UPDATED: MGM said today its lenders have agreed to extend the forbearance until January 31, 2010. The lenders took this action in support of the Company's ongoing efforts to develop and evaluate long-term strategic alternatives to maximize value for its stakeholders. MGM appreciates the continued support of its lender group for the process it is undertaking. MGM also said today it is beginning a process to explore various strategic alternatives including operating as a standalone entity, forming strategic partnerships and evaluating a potential sale of the Company.

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MGM is set to be auctioned off within the next few weeks, according to Variety, which speculates that a major, such as Time Warner, could buy the MGM-UA library while another entity might acquire the logo, and yet another deal could be made for United Artists.

Sources speculated that Kirk Kerkorian, who has already bought and sold MGM twice, might buy the logo once again.

There was speculation that the combined assets of MGM may now yield as little as $1.5 billion in the present market.

Any sort of auction would need approval of a two-thirds majority of the bondholders, and a couple of the bondholders insist they have not been contacted as yet, says the trade, which adds that a pre-packaged bankruptcy is still an option.