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Chinese co. wants stake in MGM

Reorg plan is still awaiting regulatory approval

BEIJING – An unnamed Chinese company is vying to buy a stake in the debt-ridden MGM after it emerges from bankruptcy, a senior Chinese official told local media.

A U.S. law firm is arranging the deal, said Zhou Tiedong, prexy of China Film Promotion Intl., the marketing arm of the China Film Group. The plan will swap $4.89 billion of debt for most of MGM’s equity, he said.

The Chinese firm will abide by the rules of the U.S. film industry and observe MGM’s culture and management style, Beijing News quoted Chen Yan, a former market development director of MGM China, as saying.

Last week, a federal bankruptcy court in Manhattan set Dec. 2 as the date for MGM to seek final approval of its reorganization plan.

China’s economy is steaming ahead as the rest of the world sees only fitful economic growth, and its growing economic influence means it is increasingly seeking acquisitions abroad, Hollywood included.

In September, Legendary Pictures sold a 3.3% stake to China’s Orange Sky Golden Harvest Entertainment for $25 million, making it the first Chinese film company to own a stake in a Hollywood studio.

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