A pair of real-estate firms have come together to buy CBS Studio Center in Los Angeles for more than $1.8 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Hackman Capital Partners and Square Mile Capital Management LLC posted the (gigantic) winning bid. While the deal is not yet signed, the agreed-upon price was more than $500 million beyond what the studio was projected to sell for just a few months ago.
CBS Studio Center includes 18 sound stages and more than 210,000 square feet of office space. “Seinfeld” and “Gunsmoke” are among the classic series that were shot there.
CBS appears to be having an everything-must-go sale on real estate. In 2019, CBS Corp. sold Television City to Hackman Capital for $750 million. CBS recently agreed to sell its Black Rock headquarters in New York City for $760 million to Harbor Group International (HGI). That’s one way to raise a ton of capital.
On the Black Rock sale, ViacomCBS CFO Naveen Chopra said the sale was prompted by a review of non-core assets since the company completed its re-merger in December 2019.
“The use of proceeds from this transaction will remain consistent with our previously discussed capital allocation strategy, allowing us further financial flexibility to invest in our strategic growth priorities, including streaming,” Chopra said in a statement at the time.
For the midtown Manhattan HQ, Harbor Group plans a significant capital program to pursue a long-term leasing plan, with updates to the lobby, cafeteria and other tenant amenities. The company’s $14.5 billion investment portfolio includes 4.4 million square feet of commercial space throughout the U.S. and the UK and 53,000 apartment units in the U.S.
“The agreement to acquire the CBS Building is further proof of HGI’s ability to identify and successfully transact for unique investment opportunities in an increasingly competitive market,” HGI President Richard Litton said in August. “With its prime location, Class A features, and strong roster of tenants, HGI is positioned to acquire one of New York City’s few iconic assets. We look forward to activating our strategic business plan for this asset at a transformational time for New York City’s office market.”
A spokesperson for ViacomCBS corporate communications did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on the Studio Center deal.