Weinstein Co. board voices support of Miramax deal
A member of the Weinstein Co. board of directors has issued a statement on behalf of the board in support of Bob and Harvey Weinstein's role in a consortium looking to acquire Miramax Films from Disney.
The move comes after Mark Cuban, a small investor in the Weinstein Co., told Bloomberg News he had concerns about the deal. Cuban's statement led the Weinstein Co. to fire back that his issues had to do with "The Road," a movie that the Weinstein Co. released to disappointing results late last year. Cuban was an investor in that movie. Company Town asked Cuban if his concerns were with the release strategy of "The Road" or with the Miramax deal and he said in an e-mail that "they go hand-in-hand."Board member Richard Koenigsberg said the board "couldn’t be more excited about the possibility of the Weinstein Company being in business with Ron Burkle, Fortress and the possibility of an acquisition of Miramax." He added that the board gives its "full support to Bob and Harvey in their efforts on behalf of the Weinstein Company in relation to Miramax."
The deal being negotiated for Miramax has Burkle putting up about half of the $625 million being offered for the library, with additional funds coming primarily from Fortress Investment Group. Neither Bob or Harvey Weinstein or the Weinstein Co. are putting up any money for the deal. The library will be managed by the Weinstein Co., which will collect a fee from the owners.
As for Cuban, Koenigsberg said the Dallas Mavericks owner is "one of our shareholders who we admire greatly. He is not on the Board."
Cuban's stake in Weinstein Co. is less than 5%, and he may be trying to exert pressure on the production company to try to get back some of his investment in "The Road." He wanted the movie to be opened in 1,200 theaters, but the Weinstein Co. ended up adopting a much smaller release strategy.
"We have been diligently working to rectify this situation," Koenigsberg said.
Koenigsberg went on to warn any other board members about speaking to the media. Doing so, he said, "is in violation of a confidentiality agreement and the Board will pursue that vigorously."
-- Joe Flint