Weinsteins shape ranks

Brothers keep Miramax vets Roth, Littman

On the heels of filing a report with the SEC revealing that the Weinstein Co. expects to raise as much as $420 million in equity by next week, Bob and Harvey Weinstein tapped two Miramax Films alums Thursday to head the company’s business and legal affairs division.

With financial backing starting to solidify, the Weinsteins tapped Miramax vets Eric Roth and Barry Littman to come aboard at the Weinstein Co. as exec VPs and co-heads of biz and legal affairs in Los Angeles.

According to the Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the brothers — through Goldman Sachs — have drummed up backing from 18 investors so far, amounting to $230.5 million in equity, which is being raised in stages. Report did not specify who those investors are but indicated that an additional $189.5 million is expected to close as soon as next week from Wall Street sources.

People close to the company say it will next add up to another $500 million in additional debt financing.

The Weinsteins are said to have inked a number of output deals already with distribs in the U.K., Italy, France and other territories.

Move to retain Roth and Littman keeps some of the Miramax brain trust intact. Earlier this week, Miramax chief financial officer Ross Landsbaum headed to Panavision while Miramax general counsel and exec VP Alan Friedman joined law firm Katten Muchin Rosenman. Andrew Gumpert, former head of business and legal affairs at the Weinsteins’ Dimension label, left for Columbia Pictures earlier this year.

The Weinstein Co. tapped former Loudeye exec Larry Madden as CFO in July.

Roth and Littman will broker deals covering all aspects of the Weinsteins’ film and TV biz, including development, production, acquisitions and co-financing.

“Their intuition, intelligence and combined expertise make them a powerful and dynamic force,” said the Weinsteins in a statement.

Roth joined Miramax in 1999 and worked on deals for such pics as “Cold Mountain,” the upcoming “Breaking & Entering,” “Chocolat” and “An Unfinished Life” as well as the skeins “Project Greenlight” and “Project Runway.”

He also negotiated Miramax’s partnerships with Tapestry Films and Mirage Prods. Exec previously served for three years at firm O’Melveny & Myers.

Littman had been with Miramax since 2001 and worked on pics including the “Kill Bill” films and the upcoming “Derailed,” which will be the Weinstein Co.’s first solo rollout on Nov. 11.

He also brokered pacts for the Weinsteins to pick up upcoming releases “The Matador,” “Hoodwinked!” and “Lucky Number Slevin” and was the architect behind various co-financing deals and tax-driven finance structures at Miramax.

Exec was previously VP of biz and legal affairs at Peter Guber’s Mandalay Pictures.

When the Weinsteins’ contract with the Walt Disney Co. officially ended last week, the brothers placed splashy double-truck ads in Daily Variety and the New York Times announcing their incarnation as the Weinstein Co. New entity is expected to host a kickoff bash in Gotham at the end of this month.

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