Hollywood Haggling Lands Zwirn In Court

Apr 30 2010 | 12:17pm ET

It’s not exactly Hollywood courtroom high drama, but a pair of movie producers is countersuing a pair of alternative investment firms for their myriad problems.

David Bergstein, Ronald Tutor and Pangea Media Group, which Bergstein heads, accuses D.B. Zwirn & Co., the defunct New York hedge fund, of ripping it off for millions of dollars, and then demanding repayment when the hedge fund hit the rocks. Zwirn’s Special Opportunities Fund sued Bergstein and Tutor in November, demanding more than $120 million be repaid.

But Bergstein and Tutor, in a countersuit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles state court, say they have been wronged, alleging that Zwirn constantly changed the terms of their financing agreement and charged exorbitant interest. That seriously harmed Bergstein and Tutor’s businesses and “caused the value of the film collateral to be substantially impaired. The suit says six movies in production were affected.

Bergstein and Tutor are seeking a reduction in the amount owed Zwirn, as well as damages and costs.

In another twist to the case, Bergstein and Tutor included Fortress Investment Group in the suit. Fortress is backing Miramax Films founders Bob and Harvey Weinstein’s bid to buy that studio from Disney. Bergstein is also involved in the bidding for Miramax, advising a competing group backed by Tutor.

Not at issue in the case is which side will get the move rights to the dispute.

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