Today it was announced that Amazon has entered into a “definitive merger agreement” with MGM. This acquisition will see the media conglomerate take on the enormous library of content MGM owns, including James Bond, the Rocky series, Legally Blonde, Raging Bull, Robocop, Silence of the Lambs and many more. Global CEO of Investis Digital, Don Scales, who has led over 40 merger and acquisitions in his career, has now commented on the gigantic $8.45 billion merger.
The expert has explored this topic thoroughly in his new book The M&A Solution: A Values-Based Approach to Integrate Companies.
Discussing how quickly fans could see the content being moved between the two companies, Don said: “Well, legally, they change hands very quickly.”
“How [Amazon] want to integrate [MGM] is really kind of based upon them and their plan and how far they want to take their integration.
“You can imagine, there are a lot of stuff at MGM that Amazon can use, so it’s really focussed on the content side of this thing. That could take place quickly.”
In recent months there have been talks about whether the next Bond film, No Time To Die, will instead premiere on a streaming service rather than the big screen.
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These questions have come into play after No Time To Die was delayed a number of times, from April 2020 to September 2021.
But could MGM have sold off the Bond rights with a stipulation that it ought to remain a cinema release only? Don says yes.
He said: “I’m sure they could have. And I’m sure the Broccoli family had some say in this, [but] I don’t know how those discussions went.”
Since the merger was announced, the Broccoli family released a statement confirming the next Bond movie will be coming out in theatres only.
All eyes are on the likes of Netflix and Disney Plus at this point, who are yet to make any large acquisitions of their own.
Will these streaming giants now be quaking in their boots over Amazon’s purchase? Don said: “I don’t think they get scared, but definitely concerned, we’ll say.
“They need to be doing something. And watch out, I think Apple is next. I think Apple is going to have to step up pretty quickly.”
Of course, Apple’s TV platform – Apple TV Plus – is still in its infancy, but with names like Steven Spielberg on board, they could be next to recreate their look.
On the legendary acquisition, Mike Hopkins, the senior vice president of Prime Video and Amazon Studios commented: “MGM has a vast catalog with more than 4,000 films … as well as 17,000 TV shows – including Fargo, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Vikings – that have collectively won more than 180 Academy Awards and 100 Emmys.
“The real financial value behind this deal is the treasure trove of IP in the deep catalogue that we plan to reimagine and develop together with MGM’s talented team. It’s very exciting and provides so many opportunities for high-quality storytelling.”
Chairman of the Board of Directors of MGM, Kevin Ulrich, added: “It has been an honour to have been a part of the incredible transformation of Metro Goldwyn Mayer. To get here took immensely talented people with a true belief in one vision. On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank the MGM team who have helped us arrive at this historic day.
“I am very proud that MGM’s Lion, which has long evoked the Golden Age of Hollywood, will continue its storied history, and the idea born from the creation of United Artists lives on in a way the founders originally intended, driven by the talent and their vision. The opportunity to align MGM’s storied history with Amazon is an inspiring combination.”
James Bond No Time To Die is due out on September 30, 2021.
Pre-order Don Scales’ new book, The M&A Solution: A Values-Based Approach to Integrate Companies, here.