MGM Sends Out NDAs

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the famed film studio that is exploring a potential sale of itself, has sent out nondisclosure agreements to about 20 interested parties including Time Warner Inc (TWX.N) and News Corp (NWSA.O), sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

The studio, struggling with nearly $4 billion in debt, has also sent out NDAs to Lions Gate Entertainment Corp (LGF.N) and Sony Corp (6758.T), among others, the sources said.

Two of the sources said Peter Chernin, the former president of News Corp who has been advising Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O) on its proposed NBC Universal joint venture with General Electric (GE.N), also plans to take a look at MGM. It was unclear if Chernin had been sent a nondisclosure agreement yet.

MGM is considering an auction process, but its creditors would first like to see how high the most-likely bidders value the company at, two of the sources said. The company is setting up a virtual data room to give bidders access to information.

If the initial valuations come in too low, the creditors might decide to stay away from an auction for now, the people said.

MGM is owned by a group including private equity firms Providence Equity Partners and TPG, and media firms Sony (6758.T) and Comcast.

The sources requested anonymity because details of the auction are not public. (Reporting by Anupreeta Das and Jui Chakravorty; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)