Spyglass-MGM deal

Dealmakers Impact Report 2010

Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum
Spyglass Entertainment
Since Barber and Birnbaum founded Spyglass in 1998, the production, finance and distribution company’s productions have grossed approximately $5 billion in worldwide B.O. Birnbaum, an artistic director and trustee at AFI, and Barber, producer of this year’s “The Tourist,” run Spyglass for New York-based Cerberus Capital Management.
KEY DEALS: Barber and Birnbaum cobbled an agreement that will make them co-CEOs of a reorganized MGM. Lion filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Nov. 3. The filing included a deal that MGM’s creditors had pre-approved giving Barber and Birnbaum control of the company. Initially, deal included putting about 15 Spyglass titles into the new MGM library, but that clause was removed, reducing the Spyglass stake in MGM to less than 1%. Spyglass is to receive $4 million and up to $500,000 if its agreement is breached. Bankruptcy deal wipes out $5 billion of MGM debt.
SPARE TIME: Barber: Owns and breeds thoroughbred horses. Birnbaum: Art collecting, sailing.
TOP CAUSE: Barber: Celiac disease research. Birnbaum: Cancer research.