Hackman Capital adds Manhattan Beach Studios to growing production studio portfolio

Hackman bought the 22-acre Manhattan Beach Studios complex as well as a production business active across the country
By Dennis Lynch | August 07, 2019 02:00PM

Hackman Capital Partners CEO Michael Hackman and director James Cameron (Credit: Getty Images)

Hackman Capital Partners CEO Michael Hackman and director James Cameron (Credit: Getty Images)

There’s no doubt about it now: Hackman Capital Partners is committing big to the production studio business.

The Westside-based firm has purchased the Manhattan Beach Studios complex ­— as well as the studios production services platform MBS Group — from Carlyle Group for $650 million.

The Real Deal reported in June that Hackman was in advanced discussions to buy the property. The purchase was a joint venture with an investment partnership led by New York-based Square Mile Capital Management, according to a press release from Carlyle.

Manhattan Beach Studios is the third media production property that Hackman has bought since 2014, when it purchased the Culver Studios complex in Culver City for $85 million. Hackman is expanding the campus facilities with the help of $620 million in debt from Deutsche Bank and has signed Amazon’s production wing to a lease for most of the property.

In December, Hackman closed a $750 million deal with CBS Corporation for its landmarked 25-acre Television City studio complex in the Fairfax District.

Hackman CEO Michael Hackman told The Real Deal in January that he planned to operate the studio long-term.

Manhattan Beach Studios, formally named MBS Media Campus, stretches 22 acres on Manhattan Beach’s border with El Segundo. It counts James Cameron’s production company Lightstorm Entertainment among its users. Lightstorm is there working on sequels to its 2009 box office smash hit “Avatar,” according to the L.A. Times.

HBO, ABC and Disney are also producing shows there. In total, the complex has 15 soundstages, 10 office spaces, an esports arena and other facilities totaling 587,000 square feet.

The inclusion of MBS Group in the deal gives Hackman a stake in a business active across the United States, as well as in Canada and the United Kingdom. The six-year-old company’s studio management wing manages or provides services at 25 studios. Its equipment wing has four locations in L.A., including one at Culver Studios.

Hackman told the L.A. Times that acquiring MBS Group “was the next logical step for us in growing our studio platform” because of the operational demands of running studios.

Manhattan Beach Studios itself was built in 1999 by a private investment entity tied to Roy E. Disney’s family but was later purchased by Oaktree Capital. Carlyle bought it through its real estate wing Carlyle Realty Partners from Oaktree in 2007 for $150 million.