2ND UPDATE, 7:45 PM: I’ve learned that the Weinstein/Ron Burkle/Fortress-Colbeck partnership is still bidding for Miramax. The group is meeting now — and sometime tonight it plans to submit a new and higher quote in the $615 million range, according to my sources. That number still has to beat the Gores brothers and the David Bergstein-advised Pangea Media group. But, if it’s acceptable, the Weinstein backers will ask Disney for an exclusive negotiating window. But neither a higher bid nor an exclusivity request has been sent to Disney yet. (Yes, TheCrap’s email alert just sent out is wrong. Then again, that little trafficked website is notoriously inaccurate…) Meanwhile, stay tuned to Deadline.
UPDATE 6:25 PM: I’m out of the office. But Disney is denying The Hollywood Reporter’s claim that the “Weinsteins Take Back Miramax”. The trade sent out an email alert for a story with that headline — to which Disney responded to me on the record just now, “No [Miramax] deal done and reports to the contrary are false”.
Look, it’s still very possible that the Weinsteins and their financial backers, supermarket tycoon Ron Burkle and hedge fund Fortress-Colbeck, may win the auction. Or it might be those other brothers, Tom and Alec Gores of Platinum Equity. Or Pangea Media. But Harvey and Bob will merely have a distribution relationship with the real owners of the Miramax name and library which the brothers will manage: their behind-the-scenes partners on the bid who actually put up the big bucks. The Weinsteins and their Weinstein Co didn’t put up a dime.