Amazon is officially acquiring MGM for US$8.45 billion after speculation that the companies were in talks to merge.
MGM, beyond its massive scripted film and television inventory, is the parent company of cable net Epix and MGM TV. Led by reality veteran Mark Burnett, MGM Worldwide Television Group chairman, the TV unit is behind such unscripted hits as Survivor, The Voice, Shark Tank and Beat Shazam,
The company’s catalog of films — a portfolio that includes Gone With the Wind, the Rocky and Hobbit franchises and co-ownership of the James Bond franchise — will complement Amazon Studios TV work, Amazon stated.
“MGM has a vast catalog with more than 4,000 films” said Mike Hopkins, SVP of Prime Video and Amazon Studios, 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,” Kevin Ulrich, chairman of the board of directors of MGM, added. “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.”
The Wall Street Journal reported in December 2020 that MGM was exploring a potential sale.
In 2014 and 2015, MGM Studios acquired the production company One Three Media, owned by Burnett, who was promoted to his current post in 2018.
Under his leadership, MGM TV ratcheted up its unscripted development and production with the acquisitions of Evolution Media in 2017, the prodco behind Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Orange County and Vanderpump Rules; and Big Fish Entertainment, producers of A&E’s Live Rescue and VH1′s Girl’s Cruise, to name a few.
The TV group most recently struck a partnership with producer Soo-Man Lee and Korea’s SM Entertainment to develop a K-Pop music competition series.