One thing Michael G Wilson expected to happen in early 2016 was for MGM to sign a distribution deal with a partner studio.
All the same, time passed by and at the end of the year nothing had been announced.This part of the jigsaw puzzle is important as MGM needs a partner to distribute – and co-finance – Bond 25.
Friday a couple of news reports helped reveal the larger picture. The first was in the New York Post, which stated that MGM was in advanced talks with an unnamed Chinese buyer. Those talks would have been the reason MGM was in no rush to sign a new distribution agreement, either renewing with Sony or finding a new partner. The article notes:
A deal with the Chinese entity could become complicated. Chinese nationals are having a hard time getting visas to enter the US, sources told The Post. The Beijing government is also cracking down on how much cash can leave the country.
However, an MGM spokesman told the NY Post that MGM is not for sale.
The other report was from the Wall Street Journal, which had a slightly different story. It is behind a paywall, but The Spy Command discussed it here. The WSJ article says that the deal fell through:
Talks broke down between MGM and several Chinese companies late last year, an apparent casualty of China’s move to stanch capital outflows that has stalled the country’s shopping spree in Hollywood.
What happens now is anyone’s guess. Will MGM continue to look for a buyer, assuming the story is correct? Or will they ink a deal with a distribution partner instead?
Watch this space…