MGM Holdings, the studio behind the James Bond franchise, is reportedly exploring a sale. , citing “a source close to the situation” says the company is specifically eyeing streaming services or other film companies looking to establish their streaming sectors. Based on privately traded shares, the company has a market value of $5.5 billion, including debt.
In addition to James Bond, MGM’s film library has more than 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.
MGM has not yet commented publicly on the trial balloon signs pointing to a sale–the first reported recently that MGM had engaged Morgan Stanley and LionTree Advisors to begin the formal sale process.
However, a sale would not be a total shock as COVID-19 has effectively kneecapped smaller players (like MGM) who are unable to release their releases in theaters. While MGM is much bigger than just James Bond, one need only look to that franchise to gain an insight into what might be happening at the studio: , the upcoming 007 flick, has gone from a November 2019 scheduled release date to enduring several releases before (for now) seemingly holding firm to an April 2, 2021 release. James Bond is just one of many properties MGM owns, but given , there’s still plenty of gas left in the studio’s tank and strong interest in its franchises.