Disney Ends Miramax Sale Talks With Burkle

Walt Disney Co. ended negotiations to sell its Miramax film studio to Los Angeles billionaire Ron Burkle, according to two people with knowledge of the situation.

Disney, the world’s biggest media company, resumed talks with Los Angeles investors Alec and Tom Gores, who had earlier made an offer, said a third person. The people asked not to be identified because the talks aren’t public.

Burkle remains interested, one of the people said. He is working with Bob and Harvey Weinstein, the Miramax founders who sold the studio to Disney in 1993. The group is talking with the board of the Weinstein Co. to resolve legal issues that caused delays, the person said. If a settlement is reached, a deal could be revived, two people said.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier that Disney ended talks. Burkle had offered $625 million, two of the people said. The Weinstein brothers, who weren’t expected to hold an equity stake, were to receive pay and performance bonuses for overseeing the studio and library.

Jonathan Friedland, a spokesman for Burbank, California- based Disney, declined to comment. Dani Weinstein, a spokeswoman for New York-based Weinstein Co., had no immediate comment. Burkle didn’t respond to a request for an interview.

Weinstein Co. investor Mark Cuban said on April 21 that he may try to stop the Weinstein brothers from joining Burkle’s bid. The Cuban dispute involves the 2009 release “The Road,” Dani Weinstein said at the time. The film, produced for $25 million, took in $23.9 million in worldwide ticket sales, according to researcher Box Office Mojo.

Disney fell 55 cents to $31.93 at 2:16 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares had climbed less than 1 percent this year before today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andy Fixmer in Los Angeles at afixmer@bloomberg.net

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