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In March, the company’s board of directors fired Barber, who had been at the company for eight years and who had signed a contract extension that was to have run through 2022.
The repurchase agreement included 274,392 shares of common stock and 3,883,529 stock options, which were equivalent to 2,302,572 shares of common stock on a net basis. As part of the agreement, MGM and Barber have agreed to standstill provisions with respect to MGM-related matters for a three-year period.
The transaction will be funded by a combination of MGM’s cash on hand and its credit facility, the company said in a brief notice posted on its corporate website.
MGM had already paid Barber $15.4 million in severance following his ouster.
During his tenure at MGM, Barber steered the company out of bankruptcy with the help of two Bond films, 2012’s Skyfall and 2015’s Spectre, and the 2015 Rocky sequel Creed; made a push into television by bringing Mark Burnett aboard to head MGM Television and Digital Group; and had huge commercial and awards success with MGM TV’s The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu.
But he came to an impasse with MGM board chairman Kevin Ulrich, whose Anchorage Capital Group is MGM’s largest investor, over the future direction of the company. Barber was looking to sell MGM, while Ulrich is looking to grow the company further.
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