Sahara confirms MGM rescue bid
Los Angeles, Sep 21, Indian conglomerate Sahara India Pariwar has confirmed its bid to rescue debt-laden MGM, the fabled Hollywood studio behind classics such as “James Bond” and “Gone With The Wind”, according to the Hollywood Reporter Monday.
Sahara is in talks to acquire the company in a bid of around $2 billion.
According to the Bloomberg financial news agency, the Sahara bid includes an element of financial support by the Brocolli family, the legendary producers of the James Bond movies and co-owners with MGM of the James Bond franchise. The report said the Brocolli family would receive an undisclosed equity stake in MGM if the bid succeeds.
“On mutual interest, discussions are on, but it is too early to comment on the issue,” Sahara India Pariwar head of corporate communications Abhijit Sarkar said in an email statement confirming the MGM bid.
MGM is currently controlled by creditors and hedge funds that bought the studio’s 4-billion-dollar debt from banks for around $2.4 billion, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
In addition to talks with Sahara, the creditors are conducting negotiations with other interested parties including Time-Warner and Spyglass Entertainment.
MGM’s huge debt burden and its financial instability have led to the postponement of numerous movies to which it owns the rights, including the next James Bond movie and two Hobbit movies that are prequels to the blockbuster “Lord of the Rings” series.