of Intercot posted this article from USA Today on the boards over there…

From the USA Today:

Report: MGM is for sale

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, one of Hollywood’s oldest movie studios, has invited bids for the company and hopes to draw an offer of as much as $7 billion, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

The entertainment giant has hired investment banking firm Goldman Sachs to solicit bids that are due this week, sources familiar with the auction told the newspaper. The company is looking for a price of $7 billion or more, sources told the newspaper. The company is currently valued is about $5 billion.

Kerkorian is seeking at least $30 a share for the company, the sources told the newspaper.

MGM’s shares rose 32 cents to $20.20 a share in early trading Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

Potential suitors include Viacom Inc., the Walt Disney Co., Vivendi Universal, News Corp., and AOL Time Warner Inc. None of the companies is believed to have made a bid for MGM because the asking price is too high, sources told the newspaper.

Neither MGM Chairman Alex Yemenidjian nor any of the rumored companies commented about a possible buyout Monday.

Most of the major studios are interested in MGM’s extensive film library, which includes the James Bond franchise and the “Pink Panther” movies. The studio’s library has more than 4,100 titles.

MGM is controlled by billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, who first acquired the studio in 1969. He has an 80% stake in the company after buying it for a third time in 1996 when he led a $1.3 billion buyout from Credit Lyonnais. The French bank auctioned off MGM after taking over the studio in 1992 from Italian financier Giancarlo Parretti, who is under indictment for allegedly acquiring the company through false transactions.

Since taking over MGM, Kerkorian has purchased the Mirage Resort hotels in Las Vegas; Orion Pictures and the film library of Polygram Pictures; and a 20% stake in four national cable channels that include Bravo and American Movie Classics.

Kerkorian and his ex-wife, former tennis pro Lisa Bonder Kerkorian, are currently embroiled in a child support dispute. Bonder Kerkorian, who had a monthlong marriage and 10-year romantic relationship with the casino mogul, is seeking $320,000 a month to support their 3-year-old daughter

I think this would solve Disney’s problem about renaming Disney/MGM Studios if they buy MGM…

#2

OK, the film library, the naming of the studio and the cable ownership all make sense and fit into what Disney is trying to do. The Casinos, on the other hand, do not, and Disney wouldn’t dare comprimise it’s wholesome family image by owning casinos. Fortunately, they have tremendous value, and could easily be sold or spun off into a separate company with Disney as a minority shareholder. I don’t think this would really change anything with the parks, other than you may see a James Bond ride, and the name change to Disney Studios may become a reality, but not much more. It will be interesting to watch as this progresses.

By the way, I have seen reports that Disney is contemplating purchasing the Orlando Magic, and building a new arena at the Wild World of Sports Complex. We often try to go to Magic games when in Orlando, but the arena isn’t really close to WDW, and we always have to leave about 5:00 PM, and don’t get home until about midnight. With and NBA team in our hometown, it isn’t worth it to us. But if they were on property, and the buses ran there, etc… we would go for sure.

#3

Kerkorian and his ex-wife, former tennis pro Lisa Bonder Kerkorian, are currently embroiled in a child support dispute. Bonder Kerkorian, who had a monthlong marriage and 10-year romantic relationship with the casino mogul, is seeking $320,000 a month to support their 3-year-old daughter

Did I fail to mention that I have recently come up for adoption? I could live on $320,000 per month, cash. In fact, I could live in the nicest suite at Grand Floridian for that much, and have enought to spare to buy my own monorail! :smiley:

#4

Can I come, too?