×

ViacomCBS Sets $375 Million Deal for 49% Stake in Miramax

ViacomCBS has reached a deal to acquire a 49% stake in Miramax from Qatar-based owner BeIN Media Group for a total of $375 million.

The deal calls for ViacomCBS to pay $150 million in cash up front, plus a commitment to invest $45 million a year for five years to fund new film and TV projects and working capital. ViacomCBS’ Paramount Pictures gets an exclusive long-term deal for worldwide distribution rights to Miramax’s library of about 700 movies. The partners will also work together on developing new projects and reboots and revivals of titles from the Miramax vault.

“Miramax is a renowned global studio, responsible for some of the most iconic films of the last three decades, including ‘Pulp Fiction,’ ‘Good Will Hunting,’ ‘Kill Bill’ and more,” said Bob Bakish, president-CEO of ViacomCBS. “This partnership with beIN will be a unique opportunity to gain access to a valuable library, deepening our already substantial pool of IP at a time when demand for premium content is only accelerating. We look forward to working closely with the Miramax management team as we explore new ways to deliver its titles across a variety of platforms and create new, compelling projects.”

BeIN Media Group chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi said the sale is not a retrenchment from Hollywood but a reinforcement of the company’s desire to grow its entertainment operations. BeIN Media assets began as the sports arm of Al Jazeera but the company is now a separate entity. BeIN Media acquired Miramax from private equity owners in 2016. The company sees the ViacomCBS deal as a win in bringing in a partner with strategic assets that can grow the company while still allowing BeIN Media to retain a slim majority stake. BeIN Media is said to have an appetite for additional content acquisitions.

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,” Al-Khelaifi said. “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. 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.”

The partners said BeIN Media intends to retain the remaining 51% of Miramax. The studio’s current management team headed by film biz veteran Bill Block will continue to lead the company. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of next year.

Miramax had been dormant for years amid the ownership shuffles, but under Block’s direction the studio resurfaced in a noticeable way last year with the successful relaunch of the “Halloween” horror franchise. Up next, Miramax has the family drama “Uncle Frank” set to premiere at Sundance next month and crime dramedy “The Gentlemen,” starring Matthew McConaughey and Hugh Grant, also bowing next month. “Gentlemen” is the first of a two-picture pact with director Guy Ritchie.

Moelis & Co.’s Carlos Jimenez and David Eisman and Glen Mastroberte in the entertainment unit of Skadden Arps represented BeIN Media Group in the sale. Guggenheim Securities and O’Melveny & Myers represented ViacomCBS.

(Pictured: “Pulp Fiction”)

More Film

  • Claire Denis attends the 32nd European

    Claire Denis and Phedon Papamichael Join Doha Film Institute's Qumra Lineup

    The Doha Film Institute has added French auteur Claire Denis and Oscar-nominated cinematographer Phedon Papamichael (“Nebraska”) to the lineup of star talent who will act as mentors for the Qumra Masters program during its upcoming Qumra event dedicated to fostering fresh Arab film fare that is opening up to TV projects. They join previously announced [...]

  • Persian Lessons Russian Cinema

    'Persian Lessons': Film Review

    In “Schindler’s List,” most of the actors spoke English, using accents to indicate their characters’ origins. In “Son of Saul,” the cast struggles to communicate in a mish-mosh of languages, as Jews of different nationalities were thrown together in Auschwitz-Birkenau. Stories about the Holocaust — so vital in trying to reconcile the horrors of the [...]

  • KARNAWAL

    Beta Cinema Celebrates ‘Karnawal’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Beta Cinema has acquired international sales rights to debut Argentine director Juan Pablo Félix’s “Karnawal,” winner of the Le Film Français, Ciné Plus, Gomedia and Titrafilm awards at December’s Ventana Sur. “Karnawal” featured co-producers from five countries: Argentina’s Bikini Films, Brazil’s 3 Moinhos Produçoes, Chile’s Picardía Films, Mexico’s Phototaxia Pictures, Norway’s Norsk Filmproduksjon and Bolivia’s [...]

  • Italian Xmas movie

    Italy's True Colours Scores Slew of Early EFM Sales (EXCLUSIVE)

    Italian sales company True Colours has scored multiple sales at the EFM on several titles including Christmas comedy “Once Upon a Time in Bethlehem,” which was Italy’s top-grossing domestic title in 2019. “Bethlehem,” which scored roughly $17 million domestically, toplines comic duo Ficarra and Picone as a thief and a priest who time-travel to Palestine [...]

  • All-the-dead-ones

    Caetano Gotardo, Marco Dutra Talk Berlin Competition Entry ‘All the Dead Ones’

    Directed by Caetano Gotardo and Marco Dutra, Brazilian Berlin competition entry “All the Dead Ones” kicks off in Belle Epoque 1899 São Paulo. Ana, the daughter of a plantation owner and her nun sister attempt persuade a reluctant Ina, a former slave, to perform an ancient African ritual to cure their mother. A time warp [...]

  • The Daughter

    Caramel, Mod, Film Factory Unveil Manuel Martin Cuenca’s ‘The Daughter’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Caramel Films has boarded Manuel Martin Cuenca’s “The Daughter,” produced by Fernando Bovaira (“The Others” ) at Mod Producciones and Cuenca’s own La Loma Blanca. Pic was unveiled at Berlin’s European Film Market by its sales agent, Film Factory Entertainment. Set to be released in Spain by Caramel in late 2020, “The Daughter” marks the [...]

  • Sugar Rush

    Berlin: Nigeria's FilmOne Makes Global Push With China-South Africa Pact (EXCLUSIVE)

    FilmOne Entertainment, the Nigerian distributor and production company, has gone into production on the first movie to cash in on the $1 million film fund it launched with China’s Huahua Media and South Africa’s Empire Entertainment in December. “Kambili,” by director Kayode Kasum, is the first of what FilmOne co-founder Moses Babatope expects to be [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content