Amazon is in talks to buy MGM, according to numerous published reports.
Metro Goldwyn Mayer, the 97-year-old studio home to film franchises including James Bond, Rocky, RoboCop, The Pink Panther and Chucky the killer doll, has been on the block since December. Apple and Comcast have already kicked the tires and valued the company at around $6 billion. MGM also owns the Epix premium programmer.
Now, MGM’s majority owner, New York investment firm Anchorage Capital, reportedly wants around $9 billion, and that’s the price Amazon is said to be negotiating around.
Amazon’s ties to an MGM purchase have been rumored for several months, but The Information reported on Monday that Mike Hopkins, senior VP of Amazon Studios and Prime Video, is indeed leading an acquisition discussion. The New York Times and Variety, among several other publications, subsequently confirmed these talks themselves.
According to The NYT, Michael De Luca, MGM’s chairman, presented the studio’s coming slate to Amazon’s team on Friday.
With AT&T agreeing to divest its WarnerMedia division and have it merge with Discovery Inc., media consolidation is certainly top of mind. Much of the discussion around that deal revolves around the opportunity for WarnerMedia and Discovery to jointly compete with the runaway likes of Disney and Netflix, which have more global scale than anyone right now.
But with 175 million Amazon Prime members worldwide using Amazon Prime Video, according to a recent company disclosure, Amazon’s scale is pretty impressive, too.
MGM, which has a library of around 4,000 films, would add heft to Amazon Studios at a time when it’s not only programming the subscription Prime Video service, but also is trying to expand the ad-supported IMDb TV platform.
MGM’s pending film slate includes Ridley Scott's House of Gucci, starring Lady Gaga and Adam Driver; an untitled ‘70s-era film directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights) and starring Bradley Cooper; and the Aretha Franklin biopic Respect starring Jennifer Hudson.
Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!
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