Since Hollywood needed another major studio to potentially be acquired by an even bigger fish, MGM Holdings are exploring sale options. A new report from The Wall Street Journal reveals that MGM has "tapped investment banks Morgan Stanley and LionTree LLC" to begin the process of a formal sale. The company, who owns a film library including the James Bond film franchise, the Rocky series, and more, reportedly has a $5.5 billion market value. A sale has been explored in previous years but this time the company is reportedly hoping to draw attention from "international media companies, private-equity investors and blank-check companies" rather than traditional Hollywood studios.
MGM has a long and complicated history, having previously absorbed other studios and had its own library of content sold off in pieces to other studios (WarnerMedia for example owns all of the pre-May 1986 films from the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer catalogue), thus why the current company is known as MGM Holdings now. Despite all that, and though Bond has become their cornerstone for decades, they've been able to work with other Hollywood entities to produce some hits throughout the new millennium.
According to WSJ the company is eager to explore a sale now as "a bidding war for content to fill a new wave of streaming-video services" continues throughout Hollywood which could make their library "an attractive target."
It's unclear which studios, if any, would jump at the chance to grab MGM and the rights to all that they hold, but if it does happen than the films and shows under that umbrella could serve as a great spring board for a studio eager to greenlight new content that is inspired by or based on familiar brands.
Films that MGM has in the pipeline that have not yet been released including the highly anticipated No Time to Die (the 25th James Bond film and Daniel Craig's final appearance as the character), the Jordan Peele produced Candyman reboot from Universal Pictures, the all-new GI Joe reboot movie Snakes Eyes starring Henry Golding, and the Untitled Sesame Street musical movie co-starring Anne Hathaway.
The studio previously confirmed development on the likes of a third Legally Blonde movie, a sequel to 2018's Tomb Raider starring Alicia Vikander, and are currently shooting Mad Max: Fury Road director George Miller's new movie, Three Thousand Years of Longing.
Check back here for future updates on the potential sale of MGM Holdings as we learn them, but in a year where studios have been strapped for cash and forced to make hard choices with their own films and staff it's unclear who will be in a position to start the bidding.