It’s time for yet another chapter in the sprawling MGM bankruptcy saga. When last we checked up on this MGM saga (because at this point it’s way beyond being “a story”), Spyglass Entertainment and Lionsgate looked to be the frontrunning studios competing to take over the financially-troubled MGM.
An extension had been granted until September 15th, at which point both Lionsgate and Spyglass were to have official offers on the table for their respective MGM restructuring plans. Now that the deadline has come and gone, the news we have to share is not about a resolution but of another twist in this convoluted saga: An Indian conglomerate is now making a play for MGM.
The company in question is Sahara India Pariwar, and The Wall Street Journal has a source who claims that Pariwar is in “exploratory talks” about acquiring MGM for $2 billion. MGM’s current financial debt to over 140 lenders is around $4 billion.
It should be noted that the talks are only exploratory, meaning that those involved on either side are feeling each other out to see if there is any real possibility for them to do business. On the MGM side of things, the WSJ source notes that no significant interest has been shown by the studio’s shareholders, despite Sahara’s claims that TV and film fall within the scope of their business interests.
Look… I could open the can of worms by speculating or criticizing the possible ramifications of selling off MGM – which houses arguably the largest catalog of American film there is – to a foreign conglomerate. But to me that “argument” is a specious waste of time and is not actually the matter that needs to be focused on in this situation.
The REAL question for me is: when is this all going to be sorted out for good? We keep hearing deadline after deadline get set, to the point where the word “deadline” itself seems completely arbitrary in a case like this. Nobody seems willing to resolve the issue until the proper paydays get sorted out for those waiting on them, leaving the thing most of us care about – the MGM movie properties being stalled by this fiasco – hanging in what is starting to feel like a perpetual abeyance.
Recently we heard word that The Hobbit may soon be back on track, and soon after that rumors surfaced that the next Bond film might also be getting back in gear; for a moment it truly seemed as though the MGM situation was approaching resolution. However, just as quickly as hopeful news started to sink in, the Bond rumors were quickly debunked and people questioned whether The Hobbit update was really an accurate bit of news, or continued wishful thinking on the part of the filmmakers.
This latest “update” about Sahara India Pariwar is at the very least evidence that we are still stuck in the same chapter of this MGM saga as we have been for a couple of months now. How long we will have to wait until an ACTUAL resolution is reached, and we know for sure what is going to happen to the films we want to see go into development, is anybody’s guess.
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