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29 April 2017 17:40 (South Africa)

MGM’s creditors about to lose patience

  • Branko Brkic
    branko3048 a ray
    Branko Brkic

    Brkic is the founder and editor of The Daily Maverick.

    He has edited magazines on business and politics, technology, and wildlife. He has also published fiction and non-fiction books, most of them in Serbian. Though he has never pretended to be a reporter, his wide knowledge of politics (especially in America), combined with his experiences in a disintegrating Yugoslavia, gives him an unusual outlook on events in South Africa.

    Despite the vowel-poor surname, he tells anyone who asks that he hails from Hyde Park, Johannesburg, having spent most of his adult life in South Africa.

    Recent columns:

gone with the wind

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

  • Branko Brkic
    branko3048 a ray
    Branko Brkic

    Brkic is the founder and editor of The Daily Maverick.

    He has edited magazines on business and politics, technology, and wildlife. He has also published fiction and non-fiction books, most of them in Serbian. Though he has never pretended to be a reporter, his wide knowledge of politics (especially in America), combined with his experiences in a disintegrating Yugoslavia, gives him an unusual outlook on events in South Africa.

    Despite the vowel-poor surname, he tells anyone who asks that he hails from Hyde Park, Johannesburg, having spent most of his adult life in South Africa.

    Recent columns:

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