Disney Closes the Sale of Miramax

Disney completed its deal with a group of investors today for the purchase of Miramax Films to the tune of $663 million.  The investors include construction magnate Ron Tutor, the Los Angeles private equity firm Colony Capital, and Qatar Holding.

Mike Lang, a former Newscorp executive, will be Miramax’s new CEO, but there are no immediate plans to hire top creative leadership.  The reason for this:  rather than going right to work making new films, the new owners plan to spend the next 12 to 18 months reviewing the 300 projects in development, as well as the 90 book titles to which the company holds movie rights.  In addition, the company plans to determine how best to take advantage of the library of more than 700 films that it also acquired in the deal.  Among the films – many Oscar winning titles, such as “Shakespeare in Love”  and “Chicago.”

The next year will see a build up of staff, as new owners seek to rebuild the company, which was largely dismantled by Disney when the company announced that it would be seeking a buyer for Miramax.  The new owners anticipate a team of 60-80 employees.

Miramax was founded in 1979 by brothers Harvey and Bob Weinstein.  Known for its attention to independent films, the company was sold to Disney in 1993.  Disney decided to sell the company earlier this year, after determining that Miramax no longer fit with its branding strategy.  The Weinsteins attempted to reclaim the company earlier this year, but were ultimately unsuccessful in their bid.


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