Disney Sells Miramax for $660 Million

By Michael Preston
|  Friday, Jul 30, 2010  |  Updated 6:30 AM CDT
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Miramax Films

John Travolta's career was D.O.A. in the early '90s. He'd been successful in the late '70s with Welcome Back Kotter, Saturday Night Fever and Grease, but his only claim to fame in the '80s was Look Who's Talking. Ouch. Quentin Tarantino revived his career with 1994's Pulp Fiction.

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The Hollywood studio that procuded such major hits as "Pulp Fiction" and "Good Will Hunting" has been sold.

The Walt Disney Company sold Miramax Films to an investor group for $660 million, ending a 17 year relationship after a six-month bidding process.

The entertainment company signed the agreement late Thursday with Filmyard Holding, an investor group led by construction magnate and Hollywood outsider Ronald Tutor. Other investors include Colony Capital LLC, a real estate investment group, and its CEO Tom Barrack.

Tutor and his partners put down a nonrefundable deposit of $40 million to Disney on Thursday. Disney said the deal could close as soon as Sept. 10.

Disney had been looking to sell Miramax amid a studio overhaul because it no longer resonated with its other family centric studio units such as Pixar and Marvel.

"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," said Disney president and CEO Robert A. Iger said in a statement. "We are delighted that we have found a home for the Miramax brand and Miramax's very highly regarded motion picture library."

Miramax has been on Oscar powerhouse since its founding in 1979 by Harvey and Bob Weinstein. The studio's library contains critical favorities such as "My Left Food", "Good Will Hunting" and popular hits like the "Kill Bill" movies.

The brothers sold to Disney for $80 million in 1993, and stayed on as managers.

Their recent bid to buy Miramax with the financial backing of supermarket magnate Ron Burkle was halted after Burkle cut the offered price to about $565 million from $625 million.

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