Disney sells Miramax for $600 million to investor group

Los Angeles: Walt Disney Co said on Friday it had sold film studio Miramax for about USD 660 million to an investor group, ending months of talks between the media group and various bidders.

The sale of Miramax Films to a group including construction magnate Ron Tutor and investment firm Colony Capital includes rights in over 700 movie titles including Academy Award winners such as "Chicago," "Shakespeare in Love" and "No Country for Old Men," Disney said.

While Miramax has continued to pump out critically acclaimed films such as "Doubt" it has lacked big commercial hits like its earlier "Pulp Fiction" and "Chicago."

The sale underscores Disney`s plans to focus its film resources on bigger, franchise film properties such as "Pirates of the Caribbean" and then exploit them across various platform.

It also comes in the same week Disney bought social gaming developer Playdom in a deal worth up to USD 763 million.

"Although we are very proud of Miramax`s many accomplishments, our current strategy for Walt Disney Studios is to focus on the development of great motion pictures under the Disney, Pixar and Marvel brands," Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger said in a statement.

The Tutor/Colony deal marks the culmination of a drawn-out sale that had attracted various Los Angeles-based rival bidders, including the Weinstein brothers who founded the studio.

The deal is expected to close between September 10 and year end, Disney said.

(Reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore and Susan Zeidler in Los Angeles; Editing by David Holmes)

Bureau Report

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