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Qatar’s beIN Media Group Seeking to Sell 50% Miramax Stake (Report)

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Miramax/Buena Vista/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

Qatar-based beIN Media Group is seeking to sell up to 50% of Miramax in a deal that would value the studio founded in 1979 by Bob and Harvey Weinstein at $650 million, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

A representative for beIN, contacted by Variety, said the company had no comment on the report, which is based on unnamed sources.

Miramax, which has a 700-title library, is known for producing such titles as “Sex, Lies and Videotape,” “Pulp Fiction,” “Shakespeare in Love” and “Good Will Hunting,” most of which were made during the studio’s 17 years as a Disney label. The studio was sold in 2016 by its private equity owners for a reported $1 billion to beIN Media Group, which owns the company in its entirety. The $650 million valuation suggested by the Wall Street Journal report would represent barely two-thirds of the reported 2016 sale price.

BeIN was set up as an Al Jazeera spinoff in 2014. Analysts questioned the wisdom of its acquisition of Miramax, which was ostensibly made to feed the expansion, from sports into movies, of its more than 30 channels worldwide. The company controls top Turkish paybox Digiturk and sports channels in France, Spain, the U.S. and Australia.

Lately, beIN has been suffering economic damage from the Saudi Arabia-based pirate broadcaster beoutQ.

In 2016, after a period during which it focused on monetizing its catalog of films, Miramax again began backing new productions. Its recent titles include the David Gordon Green-directed “Halloween,” “Bad Santa 2,” “Whitney,” and “Bridget Jones’s Baby.”