Amazon in talks to buy MGM ‘James Bond’ film studio – fr

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Amazon in talks to buy MGM ‘James Bond’ film studio – fr


Amazon is in talks to acquire Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, the Beverly Hills film and television company behind the James Bond and Rocky film and television franchises, including “The Voice,” according to three people familiar with the. file that were not allowed to comment.
Amazon is looking to expand its film and TV operations with MGM’s vast film library and significant TV production work, as it seeks to keep Prime Video competitive with Netflix and Disney +, who spend billions to dominate the streaming wars, according to the sources.

The Seattle-based company has long been viewed as a potential acquirer in large part due to the attractiveness of the MGM film and television library, which includes 4,000 films such as “Robocop,” “The Pink Panther,” and “The silence of the lambs ”. MGM’s scripted television division is responsible for “Fargo”, “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Vikings”.

The Information first reported the talks, which recently intensified and are believed to be at an advanced stage. Sources said the purchase price under discussion was between $ 7 billion and $ 9 billion.

MGM declined to comment and Amazon representatives did not respond to requests for comment.

If MGM sold to Amazon, it would be a landmark deal for Hollywood, which is increasingly dominated by tech giants. Internet giants such as Amazon, Apple and Google, parent company Alphabet, have long been speculated as potential buyers of a former film studio.

The deal negotiations come after Amazon had a solid presentation at the 93rd Oscars, where it had 12 nominations for films, including “One Night in Miami” and “Sound of Metal.” He has released films popular in the pandemic, including “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” and “Coming 2 America,” which he acquired from Paramount. But the tech titan still needs more to keep pace.

The talks, which could still fall apart, also come after Amazon executive Jeff Blackburn returns to the company to oversee Prime Video, Amazon Studios and other entertainment companies. The move was seen as another sign that Amazon is expanding into entertainment.

The sale of MGM would be the latest consolidation in media and entertainment as companies join forces to achieve competitive size and reach.

AT&T announced Monday that its WarnerMedia media arm will separate and merge with Discovery to form a new company that could take Netflix and Disney +.

MGM has been on the block for months. The company has brought in bankers to consider a sale as early as December. Smaller studios have struggled to stay competitive as the big players band together for the streaming wars. Lionsgate and others are rumored to be acquisition targets.

Certain actions taken by MGM during the pandemic fueled sales rumors. Cinema president Michael De Luca has stepped up his slate. In November, MGM announced plans for Oprah Winfrey and Brad Pitt to produce an adaptation of “The Water Dancer” by Ta-Nehisi Coates. In August, the company promised to remake its Orion Pictures label to focus on films with various filmmakers and castings under Alana Mayo, the former head of production for Michael B. Jordan’s Outlier Society.

It would be the last change of ownership for the legendary brand with the roaring lion logo. MGM emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December 2010 as part of a prepackaged plan to write off $ 4 billion in debt. New York-based private equity firm Anchorage was one of a group of MGM’s major creditors who became shareholders at that time.

As of 2018, MGM has been run by a “CEO’s office” which includes COO Chris Brearton, TV director Mark Burnett and other executives. MGM adopted the structure when chief executive Gary Barber was abruptly fired after eight years.

Barber had been pushing for a sale, which Anchorage chief Kevin Ulrich objected, according to people familiar with the matter who were not authorized to comment.

Times editor Wendy Lee contributed to this report.

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