ViacomCBS to buy a 49% stake in Miramax for $375 million

Key Points
  • ViacomCBS will buy a 49% stake in Miramax for $375 million, the company announced Friday.
  • Miramax's film library spans more than 700 titles, including "Good Will Hunting" and "No Country for Old Men."
  • Viacom and CBS recently completed their merger.
Bob Bakish, CEO, Viacom
Scott Mlyn | CNBC

ViacomCBS announced Friday that it is taking a 49% stake in Miramax for $375 million.

Miramax is owned by Qatar-based international media company beIN Media Group, which will retain a 51% stake in Miramax. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020.

ViacomCBS will gain access to Miramax's library of 700-plus titles, such as "Pulp Fiction," "Good Will Hunting," "Chicago" and "No Country for Old Men." ViacomCBS said the investment will lead to "new production and co-financing opportunities in film and TV," along with new distribution opportunities.

In connection with the deal, ViacomCBS said its film and TV studio, Paramount Pictures, has entered into a long-term distribution agreement for Miramax's film library, along with a long-term first-look agreement that will enable Paramount Pictures to "develop, produce, finance and distribute new film and television projects" using Miramax's intellectual property. ViacomCBS and beIN will also explore other strategic partnership opportunities globally, the companies said in a statement.

Under the terms of the deal, ViacomCBS will pay beIN an upfront cash payment of $150 million, in addition to investing $45 million annually over the next five years for "new film and television productions and working capital."

Miramax was founded in 1979 by Bob and Harvey Weinstein. The company was later sold to Disney in 1993, with the Weinstein brothers leaving to form the Weinstein Co. in 2005. The Weinstein Co. filed for bankruptcy in March 2018 after it failed to find new buyers or investors and ex-Chairman Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual assault and misconduct by several women. Harvey Weinstein denies the allegations.

ViacomCBS president Bob Bakish on Viacom-CBS merger
ViacomCBS president Bob Bakish on Viacom-CBS merger