'Operation Lowball' Places Kirk Kerkorian Back at Center of MGM Sale RumorsIf it's not bombs, bees and/or anthrax threatening to engulf MGM in a dense apocalyptic deathcloud, then there's always the Specter of Ownership Past to give the denizens of Constellation Drive a good mortal scare. But only if they're willing to suspend their disbelief long enough to imagine Kirk Kerkorian shuffling back into town on his black steed, blank check in one hand and studio valuation figures in the other, grinning wildly at the prospect of reclaiming the studio a fourth time in as many decades. Most observers seem to think its a scenario as likely as the anthrax contagion rumored to be puffed through MGM Tower's central A/C, but frankly, we're in love with the idea. Moreover, we're in love with the 91-year-old mogul still rocking the brass balls it takes to reportedly offer $3 billion for the studio he sold to Sony four years ago for $5 billion:
Kerkorian's purported $3 billion offer roughly equates to the value of the studio implied in recent trading activity in MGM debt instruments, banking-community insiders noted. ... Well-placed sources indicate MGM is sufficiently capitalized to fund film chief Mary Parent's ambitious new slate of film productions and other studio operations for at least another year. But after that, most believe, the studio likely will need to turn to new equity investors to maintain equilibrium.
We, too, had heard earlier whispers that Reliance Big Entertainment had considered an MGM bid before settling on DreamWorks for a fraction of the cost (and about 10 times the momentum), but thank goodness it took a pass. No potential deal boasts the appeal of Kerkorian 4.0, whose traditional role as Moribund MGM Heir historically augurs at least a few short-term miracles for the studio; the guy clearly can't wait to get in on that coveted remake of Red Dawn and/or putt around in the United Artists power vacuum. Which reminds us: Expect a press release from Harry Sloan by the end of the day assuring Hollywood that Tom Cruise is still in charge. He's just saying. Is all.