Construction mogul sez he expects deal in 'a week to 10 days'
Ron Tutor, the billionaire construction magnate and Miramax investor, is looking to unload at least some of his film assets in the next two weeks.Tutor mentioned plans for the sale during a Friday conference call with investors to discuss first-quarter earnings for his Tutor Perini Corp. construction business. Tutor’s film holdings include a stake in Miramax. Reached Friday afternoon by Variety, Tutor would not specify whether Miramax was among the assets he referred to in passing at the end of the 45-minute call, during the Q&A with analysts. But a source close to Miramax told Variety that Miramax would likely not be among the mogul’s film assets up for sale. Tutor led a consortium of investors who purchased Miramax for $663 million in 2010. “God willing, I’m probably a week to 10 days away from executing and selling my movie interests,” Tutor said on the call. “If for any reason, awful as it might sound, that doesn’t go through, I’d probably have another stock sale in June or July.” Tutor’s film holdings also include a number of companies and titles now tied up in involuntary bankruptcies involving the mogul’s sometime-business partner David Bergstein. Bergstein, the embattled film financier who consulted on the original Miramax sale, recently settled a lawsuit against some of the library’s owners over alleged unpaid fees relating to that transaction. Bergstein and Tutor at one point co-headed Capco Group, which took control of producer-distrib Internationalmedia in 2008. Capco also owned film library ThinkFilm and the U.K.’s Capitol Films, all of which are currently stuck in court proceedings. Miramax’s other owners include Colony Capital and Qatar Holding. A rep for Colony declined to comment on Tutor’s remarks. Early this year, the owners completed a securitization that valued Miramax’s library of about 700 titles at more than $800 million. Miramax has inked a number of licensing agreements since coming under new leadership, including deals with Netflix and Hulu. Company’s former CEO Mike Lang (who ankled his post in March) had emphasized that exploiting the library through television and digital platforms would be Miramax’s top priority in its early days. Those agreements factored into the company’s recent valuation, as analysts predicted that future distribution deals would bring hundreds of millions of dollars to Miramax over the next decade. For that reason, some observers have speculated that a sale of the library is likely given that Miramax has no current plans to go into production.