Reliance still eyeing MGM: Report

Written by Reuters | New York, September 30: | Updated: Sep 30 2008, 22:25pm hrs
Reliance ADA group has restarted talks over a potential buyout or equity investment in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the 'New York Post' reported.

Several sources involved or close to the discussions told the paper that the talks were "exploratory," and that Reliance's bankers at UBS were trying to come up with a deal structure "that makes the numbers work."

Former Yahoo Inc and Warner Bros Entertainment CEO Terry Semel and News Corp have also expressed interest in MGM, the paper said.

Earlier this month, DreamWorks reached a deal with Reliance ADA for $1.2 billion in new financing to leave Paramount and produce movies as an independent studio.

Reliance's talks for MGM were put on hold while it finalized its deal with DreamWorks, but it is still keenly interested, the paper said.

An outright purchase of MGM would trigger change-of-control provisions in the studio's credit lines that the lending banks could use to withdraw funding, the paper said.

"Reliance would want to bring that credit with them to help with leverage and in determining how much money to put in," the Post quoted a source close to MGM as saying.

Reliance, which is controlled by billionaire Anil Ambani, in May signed deals with eight Hollywood production houses run by A-list actors, including George Clooney and Brad Pitt.

Reliance ADA and News Corp did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

Terry Semel was not immediately available for comment.