The company isn’t talking, but says in a cryptic press release that it has “submitted a draft registration statement on a confidential basis” to the SEC for “a possible initial public offering of its Class A common stock.” I hear that JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs are managing the IPO plans. Although the devil’s in the details, the announcement suggests that MGM has come a long way since late 2010 when it emerged from bankruptcy. Last year MGM spent $30.3M to repurchase about 1.5M shares; it ended 2011 with net income of $37.8M on revenues of $699.1M. MGM’s library includes about 4,100 films — including the Rocky, Pink Panther, and James Bond franchises — and more than 10,400 hours of TV programming from the libraries of United Artists, Orion Pictures, Goldwyn Entertainment and PolyGram Filmed Entertainment. MGM also is a partner at EPIX, with Viacom and Lionsgate. The company disclosed in March that it acquired 100% of United Artists late last year, giving it the rights to Hot Tub Time MachineFameValkyrie, and Lions For Lambs. MGM said that it “may resume using the United Artists banner to develop and produce new films”. The company added that it is co-financing New Line’s two films based on The Hobbit. It also appears to be tight with several studios including Viacom as a financing partner for Paramount’s G.I. Joe: Retaliation and Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, and MTV Networks’ TV series Teen Wolf. MGM’s board includes former Fox and Discovery exec Peter Liguori, former Pixar CFO Ann Mather, former MySpace co-president Jason Hirschhorn, former CBS CFO Fredric Reynolds, as well representatives of major backers including Anchorage Capital, Highland Capital and Icahn Capital.

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