×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

MGM closes in, again

Seagram may seal deal for PFE

To the surprise of absolutely no one, Seagram Co. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer were “very close” Wednesday night to a deal on Polygram Filmed Entertainment.

The two companies are expected to announce today — barring the ever-present last-minute hitch — that MGM has bought PFE’s film catalog for about $250 million.

However, as Seagram and MGM have come this close to a deal at least once before, sources would not rule out the possibility that it could turn sour yet again.

MGM declined comment, and reps for Seagram could not be reached.

While MGM had been prepared to pay $400 million for the entire PFE library two weeks ago, negotiations collapsed (Daily Variety, Oct. 9), only to promptly restart (Daily Variety, Oct. 21). Under the latest arrangement, MGM will purchase PFE’s film titles, and Seagram will dispose of the TV-driven ITC portion of separately.

Thus, MGM’s expected haul will be the Epic library (1,051 titles) plus an uncertain number of PFE pics released before March 31, 1996. According to earlier guidelines drawn up by Seagram and its adviser Goldman Sachs, titles put out since then are not being included.

Under this dating system, the PFE pics in the library should include “Dead Man Walking” and “Four Weddings and a Funeral.” Epic holds ancillary rights to a mixed bag of pics, but counts “Platoon,” “When Harry Met Sally,” “City Slickers” and “The Terminator” among its gems.

PFE paid $225 million for Epic in December 1997, and $156 million for ITC in 1995. The ITC portion contains 350 film titles.

Sources said if MGM does indeed secure the catalog, the Lion will increase its forthcoming rights offering by $200 million to $700 million, partly in order to pay for the deal. The terms of the rights offering will be finalized Friday.

More Biz

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    WGA Leaders to Meet With Showrunners on Agency Packaging Fight (EXCLUSIVE)

    WGA leaders are set to meet tonight with a group of showrunners who are raising concerns about the guild’s handling of negotiations with talent agents over the issue of packaging fees and agency-affiliated productions. The meeting is set for 7:30 p.m. at WGA West headquarters. WGA West president David Goodman is expected to attend. The [...]

  • Bill Murray St Vincent 2014

    Weinstein Co. Sued Over Trademark Infringement in Bill Murray Film

    A horse-racing announcer has sued the Weinstein Co., claiming that the company infringed on his trademarked phrase in a 2014 Bill Murray movie. Dave Johnson is the man behind “And down the stretch they come!,” which he began using while calling races in Illinois in the 1960s. The phrase took off when Johnson moved to [...]

  • HALLIE ANDERSON AND JESSICA PAGE Mom

    Mom + Pop Promotes Hallie Anderson and Jessica Page to Co-General Managers

    Mom + Pop Music has promoted Hallie Anderson to co-GM and head of marketing and Jessica Page to co-GM and head of digital, the company announced today. They had previously served as VP of marketing and VP of digital strategy, respectively. “Being able to promote, empower and support Hallie and Jess in their new positions [...]

  • Disney Fox Takeover Placeholder

    Disney, Fox Employees Grapple With Day One Transition on Two Hollywood Lots

    What kind of a boss will Disney be? That’s a question facing employees at 20th Century Fox, Fox Searchlight, National Geographic Partners, FX Networks, and other assorted parts of Rupert Murdoch’s former media empire. Wednesday was their first full day as staffers of the Walt Disney Co. and the initial moves have done little to [...]

  • Jay Wilson Joins Mascot Label Group

    Jay Wilson Joins Mascot Label Group as VP of Publicity

    Jay Wilson has been named VP of publicity for Mascot Label Group, the company announced today. A veteran of Republic, Glassnote and Universal Records, In his new position Wilson will conceive and implement media strategies for the company and its roster of artists such as Beth Hart, James Morrison, P.O.D., Robert Randolph and the Family [...]

  • Tencent Music Shares Drop Despite Solid

    Tencent Music Shares Drop Despite Solid First Earnings Report

    Proving that good is not always good enough, Tencent Music Entertainment shares fell 9 percent after the Chinese company released its 2018 earnings, wiping out $2.7 billion in market capitalization of what is arguably the biggest audio music service in the world. Chalk it up to big expectations and a short track record: Wednesday’s earnings [...]

  • Songs for Screens Powered by Mac

    Songs for Screens: Shaed Is the Latest Act to Get Rocket Fuel From an Apple Ad

    Nearly 16 years after the first iPod silhouette commercials became instant music-marketing vehicles for bands big, small and critically beloved, the so-called “Apple effect” continues to show little signs of fatigue. Just ask acts like Marian Hill, Sofi Tukker and Billie Eilish, who all scored recent chart hits as a direct result of their music’s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content