Miramax Owners Said to Hire Morgan Stanley for Studio Sale

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Actor John Travolta, left, and director Quentin Tarantino during production for "Pulp Fiction" in Sept. 1994.

Photographer: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
  • Qatari investment bank QInvest said to serve as co-adviser
  • Auction to formally begin after U.S. Labor Day holiday

Billionaire Tom Barrack Jr. and other investors in Miramax, owner of Oscar winning films including Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction,” have hired Morgan Stanley to seek a buyer for the studio, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

QInvest, the Qatari investment bank, will act as co-adviser, said the person, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly. The studio, controlled by Barrack’s Colony Capital and Qatar Holding, a unit of the Gulf State’s sovereign wealth fund, will formally start the process after the Sept. 7 Labor Day holiday in the U.S., the person said.

The appointment of bankers advances plans by the investors, who had been weighing a sale, to sell the business they bought from Walt Disney Co. for $660 million in 2010. Despite global stock market turmoil, the investors are pushing ahead, betting Miramax’s high-quality film library, which includes “No Country for Old Men” and “Good Will Hunting,” will be attractive to potential buyers.

Bloomberg News reported in July that Miramax’s owners were interviewing bankers as they explored a sale of the studio.

Miramax’s most recent release, “Mr. Holmes,” stars Ian McKellen as an aged Sherlock Holmes who gets drawn into an unsolved case. He’s been touted for a possible Academy Award nomination for the role.

Miramax, founded in 1979 by brothers Harvey Weinstein and Bob Weinstein, has revived production and distribution in the past couple years to increase the value of its library. The company is producing a television series, “From Dusk till Dawn,” and the movie “The 9th Life of Louis Drax.”

The Weinstein brothers, who left Miramax in 2005 when the company was owned by Disney, reconnected with the company in 2013 to produce and distribute films and TV shows based on the studio’s library content.

Mary Claire Delaney, a Morgan Stanley spokeswoman, declined to comment, as did Bebe Lerner, an external spokeswoman for Miramax. Bassel Hanbali, with QInvest, didn’t have an immediate comment.

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