January 15th Marks Deadline Bidding Day For MGM

Today (January 15) is the deadline for first-round bids for US studio MGM with twelve companies understood to be in the running.

Indian conglomerate Reliance ADA Group is the latest company being linked to MGM and is expected to lodge a bid today. The Indian company inked a deal with Dreamworks last year and injected US$325 million into the studio.

Along with other bidders, it is keen to acquire the vast MGM library, which includes the James Bond and Rocky franchise and half of the rights to the next two Lord of the Rings spin-offs including The Hobbit.

TV product includes the Stargate sci-fi series and projects in development include a TV remake of Robert De Niro-fronted action movie Ronin and a 4x1hour mini series based on Meryl Streep’s 1981 drama The French Lieutenant’s Woman.

Other bidders are understood to include Time Warner, Lionsgate and several private equity firms. John Malone’s Liberty Media and Twilight-producer Summit Entertainment are also being linked with MGM while Viacom’s CBS has officially ruled itself out of the running.

News Corp. has reportedly ‘expressed an interest’ but wrangling over the terms MGM has placed on bidders wanting to look at its book are understood to have held Rupert Murdoch’s company back.

The studio’s lenders have delayed debt repayments while it solicits bids. However, these are expected to come in at under US$2 billion and the company’s debt load is about US$3.7 billion.