Chatter that Amazon (and other tech and media giants) have been sniffing around MGM has circulated for some time. But sources indicated that Amazon’s interest in acquiring the studio has taken on a new tenor beyond the usual rumor mill. The deal is said to be being orchestrated by Mike Hopkins, senior VP of Amazon Studios and Prime Video, directly with MGM board chairman Kevin Ulrich, whose Anchorage Capital is a major MGM shareholder.
Reps for Amazon and MGM declined to comment. MGM had already effectively nailed up a “for sale” sign: Variety confirmed in December that the company was looking for a buyer.
News of Amazon’s talks with MGM began to swirl this weekend. The Information reported Monday that Amazon was in talks about a potential deal for MGM, which could run between $7 billion and $10 billion. Industry sources said MGM reps have been whispering to prospective buyers for months about a price tag of $9 billion while others see it as worth about $5 billion.
In a sign Amazon has upped its focus on entertainment, last week the company announced that it had tapped Jeff Blackburn, a former high-ranking executive who recently exited the e-commerce giant, to return to Amazon in a new role overseeing a consolidated global media and entertainment group.
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