Perenchio eyeing share of Lion

Buy would trim Kerkorian's investment

NEW YORK — Broadcasting billionaire Jerry Perenchio is contemplating an investment of roughly 10% of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to help MGM’s majority shareholder Kirk Kerkorian trim his 90% stake in the Lion.

Perenchio, who made a fortune as chairman of Spanish-lingo broadcaster Univision Communications, is an old friend of Kerkorian, and the two are believed to have had discussions about Perenchio buying into MGM since Seven Network decided to sell its stake several weeks ago.

Kerkorian ended up buying Seven’s 25% stake at its entry price of $24 a share, or $389 million, increasing Kerkorian’s stake to 90%. But Kerkorian is believed to want to reduce his position to just below 80% to ensure that his private company Tracinda does not have to consolidate MGM for tax purposes.

Sources said an investment by Perenchio in MGM was not certain. But it is possible the mogul — who is about as secretive as Kerkorian and would not respond to a request for comment — will buy the stake as part of MGM’s forthcoming $500 million stock offering.

The 10% of MGM would cost roughly $150 million at the Lion’s current stock price. MGM closed down 18¢ Thursday to $15.31.

MGM declined comment, and a spokesman for Kerkorian’s Tracinda said the company had no knowledge of such a transaction.

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