ViacomCBS has struck a deal to acquire 49% of Miramax for $375 million. Under the terms of the deal, beIN Media Group will maintain 51% — and thus, control. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020.
That $375 million begins with an upfront cash payment of approximately $150 million. The remaining $225 million comes from a commitment to invest $45 million annually over the next five years, which will be used for new film and television productions as well as working capital.
As part of the pact, ViacomCBS’ Paramount Pictures has entered into an exclusive, long-term distribution agreement for Miramax’s film library, and can develop, produce, finance and distribute new film and television projects based on Miramax’s IP. ViacomCBS and beIN will explore other strategic partnership opportunities across content production and distribution, live events and recreation globally, the companies said on Friday.
Miramax’s impressive film library includes more than 700 titles, 278 Academy Award nominations and 68 Oscars. The studio holds four Best Picture awards: for “Chicago,” “Shakespeare In Love,” “The English Patient,” and “No Country For Old Men.”
Founded by Bob Weinstein and Harvey Weinstein in 1979, Miramax was sold to Disney in 1993 with the Weinstein brothers remaining in charge until 2005. They left to form The Weinstein Company, which collapsed in 2018 after more than 100 women accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault and misconduct. The company became an indie film powerhouse in the 1990s and 2000s, producing many of the defining films of the era.
Disney sold Miramax to a joint venture consisting of Colony NorthStar, Tutor-Saliba Corporation, and Qatar Investment Authority in 2010. That consortium sold Miramax to the beIN Media Group in 2016.
“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 and 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.”
“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,” Nasser Al-Khelaifi, chairman of beIN Media Group, 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.”
Moelis & Company is serving as exclusive financial advisor to beIN Media Group, while Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom is serving as legal counsel. Guggenheim Securities is serving as exclusive financial advisor to ViacomCBS, while O’Melveny & Myers is serving as legal counsel.