The entrance to the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios in Santa Monica, California. The company is up for sale. Image Credit: AP

New York: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. asked lenders for a two-month extension of a moratorium on interest payments on its $3.7 billion (Dh13.6 billion) term loan, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions.

The Los Angeles-based film studio asked creditors on a conference call Friday to extend the forbearance agreement to March 31 from January 31, said the people, who asked not to be named because the talks are private. A company spokesman declined to comment.

Lenders agreed in October to let MGM skip payments, giving the maker of "James Bond" films time to restructure. MGM has since put the company up for sale. Time Warner Inc., owner of the Warner Bros. film studio, was among the first-round bidders, a person familiar with the offers said last week.

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. is also involved in the auction and seeks to be part of the second round, while News Corp., owner of Twentieth Century Fox, signed a non-disclosure agreement with MGM, people said last week.

Names to remember

MGM, created in 1924, made films including The Wizard of Oz and Ben Hur.

The company, owner of a 4,100-film library with titles including Rocky, sold many of its early films prior to its 2005 buyout by a group led by private equity firms Providence Equity Partners Inc. and TPG.

It has a co-production deal with Warner Bros. on the planned film The Hobbit.

Comcast Corp. and Sony Corp. each own 20 per cent of the company, DLJ Merchant Partners holds seven per cent and Quadrangle Group holds three per cent.