US-based multinational tech giant Amazon is in talks to buy the nearly century-old Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) film studio, which will be the company’s biggest push into entertainment yet, according to reports.
American Information and Variety stated that MGM, the legendary Hollywood studio behind the James Bond series, will bolster Amazon’s Prime streaming service.
According to Variety, Amazon has been in talks to buy the studio for $9 billion for several weeks.
MGM and Amazon did not respond to requests for comment on the report.
For years, MGM was rumored to be a takeover target, but no deal was ever struck. Last year, the company reportedly hired advisers to solicit offers as part of a new drive. MGM is looking for a deal to take advantage of the growing popularity of streaming services, which has boosted demand for massive backlogs of content.
Other scenarios have also been discussed with tech giants. MGM, which owns the rights to the “Rocky” and “Silence of the Lambs” films, is also in negotiations with Apple Inc. and Netflix Inc. about streaming the upcoming James Bond film. However, the company confirmed last year that it is committed to the film’s theatrical release, which is reportedly set for October 8 in the US.
Meanwhile, Amazon is reorganizing its entertainment activities, with long-time Executive Mr. Jeff Blackburn returning. He quit the eCommerce company for a short time to join Bessemer Venture Partners, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm.
But now he’s in charge of Amazon’s entire entertainment division, which includes Prime Video, Amazon Studios, and Twitch, a video-game streaming platform.
Speaking with the Chairman
According to Variety, Video Executive Mr. Mike Hopkins is handling Amazon’s bid for MGM. As per the reports, he is dealing directly with MGM Chairman Mr. Kevin Ulrich.
Mr. Marcus Loew’s Metro films were merged with a production company owned by Hollywood legend Mr. Louis B. Mayer in the 1920s, giving birth to MGM.
Amazon has been linked to the acquisition of entertainment companies in the past. It was previously thought to be a potential buyer for AMC Entertainment Holdings, the movie chain, but some investors mistook it for AMC Networks, the cable channel owner.
Investors were confused by the Information report, which boosted shares of MGM Resorts International, a casino company that isn’t owned by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. In late trading, MGM Resorts’ stock jumped as much as 5.8 percent before quickly reversing.