March 18, 2010 / 10:27 PM / 9 years ago

Time Warner considers $1.5 bln 2nd-round bid for MGM-source

* Time Warner undecided on 2nd-round bid - source

* Lions Gate, Access seen as 2nd-round bidders - source

NEW YORK, March 18 (Reuters) - 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

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