Disney to sell Miramax for more than $660 million

Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:15pm EDT
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By Susan Zeidler and Megan Davies

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Walt Disney Co has struck a deal to sell Miramax, the studio behind such films as "Trainspotting" and "No Country for Old Men," for more than $660 million to a group that includes construction magnate Ron Tutor and investment firm Colony Capital LLC.

The deal marks the culmination of a drawn-out sale that attracted star-studded bidders, including the Weinstein brothers, who founded the studio.

The new owners will focus on maximizing the value of Miramax's library, a source familiar with the situation said. No production operations exist at this time and there are no current production plans, the source said.

The sale underscores Disney's plans to focus its film resources on bigger film properties such as "Pirates of the Caribbean" and exploit them across various platforms.

The sale to the group Filmyard Holdings, which comprises Tutor, Colony Capital and other partners, includes rights in more than 700 Miramax movie titles, including Academy Award winners such as "Chicago" and "Shakespeare in Love," Disney said.

Colony Chairman and CEO Thomas J. Barrack Jr, who founded the private equity firm, is also personally investing alongside Tutor and Colony, the source said.

Tutor and Colony declined comment on details of the deal or future plans.

The purchase price is about four times Miramax's cashflow, and about half the purchase price is covered by receivables, the source said.   Continued...