Amazon closes in on £6.4bn deal to buy the James Bond film studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Amazon was last night closing in on a deal to buy the Hollywood studio behind the James Bond films.
The internet shopping giant, which offers streaming though Amazon Prime Video, is in talks with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) about a takeover potentially worth £6.4billion.
An agreement could be announced imminently. The takeover would be Amazon’s second-biggest, after its £9.7billion swoop on upmarket grocer Whole Foods in 2017.
MGM is the studio behind the James Bond films too, with the latest instalment – No Time To Die (pictured), expected to be one of 2021’s biggest releases
Experts say the interest in MGM lies in the latter’s vast library of film and TV rights.
The Hollywood studio, founded in 1924, has a treasure trove of valuable content such as classic films Gone With The Wind and The Wizard Of Oz, and modern hits Rocky and Legally Blonde.
MGM is the studio behind the James Bond films too, with the latest instalment, No Time To Die (pictured), expected to be one of 2021’s biggest releases.
The TV content includes popular shows such as The Handmaid’s Tale, Fargo and Stargate.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has said that customers who use Prime Video are likely to shop on its website too. ‘When we win a Golden Globe, it helps us sell more shoes,’ he said in 2016.
MGM, founded in 1924, has a treasure trove of valuable content such as classic films Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz, and modern hits Rocky and Legally Blonde
MGM put itself up for sale in December 2020 after being hit hard by the pandemic, which closed cinemas and forced it to repeatedly postpone releases such as No Time To Die.
Hedge funds including Anchorage Capital are currently the firm’s owners.
Streaming services enjoyed massive audience growth during the pandemic. That helped Disney+ pile on more than 50m customers, while Netflix added over 25m.
Netflix is the biggest streaming service with 208m subscribers. Amazon’s Prime Video has 175m and Disney 103m.
An Amazon-MGM tie-up would come after AT&T announced plans to spin off entertainment division Warner Media and merge it with documentary maker Discovery.
Experts have said the flurry of takeover activity comes as entertainment giants take a ‘get bigger or get out’ approach, beefing up to better compete with firms such as Amazon and Netflix.