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MGM considering sale of film library and studio, including 'James Bond' franchise

By Argie Aguja Published Dec 24, 2020 12:35 am

MGM Holdings Inc. is considering selling its entire library of content and studio, which includes ownership of the James Bond franchise, among other blockbusters, according to sources familiar with the matter.

In a report published by entertainment website Variety, MGM is supposedly seeking buyers interested in acquiring its vast library of content and studio. MGM believes that their treasure trove of movie and TV shows would be highly valuable to companies looking to expand their streaming offerings.

MGM's extensive film library consists of more than 4,000 titles and 17,000 hours of television programming, including the iconic James Bond, Rocky and The Hobbit film franchises, as well as award-winning blockbusters such as Silence of the Lambs and Rain Man. For the television content, it owns series such as The Handmaid's Tale and Vikings.

To facilitate the sale, MGM has sought assistance from Morgan Stanley and LionTree LLC to advise the studio on the process of selling the catalog. According to sources close to the matter, MGM has a total market value of around $5.5 billion, based on privately traded shares and including debt.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has put the future of the film and TV industry in limbo, deferring the production schedules and release dates of all ongoing and future projects.

Earlier this month, Warner Bros. announced that it planned to release its entire 2021 slate of films, including Dune and Matrix 4, on the HBO Max streaming service and in theaters simultaneously.

For MGM, its current woes include the 25th installment of the James Bond franchise, No Time to Die. The film was delayed for several times now, the most recent release date moved from Nov. 12 to April 2, 2021. With no end to the pandemic in sight, MGM discussed selling No Time to Die to Apple, with the tech company reportedly considered an offer in the $350 to $400 million range.