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MGM-Sony Deal Cleared by Europeans

From Times Wire Services

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. said Wednesday that the European Commission had approved the Hollywood studio’s nearly $3-billion sale to a consortium led by Sony Corp.

MGM said the commission, the administrative arm of the European Union, approved the deal without conditions. The deal received U.S. antitrust regulatory approval when the required waiting period expired without objections in December.

The studio said it expected that the deal would close before mid-April, subject to receipt of the necessary financing and other closing conditions.

Under the proposed deal, the Sony-led group agreed to pay $12 a share for MGM, or about $2.94 billion in cash, and assume about $1.9 billion in MGM debt.

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MGM will operate as a private company in Los Angeles. Sony Pictures Entertainment will co-finance films with MGM and distribute the MGM library, the companies said when they announced their agreement in principle Sept. 13.

Sony led an investor group that included Providence Equity Partners, Texas Pacific Group, cable TV operator Comcast Corp. and Credit Suisse Group’s DLJ Merchant Banking.

MGM shares rose 3 cents Wednesday to $11.95 and Sony shares rose 55 cents to $39.87, both on the New York Stock Exchange.

Associated Press and Bloomberg News were used in compiling this report.


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