MGM has received a trio of binding offers, but the Lion will take several more weeks to decide whether to accept one of the bids.
Studio disclosed Monday that it had received the offers but didn’t identify the potential buyers. Knowledgeable sources said Access Industries, Lionsgate and Time Warner have made offers as the auction’s second round concludes.
Time Warner’s bid is believed to be in the $1.5 billion range. Lionsgate’s offer is expected to be well below the $2 billion mark.
“The company will review the bids and related transaction terms over the next several weeks,” MGM said in a statement.
MGM also announced it’s expecting to work with its lenders to extend the existing forbearance period for payment on its bank debt, which ends March 31. The lenders have allowed MGM to skip monthly debt payments going back to September.
MGM also said it expects to seek a forbearance agreement for its revolving line of credit, for which a payment is due April 8. “MGM appreciates the strong support it has received from its lenders throughout this process,” it added.
For Access, gaining control of MGM would enable owner Len Blavatnik to establish his company as a showbiz player. Lionsgate’s interest in acquiring MGM helped provoke a hostile takeover bid Friday by Carl Icahn, who insists that shareholders be allowed to vote on large acquisitions of this type. Lionsgate would be able to use the MGM library — which has more than 4,000 titles — to upgrade its own library. Time Warner would be able to obtain control over the James Bond and Hobbit franchises.