Ronald Tutor: 'Miramax buy on track'

Statement issued to counter reports of derailed sale

Ronald Tutor and Colony Capital want to make it clear that their $660 million acquisition of Miramax Films from Disney is moving forward.

In the wake of media reports this week that two minority investors had dropped out and that the deal might never close, the group behind the new Filmyard Holdings went public Thursday with more details of the financing.

"All of the equity required to complete the purchase of Miramax from Disney has been fully committed by Ron Tutor, Colony Capital and Tom Barrack," Filmyard said. "Recent published reports suggesting otherwise are incorrect. All aspects of the transaction are on track, and we anticipate a closing as planned prior to year's end."

Meanwhile, sources said that while it is true Jim Robinson of Morgan Creek is out of the deal, mulitmillionaire retired engineer Jerome Swartz is still among the minority investors.

The source also said the bank debt portion needed to do the deal has come together and that Comerica is leading the banking group, joined as co-lead lenders by Bank of America and Union Bank. The source said the syndication of the deal has begun.

Separately, a source said CFO Richard Nanula, the former Disney CFO who is now a Colony partner and led negotiations on the sale, will not be CEO of the new company as had been rumored. And though David Bergstein, Tutor's past associate in the film business, has taken a very active role in the Miramax dealmaking and in meeting with potential partners, a source confirmed he will not have any executive or operational role in the new Miramax, as THR previously has reported.

It also appears that, after meeting with a number of potential partners to handle foreign sales and TV syndication sales after the deal closes and Disney's role as a distributor ends, the new Miramax will set up its own sales operations, as well as production and distribution.

Elizabeth Guider contributed to this report.
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