2 June 2023 The Irish Film & Television Network

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Amazon in talks to acquire MGM Studios in $9 billion takeover
18 May 2021 : Nathan Griffin
MGM Studios
Global tech giant Amazon is reported to be preparing a $9 billion (€7.37b) takeover bid of one of Hollywood’s most famous studios, MGM.

The acquisition would see Amazon’s streaming platform, Prime Video, gain access to a vastly rich catalogue of famous and iconic content. 

The historic MGM Studios, which famously holds the logo of Leo the Lion, 

is just shy of boasting a century long history of filmmaking and owned by parent company MGM Holdings. 

Rumours of MGM’s interest in exploring a sale of their film studio has circulated for months before Variety reported in December that MGM had effectively placed a “for sale” sign on the prized asset. 

At the time, The Wall Street Journal reported that MGM Studios was estimated to have a market value of $5.5 billion (including debt) with MGM Holdings hiring in Morgan Stanley and LionTree LLC to advise them on the process of a formal sale of the studio.

With several tech companies and streaming services said to be interested in acquiring MGM’s huge catalogue, a move by Amazon would mark a major step in its development of its Prime Video streaming service. 

Particularly after Amazon revealed last month that Prime Video membership had surpassed the 200 million subscribers millstone; closing the gap on SVOD leader Netflix who last reported 208 million subscribers. 

MGM claims to have one of the world’s “deepest libraries,” boasting over 17,000 hours of television programming and a film library of over 4,000 titles. Their catalogue includes film franchises such as James BondRocky, and The Hobbit, as well as TV shows such as Vikings and The Handmaid’s Tale.

The deal would also see Amazon gain access to a wide range of critically acclaimed films spanning ten decades including titles from the Golden Age of Hollywood such as The Wizard of Oz and Ben-Hur, to modern classics such as Silence of the LambsThe Terminator, and Rain Man.

The acquisition of MGM will only account for a small piece of the vast Amazon empire, but signals the company’s intentions to significantly expand its Prime Video wing. This deal would build on the company’s $11 billion spend on TV, movies, and music for Prime services in 2020 – a 40% increase on Amazon’s 2019 spend.

Neither companies have yet commented on the acquisition.

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