Amazon closes in on MGM Studios acquisition

Amazon is nearing a deal to acquire MGM Studios, the co-owner of the James Bond franchise and other film and TV series, for between US$8.5 billion and US$9 billion, according to people familiar with the matter, CNBC reports..

The deal is expected to be announced as soon as Tuesday. The people asked not to be named because the talks are private.

It would mark Amazon’s biggest acquisition since it bought Whole Foods in 2017 for US$13.7 billion.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier Monday that the deal could be announced this week.

Amazon is interested in acquiring more TV and film content for its Prime Video service as it competes with Netflix, Disney and other streaming video services. MGM is a natural fit for any streaming service because of its plethora of content.

MGM, which is a private company, has been seeking a buyer for several years. Its owners include Anchorage Capital, Highland Capital Partners, Davidson, Kempner Capital Management, Solus Alternative Asset Management and Owl Creek Investments — funds that took control of the studio when it emerged from bankruptcy in 2010.

MGM owns a number of famed movie and TV franchises, including Rocky, Legally Blonde, The Pink Panther and Stargate. It also owns a studio, which has made more current hit TV shows, including “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Fargo.”

MGM owns a number of popular reality TV shows, including “Shark Tank,” “Survivor,” “The Real Housewives” series and “The Voice.”

MGM also owns Epix, a premium pay-TV service valued at about US$1.3 billion in 2017.

MGM and Amazon representatives weren’t immediately available to comment.

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