ViacomCBS Agrees to Sell CBS Studio Center in Los Angeles for $1.85B
LOS ANGELES — ViacomCBS Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAC, VIACA) has entered into a definitive agreement to sell CBS Studio Center in Los Angeles to a partnership formed by Hackman Capital Partners LLC and Square Mile Capital Management LLC. The sales price of approximately $1.85 billion includes associated businesses of CBS that operate within the 1 million-square-foot complex.
Situated on a 55-acre site in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Studio City, the property includes 22 stages, production offices and support buildings, third-party tenant offices, the Broadcast Center and filmable backlot locations. Shows filmed at the studio over the years have included Seinfeld, Mary Tyler Moore, Parks and Recreation, The Talk, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, That 70’s Show and Gunsmoke.
At closing, ViacomCBS subsidiary CBS Broadcasting Inc. will enter into a long-term leaseback of the Broadcast Center, which is home to TV stations CBS 2 and KCAL 9. ViacomCBS will continue to occupy stages and produce content on the lot, as well as enter into a short-term leaseback of certain portions of the property in order to manage the transition of its employees to other locations.
“This sale is part of an ongoing optimization of ViacomCBS’ real estate and operations portfolio and will allow the company to redeploy capital to strategic growth priorities, including streaming,” says Naveen Chopra, executive vice president and chief financial officer of ViacomCBS.
The Hackman-Square Mile partnership was the winning bidder following a widely marketed sales process, according to ViacomCBS. The sale is close to three years after CBS Corp. sold its nearby Television Studio for $750 million, which was about a year prior to the Viacom-CBS merger.
The sale of CBS Studio Center is expected to close before the end of the year, but is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval.
Hackman Capital Partners is a privately held real estate investment firm based in Los Angeles, and Square Mile Capital is an institutional real estate and investment management firm based in New York. In this past month alone, the companies have partnered to purchase Wardpark Film and Television Studios in Scotland, Ardmore Studios and Troy Studios in Ireland and Kaufman Astoria Studios in New York City’s Queens borough.
ViacomCBS’ brands include CBS, Showtime Networks, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, BET, Paramount+, Pluto TV and Simon & Schuster, among others.
The media giant’s stock price closed on Monday, Nov. 29 at $34.78 per share, down from $36.48 a year ago.
— John Nelson