By Jason Theodorou
Walt Disney has announced that its Miramax film division will be sold for $660 million to private equity investors group Filmyard, ending its 17-year ownership of the iconic film studio which brought the world hits such as 'Pulp Fiction' and 'Good Will Hunting'.
Miramax has over 700 titles in its film library, including 'My Left Foot' and 'Shakespeare In Love', and rose to prominence by distributed the early work of pivotal filmmakers including Kevin Smith and Quentin Tarantino.
Disney has been seeking to sell the film company because it no longer fits with other studios under the Disney brand including Marvel and Pixar, which have a more family-oriented output with films including 'Iron Man 2' and 'Toy Story 3'.
Robert A. Inger said in a statement: '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... We are delighted that we have found a home for the Miramax brand and Miramax's very highly regarded motion picture library."
Filmyard is an investor group led by Ronald Tutor, a construction entrepreneur. Tutor and partners put down a deposit of $40 million to Disney on Thursday, and expect the deal to be completed by September 10.
Miramax was founded by Harvey and Bob Weinstein in 1979. It was sold to Disney in 1993, and the brothers remained at the company as managers. Their relationship with Disney was fractious and in 2005, the brothers left to found the Weinstein Company. The Weinsteins tried to buy the studio back from Disney earlier this year.
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