(Corrects 8th paragraph, deleting Solus Alternative Asset
Management from list of hedge fund investors)
By Ronald Grover
Jan 31 MGM, the studio behind the James Bond
movie franchise, will close a $650 million refinancing of its
debt on Friday, reducing the likelihood that the filmmaker will
file a contemplated initial public offering in the next few
MGM, which emerged from bankruptcy in 2010, will use the
debt to replace its existing $500 million credit line and to
repay studios that have advanced it funds for joint production
on films such as "Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey", which was
released in movie theaters on Dec. 14 date and has sold $294.1
million of tickets in the U.S. and Canada.
The studio, which produced last year's blockbuster James
Bond film "Skyfall" with Sony's Columbia studio, is
taking advantage of sharply lower interest rates to pay repay
both Sony and Warner Brothers, with whom it produced
the "Hobbit" film, according to a person with knowledge of the
MGM is also contemplating making new media acquisitions or
buying film projects as it continues to ramp up its production
activities, according to Variety, which first reported the
Studio spokeswoman Susan Arons had no comment.
MGM Holdings, the studio parent, said in July that it had
filed draft registration documents with the Securities and
Exchange Commission for a public offering but has since then
taken no action despite published reports that it would file
before the November release of "Skyfall."
In July, the board also purchased billionaire investor Carl
Icahn's 25 percent stake for $590 million, paying $33.50 a share
and establishing a market value of $2.4 billion for the company.
The studio's board is made up of representatives of hedge
fund investors that include Anchorage Capital Group and Highland
Capital Management. The investors may contemplate an IPO in the
future, according to the person.
(Reporting By Ronald Grover; Editing by Bernard Orr)