LOS ANGELES (AP) — Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer took a near-final step to emerging from bankruptcy on Monday as a slimmer studio that has a lot of its future riding on “The Hobbit” two-part movie series.

The studio said its restructuring plan took effect on Monday after a bankruptcy court approved the plan earlier this month. Creditors owed about $5 billion, including Highland Capital Management, Anchorage Advisors and billionaire Carl Icahn, exchanged debt for ownership stakes.

The studio known for its roaring lion and classics such as “The Wizard of Oz” is now led by Spyglass Entertainment’s cofounders,Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum, who share the roles of chief executive and chairman.

Last week, the studio laid off 50 people as it now expects its first new film won’t hit theaters until 2012 at the earliest.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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