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Culver Studios owner Hackman Capital buys Manhattan Beach studios for $650M

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The deal also included a production services business

An aerial photo of the Manhattan Beach Studios. Courtesy of Hackman Capital

Hackman Capital Partner, owner of CBS Television City in Fairfax, has purchased a Manhattan Beach studio complex as part of a $650 million deal, the company announced today.

The purchase was for The MBS Group, which runs two separate companies. One is the 22-acre Manhattan Beach Studios, a production facility also known as the MBS Media Campus.

The studios hold the headquarters of James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment in an “eco-friendly” studio with rooftop solar panels and sustainable decor materials, as well as other tenants. The sequels to Cameron’s Avatar are in the works there now.

Also included in the sale was the other half of The MBS Group, MBS Services. The company supplies production equipment and services for a variety of content creators via “a network of more than 35 partner studios including approximately 259 stages across the top TV and film production markets globally,” the company’s announcement says.

“We are thrilled to add the MBS Media Campus to our growing portfolio of studio and media assets,” says Michael Hackman, CEO of Hackman Capital Partners.

In addition to CBS Television City, Hackman also owns Culver Studios, which is undergoing a major overhaul. Amazon has signed on to lease more than 70 percent of the space that will be available in early 2021, when the renovations are complete.

“As competition for content continues to increase, we see tremendous opportunities to grow this real estate platform globally with MBS’s experienced and first-rate management team,” Hackman said.

Hackman’s purchase of the MBS Media Campus was in partnership with Square Mile Capital Management. It’s unclear what portion of the total transaction was for the studios alone.

The seller was The Carlyle Group, a global investment firm that purchased the studio complex in 2007, paying $150 million. Carlyle created the production services business in 2013.