Monday, 24 May 2010

Weinsteins confirm $625m bid for Miramax Films.

The Weinstein brothers were on Saturday forced to confirm publicly that they were still in talks to buy Miramax following reports that the deal had fallen apart.

For months, Bob and Harvey Weinstein have been in negotiations to buy the film production company from Walt Disney for $625m (£432m). They had lined up financing for the long-planned deal from a group of high-profile investors, including Ron Burkle, the supermarket mogul, and hedge fund Fortress Investment Group.

However, over the weekend the Los Angeles Times said the deal was off because of complications over how Miramax would be integrated into the Weinsteins' existing company. The US newspaper also claimed Mr Burkle, who had planned to put in $300m of his own money and was expecting to raise the balance, was unable to come up with enough money to satisfy Disney.

Yesterday Harvey Weinstein and Ron Burkle said in a joint statement: "The Weinstein Brothers, The Weinstein Company and Ron Burkle are all working towards a deal to purchase and operate Miramax. The parties continue to work diligently towards an agreement."

Disney has been looking to sell its Miramax unit as it views the production house, with its edgy mix of films, as a poor fit for Disney's family-friendly business focus.

Before Disney entered into talks with Mr Burkle and the Weinsteins, it is believed to have received a $650m offer from embattled film executive David Bergstein.

Disney is also thought to have received a $550m offer from the respective firms of financiers Alec and Tom Gores.

Source: The Telegraph