MGM has successfully concluded a very public offering of itself for sale to the highest bidder, with deep-pocketed Amazon stepping in with a proposal to buy the storied Hollywood studio for $8.45 billion. Rumors have swirled since late last year that MGM was open to considering proposals, in large part due to mounting pressures stemming from the worldwide shutdown of exhibition due to COVID-19. MGM’s most visible and valuable property is the 007 franchise, and the studio has been forced repeatedly into postponing the release of the much-anticipated 25th Bond film No Time to Die while waiting out the pandemic.
Many have speculated that a tech giant on the periphery of entertainment would step in at some point to acquire a mainstream Hollywood studio, in an attempt to establish a reliable pipeline for its own content to offer on its streaming services. After witnessing the impressive success of Netflix and Disney in their streaming ambitions and on the wake of last week’s announcement of AT&T’s WarnerMedia spin-off and merger with Discovery, Amazon decided to take the plunge to supercharge its own content library with MGM’s more than 4,000 movies and 17,000 episodes of TV programming.
“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,” said Mike Hopkins, Amazon’s Senior VP of Prime Video and Amazon Studios.
See also: A view to a killing: how Amazon will exploit Bond and other MGM classics (The Guardian)