MGM is asking potential buyers to submit heir second bids for the studio by mid-March, about two weeks before its respite from interest payments expires, according to an executive with knowledge of the situation.
The executive confirmed that there are six bidders at this stage for the debt-strapped studio.
As TheWrap has reported previously, they include: Russian billionaire Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries, Time Warner Inc., News Corp, Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. and Liberty Media Corp.
Both Time Warner and News Corp have been considered the frontrunners to buy the film company, since both of those media conglomerates have the existing infrastructure to easily integrate MGM’s 4,000-title library, including the valuable James Bond franchise and many other titles.
First-round bidders who have dropped out include Relativity Media with the hedge fund Elliott Associates.
The historic Hollywood studio is exploring a sale after failing to make payments on $3.7 billion in debt. Suitors are trying to assess the value of MGM assets that include a 4,100-movie library, future “Bond” movies and rights to co-distribute films based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit.”
But the studio has been frozen in place, unable to produce new movies, because of its financial straits.