Amazon Nears Deal to Purchase MGM

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Amazon Nears Deal to Purchase MGM

Amazon.com Inc. is nearing a deal to buy the Hollywood studio MGM Holdings for almost $9 billion including debt, said people familiar with

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Amazon.com Inc. is nearing a deal to buy the Hollywood studio MGM Holdings for almost $9 billion including debt, said people familiar with the matter, a pact that would turn a film operation founded in the silent era into a streaming asset for the e-commerce giant.

An agreement could be announced as early as this week, people close to the situation said, assuming the talks don’t fall apart at the last minute.

The deal would mark Amazon’s second-largest acquisition in history, behind its $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods in 2017, and highlight the premium that content is commanding as streaming wars force consolidation and drive bigger players to bulk up with assets that help them compete.

The privately traded MGM was valued around $5.5 billion, including debt, last December. Its stock price has soared in recent days, from about $105 a share in mid-May, before talks were reported, to roughly $140 a share Monday morning. The share price reached $150 Monday afternoon, after The Wall Street Journal reported news of the expected deal.

The fabled movie and TV studio had around $2 billion of long-term debt at the end of March. It has long been considered in play, but hired investment banks LionTree LLC and Morgan Stanley late last year to begin a formal process.

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