Time Warner is putting together a nearly $5bn cash and stockoffer to acquire Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer from under the eyes of frontrunner SonyCorp., according to wire and newspaper reports today.

Reuters says that under the deal being considered, TimeWarner would offer MGM's 74% shareholder Kirk Kerkorian about $11.50 a share inTime Warner stock and other MGM shareholders about $13 a share in cash. MGMshares stood at $12.10 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

Such an offer would total $2.8bn. Time Warner, which ownsthe Warner Bros. film and TV studio as well as New Line Cinema, would alsoassume about $2 billion in MGM debt for a total value around $4.8 billion.

Sony, which has been negotiating to acquire MGM since lateApril for roughly $5bn, is still very much in the running, sources close to thenegotiations told Reuters, as it has offered a higher price and is far along indoing due diligence on MGM's finances and its coveted 4,000-title film librarythat includes the Pink Panther and Rocky movies.