After weighing their options for several years, MGM has sought the aid of two investment banks to help with a formal sale of the company. While the scenario is still quite new, sources close to the matter say the legendary studio is hoping to ignite a bidding war between Hollywood studios, international conglomerates, private equity firms, SPACS, and more for the keys to the kingdom.
According to Deadline, one of the chief reasons as to why the set up has taken so long is because a proper price for MGM had proven difficult to find. In looking at MGM’s catalog, it’s become clear that the studio doesn’t have the massive scale that others have built throughout the years. That being said, absorbing MGM and its iconic film roster could work wonders for a larger company.
Previously, MGM flirted with the idea of releasing NO TIME TO DIE via streaming services, Naturally, the mere mention of this bold move got people talking about the future of the company, and whether or not they could wait out the ongoing pandemic for a Bond-related box office windfall. At the time, MGM pondered the idea of offering a one-year license for $600 million, but rights holders at Eon urged the studio to hold out for the big screen. To be fair, moving No Time to Die to a streamer could end up leaving millions on the table, which is a much-needed amount in the face of a dismal theatrical year.
Even with No Time to Die being moved to April 2, 2021, there’s a high probability that it will have to be moved yet again. Why? It’s simple, really. People just aren’t going to the movies anymore, whether it’s due to closures or fear of being in an enclosed space with potentially infected strangers. The reality is that the coronavirus pandemic is far from over, and with the holidays coming, it could get worse before it gets better.
Now, just because No Time to Die is having a hard time making it to theaters, that doesn’t mean that MGM has had a bum year. In fact, MGM has been rather successful in 2020 when securing auctions for some of Hollywood’s heaviest hitters to come. For example, MGM snagged the Ridley Scott-directed Gucci that has Lady Gaga set to star, with Adam Driver, Jared Leto, Al Pacino, Jack Huston, and Reeve Carney. They’ve also got Paul Thomas Anderson’s next feature, as well as the Ron Howard-directed Thai Cave rescue pic Thirteen Lives. The list goes on, proving that despite their circumstances, MGM is far from out of the game.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the studio has tapped Morgan Stanley and LionTree to weigh its sale options, with MGM estimating their market value of about $5.5 billion. It’s also been noted that MGM has racked up $2.3 billion in long-term debt, making them an acquisition with baggage.
What do you feel MGM’s best options are going forward? Should they dig their heels in and remain in the game, or sell to another company and reap the monetary rewards? When and if the studio sells, who do you think will open their wallets wide for the company? Warner Bros, perhaps? Let us know what you’re thinking in the comments section below.