Sony Corp. is in advanced talks with MGM to buy the studio. Sony's partners in the deal, valued at close to $5 billion, are buyout firms Texas Pacific Group and Providence Equity Partners.

Sony Corp. is in advanced talks with MGM to buy the studio. Sony's partners in the deal, valued at close to $5 billion, are buyout firms Texas Pacific Group and Providence Equity Partners, according to Reuters.

Sony is said to have started the talks because it seeks distribution rights for MGM's film library, which includes the James Bond franchise and titles such as "West Side Story," "Rocky," "Dances With Wolves" and "Rain Man."

The sale of MGM to Sony could create a home video powerhouse.

MGM - which is 74% owned by Kirk Kerkorian - earned $1 billion in worldwide gross revenue from home video sales in 2003, according to the company. MGM had an overall 5.5% home video market share last year, while its catalog DVD market share was 17%, the second highest in the industry, MGM claims.

Sony's Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment division earned $2.5 billion in home video sales last year, and had an overall market share of about 12% according to the company.

Neither studio would comment.