MGM Debt Repayment Deadline Extended Again

Lenders give the troubled studio more time to explore sale, other options

MGM on Friday issued a statement saying its lenders have agreed to extend the forbearance period on its debt until March 31.

In the statement, MGM said: "The lenders took this action in support of the company’s efforts to strengthen its financial position and to facilitate the company’s ongoing process of exploring strategic alternatives, which include continuing to operate as a stand-alone entity and evaluating a potential sale of the company. MGM appreciates the continued support of its lender group."

The statement continued: "MGM also reiterated today that it has begun the second phase of the M&A process and is conducting due diligence with select parties who have submitted bids. This phase of the process is expected to run for the next several weeks."

MGM previously had received a debt payment deadline extension to Jan. 31 from its lenders.

Bids for MGM were said to be in the $1.5 billion to $1.8 billion range, with bidders reportedly including Time Warner, Lionsgate, hedge fund Elliott Associates and Reliance Group from India. Summit and News Corp. also have been reported to be interested in acquiring the studio.