news 1 week ago

Viacom’s Pursuit Of Miramax Library Dead For Now, But Sources Say Talks Could Resume

Deadline — Anthony D'Alessandro

Word is that Viacom has sent a letter to Miramax owners beIN Media that the conglom is no longer looking purchase the award-winning 700-title library including such movies as Pulp Fiction, Shakespeare in Love and The English Patient. We hear that talks were getting drawn out and points changing all the time, hence the aggravation with Viacom walking away.

Lionsgate and Spyglass Media Group (which has The Weinstein Company and Dimension library) previously kicked Miramax’s tires.

However, some involved in the deal contend this is just a rough patch, typical for talks of this sort, and there could be a window to revive talks in the near future. Back at the Vanity Fair Summit, Viacom president and CEO Bob Bakish discussed how the conglom is suited to service content to those streaming services that are being launched as well as the ones already out there; read their recent deal where HBO Max won exclusive domestic streaming rights to South Park in a share with Viacom. The acquisition of Miramax would just enlarge what Viacom already has. At the same time, beIN Media has been negotiating to keep a stake in the library after a potential sale to Viacom.

While it would be a challenge to pull off feature remakes or sequels to such Oscar winners as Chicago, The English Patient or Shakespeare in Love, the ideal exploitation of Miramax lies in adapting its IP into potential TV or streaming series. Deadline reported over the summer that Paramount TV Studios and Miramax are co-developing a TV series based on the 1998 Gwyneth Paltrow fantasy drama Sliding Doors. 

Deadline sources value the Miramax library at north of $325M, not $100M. Filmyard paid Disney $663M back in 2010, but that consisted of close to $300M in cash receivables. During the summer, beIN Media was valuing the Miramax library at $650M.

Carlos Jimenez at investment bank Moelis is overseeing the Miramax sale.

Viacom recently acquired the free-ad-supported Pluto streaming service back in January for a reported $340M.

There are no other dark horses for Miramax. Recently, Deadline exclusively reported that Vine, which owns Village Roadshow, absorbed the 300-title Lakeshore Entertainment for around $200M.

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