According to The Hollywood Reporter, in a quiet coda to an often suspenseful monthslong bidding process, MGM shareholders as expected Friday approved the takeover proposal of $12 per share offered by Sony Corp. and its investment partners in September. About 130 people, about half of them MGM employees, attended the 10-minute meeting in a small theater in the MGM tower lobby Friday morning. Among the attendees were board members Priscilla Presley and Frank Mancuso, the latter of whom headed MGM in the 1990s.
There was little doubt the deal would be overwhelmingly approved because Kirk Kerkorian, who owns 73% of MGM's shares either directly or through holding companies, had already agreed to the pact. Still, a chuckle rose from the audience when senior executive vp and secretary Bill Jones announced the preliminary results: 99.8% of the shares were voted in favor of the deal. CEO Alex Yemenidjian and chief operating officer Chris McGurk, both of whom arrived at MGM in April 1999, took the opportunity to thank MGM's employees for their hard work over the past several years. Yemenidjian particularly thanked McGurk for "sometimes tolerating, sometimes agreeing with" his decisions, as both men smiled.