* Tutor/Colony team to buy Miramax
* Sale price about $660 million
* Deal caps months of stop and go talks
LOS ANGELES/BANGALORE, July 30 (Reuters) - Walt Disney Co
said on Friday it had sold film studio Miramax for about $660
million to an investor group, ending months of talks between the
media group and various bidders.
The sale of Miramax Films to a group including construction
magnate Ron Tutor and investment firm Colony Capital includes
rights in over 700 movie titles including Academy Award winners
such as "Chicago", "Shakespeare in Love" and "No Country for Old
Men," Disney said.
While Miramax has continued to pump out critically acclaimed
films such as "Doubt" it has lacked big commercial hits like its
earlier "Pulp Fiction" and "Chicago."
The sale underscores Disney's plans to focus its film
resources on bigger, franchise film properties such as "Pirates
of the Caribbean" and then exploit them across various platform.
It also comes in the same week Disney bought social gaming
developer Playdom in a deal worth up to $763 million.
"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," Disney Chief Executive Robert
Iger said in a statement.
The Tutor/Colony deal marks the culmination of a drawn-out
sale that had attracted various Los Angeles-based rival bidders,
including the Weinstein brothers who founded the studio.
The deal is expected to close between Sept. 10 and year end,
(Reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore and Susan Zeidler in
Los Angeles; Editing by David Holmes)