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Report: EU set to OK Sony buyout of MGM

HOLLYWOOD, March 29 (UPI) -- The European Commission is expected to OK a $4.8 billion buyout of MGM Inc. by a group headed by Sony Corp. of America, perhaps as early as next week.

Commission approval of the deal, first announced in September and then approved by MGM stockholders in December, is not assured, but among those close to negotiations it is fairly certain, the Hollywood Reporter said Tuesday.

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"I don't feel great about the uncertainty," said Chris McGurk, MGM vice chairman and chief operating officer, who is set to leave with a $5.75 million parachute once the deal is done.

Observers told the publication Brussels could approve the deal by next week.

The merger involves more than just a Sony takeover of MGM as Sony's partners in the consortium include Providence Equity Partners, Texas Pacific Group, Comcast Corp. and DLJ Merchant Banking Partners.

MGM will remain a private company controlled by Sony and its partners.

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