Sony seeks more time on MGM

If Lion sez no, talks could be opened to outside bidders

As the original 20-day period of exclusive negotiations between Sony and MGM came to a close on Thursday, Sony requested two more weeks of talks, according to sources close to the situation.

Neither Sony nor MGM would comment.

But on Thursday afternoon, sources said, the two companies were in negotiations on a possible extension.

In late April, reports surfaced that Sony was preparing a $5 billion bid, including debt assumption, to acquire MGM and its coveted library of 4,000-plus films.

Last week Sony Corp. of America chairman Howard Stringer confirmed that talks were under way within a 20-day exclusive negotiation period.

That timeframe lapsed at the end of the day Thursday.

If MGM opts not to grant Sony more time, the negotiations could be opened to outside bidders, such as Time Warner.

Sources said Sony’s due diligence on MGM has brought up concerns about valuation.

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