ViacomCBS To Get $1.85 Billion in Sale of CBS Studio Center

Signage at the ViacomCBS Inc. headquarters in New York on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020.
(Image credit: Tiffany Hagler-Geard/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

ViacomCBS on Tuesday said it agreed to sell the CBS Studio Center in Los Angeles and its operating businesses for $1.85 billion to a partnership formed by Hackman Capital Partners LLC and Square Mile Capital Management LLC.

Some of the proceeds from the sale will go to help fund ViacomCBS’s streaming businesses.

The CBS Studio Center sits on a 55-acre site in Studio City, California, and has more than 1 million square feet of space, with 22 stages, production offices, support buildings, tenant offices, a broadcast center and backlot locations for filming.

Also: CBS Selling Television City Complex for $750 Million

CBS Broadcasting will enter into a long-term lease-back of the Broadcast Center, which is home to L.A. television stations KCBS and KCAL. ViacomCBS will continue to occupy stages and produce content on the lot, as well as enter into a short-term lease-back of certain portions of the property in order to manage the transition of ViacomCBS employees to other locations.

“This sale is part of an ongoing optimization of ViacomCBS‘s real estate and operations portfolio and will allow the company to redeploy capital to strategic growth priorities, including streaming,” Naveen Chopra, executive VP and chief financial officer, ViacomCBS, said.

The transaction is expected to close in 2021, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval.

”We‘re honored to have been selected as the new stewards of CBS Studio Center, one of the most celebrated and successful studios in Los Angeles,” said Michael Hackman founder and CEO of Hackman Capital Partners. “The studio has been a hit-maker from the days of Gunsmoke, Mary Tyler Moore and Seinfeld, and we’re thrilled to continue our ongoing relationship with ViacomCBS to service its many successful shows currently filmed on the lot.”

“CBS Studio Center is an iconic property that has been home to many of television's legendary programs over the years,” added Square Mile Capital CEO Craig Solomon. “With ViacomCBS maintaining an important presence at the property, we anticipate a smooth ownership transition and many more great years ahead.” ■

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.