The Weinstein Co, and billionaire brothers Alec and Tom Gores continued to weigh offers on Wednesday for Walt Disney Co's Miramax unit as the media giant pushed back the bid deadline, according to people with knowledge of the situation.
The deadline, originally set for March 31, was moved to April 1 and now has been set to April 5 to give interested parties more time to put together bids, a source familiar with the situation said.
Entertainment executives have said pricing could prohibit any near-term deal due to views that Disney's asking price of more than $650 million for Miramax is too high. They estimated its worth as within the $400 million to $500 million range.
One source said the Weinsteins, who founded Miramax as an art-house studio in 1979 and sold it to Disney in 1993, were mulling various strategies with financial partners and were working closely with advisors to prepare documents for an offer for the film company.
Disney and Weinstein Co declined to comment. A spokesman for Tom Gores' Platinum Equity was not immediately available.
The sources said The Gores Group LLC, headed by Alec Gores, and Platinum Equity LLC, headed by Tom Gores, were considering making a joint offer for Miramax, known for such films as Pulp Fiction and No Country for Old Men.
The auction for Miramax is occurring at the same time interested buyers circle the once-powerful Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio. That sale has also faced hurdles and a steering committee for MGM will meet this week with creditors to present a stand-alone plan for the famed studio, home to the James Bond franchise, after being disappointed with bids it received.
Entertainment industry professionals believe price will be a sticking point on Miramax as well.
I don't think they're going to sell. It would appear they don't have enough interest at the valuations they were expecting. I can't understand the rationale for selling those assets unless Disney achieves a premium in doing so, said David Molner, managing director of Screen Capital International.
The Weinsteins sold Miramax to Disney in 1993 for $80 million, but remained as co-chief executives of the studio until five years ago, when they left to form the Weinstein Co.
In February, the Weinstein Co confirmed its interest in Miramax.
Several initially interested parties, like Summit Entertainment and Lions Gate Entertainment, balked at the price, according to sources familiar with the situation.
(Editing by David Gregorio)