Amazon has entered into a definitive merger agreement to acquire move studio MGM for US$8.45 billion.
The online shopping giant wants to use MGM to enhance Amazon Studios' offerings, while bolstering the catalogue of films available to Prime subscribers. MGM has more than 4,000 films, including the James Bond and Rocky franchises, as well as 17,000 TV shows, including Fargo, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Vikings, within its catalogue. The studio has won more than 180 Academy Awards and 100 Emmys.
Mike Hopkins, SVP of Prime Video and Amazon Studios, said of the deal: "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."
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos expressed similar plans during the company's annual shareholder meeting Wednesday.
"The acquisitions thesis here is really very simple: MGM has a vast, deep catalog of much beloved intellectual property, and with the talented people at MGM and the talented people at Amazon Studios, we can reimagine and develop that IP for the 21st century," Bezos said.
Amazon said it will help preserve MGM’s heritage and catalogue of films, and provide customers with access to these existing works. Amazon is looking to empower MGM to continue with storytelling while it enhances Amazon Studios' offerings.
Kevin Ulrich, chairman of the board of directors of MGM, said the opportunity to align MGM’s storied history with Amazon "is an inspiring combination".
"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. 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," Ulrich said.
Completion of this transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.