Weinsteins, Burkle continue exclusive talks with Disney

* Weinsteins, Burkle continue exclusive talks for Miramax

* Source says deal could be reached within days

* Weinstein says Mark Cuban dispute involves a movie

By Sue Zeidler

LOS ANGELES, April 21 (BestGrowthStock) – Film moguls Bob and
Harvey Weinstein and backer billionaire Ron Burkle continued
talks for the purchase of Walt Disney Co’s (DIS.N: ) Miramax
Films on Wednesday and a deal could be reached within days,
said one source familiar with the discussions.

The source said a deal was expected within the next “24 to
48 hours.”

Three other sources with knowledge of the Miramax talks
said on Wednesday that an exclusive negotiating window between
Disney and the team comprising the Weinsteins and financial
backer Burkle’s Yucaipa Cos had been extended beyond its
original five day timeframe.

A dispute between Weinstein Co shareholder Mark Cuban and
the Weinsteins also came to light on Wednesday, but a source
familiar with the situation said Cuban’s issues would not
interfere with the proposed acquisition.

Cuban was not available for comment.

Earlier on Wednesday Bloomberg reported that Cuban may try
to stop the Weinsteins from participating in a buyout of

The Weinstein board issued a statement late on Wednesday.

“On behalf of the Weinstein Co and the board of directors I
am going on record to say that we couldn’t be more excited
about the possibility of The Weinstein Co being in business
with Ron Burkle, Fortress and the possibility of an acquisition
of Miramax,” said Richard Koenigsberg, board member of the
Weinstein Co in a statement.

“While no Miramax deal has been completed, we give our full
support to Bob and Harvey in their efforts on behalf of the
Weinstein Company in relation to Miramax,” he said.

The dispute with Cuban — a minority shareholder in
privately-held Weinstein Co, and part of group that invested
about $1.2 billion in the company — involves the 2009 release
“The Road,” said Weinstein Co spokeswoman Dani Weinstein.

Cuban had wanted the film, that was produced for $25
million and took in $23.9 million in worldwide ticket sales, to
have wider distribution, she said.

Koenigsberg in his statement said Cuban is a shareholder
and admired greatly, but that the dispute was limited to the
amount of theaters the movie played.

“He is not on the board and it is our understanding that
the issue he spoke to the press about is regarding the
distribution of a movie he produced called ‘The Road’,”
Koenigsberg said.

Disney initially sought more than $700 million for the
shuttered studio with a library of more than 600 films,
including “Pulp Fiction,” and the exclusive negotiating window
has other competing bidders on the sidelines.

“They haven’t come to terms yet but they are still in this
exclusive period,” said film executive David Bergstein who is
advising construction magnate Ron Tutor and other investors on
a competing $650 million bid.

Financiers Alec and Tom Gores are behind another offer and
are being advised by their brother, Sam Gores, who heads the
Paradigm Talent Agency. The Gores offered $550 million, but a
source said this week that they increased that bid, although it
was unclear by how much.

Bob and Harvey Weinstein founded Miramax in 1979 and sold
it to Disney in 1993 for $80 million. The pair continued to run
the company until they left in 2005 to form The Weinstein Co.

Sounces have said that if the sale is completed, Yucaipa
would own Miramax and the Weinsteins would manage it.

Investment Basics

(Reporting by Sue Zeidler; editing by Carol Bishopric)

Weinsteins, Burkle continue exclusive talks with Disney