Welcome to the show folks...
The auction for MGM is set to enter the final phase tomorrow, and here's a rough guide to the state of play among the bidders right now:
1. Lionsgate- Still technically in the game, but with $600 million in their own debt, and Carl Icahn nipping at their heels, and buying up enough MGM debt to cause a ruckus are unlikely to be the winner.
2. Liberty Media/ John Malone- Out of the game, their valuation of the company was way below what the MGM creditors are looking for, and Liberty media's also looking to sell its own Overture films.
3. Relativity Media- Out, despite all the rumors, reports, and secret schemes, they are dropping out of the bidding.
4. Len Blavatnik- Still in, but most reports say that the billionaire's making some sort of restructuring type offer with numbers that aren't exactly blowing up the creditor's collective skirt.
5. Time-Warner- Still in, but bidding too low to please the creditors. All they want is the library, and The Hobbit, and that's all they seem willing to pay for.
6. Qualia Capital- Sort of in, it is reportedly offering $500 million in production/operational financing in exchange for an equity stake in a restructured company.
Some version of Qualia's plan is the likely fate of MGM if something doesn't pop up to get the creditors all hot and bothered. The creditors might very well have to take over the company, and try to make something out of it.
I wish them luck. They're going to need it.