MGM, suffering from financial difficulties that have led to the postponement of major projects like The Hobbit and the next James Bond film, has officially announced a reorganization plan under which the studio will seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, allowing for Spyglass Entertainment to effectively take over control of the studio. The official press release is as follows:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. (MGM) today announced that it has begun a solicitation of votes from its secured lenders for a pre-packaged plan of reorganization (the “Plan”).
MGM expects to continue normal business operations throughout the restructuring process. The Plan provides for MGM’s employees, vendors, participants, guilds, and licensees to be unimpaired.
The Plan provides for MGM’s secured lenders to exchange more than $4 billion in outstanding debt for approximately 95.3 percent of equity in MGM upon its emergence from Chapter 11. Spyglass Entertainment would contribute certain assets to the reorganized company in exchange for approximately 0.52 percent of the reorganized company. In addition, two entities owned by Spyglass affiliates Cypress Entertainment Group, Inc. and Garoge, Inc. will merge with and into a subsidiary of MGM, with the MGM subsidiary as the surviving entity. The stockholders of Cypress and Garoge will receive approximately 4.17 percent of the reorganized company in exchange.
Following the receipt of the requisite consents from secured lenders during the solicitation period, and in order to implement the debt restructuring, MGM intends to commence pre-packaged Chapter 11 cases under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and seek confirmation of the Plan. Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum, currently Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Spyglass Entertainment, would serve as the Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MGM following the company’s emergence from Chapter 11.
The deadline for the Company’s secured lenders to vote on the Plan is October 22, 2010, unless extended. Only holders of secured debt as of October 4, 2010 under MGM’s April 8, 2005 Credit Agreement will be solicited.