Weinsteins continuing Miramax negotiations

UPDATE: Brothers issue statement affirming deal's status

UPDATE: The Weinsteins' statement

Despite reports that the Weinstein brothers and Ron Burkle's $625 million deal to acquire Miramax from Disney has fallen apart, sources say that the negotiations are continuing.

Referring to online articles Friday in the New York Times and Los Angeles Times saying the negotiations unraveled over issues of how Miramax would be integrated into the existing Weinstein Company, and how much equity Burkle would invest, the source says that is "100% not true. They are still trying to wrap up the deal. It is just taking longer than people want it to."

There had been press reports that Harvey Weinstein wanted to announce the retaking of Miramax, the company he founded with his brother Bob which is named after their parents, at Cannes. The festival will end this weekend without any deal being done. The talks are now expected to continue.

Under the terms that have been reported, the Weinstein brothers and their company would manage Miramax and the exploitation of the 600-plus movies in its library, while the bulk of the equity would be put up by Burkle, who is said to be investing over $300 million in equity through his Yucaipa Companies. The rest of the money would be debt or other financial instruments involving New York hedge fund Fortress-Colbeck.

Waiting in the wings in case the Weinsteins and Burkle can't close the deal are the Gores brothers, who have bid a reported $600 million, and a group advised by David Bergstein, with a big $650 million.

A spokesman for the Weinsteins declined comment, and a spokesman for Disney could not be reached at press time.
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