Amazon has entered talks to buy MGM, the last big independent Hollywood movie studio, in a deal that would help beef up the content portfolio of the online retailer’s Prime Video service, as the industry’s consolidation is accelerating in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic-induced changes in consumer behavior.
- MGM’s film library includes the “James Bond,” “Rocky,” “Pink Panther” and “The Hobbit” franchises. The studio has already postponed four times the theater release of its latest Bond blockbuster, “No Time to Die,” due to the pandemic.
The news, first reported by The Information, comes one day after telecom AT&T
and factual-television company Discovery
announced they would merge their media interests.
- The Wall Street Journal reported in December 2020 that MGM was exploring a sale, with its main shareholder, New York hedge fund Anchorage Capital Group, anxious to unload the illiquid investment.
MGM fired its chief executive in 2018 for having engaged in unsanctioned talks with technology giant Apple
to sell the studio for $6 billion.
The outlook. The $9 billion price mentioned in reports is way above what was discussed three years ago with Apple, and even higher than the $8 billion the studio’s chairman said at the time he could extract from a buyer. Amazon’s deep pockets could help it clinch the deal.