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Burkle, Weinsteins Work on Agreement to Buy Miramax

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May 21 (Bloomberg) -- The Weinstein brothers and Ron Burkle said they are working toward an agreement to purchase and operate Walt Disney Co.’s Miramax film studio.

Burkle, the Los Angeles billionaire, along with Bob and Harvey Weinstein, made the announcement in an e-mail today from Frank Quintero, a spokesman for Burkle’s Yucaipa Cos.

Yucaipa was near an agreement to acquire Miramax for $625 million last month, two people with knowledge of the discussions said at the time. The Weinsteins are seeking to regain control of the independent film company they founded and named after their parents. The Los Angeles Times reported earlier today that talks with Disney had broken down. The New York Times reported that the Weinsteins had failed to complete the deal.

The filmmaking brothers, their Weinstein Co. and Burkle are involved in the discussions, Burkle said today.

Disney gained 88 cents to $32.87 today in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares have added 1.9 percent this year.

Jonathan Friedland, a spokesman for Burbank, California-based Disney, declined to comment on the earlier reports that the deal was off.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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