Video source: YouTube, CNET
Amazon.com Inc (Nasdaq: AMZN) said Wednesday it has reached a deal to buy privately held MGM Holdings, the parent company of Metro-Goldwyn-Mater Studios, for $8.45 billion.
In a statement announcing the acquisition, the e-commerce giant said it hopes to leverage MGM’s storied filmmaking history and vast catalog of 4,000 movies and 17,000 television shows to help boost Amazon Studios.
Besides the rights to franchises like Rocky, James Bond, Robocop and Pink Panther, MGM owns the Epix network and produces several television shows such as “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Survivor,” “Fargo” and “Shark Tank.” It is also the studio behind classic films including “The Wizard of Oz,” “A Christmas Story” and “Gone with the Wind.”
Mike Hopkins, senior vice president of Prime Video and Amazon Studios, said, “The real financial value of this deal is the treasure trove of IP in the deep catalog that we plan to reimagine and develop together with MGM’s talented team.”
“It’s very exciting and provides so many opportunities for high-quality storytelling,” Hopkins said.
MGM chairman Kevin Ulrich said, “The opportunity to align MGM’s storied history with Amazon is an inspiring combination.”
Amazon has been looking to buy a big entertainment company to help expand its streaming service to better compete with Netflix and Disney+.
Reports of Amazon’s possible acquisition of MGM first emerged in mid-May.
Meanwhile, MGM, whose subsidiaries include United Artists, American International Pictures and Orion Pictures, has been exploring a sale and has held talks with several prospective buyers in recent years.
Its owners include Anchorage Capital, Highland Capital Partners, Davidson, Kempner Capital Management, Solus Alternative Asset Management and Owl Creek Investments — funds that took control of the studio when it emerged from bankruptcy in 2010.
The deal is Amazon’s biggest move yet to expand its entertainment content and is the second largest acquisition in company history, behind its $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods in 2017.
Amazon has also made a push into sports content, signing a deal with the National Football League in March to broadcast Thursday Night Football starting in 2022.
The MGM acquisition follows AT&T’s announcement earlier this month that it would spin off WarnerMedia and combine it with Discovery Inc, a move that will bring HBO, HGTV, Warner Bros, CNN and Food Network under one roof.
Source: Equities News