Miramax Films’ new owners will almost certainly be brothers — but it’s looking a tad less likely that their names will be Harvey and Bob. While the Weinsteins have made the higher bid to buy back their old studio from Disney ($600 million), it’s the $550 million cash offer from the three fully loaded Gores brothers — billionaires Alec (who owns Westwood One, America’s largest radio network) and Tom (who rebuilds distressed companies and then flips them for profit) along with their merely multi-millionaire brother Sam (who owns Hollywood’s Paradigm agency) — that might be the most attractive. And insiders familiar with the bid say that the Gores are going in with a far bigger goal: They’re simultaneously bidding on the distribution company Overture Films, as well as the home-entertainment distributor Anchor Bay Entertainment, both owned by Liberty/Starz Media. If they land all three, they’ll find themselves with a fully self-sustainable entertainment enterprise.
Sam Gores, who’s representing his billionaire bros, declined to comment, but analysts put the combined value of Anchor Bay and Overture — the latter of which was founded in 2007 and has a library of fourteen films that include Brooklyn’s Finest and Law Abiding Citizen (and, almost poetically, Last Chance Harvey) — at $225 million. And the Goreses’ bid underscores just how serious the three siblings are about jumping into the media business with both (or is it all six?) feet: Miramax is an enduring brand with a huge library, and it could serve as platform for a fully integrated media conglomerate that could do much more than make and distribute movies. Insiders familiar with the Goreses’ grand plan tell Vulture that the three brothers plan to vacuum up similar film libraries and create a Miramax Channel on cable, much like the beginnings of HBO.
But far-reaching plans aside, sources tell us that what makes their offer more enticing than the Weinsteins’ higher bid is that it’s all cash. Tom Gores, with a net worth of $2.2 billion, and Alec Gores, with a net worth of $1.6 billion, are 147th and 220th on Forbes’ list of richest Americans. That the Brothers Gores are liquid enough to simultaneously negotiate to buy a distribution company, home-entertainment venture, and a film studio is no doubt reassuring to Disney, who’d hate to see a deal unravel at the eleventh hour. Vulture hears that the Weinsteins have three partners: Supermarket magnate Ron Burkle is bankrolling half of the $600 million bid, and they’ve also recruited two capital funds, Fortress Investment Group and Colbeck Capital Management. Dealing with a group of investors only increases the odds that someone will pull out, so a surefire buyer like the Gores has to look enticing, especially when it’s a family that’s clearly planning to buy their way into Hollywood one way or another. Remember, MGM is for sale, too.