ViacomCBS to buy 49% stake in Miramax for 375m dollars
Media giant ViacomCBS has agreed to buy a 49% stake in film and television studio Miramax, which has a library of more than 700 titles including Pulp Fiction, Chicago and Good Will Hunting.
The 375 million dollar (£287 million) deal will see ViacomCBS make an upfront cash payment of around 150 million dollars, and the group has committed to investing 45 million dollars annually over the next five years to fund new film and television projects.
Miramax, founded in 1979 by disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein and his brother Bob, was bought by Disney in 1993 before it produced the Oscar-winning films The English Patient and Shakespeare In Love.
It was subsequently snapped up by Qatar’s beIN Media Group in 2016, which will retain control of the business under the 375 million dollar deal.
ViacomCBS and its subsidiary Paramount Pictures will now have access to Miramax’s library, which includes 68 Oscar winners including the Scream franchise.
Miramax’s latest film The Gentlemen, directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Hugh Grant, is released in UK cinemas on New Year’s Day.
BeIN and ViacomCBS said they would also explore “other strategic partnership opportunities across content production and distribution, live events and recreation globally”.
Nasser Al-Khelaifi, chairman of BeIN Media, said: “This represents a major investment in and endorsement of our thriving Miramax business, which has grown in value under BeIN Media Group’s ownership and has a fantastic future ahead with major new movies and unexploited premium dramas.
“We are thrilled to partner with ViacomCBS and Paramount to explore further opportunities around Miramax’s iconic IP, and also at group level, while substantially increasing the scale of our entertainment business.”
He added: “This deal further underlines BeIN’s ambitions on the global stage – we are very proud to have established ourselves as one of the leading groups in sport, entertainment and media.”