MGM Holdings Eyes IPO

6:37 AM PST 07/25/2012 by Georg Szalai , Eriq Gardner

UPDATED: The studio owner says it has submitted "a draft registration statement on a confidential basis" for a possible initial public offering of its Class A common stock.

Film studio MGM, which was taken private in 2005 in a $5 billion buyout by a consortium including Sony, Comcast and private equity firms, could end up going public again.

MGM Holdings, which has been focused on strengthening its financials after its 2010 Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, said in a brief statement on Wednesday that it has filed a draft registration statement for a possible IPO. 

The company said that "it has previously submitted a draft registration statement on a confidential basis to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a possible initial public offering of its Class A common stock."

It didn't add when and if the company could make the filing official. The actual filing wasn't on the SEC web site early Wednesday.

The company didn't detail when the actual IPO filing or IPO could take place and what its terms, such as the number of shares issued and their price, could be.

A spokeswoman declined to comment further.

IPOs are a way for current investors to reduce or completely sell their stakes in a company. 

After its bankruptcy filing, MGM, founded in 1924 by Marcus Loew, swapped more than $4 billion in debt for equity and left the co-CEOs of Spyglass Entertainment, Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum, in charge. At the time, the Century City studio's largest shareholder was Carl Icahn, but he lost out in his attempt to merge MGM with Lionsgate. Remaining investors are mostly financial firms with little expertise in the film business, which had bought up MGM debt. 

In 2010, during the bankruptcy process, MGM Holdings was valued at $1.9 billions.

MGM, short for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, has had various owners over the years - whether as a publicly or privately-held studio. In 1969, for example, it was sold to Edgar Bronfman Sr. Soon thereafter, investor and businessman Kirk Kerkorian acquired a large stake in the studio it for the first time, and CNN founder Ted Turner also was one of its billionaire owners. 

One of Hollywood's oldest studios, MGM, which is a partner in premium TV venture Epix with Lionsgate and Viacom, saw its heyday in the 1930s and 1940s. Its classic titles include The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind and Ben-Hur. More recently, MGM has been known for the James Bond films, the Pink Panther franchise and the coming Hobbit films. 

MGM Holdings was established in 2005 as a holding company that includes the United Artists and Orion Pictures labels. Besides Icahn, Anchorage Capital and Highland Capital hold stakes in the company.

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