Amazon has agreed to buy MGM for $8.5 billion: MGM is home to the James Bond, “Rocky” and “Legally Blonde” franchises, adding a library of content to Amazon’s
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Amazon has agreed to buy MGM, the storied film studio behind James Bond and Rocky, for $8.45bn, propelling media dealmaking so far this year to its highest level since the turn of the century with more than $240bn worth of transactions announced.
Amazon said Wednesday that it has struck a deal to acquire the historic movie studio MGM for $8.5 billion, bolstering its efforts to become a top player in Hollywood.
The deal will give the e-commerce and cloud computing giant a famed studio and catalog of film and television titles to beef up its Amazon Prime streaming service, from the James Bond and “Rocky” franchises to TV series such as “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Fargo.”
The MGM deal is Amazon’s largest since the $13.7bn purchase of Whole Foods in 2017, and the latest signal that it is willing to spend heavily on content for its streaming services. Earlier this year the company signed an agreement worth around $1bn per year to stream the NFL, one of several recent sporting rights acquisitions.
“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,” Mike Hopkins, senior vice-president of Prime Video and Amazon Studios, said in a statement Wednesday. “It’s very exciting and provides so many opportunities for high-quality storytelling.”
Amazon spent $11bn on content in 2020, up from $7.8bn in the previous year, as it doubles down on its effort to attract and retain new members to its $119-a-year Prime membership scheme.
In a recent shareholder letter, chief executive Jeff Bezos said there were now more than 200m Prime members. In a separate filing, the company said 175m of them had watched its streaming content in the past year.
The value of deals announced in the media sector so far this year is the highest since 2000 and up 640 per cent compared with the same period of 2020, according to data from Refinitiv.
The M&A spree has been driven by broadcasters, entertainment companies and tech groups that want to bulk up on content to attract subscribers to their streaming services.
MGM owns the rights to broadcast the James Bond series, in addition to the rights to all animation films, as well as the broadcast, display and distribution rights for all James Bond films. In addition to James Bond, MGM Studios also has intellectual property rights to the film series Rocky and all TV shows.
Library of 4000 films near MGM
MGM has a large library of films. They include franchises of well-known films like James Bond, Rocky, Pink Panther. The report mentions, “MGM also owns the Epics cable channel and also produces TV shows. These include reality shows like ‘The Handmaid’s Tale and Fargo’ and ‘Shark Tank’ and ‘Survivor’. ” Earlier, a report by The Guardian stated that MGM has a library of 4,000 films and 17,000 hours of television. MGM is available for sale from December 2020.