Amazon.com Inc’s potential acquisition of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer would take one of many final main, unbiased film studios off the market, capping a rush of streaming offers which can be set to make 2021 a file yr for media takeovers.
Amazon is in talks to purchase MGM, the storied Hollywood firm behind the James Bond collection, the Info and Selection stated in separate reviews late Monday. Amazon is weeks into negotiations to purchase the studio for about $9 billion, in keeping with Selection.
Experiences in regards to the discussions got here on the day that AT&T Inc introduced its plan to create a brand new leisure firm by merging property with Discovery Inc in an entity that will likely be valued at about $130 billion together with debt. The success of streaming big Netflix Inc and Walt Disney Co, which launched its personal video-on-demand service after shopping for $71 billion in property from twenty first Century Fox Inc in 2018, is drawing new opponents into the market.
MGM and Amazon declined to touch upon reviews about deal talks.
The acquisitions are setting 2021 as much as be a file for media offers, in keeping with knowledge collected by Bloomberg. Greater than $80 billion in takeovers have been introduced thus far this yr, placing it on monitor to be the busiest interval for the trade since at the least 2000, when AOL and Time Warner Inc introduced plans to mix, the information present.
MGM has been seen as a takeover goal for years, however was by no means capable of shut a sale. The corporate made a recent push final yr, when the Wall Road Journal reported it employed advisers to solicit provides. In looking for a deal, MGM goals to capitalise on the proliferation of streaming companies, which has elevated demand for giant backlogs of content material.
It’s additionally mentioned different situations with tech giants. MGM, whose library contains the Rocky movies and Silence of the Lambs, held talks with Apple Inc and Netflix about taking its new James Bond movie on to streaming. However the firm stated final yr that it’s dedicated to a theatrical launch for the movie, which is at the moment slated for October 8 within the US.
Amazon, in the meantime, is reshuffling its leisure operations with the return of long-time govt Jeff Blackburn. He briefly left the e-commerce firm to hitch Silicon Valley enterprise capital agency Bessemer Enterprise Companions. However now he’s taking command of Amazon’s complete leisure division, together with the Prime Video streaming service, Amazon Studios and the video-game-streaming web site Twitch.
Speaking to chairman
Amazon’s bid for MGM is being dealt with by video govt Mike Hopkins, in keeping with Selection. He’s dealing immediately with MGM Chairman Kevin Ulrich, the publication stated.
MGM traces its roots again to the Nineteen Twenties merger of Marcus Loew’s Metro movies with a movie firm run by Hollywood legend Louis B Mayer. Whereas making nice footage like Dr. Zhivago and 2001: A House Odyssey, MGM drifted out and in of monetary misery within the second half of the twentieth century. Over the many years it was owned by Time Inc, CNN founder Ted Turner and greater than as soon as by the late billionaire Kirk Kerkorian.
Now, it’s one of many final giant film studios that’s maintained its independence from bigger media teams. Time Warner Inc is now a part of AT&T, Disney acquired twenty first Century Fox, Paramount is owned by ViacomCBS Inc and Common Footage is managed by Comcast Corp.
There’s been hypothesis earlier than about Amazon buying leisure companies. It was beforehand seen as a doable purchaser of AMC Leisure Holdings Inc, the film chain, with some buyers complicated it with AMC Networks Inc, the proprietor of cable channels.
Traders suffered an identical form of confusion on Monday, with the Info report boosting shares of MGM Resorts Worldwide, a on line casino firm that isn’t a part of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. MGM Resorts inventory jumped as a lot as 5.8 per cent in late buying and selling earlier than rapidly retreating.