The MGM ownership saga dragged on last night [March 22] as sources associated with the studio confirmed it had received several bids.

Lionsgate and Access Industries are understood to have made offers for the debt-ridden studio, with Time Warner also known to be interested. There has been wide speculation that none of the bids will reach $2bn.

MGM’s 4,000-strong library may not be the greenest in the business however there are gems in the mix. The studio, which is currently run by a consortium, owns the James Bond and Hobbit franchises.

“MGM said today it has received a number of bids as part of its ongoing process of exploring strategic alternatives, which include continuing to operate as a standalone entity and evaluating a potential sale of the company,” an official statement issued by the studio said.

“The company will review the bids and related transaction terms over the next several weeks. As part of its efforts to strengthen its financial position and to facilitate the company’s strategic review process, MGM also said today it expects to work with its lenders to extend the current forbearance period on its bank debt, which ends March 31, 2010.

“The company also expects to seek a forbearance agreement for its revolving line of credit, for which a payment is due April 8. MGM appreciates the strong support it has received from its lenders throughout this process.”

If no bid is satisfactory, a recapitalisation through an investment bank like Qualia Capital might allow the studio to remain a stand-alone entity. MGM is currently owned by a consortium that includes Sony, Comcast, Providence Equity, and Quadrangle.