Amazon is in talks to acquire James Bond and The Handmaid’s Tale studio MGM for around $9bn, as the arms race for content continues.
Detail of the deal emerged overnight and have not been confirmed, but an acquisition would provide the retail giant’s streaming service Prime Video with a raft of IP including FX drama Fargo and Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale.
It is also behind the Hobbit movie franchises but has been hit hard by the pandemic and the latest instalment of its key James Bond franchise – No Time To Die – has been postponed multiple times as cinemas faced closure.
A deal to sell the show to Netflix had been mooted but did not materialise, with the movie now set to bow in the Autumn.
Ongoing sales talk
MGM has been the subject of persistent takeover rumours over recent months, with reports in December that the company had appointed investment banks to advise on a potential sale.
Details of the latest talks with Amazon, which were first reported by US site The Information, comes just a day after WarnerMedia unveiled a shock deal to merge with Discovery as it looks to compete with Disney and Netflix.
MGM, meanwhile, has been overhauling its operations of late, hiring former Studiocanal MD Rola Bauer to lead its global TV productions while execs including SVP of UK, China & European co-productions Charlie Farmer has exited, as revealed by TBI.
The studio, which is owned by US private equity firm Anchorage Capital, has been behind TV shows such as History’s Vikings, its spin-off Vikings: Valhalla for Netflix, Get Shorty for Epix, and Condor for AT&T’s Audience Network.
The company also has a Spanish-language joint venture with Gato Grande Productions, which is behind Netflix’s Luis Miguel: The Series.
Amazon has also been reshuffling its media empire, re-hiring former exec Jeff Blackburn to a new role overseeing its entertainment and media efforts around the world, including Prime Video.