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Tue 17 Nov 2015 11:17 AM

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Qatar's BeIN Media in talks to buy Miramax film studio

Hollywood film company is 75%-owned by Qatar Investment Authority

Qatar's BeIN Media in talks to buy Miramax film studio

Qatar-based broadcaster BeIN Media Group is reportedly in talks to buy the Miramax film company.

Bloomberg reported that the owners of the entertainment company, which includes Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), are in advanced talks to sell Miramax, with a deal likely to be completed by the end of this year, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

It was reported earlier this year that the investors behind Miramax were exploring a sale for as much as $1 billion.

The studio, which owns Oscar winners 'Shakespeare in Love', 'Pulp Fiction' and 'No Country for Old Men' amongst its 700-film library, hired Morgan Stanley to seek a buyer in September this year.

Founded in 1979 by brothers Harvey and Bon Weinstein, Miramax was sold to the Walt Disney Co in 1993. It was subsequently sold in 2010 to investors that included the QIA and real estate investment firm Colony Capital, in a deal reportedly worth around $663 million.

Variety magazine reported that QIA later bought out one of the investors, construction billionaire Ron Tutor, to raise its state to a reported 75 percent. The other owner is Colony Capital, an international investment firm owned by billionaire Thomas J. Barrack, Jr.

BeIN Media, which was formed in January 2014 as a sports and entertainment arm from Qatar’s Al Jazeera Media Network, has channels in 24 countries, including the US, Europe, Middle East and Africa.

In the MENA region, BeIN announced plans in October this year to expand its platform to include movies and entertainment channels. The 24 new channels, all available in HD and with parental controls, include Hollywood films, documentaries, drama and comedy series, and children’s content, and have been launched in response to customer feedback.

A deal to buy Miramax would give the Qatar-based broadcaster a significant base in Hollywood and an opportunity to broaden its programming into the entertainment sector.