* Time Warner undecided on 2nd-round bid - source
* Lions Gate, Access seen as 2nd-round bidders - source
NEW YORK, March 18 Time Warner Inc (TWX.N) is
considering make a second round bid of up to $1.5 billion for
storied Hollywood studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer [MGMYR.UL] ahead
of a March 19 deadline, a source familiar with the situation
said on Thursday.
But the media company, which owns the Warner Bros studio
and cable networks like CNN and TNT, is yet to make a final
decision according to the person who asked not to be named as
the talks are still confidential.
Others expected to participate in the new round of bidding
include Access Industries, a company controlled by
industrialist Len Blavatnik and independent studio Lions Gate
LGF.N. Another person familiar with the talks said Lions Gate
put in a bid between $1.4 billion to $1.8 billion.
While MGM has given a March 19 deadline, the first source
said they would not be surprised if the deadline was extended
to allow any other serious parties to get involved similar to
the first round.
First round bidders for MGM looked over the books and
assets including its film library of mostly older gems like the
James Bond and Pink Panther franchises.
Once-thriving studio MGM also owns a piece of two "Hobbit"
films to be produced by "Lords of the Rings" director Peter
Jackson, but its real attraction lies in its library of more
than 4,000 film titles.
(Reporting by Yinka Adegoke and Sue Zeidler in Los Angeles;
Editing by Bernard Orr)