MgmlogosmallUPDATE 3:30 PM: The review process for MGM will extend throughout the weekend into early next week, so the studio should know who makes the cut to Round 2 by mid-week with submitted bids. Here’s an official statement: “MGM is in the process of receiving indications of interest from potential bidders. Once the company has completed reviewing the initial bids, it will begin the second phase of its strategic review process.”

1:15 PM: I hear MGM is tweaking its NDA [non-disclosure agreement] so that News Corp will feel comfortable signing it and then look into buying the studio that’s teetering on bankruptcy. This is after News Corp Negotiations To Buy MGM “Screech To Standstill” over an impasse on what it called the “highly restrictive and unusual” NDA. This is good news for the embattled MGM or its crushing $4 billion debt or frustrated creditors who want to break up the studio and sell off its valuable library. Now about 12 potential bidders are working toward a January 15th date for submitting their indications of interest, including News Corp, Time Warner, Lionsgate, Sony, Spyglass, and others. They all agreed to the NDAs so they can examine MGM’s books in a virtual data room. MGM lenders have agreed to extend the forbearance until January 31, 2010 as the studio explores various strategic alternatives. (See News On MGM Sale Before Bankruptcy)