MGM’s creditors about to lose patience

By Branko Brkic 12 November 2009

In its latest incarnation, MGM is a worldwide distribution company, and a very indebted one. Although the company was given a clean bill of health in May 2009, it has to pay a $250 million line of credit in April 2010, a $1 billion loan in June 2011, and its remaining loans of $2.7 billion in 2012, which suddenly looks like an impossible mountain to climb. MGM CEO Stephen Cooper is trying to raise $1.2 billion through a share issue, but creditors would prefer cash and are now pressing MGM owners, Sony, Comcast and several private equity firms, to sell the company, again. The Golden Age of Hollywood studios is long gone now, but many of us still remember the shiniest of them all, MGM and its stars. The Patriarch, Louis B. Meyer created the greatest collection of stars ever, with Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Buster Keaton, Erich von Stroheim, Laurel and Hardy, Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly and many more. But the latter part of 20th Century was not kind to the shiny studio that made “Gone with the Wind”, with ownership changing almost as fast as stars were changing spouses. Whoever the new MGM owner might become, it will have to breathe an entirely new life into it. Read more: BusinessWeek


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