Times are tough, even for giant media companies. Less than two weeks after AMC announced it’ll go broke in January, The Wall Street Journal reports that MGM Holdings, Inc. is exploring what it would look like to sell itself to the highest bidder. Based on privately traded shares, the company has a market value of $5.5 billion, including debt, according to the outlet. That is a lot of money, but that’s lunch money for Jeff Bezos over at Amazon or Netflix, which seems to just print its own money.
MGM, which co-owns the James Bond franchise, is reportedly banking on interest from streaming services eager to obtain the permanent rights to their marquee properties like film franchises like Rocky and The Hobbit as well as TV shows like The Handmaid’s Tale and Vikings. “The studio has contemplated a sale at various points over the past few years, but potential suitors have previously balked at the price MGM was seeking. MGM is hopeful the current process will generate interest beyond Hollywood’s traditional players, from international media companies, private-equity investors and blank-check companies,” a source tells WSJ. If MGM can’t sell off its entire studio, they may try a piecemeal approach: It was reported in October that the company was looking to sell No Time To Die—the latest Bond film, which was originally slated to premiere this past spring—to Netflix for $600 million. (At the time, Variety noted that MGM itself has flatly denied that it ever tried to shop out its flagship franchise.)
Ah, what it would be like to be a “blank-check company.” Speaking of blank checks, while Congress sees fit to only give Americans in need a measly $600 as part of their current COVID stimulus bill, it does seem like movie theater companies like the aforementioned AMC may be in luck. Fortune reports that the bill—which was proposed Sunday and is currently making its way through the finalization and voting process—includes the Save Our Stages Act, which would “assist live music and theater venues, independent movie theaters, and other cultural institutions” to the tune of $15 billion.
The current stimulus bill also contains a proposal from Republican senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina that would make streaming a pirated piece of content a felony. If passed, illegal streaming could carry a penalty of up to 10 years in jail.