Miramax, the studio that defined the independent film scene of the 1980s and ’90s by producing the likes of “The Crying Game” and “Pulp Fiction,” has changed hands again.
BeIN Media Group has acquired 100% of the studio for an undisclosed sum, the Doha-based broadcaster announced Wednesday. It bought the company from a consortium of investors that includes Qatar Investment Authority and Colony Capital. They, in turn, purchased the studio in 2010 from Disney for $660 million.
Miramax has a library of 700 titles. After a period of time when it was primarily focused on monetizing its catalog of films, the company has once again begun backing new productions. In 2016 Miramax will invest in and co-distribute a number of movies, including sequels to “Bad Santa” and “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” as well as the Barack and Michelle Obama romantic drama “Southside With You.” It also produces the television show “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series” and partnered on last year’s Ian McKellen drama “Mr. Holmes.”
“In concert with beIN leadership, we look forward to further expanding our film and television output, broadening our distribution capabilities and fortifying our position as the premiere independent studio brand,” said Steve Schoch, CEO of Miramax, in a statement.
Miramax has a staff of roughly 120 people across its Santa Monica, London and Asia offices. Layoffs are not expected as part of the sale, and the management team will remain in place. BeIN was formed in 2014 as part of a spin-off from Al Jazeera Media Network. Its holdings include sports networks and movie channels.
Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, chairman and CEO of beIN Media Group, said in a statement that the acquisitions would help with his company’s plans to “grow across the entertainment industry and develop new content production.”
Founded in 1979 by brothers Harvey and Bob Weinstein, the studio label became synonymous with prestige, quality films, racking up Oscars for the likes of “The English Patient” and “No Country for Old Men,” helping to popularize the idea of all-night Sundance Film Festival bidding wars, and launching the careers of Matt Damon, Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith, and many others. It sold to Disney in 1993. After a series of disagreements with their corporate bosses, the Weinstein brothers decamped in 2005 to form their own studio.
Irell & Manella represented Miramax in the transaction. Sullivan & Cromwell represented the holding company, and Latham & Watkins represented beIN Media Group.