Amazon has closed the deal to purchase Hollywood icon MGM Studios for $8.45 billion, the companies announced Wednesday in a joint statement.
“Amazon and MGM today announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Amazon will acquire MGM for a purchase price of $8.45 billion,” the statement said.
“MGM has nearly a century of filmmaking history and complements the work of Amazon Studios, which has primarily focused on producing TV show programming. Amazon will help preserve MGM’s heritage and catalog of films, and provide customers with greater access to these existing works.
“Through this acquisition, Amazon would empower MGM to continue to do what they do best: great storytelling.”
MGM’s vast catalog, which includes the James Bond and Rocky movie franchises, will greatly expand the content that Amazon can provide on its streaming services.
The catalog includes some 4,000 films and 17,000 TV shows. Among the television properties that now open up to Amazon are “Fargo,” “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Shark Tank.”
“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,” said Mike Hopkins, senior vice president of Prime Video and Amazon Studios.
“It’s very exciting and provides so many opportunities for high-quality storytelling.”
Said Kevin Ulrich, chairman of the board of directors of MGM: “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.”
Ulrich went on to say, “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.”
Rumors that Amazon and other cash-rich tech companies were interested in buying the studio had circulated for a while, but sources recently told Variety that Amazon’s interest in acquiring the studio has taken on a new zeal.
The deal was said to have been orchestrated by Hopkins directly with Ulrich, whose Anchorage Capital is a major MGM shareholder, according to Variety.