CEO Harry Sloan is out and restructuring expert Stephen Cooper is in. Sloan stays on as chairman, but the arrival of Cooper can't be a great sign for a company that's been struggling under a heavy debt load, not to mention the weakness of its film business. He will be joined by Mary Parent, who heads MGM's motion-picture group, and Bedi Singh, the company's CFO. In May, MGM announced that it had hired L.A. investment bank Moelis & Co. to help refinance its debt. From the WSJ:
The company, home to the James Bond movie franchise and the upcoming film "Fame," has suffered since a $5 billion buyout by an investment group including private-equity firms Providence Equity Partners and TPG and corporate investors Sony Corp. and Comcast Corp. MGM labors under about $3.7 billion in debt, with a credit facility at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. that matures in April 2010. Other debt comes due in 2012. Interest payments are about $250 million a year.
*More on Cooper from Deal Journal:
Cooper has been involved in some of the most high-profile turnaround tasks of the decade, including scandal-ridden Enron Corp. and KrispyKreme Donuts. He has had some flops, too, such as his assignment to rescue Hawaiian Telecom, a land-line company that Carlyle Group had acquired from Verizon. The company filed for bankruptcy protection in December. It is unclear what Cooper, co-founder of the firm Zolfo Cooper, will earn as MGM's restructuring chief, but his past rates aren't too shabby: His firm was paid as much as $60 million for its work on Enron. He billed KrispyKreme $600,000 a month.