Amazon buys James Bond studio for $ 8.5 billion

AMazon announced today that it is buying the movie studio behind the James Bond franchise for $ 8.45 billion (£ 6 billion) as the US tech giant rushes to take the lead in wars increasingly competitive streaming media.

The MGM acquisition will give Amazon a huge library of movies and TV shows, creating a challenge for streaming rivals Netflix, Disney + and HBO Max.

“The real financial value behind this deal is the treasure trove of intellectual property in the extensive catalog that we plan to reinvent and develop with the talented team at MGM. It’s very exciting and offers a lot of opportunities for high quality storytelling, ”said Mike Hopkins, senior vice president of Prime Video and Amazon Studios.

On the London Stock Markets, Vectura – one of Britain’s largest biotech companies – climbed to the top of mid-caps after being bought out by US private equity firm The Carlyle Group in a £ 958million deal.

Wiltshire-based Vectura specializes in inhaled drugs and is currently working on a Covid-19 treatment. Vectura’s board backed the offer, which valued it at a premium of around 27pc over the closing price of 122p per share on Tuesday, and the deal is expected to close in the third quarter if it is. authorized.

Investors will receive 155p per share, including 136p in cash from Muraco Bidco – which is controlled by the Carlyle funds – and a cash dividend of 19p.

Vectura said it expects revenue from contracts, development and manufacturing to more than triple this year as it closes more deals. The shares jumped 41.2 pence to 163.2 pence – its highest price since April 2017.

The gains helped the FTSE 250 increased 201.18 points to outperform the benchmark and close at 22,640.08. The index was also supported by strong updates in corporate earnings, notably Mark & ​​Spencer and soft cat.

M&S rose 13.25p to 169.2p – the second largest increase – after shareholders seemed happy the retailer said it was making progress on its recovery plan, had negotiated well in the first few weeks of the year 2021-22 and that profits would recover.

Among other actions, Softcat added 125p to £ 19.29 after the IT services and consulting company said it expected annual results to exceed expectations.

On a less positive trading session among mid caps, the asset manager Place Saint-Jacques slipped into the red despite reports that business is booming this year.

The company said gross receipts for the five months to May would be about 23% higher year-on-year, while adding that its customers are more confident now than at the start of last year, when fears regarding the economic impact of the pandemic had hampered sentiment.

He said: “The combination of improved client confidence and the high level of accumulated savings has resulted in a strong engagement between our advisors and their clients”. Shares, however, edged down 2p to £ 13.72.

the FTSE 100, however, fell 2.86 points to 7,026.93 as it was driven primarily by bank stocks. AstraZeneca also fell 63p to £ 80.20 after the EU told a court the pharmaceutical company would have to pay daily fines of several million euros if it does not deliver the vaccines on time.

Specialty chemicals maker helped stem benchmark losses Croda International, which jumped 180p to £ 70.18 – its highest share price on record – after Goldman Sachs upgraded the stock to ‘buy’ instead of ‘sell’.

Elsewhere, shareholders of The Gym Group applauded the news that membership numbers recovered faster than expected after the company reopened sites across the UK last month and shares closed 28p to 287p higher.

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