Amazon deal to acquire MGM movie studio could come Tuesday

The agreement would bring a vast library of MGM movies and shows to Amazon, including the James Bond, Pink Panther, RoboCop and Rocky franchises, as well as films such as, The Silence of the Lambs.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, currently owned by hedge funds including Anchorage Capital Group, has been seen as a takeover target for years, but was never able to close a sale before [File: Eric Thayer/Bloomberg]

Amazon.com Inc. is poised to announce an acquisition of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer movie studio as soon as Tuesday, according to a person familiar with the matter, marking the e-commerce giant’s biggest push yet into Hollywood.

Amazon is in talks to pay almost $9 billion for the business, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private. The discussions — first reported last week — could still fall apart, and it’s possible that the price or timing changes.

The agreement would bring a vast library of movies and shows to Amazon, which operates the Prime Video streaming service. MGM’s catalog includes the James Bond, Pink Panther, RoboCop and Rocky franchises, as well as films such as “The Silence of the Lambs.”

Amazon declined to comment, while MGM didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

MGM, currently owned by hedge funds including Anchorage Capital Group, has been seen as a takeover target for years, but was never able to close a sale before. The company made a fresh push last year, when it reportedly hired advisers to seek offers.

The studio also has sought other ways to wring money from its movies. It held talks with Apple Inc. and Netflix Inc. about taking its new James Bond film directly to streaming, people familiar with the matter said last year. The studio opted to stick with a theatrical release for the film, which debuts in the U.S. on Oct. 8.

The Wall Street Journal previously reported that an MGM-Amazon deal could come as soon as this week.

At roughly $9 billion, the MGM takeover would be Amazon’s biggest acquisition since it agreed to buy Whole Foods in 2017 for $13.7 billion. But it’s not the first sign that the company is willing to spend big on media. The company shelled out about $11 billion on content for its streaming video and music services last year alone. And it agreed to pay about $1 billion a year on NFL rights.

Source: Bloomberg

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