Disney Said to Discuss Sale of Miramax to Tutor, Colony Capital

Construction executive Ronald Tutor is in discussions to buy Walt Disney Co.’s Miramax film label, with backing from private equity firm Colony Capital, according to two people with knowledge of the talks.

Negotiations are continuing almost around the clock, said one of the people, who asked not to be named because talks are private. No deal is assured. If consummated, an agreement may be announced by next week, the person said.

Tutor approached Colony prior to the July 4 weekend seeking financing, said one person with knowledge of the arrangement. Los Angeles-based Colony, led by chairman and CEO Tom Barrack, has investments include Michael Jackson’s Neverland ranch in Santa Barbara.

Disney is asking for $600 million to $700 million for Miramax, whose films include “The English Patient” and “Shakespeare in Love,” said one of the people.

Tutor, chairman and chief executive of Sylmar, California- based Tutor Perini Corp., didn’t return calls seeking comment. A Disney spokeswoman didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Unresolved is whether Harvey Weinstein and Bob Weinstein, who created Miramax before selling it to Disney in 1993, will play a continuing role in the studio.

Disney ended talks in May to sell Miramax to the Weinsteins and Ron Burkle for $625 million. The brothers, who left Miramax in 2005, control rights to some films in the studio’s library and are acquainted with both Tutor and Barrack, according to one of the people.

Harvey Weinstein, in Sun Valley, Idaho for media banker Allen & Co.’s annual conference, declined to discuss Miramax.

“I think it’s better for me to not say anything,” Weinstein said in an interview.

The talks were reported earlier by the Web site Deadline.com/Hollywood and by Reuters.

Leading negotiations for Colony is Richard Nanula, who was chief financial officer at Disney when it purchased Miramax, said the person. Nanula is negotiating with Kevin Mayer, Disney’s executive vice president for corporate strategy.

Disney rose $1.42 to $33.14 today on the New York Stock Exchange and has gained 2.8 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ronald Grover in Los Angeles at rgrover5@bloomberg.net; Andy Fixmer in Sun Valley, Idaho at afixmer@bloomberg.net

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