Mouse mulls Miramax bids

Weinsteins offer $600 million; Gores $550 million

Disney may not have received the $700 million offer it was looking for to unload Miramax Films, but the bidding has come pretty close to that pricetag.

Bob and Harvey Weinstein, backed by supermarket mogul Ron Burkle, have ponied up an offer of $600 million, while Alec Gores’ the Gores Group and Tom Gores’ Platinum Equity have offered $550 million in their joint bid, sources close to the process told Daily Variety.

A third bidder, Pangea Media Group, run by David Bergstein, is said to have bid from $650 million to $700 million. But individuals close to the process have questioned the viability of that deal, considering the financier is embroiled in an involuntary bankruptcy proceeding and was recently assigned an interim trustee to oversee the assets of his Thinkfilm Franchise, Capitol and other companies he controls ( Daily Variety , March 30). More than two dozen creditors including the guilds are also seeking back payment of residuals and salaries.

Disney must now consider the terms of each offer.

The Gores’ bid is said to be all cash, while the Weinstein’s is a combination of cash and payouts over several years, sources said.

Paradigm-topper Sam Gores is repping his brothers Alec and Tom in the company’s bid.

Disney has not commented during the bidding process. The bidders have also declined to comment.

The Mouse House had set March 31 as the deadline to accept offers for the specialty label and its 700-film library, then bumped it to April 1, before delaying it to April 5.

Several interested bidders, including Summit Entertainment, Lionsgate Entertainment, Amir Malin and Ken Shapiro’s investment fund Qualia Capital, and Daniel Snyder, owner of RedZone Capital and the Washington Redskins football team, walked away from the auction after they balked at Disney’s starting bid of $600 million.

Miramax is especially attractive to the Weinstein brothers, given that they founded the company and its name is derived from their parents, Miriam and Max. The two, who don’t have the hundreds of millions needed to buy back the company, are seeking to pair with outside financial partners to make their offer. One is said to be Burkle and his Yucaipa Cos.

The Weinsteins founded the company in 1979 and sold it to Di sney for $80 million in 1993. They left Miramax in 2005 to start the Weinstein Co.

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