No Time to Die (Courtesy of Nicola Dove/MGM)
MGM Holdings Inc. is exploring a sale, according to a source close to the situation.
The studio believes its library of content — which includes co-ownership of the James Bond franchise — would be desirable to companies looking to expand their streaming sectors.
MGM has recruited Morgan Stanley and LionTree LLC to advise on the process of a formal sale, according to the Wall Street Journal. LionTree has worked with MGM in the past. Based on privately traded shares, the company has a market value of $5.5 billion, including debt.
MGM’s current top shareholder is the hedge fund Anchorage Capital, which is led by former Goldman Sachs executive Kevin Ulrich. Ulrich is also at the head of MGM’s board of directors.
MGM has a film library of over 4,000 titles and 17,000 hours of television programming, including film franchises like “Rocky” and “The Hobbit,” as well as television shows like “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Vikings.”
As the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to keep many movie theaters shuttered, there has been a massive turn to streaming services. This month, Warner Bros. made headlines when the studio announced that their entire 2021 film slate, including “Dune” and “The Matrix 4” will be available to stream on HBO Max in addition to being in theaters.
MGM’s 25th installment of the James Bond franchise, “No Time to Die,” was also delayed several times, most recently from Nov. 12 to April 2, 2021.
Some of MGM’s biggest hits in the past decade include “The Hobbit” and Bond installment “Skyfall” in 2012, as well as the Rocky spin-off “Creed,” which grossed $173 million globally. Popular MGM films available on streaming services include “Silence of the Lambs,” “Rain Man” and “The Terminator.”
Variety's Ellise Shafer contributed to this post.