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Amazon ‘eyeing Bond studio MGM’

MGM’s library includes Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale

Amazon is reportedly in advanced talks to acquire MGM, the movie and TV studio behind the James Bond franchise and the owner of US cablenet Epix.

The retail giant, which owns streaming services Prime Video and IMDB TV, is considering making a move for the studio, according to The Information, citing a contact familiar with the situation.

A deal for MGM, which is not guaranteed, could cost Amazon between US$7bn and US$10bn, the report adds. Amazon has declined to comment.

The news follows speculation towards the end of 2020 that MGM had hired two investment banks to explore a possible sale for around US$5.5bn, having been the subject of M&A speculation for many years.

Apple has previously been tipped as a potential buyer of the studio, as the various tech giants look to add to their libraries of IP with catalogues of films and TV series to exploit via streaming.

MGM, which shares ownership of the Bond franchise with producer EON Productions, holds one of the world’s deepest libraries of content, spanning thousands of movies produced over the decades.

Its release of the eagerly anticipated 25th Bond movie No Time to Die has been delayed multiple times because of the pandemic, with a current release date set for October 8 this year.

Fargo, The Handmaid’s Tale, Shark Tank and Survivor are among its TV shows, while its international TV arm is working in markets such as Mexico to develop original Spanish-language content.

Its cablenet Epix has been behind shows including Get Shorty and Berlin Station and launched its own streaming service in 2019.

MGM has previously partnered with Amazon to launch its own-branded streaming channel on Prime Video Channels in markets such as the UK, Germany, France, Canada, Mexico and Brazil.

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