Bidding for Miramax intensifies: Gores brothers up the ante
Only a few weeks ago, it looked like the Walt Disney Co. wasn't going to raise anywhere near the $700 million asking price for its Miramax film library.
Although the Burbank entertainment giant still may not get the price it originally sought, bids are inching up as suitors try to elbow each other out of the way as they vie for the library of some 600 films and a handful of unreleased projects.
Alec and Tom Gores, who had submitted the lowest of three bids on the table, upped their offer, according to a person familiar with the matter. The brothers, who run investment firms Gores Group and Platinum, respectively, initially bid $550 million for Miramax.
The sweetened offer comes as Bob and Harvey Weinstein, through a partnership with supermarket mogul Ron Burkle's Yucaipa Cos., raised their bid to a $600-million all-cash offer, after Harvey Weinstein met last weekend in the home of Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger, people close to the matter said.
The New York investment firm Fortress Investment Group has joined in the Yucaipa-Weinstein bid. Details of the higher bid were first reported by thewrap.com.
An offshore corporation advised by Pangea Media Group’s David Bergstein, which brings together construction magnate Ronald N. Tutor and two other unidentified investors, bid $650 million for Miramax but would up the ante to $700 million if Disney throws in the unreleased animated film "Gnomeo and Juliet."
The auction is expected to intensify in the coming days as Disney pushes to wrap up bidding. A Disney spokesperson did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
-- Claudia Eller, Joe Flint and Dawn Chmielewski
Photo of Tom Gores, upper right, Credit: Plantinum Equity. Photo of Ron Burkle, lower left. Credit: Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times.