YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Weinsteins Raise $490 Million for New Studio

The co-founders of Miramax are expected to own 51% of the company.

October 25, 2005|Claudia Eller | Times Staff Writer

Miramax Film Corp. co-founders Bob and Harvey Weinstein said Monday that they have completed raising money for their new movie studio, pulling in $490 million in equity.

The brothers previously disclosed they raised $230.5 million for Weinstein Co., with an eye toward increasing the amount to at least $420 million.

Harvey Weinstein said that the company could have raised significantly more.

"Not only did we surpass the goal of $420 million," he said, "we wanted to maintain control of the company so we had to cut back $200 million to $300 million more of investment opportunities."

The Weinstein brothers are expected to own 51% of the new company, formed in the wake of a bitter split this year with Walt Disney Co.

The two left Miramax behind, but will share ownership with Disney in a number of film and TV projects, including sequels to such franchises as "Spy Kids" and "Scary Movie" that were released by Miramax's Dimension label. The brothers also have kept the Dimension name.

Other investors in the new Weinstein company include affiliates of Goldman Sachs & Co., GLG Partners, Perry Capital, Tarak Ben Ammar's Quinta Communications, Japan's Softbank Corp., French television broadcaster TR1, advertising agency WPP Group and Vivi Nevo. Billionaire Mark Cuban and business partner Todd Wagner also are investors.

Investment bank Goldman Sachs is lining up about $500 million in debt.

The Weinsteins also have been looking to generate funds through a pay-TV deal and other distribution agreements, and have been actively negotiating with such companies as Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., said sources familiar with the talks.

Weinstein said the company was considering a variety of options. Weinstein Co. plans to distribute and market its own films domestically, but has not specified home video plans.

The new studio expects to release up to 20 movies a year, including acquisitions. Bigger budget movies, including the $60-million "Last Legion" and the $65-million "Young Hannibal," may have third-party financing to offset risk, Weinstein said.

Weinstein Co.'s first release, "Derailed," a psychological thriller starring Jennifer Aniston and Clive Owen, opens Nov. 11.

Los Angeles Times Articles