Disney sells Miramax Films for $660 million

Independent film producers Bob and Harvey Weinstein.

Miramax moguls Bob Weinstein, left, and Harvey Weinstein. (Photo Credit: CC BY/Diana Sanchez/Sin efectos especialies)

The New York Times reports that The Walt Disney Company has agreed in principle to sell major film production property Miramax to an investment group for approximately $660 million. The deal follows a six-month bidding war between Miramax founders Harvey and Bob Weinstein and a series of investors. Construction business owner Ronald Tutor and his investment group ended up with the winning bid, which consisted of a non-refundable $40 million fee.

No room for Miramax after Disney, Pixar and Marvel

Via press release, Disney expressed appreciation for the film achievements of Miramax. However, as Disney CEO Robert Iger put it, “Our current strategy for Walt Disney Studios is to focus on the development of great motion pictures under the Disney, Pixar and Marvel brands.” Considering the 700-strong slate of successful films, including “No Country for Old Men” and “Chicago” in the Miramax stable, it’s a wonder that Disney could no longer find a place for the Miramax property. According to the Times, Disney even had incentive to keep Miramax, as its in-place distribution channels enabled Miramax to get top dollar for its independent features, something other independent distributors can only dream of accomplishing. But the Tutor group’s bid was high enough to seal the deal.

The Weinsteins will remain in the wings

Because of a $150 million investment in ongoing film franchises like “Spy Kids” and “Scary Movie,” Harvey and Bob Weinstein will remain in the Miramax picture. The Tutor Perini Corporation and Tom Barrack of Colony Capital – the duo that purchased Miramax via Filmyard Holdings –  might butt heads with the Weinsteins, considering that the incumbents are reportedly quite upset over losing the bidding war. Yet Ronald Tutor is looking forward to leading Miramax into the future. In a media statement, he said he was delighted and that he “looks forward to sharing high-quality content with the world in every form of media for many years to come.”

Sources:

New York Times

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