ViacomCBS selling its CBS studio for $1.8 billion: report – New York Post

ViacomCBS is selling its CBS Studio Center in Los Angeles for $1.8 billion to a pair of acquisitive real-estate firms, according to a report.

Hackman Capital Partners and Square Mile Capital Management had the winning bid, beating out roughly a dozen parties, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing anonymous sources. The contract is expected to be signed soon.

The Post first reported that Hackman Capital was a leading contender to buy  the historic CBS Studio Center lot — the home of popular TV shows including “Seinfeld.”

The price tag for the lot, where iconic shows like “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Gunsmoke” were shot, was roughly $500 million higher than what the it was projected to bring in three months ago when it was put up for sale, the report said.

CBS and Hackman declined to comment. Square Mile did not immediately return requests for comment.

 General views of CBS Studio Center on September 25, 2020 in Studio City, California.
CBS’ Radford lot, where popular shows like “Seinfeld” and “Gunsmoke” were shot, is being sold for a reported $1.8 billion.
Getty Images

The higher-than-expected sale price comes as there’s a demand for shows and movies to the point that there’s a shortage of production studio space in Los Angeles.

Real-estate investors like Hackman are getting in on the action by buying up sound stages, office space and other real estate tied to show biz.

Case in point: earlier this year, Michael Hackman’s namesake firm partnered with Square Mile and scooped up Sony Pictures Entertainment’s 182,000 square-foot animation campus in Culver City — home of franchises including the “The Emoji Movie” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” for around $160 million.

Michael Hackman
Michael Hackman’s namesake firm and Square Mile Capital are expected to ink the deal to buy the CBS studio soon.
Hackman Capital Partners

Earlier this month, Hackman and Square Mile Capital acquired Kaufman Astoria Studios, the New York studio backlot and the original home of Paramount Pictures.

Hackman, which already owns eight studio lots, home to 70 soundstages with another 35 in development, is one of the most active investors in the space, along with Blackstone Group and TPG, which recently bought the Cinespace Studios in Chicago in Toronto.

General views of CBS Studio Cente
ViacomCBS put the CBS studio up for sale in order to free up cash to invest in programming for its streaming service.
Getty Images

CBS put its 38-acre campus — dubbed the “Radford Lot” for its location on Radford Avenue in LA’s Studio City district — on the block in late August, as the network sells off non-core assets in order to invest more heavily in creating shows and movies for burgeoning streaming platforms.

News of the sale comes shortly after ViacomCBS sold CBS’ original Midtown Manhattan corporate headquarters, known as “Black Rock,” to real estate investment firm Harbor Group International for $760 million in mid August.

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