Ruffling Lion’s mane

Board member sells entire MGM holdings

In an unusual move for a member of a company’s board of directors, Michael Gleason, an MGM director and business consultant who’s been selling off Lion shares of late, on Wednesday sold his entire remaining studio holdings for more than $620,000.

Twice a member of the Lion’s board since 1996, Gleason revealed in a regulatory filing the sale of 42,814 shares for approximately $14.50 apiece.

His biggest previous sale of MGM shares came in a $1.3 million transaction in March, when Gleason sold roughly 120,000 shares for $10.69 apiece.

MGM officials had no comment on Gleason’s stock sale.

Stock options

Most of Gleason’s MGM holdings appear to have come from exercising substantial stock options last year that had been awarded during years of association with the studio. MGM board members can take their director fees in stock.

Gleason’s first dealings with the Lion date to his days with Oz broadcaster and onetime MGM investor Seven Network. Gleason resigned as an MGM director after Seven sold off its Lion holdings in 1998, and he was reappointed to the board in August 2000.

The Securities and Exchange Commission filing detailing Gleason’s latest stock transaction indicates he is technically considered an employee of MGM, in addition to a member of its board. As he doesn’t have a staff position at the studio, that could indicate a business relationship with his Celsus Financial consultancy.

The filing on Gleason’s stock transaction was circulated after the close of market trading. Lion shares climbed 1¢ Wednesday to $14.49.