James Bond maker MGM Holdings, valued at about $5.5 billion, is reportedly considering a sale

Daniel Craig as James Bond in "No Time to Die". MGM
MGM Holdings is considering a sale, sources familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal.
The company has a market value of approximately $ 5.5 billion and an impressive catalog of films and TV shows, including franchises James Bond and Rocky.
The company has already embarked on a formal sales process and potential buyers have shown interest since the spring, sources said to the publication.
Like the rest of the movie industry, MGM has been hit by the pandemic and had to postpone the release of the upcoming Bond episode, "No Time To Die," but the company says 2021 could be the biggest year for new content yet.
Several reported attempts to sell in recent years have failed.
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Best known for the James Bond franchise, MGM Holdings is currently considering a sale, sources familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal.
The company is already on a formal sale process and has a market value of approximately $ 5.5 billion including debt, based on privately traded stocks.
MGM has a large catalog of well-known films and television shows that have either been produced or distributed, including the Rocky franchise "Legally Blonde" and "A Star is Born," that could make it attractive for sale, investors told the WSJ.
It is best known for the James Bond franchise, which it jointly owns with the holding company Danjaq.
It also owns the Epix streaming service.
Potential buyers have shown interest since the spring when demand for streaming began to surge during national lockdowns, a person familiar with the release process said.
MGM is hoping interest will extend beyond traditional Hollywood players, one of the sources told the publication. They suggested that international media companies, private equity investors, and blank check firms might be interested.
MGM did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
Read more: Hollywood goes wild over Warner Bros. 'HBO Max Plan. But one producer whose film was affected gave us the counter-argument.
This isn't the first time the studio has considered a sale in recent years.
In 2016, MGM was on the verge of a $ 8 billion deal with a Chinese buyer, sources told the WSJ, but it failed.
Two years later, former MGM CEO Gary Barber reportedly had talks with Apple to sell the studio for more than $ 6 billion.
The studio sacked Barber for early, unauthorized talks, and Kevin Ulrich, chairman of the board of directors of MGM and co-founder of Anchorage, MGM's largest shareholder, assured investors that he will sell MGM for more than $ 8 billion a year in two to three years could the diary.
Read more: HBO boss Max is canceling seismic decision to stream all 2021 Warner Bros. movies when they hit theaters, responding to speculation around 2022 and beyond
The film industry has been hard hit by the pandemic.
Studios have faced both coronavirus-related production delays and movie theater closings during curfew, and many have postponed their theatrical releases for 2020.
MGM was no exception. "No Time to Die," the upcoming episode of Bond, has been postponed from November to April 2021 to allow it to hit theaters. According to reports, the studio had asked Netflix and Apple for $ 600 million to bring the film straight to streaming, but the streaming giants were only willing to pay half that price.
However, during the pandemic, MGM was saved by its impressive catalog and continued to see strong demand.
Production has picked up since then, and 2021 could potentially be the biggest year for new content in the studio, said Christopher Brearton, the company's chief operating officer, in a call for earnings for the third quarter in November.
In early December, Warner Bros. shocked the film industry by saying that all 2021 films would be released on the HBO Max streaming platform on the same day they hit theaters. Hollywood key figures made the decision openly. Christopher Nolan, director of Tenet, called HBO Max "the worst streaming service".
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