MGM Chapter 11 Filing Shocked Industry, Elevated Spyglass

Spyglass_EntertainmentIn 2010, a judge in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York granted a lien request filed by attorney Suzzanne Uhland on behalf of her client, Spyglass Entertainment Holdings, LLC, as a component of the complex Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Inc., Chapter 11 case.

Ms. Uhland, a partner with O’Melveny & Myers, LLP, and the head of the firm’s U.S. Restructuring Practice, is based in San Francisco and Newport Beach, California. Her extensive experience in corporate restructurings, insolvency, and Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings has given her the ability to assist a wide range of companies and other stakeholders over the course of her 20-year career.

In the MGM case, the judge granted Spyglass the sum of $4 million as a break-up payment in the event MGM did not honor an agreement to allow Spyglass to assume a controlling interest in its operations. In response to Ms. Uhland’s request, the judge allowed Spyglass to place a lien on MGM’s funds held in escrow for that purpose.

MGM’s Chapter 11 filing, which surprised the entertainment industry, developed out of the company’s desire to avoid selling its assets to the highest bidder. Studio brands such as Time Warner and Lions Gate had been among the contenders for purchasing the legendary MGM properties. By early 2011, Spyglass executives were leading MGM and preparing a film distribution deal with Sony Pictures, and by the end of that year, the company had transformed its business model to focus on handling global television rights.