ViacomCBS To Sell CBS Studio Center For $1.85B

CBS Studio Center
(Image credit: CBS Studio Center)

NEW YORK—ViacomCBS Inc. has announced that it is selling the CBS Studio Center and its associated operating business to a partnership formed by Hackman Capital Partners, LLC and Square Mile Capital Management, LLC for approximately $1.85 billion.

At closing, CBS Broadcasting Inc. will enter into a long-term lease-back of the Broadcast Center, which is home to television stations CBS 2 and KCAL 9, the company said. 

ViacomCBS will also continue to occupy stages and produce content on the lot, as well as enter into a short-term lease-back of certain portions of the property in order to manage the transition of ViacomCBS employees to other locations.

The lot had been used to produce many of the most popular shows in TV history. The sale attracted interest from a number of buyers at a time when the production boom in streaming and TV has pushed up prices for production facilities in the highly competitive Los Angeles studio marketplace and elsewhere around the country. 

The property sits on a 55-gross-acre site in Studio City and consists of over 1 million square feet of space, including 22 stages, production office and support buildings, third-party tenant offices, a purpose-built broadcast center and filmable backlot locations, ViacomCBS said. 

"This sale is part of an ongoing optimization of ViacomCBS' real estate and operations portfolio and will allow the company to re-deploy capital to strategic growth priorities, including streaming," said Naveen Chopra, EVP and Chief Financial Officer, ViacomCBS.

As part of that strategy, the company sold its iconic Black Rock skyscraper (opens in new tab) in New York City earlier this year for $760 million. 

"We're honored to have been selected as the new stewards of CBS Studio Center, one of the most celebrated and successful studios in Los Angeles," said Michael Hackman founder and CEO of Hackman Capital Partners. "The studio has been a hit maker from the days of `Gunsmoke,’ `Mary Tyler Moore,’ and `Seinfeld,’ and we're thrilled to continue our ongoing relationship with ViacomCBS to service its many successful shows currently filmed on the lot."

"CBS Studio Center is an iconic property that has been home to many of television's legendary programs over the years," said Square Mile Capital CEO Craig Solomon. "With ViacomCBS maintaining an important presence at the property, we anticipate a smooth ownership transition and many more great years ahead."     

The transaction is expected to close in 2021, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval, ViacomCBS said. 

George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.