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Amazon closes $8.45bn deal to buy MGM

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Staff Writer

Amazon has officially signed an agreement to acquire MGM.

The pair have entered into a merger agreement under which Amazon will acquire the studio for a purchase price of $8.45 billion. MGM has nearly a century of filmmaking history and its library – which ranges from James Bond and 12 Angry Men to Rocky, Robocop and Raging Bull – will give a major boost to Amazon Studios, which has primarily invested in TV programming to date. MGM’s library of TV shows, including Fargo, The Handmaid’s Tale and Vikings, means that the studio has collective won more than 180 Academy Awards and 100 Emmys.

Amazon has announced that it will help “preserve MGM’s heritage and catalog of films”, but Mike Hopkins, Senior Vice President of Prime Video and Amazon Studios, added in a statement: “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.”

“It has been an honor to have been a part of the incredible transformation of Metro Goldwyn Mayer. To get here took immensely talented people with a true belief in one vision. On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank the MGM team who have helped us arrive at this historic day,” commented Kevin Ulrich, Chairman of the Board of Directors of MGM. “I am very proud that MGM’s Lion, which has long evoked the Golden Age of Hollywood, will continue its storied history, and the idea born from the creation of United Artists lives on in a way the founders originally intended, driven by the talent and their vision. The opportunity to align MGM’s storied history with Amazon is an inspiring combination.”

Completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, but the deal is effectively done – and comes just as the streaming marketplace continues to heat up, with AT&T last week merging WarnerMedia with Discovery to form its own major player.

What does this all mean for MGM’s upcoming releases? It’s understood that MGM’s theatrical plans scheduled for this year – including No Time to Die and House of Gucci – are locked in and not set to change. As for James Bond, MGM shares the rights to the 007 franchise with Eon, which has a large amount of control over its marketing, casting and distribution. That means a James Bond movie isn’t about to debut on Amazon Prime Video in the near future, but it does mean that Fleming’s spy has found a streaming home, and that, in itself, is something for the online giant to roar about.

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