MGM sets plans for IPO - Entertainment News, Film News, Media - Variety
MGM, the fabled studio that's made some folks piles of money and cost others their shirts, is heading back to the stock market -- news that left potential investors seeking clarity on MGM strategy beyond several big films and a TV library that may be mostly spoken for.
"If they really want to get back into the ranks of the major studios, they're going to need a huge infusion of capital and a rather ambitious production and distribution plan," said Larry Ulman, a partner at Gibson Dunn who specializes in entertainment finance. Gibson Dunn worked on MGM's last IPO, which raised more than $300 million in 1997. IPO proceeds, he said, could help MGM ramp up its slate, churning out the quality and perhaps quantity of pics that could put the Lion back on top. "If you were just going to continue to release a 'Bond' film and maybe a 'Hobbit,' it wouldn't make sense to go through all of that," he said.
There are likely to be more questions than answers for a while as MGM is the first entertainment company to pursue an IPO under new legislation effective in April that allows companies with under $1 billion in revenue to keep the process confidential until 21 days before a roadshow. Part of the JOBS Act (Jumpstart Our Business Startups), the legislation reduces public scrutiny and keeps key operating stats out of the hands of competitors for much of the IPO process.
The company is said to have hired Goldman Sachs as lead underwriter.