Amazon.com Inc. announced its highly-anticipated acquisition of movie studio MGM, an $8.45 billion deal, on Wednesday.
MGM’s vast film catalog includes more than 4,000 movies including the James Bond films, “Rocky,” “Thelma & Louise” and “Silence of the Lambs,” as well as 17,000 TV shows like “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Vikings.”
Upcoming titles include “House of Gucci” starring Lady Gaga and Adam Driver, and the next movie in the James Bond franchise, “No Time to Die.”
MGM has won more than 180 Academy Awards and 100 Emmys.
“The real financial value behind 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,” said Mike Hopkins, senior vice president of Prime Video and Amazon Studios, in a statement.
This is the second largest deal in Amazon’s
history, after the $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods Market in 2017.
MGM, a privately-held company that has been operating without a chief executive and was valued at $5.5 billion including debt last December, has been in talks with Amazon since the beginning of the year, according to Dow Jones. A deal between the two companies had been reported in recent days.
Amazon has been nominated, and won, a number of awards for its video content as well, including Oscar award wins for “Sound of Metal” and nominations for “One Night in Miami” and “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.”
“Within the context of the expected spending by other media players, we view the price as attractive given the extensive library of content,” wrote KeyBanc Capital Markets analysts led by Edward Yruma.
“First, we think this is a logical competitive move given the consolidation in the streaming space. Second, this completes Prime Video’s pivot away from a niche
audience, art house focus, to content with greater appeal.”
And analysts say this deal could be used to grow Amazon’s advertising business.
“We would expect that this would also serve as a catalyst for increased spending on content,” KeyBanc said.
Amazon stock has edged up 0.2% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index
has gained 11.5% for the period.