Weinsteins' Deal to Buy Back Miramax Falls Apart Last Minute
by Alex Billington
May 25, 2010
Source: WSJ.com, The Wrap
We first reported back in April, based on a news story published by The Hollywood Reporter, that Bob and Harvey Weinstein were on the verge of securing a massive $600 million deal to buy back Miramax, the distribution company they founded in 1979 and sold off to Disney in 1993, which finally went under last year (and is now being sold off). Although at the time it was confirmed that it wasn't really a done deal yet, there was talk that it still was going to happen sooner or later, and that an announcement might come at Cannes. But now the Wall Street Journal confirms that their talks have failed and Disney is looking at other options.
While I was in Cannes, I was waiting for the announcement, but as I was heading home earlier this week, I started to wonder what happened - now we know. The Wrap reports some additional details on the failed talks, including that some of the issues that prevented the deal from going through involved "structure of Miramax's relationship with the Weinstein Company." They also say that "legal minutiae and details of the library split caused the talks to drag on and ultimately fizzle." It's a bit sad to report, after the news in April, that the two brothers who started Miramax won't actually become the new owners of the company after all.
We're not sure what Disney is planning to do, but the WSJ says "Walt Disney Co. is now faced with several options about the future of its independent film library." And one option is to "link the effectively dormant Miramax with a small but active studio whose most critical asset may be its distribution deal-something Miramax as a standalone entity lacks." Interesting possibility, but I can't truly comment, since this is getting into the business details that I know nothing about (at least at the level of running a studio like Miramax or The Weinstein Company). Whatever ends up happening with Miramax, we'll be sure to keep you updated!
That really sucks.
Samantha on May 25, 2010
After reading the highly recommendable book 'Down and Dirty Pictures', that Peter Biskind wrote about the Weinsteins, it's not hard to think of a gazillion reasons why this deal went south. The Weinsteins playing too much hardball would be the most likely option.
Jules on May 26, 2010
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