Lion mum on refinancing plans

No announcement of refinancing strategies was forthcoming after the MGM board of directors met Friday to discuss plans for an expected public stock offering and other fundraising instruments. A decision is expected this week.

A studio source said the board will continue its talks, and will likely cement its financial strategy sometime early this week, including its choice of an investment bank to handle a possible initial public stock offering and other fundraising options, such as high-yield debt offerings.

The studio’s officers have already spent several weeks this summer meeting with investment bankers to explore financing options that would increase the amount of capital that Leo has available. Investment bank J.P. Morgan, MGM’s principal lender, is expected to play a role in the studio’s refinancing.

MGM chairman Frank Mancuso is said to be in favor of an IPO in the coming months. But MGM owners Kirk Kerkorian’s Tracinda Corp. and Kerry Stokes’ Seven Network of Australia have not yet agreed to the idea.

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