Reaches deal to sell stake for $590 mil

MGM has reached a deal to pay Carl Icahn more than $590 million for his stake in the studio, effectively divesting the activist investor of all Hollywood holdings, according to published reports.

Reps for MGM and Icahn had no comment Tuesday on reports that the billionaire reached an agreement Sunday to sell his 17.6 million shares of MGM for $33.50 each.

The news comes on the heels of MGM’s plans for a public offering — and 11 months after Icahn decided to cash out his Lionsgate holdings for $309 million, the upshot of a three-year battle with Lionsgate management. Icahn had also criticized Lionsgate in 2010 for its efforts to form a combined studio with MGM, but then teamed with Lionsgate to seek an MGM deal as the studio prepped for prepackaged bankruptcy.

Icahn increased his stake in MGM from 15% to 25% last year, prompting rumors that he would attempt another merger with Lionsgate. His August settlement with Lionsgate ended that speculation.

MGM disclosed last week in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it was considering an IPO under new legislation effective in April that allows companies with under $1 billion in revenue to keep the process confidential until 21 days before a roadshow. The company is said to have hired Goldman Sachs as lead underwriter.

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