In a sign of continued nervousness among sellers at Hollywood’s yard sale, the Walt Disney Company has extended the March 19 deadline for second and final bids on its arthouse division Miramax to the end of the month, according to one individual involved in the bidding process.
The seconds bids were due on Friday, the same day that MGM has requested final bids in its sale, and that deadline too is proving somewhat flexible.
The race has come down to two bidders — The Weinstein Company and Tom Gores’ Platinum Equity. Both companies have been deep in due diligence at the company, but are believed to be unhappy that Disney has been slow to provide detailed financials.
Other bidders including Lionsgate and Qualia Capital have dropped out, finding Disney’s price tag for the division – $700 million, with an expectation that bids will be above $600 million — to be too rich for the projected returns.
Disney is apparently telling the bidders that the reason for the extension is that contracts are not finished.
But clearly the major studio feels under pressure with the scarce number of bidders. And the extension of the date for final bids suggests that they are inclined to work with the remaining bidders to get the number they want.
One more possibility: Disney may be extending the deadline to allow a new bidder or two in. There have been rumors all week that a high-net worth Chinese entrepreneur has been circling this deal as well as MGM and seeking a partnership to buy a Hollywood platform.
March 31 is the new date for final Miramax bids.
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