MGM has distanced itself from rumours that it is up for sale following a report yesterday (Jan 15) in the Los Angeles Times saying the company had hired investment bank Goldman Sachs to solicit bids that are due this week.

In a statement, MGM said, "As we have stated numerous times over the past two years, we have been regularly evaluating business combination opportunities. No agreements regarding a transaction have been reached and there can be no assurance that the company will decide to enter into any transactions. We will have no further comment unless and until it is appropriate."

The story, which ran on the Associated Press, said the company was for sale at an asking price of $7bn, a hefty premium on its market valuation of $5bn. Referring to unnamed sources, the report said that the none of the likely buyers including Viacom, Walt Disney Co, Vivendi Universal, News Corp. and AOL Time Warner were interested in the company at that price.

The report made reference to the ongoing battle between MGM's lead stakeholder, billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, and his ex-wife over child support without suggesting that financial concerns were motivating a potential sale.