If true, it puts Carl Icahn on the Hollywood sidelines after selling stakes in Blockbuster before it went into bankruptcy and most recently Lionsgate, in which he sold his 33% stake after he tried and failed to merge it with MGM. The latest move makes sense for MGM, which last week filed a draft IPO statement and hired JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs to manage the offering. It suggests that MGM has come a long way from when it emerged from bankruptcy in 2010. An insider tells Deadline about the Icahn move, which separates MGM from what Bloomberg says is its largest shareholder: “It shows that MGM is very serious about their IPO. A public offering is hard to do when Icahn is in your stock, because he keeps investors sitting on the sidelines.” According to a confidential letter obtained by the LA Times, MGM is paying Icahn $33.50 for each of his 17.6 million shares, so his approximate 25% stake sells back to MGM for $590 million – though the paper did not know if that made him a profit. MGM could be ramping up for its IPO by year’s end as two of its major film properties hit the big screen: the James Bond pic Skyfall on November 9 and the first installment of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit on December 14.
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