Abernathy, Kekst, Sard lead comms in bids to buy MGM

NEW YORK: A trio of powerhouse M&A PR firms was managing communications behind the scenes during last week's multibillion-dollar acquisition of MGM by Sony Corporation of America and several partners.

NEW YORK: A trio of powerhouse M&A PR firms was managing communications behind the scenes during last week's multibillion-dollar acquisition of MGM by Sony Corporation of America and several partners.

Citigate Sard Verbinnen, which worked with MGM during last year's almost-deal with Vivendi, advised the company on M&A communications during last week's sale.

Sony brought in Abernathy MacGregor especially for the purchase. Time Warner - which failed to land MGM - relied on its longtime firm, Kekst & Co.

The involvement of the three firms in one of the year's biggest acquisitions in entertainment comes as no surprise. Last year, Kekst, Abernathy, and Sard ranked first, second, and sixth respectively, in the total number of M&A deals handled, according to Corporate Control Alert.

None of the agencies involved would comment specifically on the Sony-MGM deal, which will give Sony the rights to a library of more that 4,000 films.

Time Warner was an early favorite to win the bidding war for MGM, but withdrew its offer when the price rose too high for CEO Richard Parsons' taste.

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