Colony Capital Nears Deal For Movie Studio Miramax

Jul 14 2010 | 11:28am ET

Fortress Investment Group won’t be owning a piece of movie studio Miramax Films, but another alternative investments firm appears poised to do so.

Walt Disney Co., which bought the studio in 1993 and now wishes to rid itself of the operation, is said to be near a deal with Los Angeles-based Colony Capital and Ron Tutor, an L.A. construction magnate. The agreement is said to be 95% done, with the buyers ponying up between $600 million and $700 million for the studio and its back catalog.

A sale to Tutor and Colony would end the dream of Miramax co-founders Bob and Harvey Weinstein to reacquire the studio. The two were confident they had a deal in place, financed by Fortress, but the talks collapsed in May.

While Miramax would be Colony’s first movie studio, it’s not the firm’s first asset in the entertainment industry. The firm has made the most of opportunities presented by profligate celebrities, snapping up the marketing rights to Annie Leibovitz’s photographs and the mortgages on the late Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch.

“I intend to focus on distribution, not production,” Colony’s Thomas Barrack told the Financial Times of Miramax.

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