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Harry Sloan and Jeff Sagansky planning IPO for media acquisition company

February 15, 2011 |  1:31 pm

Former Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer chief Harry Sloan and onetime CBS and Sony Pictures senior executive Jeff Sagansky are looking to raise at least $175 million to hunt for media and entertainment acquisitions.

Global Eagle Acquisition Corp, a new Los Angeles-based company co-founded by the two entrepreneurial media veterans, on Tuesday registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission to sell a minimum of 17.5 million shares at $10 each in an initial public offering.

According to the SEC filing, Global Eagle has not identified any acquisition assets or engaged in any talks with potential targets. However, the firm will seek to use its founders' industry experience and connections to buy 100% or a controlling interest in one or more companies in the media and entertainment arena.

Given the amount of money it is iniitally raising and the company's stated desire to have a majority stake in any acquisitions, it would not be able to pursue and sizable deals like the recent $663 million sale of Miramax to a group of private investors. However, with the economy still in a slump and many film and television libraries losing value given the slump in DVD sales, there may be less expensive and even distressed assets that Sloan and Sagansky could target.

Any company the new venture buys would then become part of a publicly traded company through Global Eagle's shares, which are expected to be traded on the Over-The-Counter Bulletin Board, a system for stocks not high profile enough for the New York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ.

The registration statement for Global Eagle represents the first public move by Sloan since he left financially troubled MGM in 2009, which recently emerged from bankruptcy under new management. Sagansky, meanwhile, already runs Winchester Capital, a private movie and television finance company based in New York. The two previously served together on the board of film and TV studio Lions Gate Entertainment.

Sloan is chairman and chief executive of Global Eagle, while Sagansky is president. James Graf, Sloan's brother-in-law who previously worked in corporate finance, is serving as chief financial officer. After the IPO, the three executives would own 18% of the company.

According to the SEC document, Global Eagle will have up to two years after its public offering to close its first acquisition. If it doesn't, the company would be required to repurchase its stock from its remaining capital.

The company has not set a date to start selling its stock.

A spokesman said Sloan could not comment. Sagansky did not respond to a request for comment.

— Ben Fritz