MGM is sticking to the vague boilerplate language companies typically use — “general corporate purposes” — to describe its plan for the cash. The company originally intended to take on $200M in debt, but increased the second lien term loan to $300M, it says this morning, because the offering was “several times oversubscribed” by a consortium of lenders. But people who follow the company probably will wonder whether this makes it more or less likely that MGM will go public, whether the funds may be used to pay out its private investors who’ve been looking to cash out — or perhaps whether it might used for more productions or an acquisition. MGM indicated two years ago that it was seriously considering an IPO, but that looked less likely last month with the departure of Ken Schapiro — a deal guy who had been promoted in January to Chief Strategic Officer.
Moody’s Investors Service rated the debt Ba2, making it too risky for many banks and insurance companies. Although the debt rating firm considers MGM’s credit metrics “extremely strong ,” the studio is “heavily constrained from upward potential unless it achieves greater scale and reduces its dependence on the film and TV production business” which is considered too unpredictable.
CEO Gary Barber says the new loan shows “overwhelming support from the financial community and their confidence in MGM.” The increased financial capacity “further strengthens our balance sheet and positions us to capitalize on the opportunities in front of us.” J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and Goldman Sachs arranged the six-year loan which pays 5.125%.