After a flurry of weekend headlines further detailing the closely guarded plot to offload MGM, studio reps are firing back today with public denials that the anemic, mute, tired old Lion could soon have another new cage to laze around. And now we don't know who to believe! Is it BusinessWeek, which followed up last week's rumored Kirk Kerkorian 4.0 lowball offer with the news that Goldman Sachs is back on the scene to engineer a sale? Or is it the big, happy, skittish family at MGM HQ itself, which would require an official clarification to be issued these days even if someone said its coffee maker was broken:
STATEMENT FROM METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER STUDIOS INC. LOS ANGELES, CA August 25, 2008 — Contrary to recent media reports, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM) is not for sale. There is no "asking price" for the company. MGM's existing financing arrangements are sufficient to meet its needs. Goldman, Sachs has been retained to explore enhancements to MGM's long-term capital structure. All of the MGM shareholders, including Providence Equity Partners, TPG, Sony Corp. Of America and Comcast Corp, are pleased with the Company's current momentum and are committed to the future growth of the studio."Enhancements to ... long-term capital structure"? Isn't that what selling is? In any event, we'll give the shareholders the benefit of the doubt; the principals have every reason to be "pleased with the company's current momentum," with the minor exception of Heather O'Rourke's outstanding request to God to burn the studio to the ground before it can remake Poltergeist. That will no doubt affect the asking price, which insiders place around an overvalued $5.2 billion that would likely keep the Lion in his same fetid den for at least another year. At least someone could come groom him every once in a while; we hear Kerkorian loves cats. Or at least certain feline parts — where on Leo's body would his library be?