Viacom Becomes Front-Runner for Miramax Stake, Lionsgate Exits Bidding – Variety

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Viacom has become the frontrunner to buy a stake in Miramax Films while Lionsgate has dropped out of the process, informed sources said Wednesday.

The developments were first reported by Bloomberg, which said talks are ongoing about a possible deal for at least $100 million. The companies did not respond to requests for comment.

Such a deal would give Viacom access to nearly 800 titles including “Pulp Fiction,” “Shakespeare in Love” and “Good Will Hunting” and future titles such as Guy Ritchie’s “The Gentlemen” with Matthew McConaughey. Spyglass Media Group had been exploring making a bid earlier this year but dropped out of the process.

The Miramax owners have offered the stake amid growing demand for film and TV assets, driven by new streaming services from companies like Disney, NBCUniversal, Apple and AT&T. Viacom and CBS are merging in order to compete effectively in the fast-changing environment.

Miramax was founded in 1979 by Bob and Harvey Weinstein and sold to the Walt Disney Company in 1993 — by which time, it had transformed the independent film scene by producing such titles as “Sex, Lies, and Videotape” and “The Crying Game.” Miramax’s assets were acquired from Disney in 2010 by Filmyard Holdings, consisting of Colony Capital, Tutor-Saliba Corporation, and Qatar Investment Authority.

Miramax was sold by its private equity owners in 2016 to beIN Media Group, which owns 100% of the company. It hired Bill Block as CEO in 2017.



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