Reliance reportedly bidding for MGM

DreamWorks partner's execs met with MGM, paper says

NEW DELHI -- DreamWorks partner Reliance Big Entertainment is reportedly one of the dozen hopefuls putting in a bid for MGM, according to Indian business paper the Economic Times on Friday, quoting “banking sources."

The report added that the bid from Reliance “is likely to come in next week," citing another anonymous source.

As reported earlier, January 15 is the deadline for the first round of non-binding offers for the studio, but MGM consultant Moelis & Co. has signaled that bidding would be allowed to continue through the holiday weekend until the business week opens Tuesday.

When contacted by THR, RBE chairman Amit Khanna offered no comment.

The report also stated that senior Reliance parent company Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group executive and vice chairman of ADAG's finance company Reliance Capital, Amitabh Jhunjhunwala, “is believed to have met with the studio heads of MGM and the bankers in Los Angeles last week.” Jhunjhunwala is also on the board of DreamWorks following RBE's $325 million investment for an equal stake in Steven Spielberg's studio.

Meanwhile, at home RBE has had a dream run with its latest release “3 Idiots” which has grossed $70 million worldwide (Rupees 3.15 billion) since its 25 December release making the comedy caper starring top actor Aamir Khan the most successful Indian film of all time.

If Reliance is part of the MGM bidding process then the move will signal the company's strategy of building on its existing Hollywood presence which includes silo financing deals with the production banners of A-listers such as Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, George Clooney and Tom Hanks in addition to the DreamWorks' partnership.