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In $650M Deal, Hackman Capital Acquires Another Movie and Television Studio

The Los Angeles production home of Avatar and Titanic movie director and writer James Cameron has traded for $650M.

Expanding its studio and production empire, Hackman Capital Partners has purchased the Manhattan Beach Studios, a 22-acre media campus in Manhattan Beach, and its production operating services company, MBS Services, from The Carlyle Group, the companies announced Wednesday.

Manhattan Beach Studios in Manhattan Beach

Hackman Capital and Square Mile Capital Management entered into a JV for the real estate portion of the acquisition. Hackman will solely run MBS Services.

The company did not disclose how much it paid for the real estate or production services.

"The purchases of Manhattan Beach Studios and MBS Services, the studio production operating company, are the logical step for Hackman Capital’s established and growing studio and entertainment real estate portfolio," Hackman Capital Senior Vice President Tyler Friedman said. "Studios are operationally intensive and having MBS Services under our umbrella gives us additional capabilities to grow our studio platform." 

Built in 1999, the Manhattan Beach Studios is a 22-acre, 587K SF studio production facility at 1600 Rosecrans Ave.

The production facility is home to Academy Award winner Cameron's Lightstorm Entertainment and more than 35 other production studios. Lightstorm signed a long-term lease in 2011 and takes up more than 115K SF of studio and office space.

MBS Services is the facility's operator that provides the resources and infrastructure for content production. There are nearly 260 soundstages on the property. 

The Carlyle Group has owned the Manhattan Beach Studios media campus since 2007. Carlyle founded MBS Services in 2013 as a full-service, one-stop-shop TV and feature film production studio. 

"For us, acquiring both is the perfect marriage for our platform," Friedman said.

Manhattan Beach Studios in Manhattan Beach

This is the third studio purchase for Hackman in the past five years. Hackman purchased Culver Studios in Culver City in 2014 and is currently expanding the historic studio where Gone with the Wind and Citizen Kane were filmed to more than 720K SF. Amazon Studios has signed a lease to occupy most of Culver Studios once it is complete sometime in 2021. 

Last year, Hackman acquired CBS' 25-acre, 1M SF iconic Television City headquarters in Los Angeles for $700M. 

Friedman told Bisnow that Hackman plans to hold the studios long-term and the company is not finished acquiring more. 

"Going forward, we are focused on acquiring additional iconic and best-in-class studio properties in Los Angeles, New York, Vancouver, Toronto and London," Friedman said.