Former MGM Owner Kirk Kerkorian Looking for Hollywood Acquisitions
NEW YORK - Former multiple-time MGM owner Kirk Kerkorian is on the prawl for a new Hollywood deal, looking to buy a studio, production firm or technology firm playing in the entertainment industry, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Jay Rakow, an executive at Kerkorian's investment vehicle Tracinda Corp., told the paper that the 94-year-old investor who has stayed away from Hollywood since selling MGM in 2005 just before U.S. DVD sales peaked sees opportunities in new forms of online distribution and in emerging markets, such as China, India and Latin America, but wouldn't name potential targets.
Kerkorian could acquire a single company or a range of smaller ones and hasn't targeted a specific dollar figure or timetable, Rakow said. The Journal suggested that a smaller studio needing financial help could be on his short list.
Kerkorian also recently hired former MGM COO Charles Cohen as senior adviser for media investments and private equity fund Raine Group LLC as an adviser to help him with his hunt, according to the Journal.
"We are casting a wide net," Rakow said. "Our investment or investments could include a technology company with the potential to transform the entertainment industry to a studio or mini-major, which can benefit from the infusion of cutting edge technology." He added: "In 2012 a traditional, brick-and-mortar studio isn't the only way to produce, market and distribute motion-picture content.”
But the Journal said MGM doesn’t seem to be on the list of potential Kerkorian targets. Tracinda hasn't contacted the studio's current owners, it said citing sources, and an MGM spokeswoman said the studio isn ot for sale.
Kerkorian first took a controlling stake in MGM in 1970. Even back then he saw an opportunity in technological shifts, the Journal highlighted. He used the studio’s movie library to license content to the TV networks amid the wide availability of color television.