Amazon inks deal to buy Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Amazon have agreed terms with MGM’s shareholders for the purchase of the classic Hollywood studio.

It has just been announced that Amazon has agreed to buy MGM for $8.45 billion, well above the $5 to $6 billion it was thought to be worth.

Mike Hopkins, senior VP of Prime Video and Amazon Studios, said:

“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. It’s very exciting and provides so many opportunities for high-quality storytelling”.

The deal will have to go through regulatory approval but once finalised means Amazon will have a 50 percent stake in the James Bond movies.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, “MGM boasts a film library of around 4,000 titles and 17,000 hours of TV programming, including the Bond, Rocky/Creed and The Hobbit film franchises”.

While this shouldn’t affect the release of No Time to Die (the pandemic may yet do that again) it is likely that we can expect a statement from Eon Productions to be forthcoming soon.

Press release

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and MGM today announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Amazon will acquire MGM for a purchase price of $8.45 billion. MGM has nearly a century of filmmaking history and complements the work of Amazon Studios, which has primarily focused on producing TV show programming. Amazon will help preserve MGM’s heritage and catalog of films, and provide customers with greater access to these existing works. Through this acquisition, Amazon would empower MGM to continue to do what they do best: great storytelling.

“MGM has a vast catalog with more than 4,000 films—12 Angry Men, Basic Instinct, Creed, James Bond, Legally Blonde, Moonstruck, Poltergeist, Raging Bull, Robocop, Rocky, Silence of the Lambs, Stargate, Thelma & Louise, Tomb Raider, The Magnificent Seven, The Pink Panther, The Thomas Crown Affair, and many other icons—as well as 17,000 TV shows—including Fargo, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Vikings—that have collectively won more than 180 Academy Awards and 100 Emmys,” said Mike Hopkins, Senior Vice President of Prime Video and Amazon Studios. “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. It’s very exciting and provides so many opportunities for high-quality storytelling.”

“It has been an honor to have been a part of the incredible transformation of Metro Goldwyn Mayer. To get here took immensely talented people with a true belief in one vision. On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank the MGM team who have helped us arrive at this historic day,” said Kevin Ulrich, Chairman of the Board of Directors of MGM. “I am very proud that MGM’s Lion, which has long evoked the Golden Age of Hollywood, will continue its storied history, and the idea born from the creation of United Artists lives on in a way the founders originally intended, driven by the talent and their vision. The opportunity to align MGM’s storied history with Amazon is an inspiring combination.”

Completion of this transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

Update: Eon issue statement

In a statement to Variety the bosses of Eon Productions, as expected, commented on Amazons purchase of MGM.

“We are committed to continuing to make James Bond films for the worldwide theatrical audience”.

While some anticipated future Bond films debuting on Amazon Prime, Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson were always going to resist that move.

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