Magazine article Variety

With Help from 007, Lion Regains Its Roar

Magazine article Variety

With Help from 007, Lion Regains Its Roar

Article excerpt

In recent years, MGM has had almost as many brushes with death as James Bond, but today the Lion is most certainly alive - in part thanks to a rescue by 007.

The Lion went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November 2010, saddled with $4 billion debt. Within a few weeks it emerged from bankrupcty. Its new management, including co-chairmen and CEOs Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum, had succeeded in raising $500 million to get the company back on its feet.

One thing that helped impress invstors: the Bond library and opportunity to continue the most enduring franchise in the history of movies.

"When you have something of that ilk, it's one of your most significant assets," Barber told Variety. "Financiers or people coming in rely on that foundation.

"(Bond) is the crown jewels of the company," says Barber. "When you look at the Lion and you look at James Bond, it's synonymous with the company."

Barber and Birnbaum say they were courting Eon principals Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. …

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