Jeepers... will somebody just buy this company already?

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (NYSE:MGM) is still on the block, and to be honest, I would have thought that some sort of deal would have been consummated by now. I remember writing about the potential sale way back when, and it seems like this pending arbitrage has been going on for decades. That's just me, of course; there's nothing in the rulebook that says these things have to be done quickly. In fact, shareholders of MGM are pretty happy right about now concerning the prospects of a prolonged bidding war. After all, that could lead to a nice bubble of shareholder value... so long as the bidders don't get weary.

Sony (NYSE:SNE) was thought to be the leading contender to snap up MGM's huge library (4,000 films+). Such a portfolio could be used quite effectively by a vast media conglomerate. But for whatever reason, Sony isn't comfortable enough with its financial structure to meet MGM's price (although it is still in the game).

Now comes word that Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) is perhaps interested in offering $13 a share (in both cash and stock) to holders of the common float, as well as taking responsibility for $2 billion in debt. I think a deal with Time Warner would be especially beneficial, considering its pay-TV and cabler assets. Sony would certainly be the richer for its deal as well (in a strategic sense), but I like the integration potential with Time Warner more.

I've also read speculation that even Bill Gates might want to enhance his Hollywood connections. Imagine Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) owning MGM. The next Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) computer I buy -- besides potentially being powered by chips supplied by AMD -- might have the roaring lion logo greet me upon boot-up.

I'm not necessarily sure Gates would be doing the best thing for his shareholders by buying MGM, and quite frankly I expect this concept to remain forever in the ether of inconsequential rumor. Disney (NYSE:DIS) and Viacom (NYSE:VIA) certainly would be other potential players, but in the case of Disney at least, I'd be surprised if that company ever made a bid, considering its penchant for being extremely conscious of value and price.

Investors in MGM have had quite an interesting ride of late. They got a nice dividend, although at the time the firm had to take on substantial liability to pay for it as Seth Jayson mentioned. Of course, nowadays that isn't so much of a concern once the company makes a deal, as the dividend will essentially have been paid by other people's money. Plus, the latest earnings report was okay, especially from the point of view of top-line growth as leveraged to its library. This reinforces the point to buyers that they are getting premium goods.

Seems like the pitches are still being made for this script -- can't wait to see who eventually gets the production deal. And as I mentioned in my last piece on this subject, be wary of speculating in merger scenarios.

Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns shares of Disney.