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Mary Parent is exiting her post atop MGM, even as the embattled company announced it is extending the voting deadline on its “prepackaged” bankruptcy plan, while scheduled for next Friday, by one week. The new deadline is 5 p.m., ET, on Oct. 29.
According to sources, today is Parent’s last day at the studio, which she joined in 2008. She is still negotating an end to her contract, which was to have run for another 18 months.
Parent, a former Universal exec and producer, was originally recruited by Harry Sloan, MGM’s then-chairman, to revive the studio’s production operations. As chairman of the motion picture group and co-CEO, she assembled her own production and distribution team and plunged into developing an ambitious slate of films.
But she quickly ran up against MGM’s growing financial restraints. She completed just four movies before plans for other projects such as a James Bond sequel, a Three Stooges movie and a remake of “Robocop” had to be put on hold.
Her team released just one film, the comedy “Hot Tub Time Machine,” which grossed $50 million domestically in March. “Zookeeper,” starring Kevin James, will be relased by Sony, which co-financed the project, in July. Two other movies, the remake “Red Dawn” and a 3-D horror movie “Cabin in the Woods,” remain in limbo, without release dates.
Although her efforts at MGM were thwarted by the company’s rocky finances, Parent remains a highly-regarded executive. She is expected to receive offers for first-look producing deals from several studios. Alternately, she could decide to seek out financing to set up her own film company.
Meanwhile, MGM postponed the vote on its bankruptcy plan.
MGM debt holder Franklin Templeton Investments had asked the studio’s board on behalf of other creditors to push back the vote by three weeks.
Friday afternoon, the studio said it had distributed a supplement to the solicitation package that was originally distributed to MGM’s secured lenders on Oct. 7. According to the statement, “the supplement contains additional details of the company’s financial information included in the original solicitation materials. In order to provide lenders sufficient time to review the supplemental information, MGM has extended the voting deadline by one week.”
Under the plan, MGM would be taken over by the management team of Spyglass Entertainment. The delay gives MGM’s debt holders more time to consider this week’s 11th hour merger proposal from Lionsgate, which Carl Icahn supports. The investor owns 12% of MGM’s debt and is the largest shareholder in Lionsgate.
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