Al Jazeera spin-off BeIN acquires film company Miramax

Miramax, the film company that owns Oscar-winning movies including Pulp Fiction, was acquired by Qatar-based broadcaster BeIN Media Group.

The sellers include a unit of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund and Colony Capital, run by the billionaire Thomas Barrack.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. The talks for a deal were first reported in Nov­ember.

The acquisition will help BeIN, a spin-off from Qatar’s Al Jazeera Media Network, build on its plans to diversify away from sports and into general entertainment programming. The sale also ended months of uncertainty about the future of the California-based filmmaker.

The buyers were attracted in part by the company’s archive – 278 Oscar nominations and four best-picture winners, including No Country for Old Men, among its more than 700 titles.

Miramax is also investing in and co-distributing several features this year, including Bad Santa 2 and Bridget Jones’s Baby.

The brothers Harvey and Bob Weinstein founded Miramax in 1979, then sold it to Walt Disney in 1993. Disney then sold the business in 2010 for US$660 million to a group that included a unit of the Qatar Investment Authority and Mr Barrack’s Colony Capital. With the sale to BeIN, Colony Capital made 3.5 times its equity investment in Miramax.

In October, BeIN Media said it was positioning itself as the only comprehensive pay-TV entertainment player in the Middle East and North Africa, offering sports, family channels and Hollywood movies.

It has channels in 24 countries, including the United States, Europe, Middle East and Africa. The company was formed in January 2014 as the holding company of BeIN Sports, the sports channels spun off from Al Jazeera, according to its website.

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