UPDATED 5/26, 8:45 a.m. ET: Amazon and MGM have announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement.
Under the terms of the agreement, Amazon will acquire MGM for $8.45 billion. Per a press release, the merger marks a complementary meeting of two distinct voices, one with a century of filmmaking history and another with a recent focus on original series. Moving forward, Amazon is aiming to help preserve MGM’s legacy and catalog while also further empowering the studio to pursue “great storytelling” in all its forms.
“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,” Mike Hopkins, Senior Vice President of Prime Video and Amazon Studios, said Wednesday. “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.”
“If you saw this morning’s announcement, we are looking forward to welcoming MGM to the Amazon fold. We are really excited about MGM,” the founder and outgoing CEO said, touting the library of over 4,000 films and 7,000 television shows.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos explained to shareholders at the annual meeting, “The acquisition thesis here is really very simple. MGM has a vast, deep catalogue of much beloved intellectual property. And with the talent at Amazon and the talent at MGM Studio, we can reimagine and develop that IP for the 21st century. It will be a lot of fun work and people who love stories will be the big beneficiaries.”
See original story below.
The outlet adds that rumors that Amazon/other tech companies were interested in acquiring MGM had circulated for awhile, but that this new development goes beyond mere gossip. Names attached to the move include Amazon Studios and Prime Video senior VP Mike Hopkins, as well as MGM board chairman Kevin Ulrich.
In December 2020 it was reported that MGM was looking for a buyer.
Neither company provided an official comment on the story.
On the subject of the sale, The Information reported on Monday that Amazon was in discussions for an MGM deal that would be somewhere between $7 billion and $10 billion. MGM is reportedly looking for a price around the already mentioned $9 billion mark. Alleged industry sources also have pegged MGM’s valuation as low as (relative term) $5 billion.
Another previous development pointing at Amazon increasing its effort to bolster its entertainment included an announcement that ex high-ranking executive Jeff Blackburn was coming back to the company in a new role that heads a global media and entertainment group.
Amazon says it has 200 million worldwide subscribers for Prime. MGM has a shit ton of film/TV content. So...*makes the hands coming together gesture*
Said content includes the Bond movies, The Hobbit franchise, the Rocky films, Silence of the Lambs, The Magnificent Seven, and lots more, plus TV shows like Vikings, Fargo, American Gladiators, The Voice, Survivor, Shark Tank, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and also lots more.
As for Amazon, it reportedly spent $11 billion on TV shows, music, and movies for its Prime services in 2020. That represents a 40 percent increase over what it spent on the same segment of its business back in 2019.