Is Carl Icahn pushing an MGM-Lions Gate merger?

That's what the WSJ is reporting, and the billionaire investor has been buying up big chunks of MGM debt to help his cause.

Mr. Icahn told people close to MGM earlier this week he holds somewhere between $400 million and $500 million of MGM's debt outstanding and is continuing to build his position in the studio, they said. The purchases give Mr. Icahn about 10% of MGM's outstanding debt. In discussions with some MGM creditors earlier this week, Mr. Icahn said he believes MGM and Lions Gate could benefit from synergies, the people said.

Before Icahn became interested, MGM was trying to work through a pre-packaged bankruptcy filing that would have given operating control of the studio to Spyglass Entertainment. The Journal story says that Icahn doesn't yet hold enough MGM debt to block that pending deal. Still, it's bound to get the attention of the MGM creditors, who are looking for an escape route.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
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