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MGM Buys Former CEO Gary Barber’s Stake for $260 Million

MGM Holdings has agreed to pay $260 million to former CEO Gary Barber, three months after the executive was fired unexpectedly, in exchange for his remaining equity stake.

Privately held MGM said Thursday that Barber’s stake consisted of 274,392 shares of common stock and 3,883,529 stock options, which were equivalent to 2,302,572 shares of common stock on a net basis. It also said that Barber has agreed to customary standstill provisions with respect to MGM-related matters for a three-year period.

MGM said that transaction will be funded by a combination of cash on hand and utilization of its credit facility. The studio gave no further details.

Barber took the reins of MGM with his longtime partner Roger Birnbaum in 2010 after it emerged from bankruptcy. Barber streamlined its Hollywood operations, cut costs and made use of MGM’s library as streaming platforms came online and relaunched the James Bond franchise. However, Barber ran afoul with Kevin Ulrich, chairman-CEO of MGM majority owner Anchorage Capital Group and the head of the studio’s board, over their visions for the future.

MGM is being run by a management team of senior executives following the firing of Barber. The executives announced two weeks after the ouster that they were operating under a newly created and christened “Office of the CEO.”

MGM revealed in its first-quarter earnings report on May 16 that it had paid Barber $15.4 million in severance.

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