Weinsteins to take back Miramax


It looks as if the Weinsteins have managed to fashion a winning bid in the Miramax auction and will take back operating control of the company they founded in 1979 and sold to Disney for $80 million in 1993.

Running the process internally, the Burbank studio for months has been soliciting offers for the recently shut specialty-film unit and its 611-title library.

Miramax founders Harvey and Bob Weinstein had been building enough financial muscle to put together an offer of $600 million or thereabouts, seeking to top bids from such rival suitors as businessmen Alec and Tom Gores and a more controversial one from Hollywood wheeler-dealer David Bergstein.

Harvey and Bob Weinstein have been kibitzing with billionaire financier Ron Burkle throughout the auction process. In addition to Burkle's Yucaipa group, the duo's backers include hedge funds Fortress and Colbeck Capital. In effect, Burkle and friends would be the official buyers, but the Weinsteins effectively would run the operation.

No word yet on when an official announcement of the deal will be made, as Disney lawyers apparently were still going over the financial details provided by the Weinsteins on Thursday.

"No deal has been reached," a Disney spokesperson said Thursday night.
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