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ViacomCBS on Friday closed its acquisition of a 49 percent stake in Miramax, which has a library of 700-plus titles, including the likes of Pulp Fiction, Chicago, Scream, Good Will Hunting and No Country for Old Men, from BeIN Media Group in a $375 million deal.
ViacomCBS made a payment of approximately $150 million at closing and will invest $45 million annually over the next five years, for a total of $225 million, to provide funding for new film and television productions and working capital.
“Miramax’s current leadership team will continue in their existing roles,” the companies said.
ViacomCBS’ Paramount Pictures has also entered an exclusive, long-term distribution agreement for Miramax’s film library and an exclusive, long-term first-look agreement allowing Paramount “to develop, produce, finance and distribute new film and television projects based on Miramax’s IP.”
At the time they announced the deal in December, BeIN and ViacomCBS said they would also explore “other strategic partnership opportunities across content production and distribution, live events and recreation globally.” They didn’t immediately unveil any new details on that front Friday.
Los Angeles-based Miramax, which has been run by CEO Bill Block since April 2017, had been on the auction block for months. The ViacomCBS deal was expected to close in the first quarter, but was wrapped up a few days after the end of the quarter.
“Miramax is a renowned global studio, responsible for some of the most iconic films of the last three decades,” said ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish when the deal was first unveiled.
“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,” said Nasser Al-Khelaifi, chairman of BeIN, at the time the deal was unveiled. “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.”
Miramax was launched by Bob and Harvey Weinstein in 1979 and distributed titles like Steven Soderbergh’s Sex, Lies, and Videotape. Disney acquired the studio in 1993. It again changed hands in 2010 when Ronald Tutor and Colony Capital acquired it. Since 2016, the studio has been owned by Doha-based BeIN, which operates TV channels in the Middle East, Europe, the U.S. and elsewhere.
Among the studio’s recent films are 2018’s Halloween, co-produced with Blumhouse, which grossed $255 million worldwide.
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