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More Hollywood for Sale – Lionsgate, MGM, Miramax – Deadlines!

March 19 looms as the deadline for MGM and Miramax, and Lionsgate will reject Icahn on Friday

Lots of news and notes on all those swirling deals as they hurtle toward second bids, or closure, or bankruptcy.

* March 19 is looming as a major date. Final bids for Miramax are due on that date;  Second-round bids are due on that day for MGM.

* Disney has become a swirling hive of activity this week as finance guys and mergers and acquisitions folks swarm all over the financial documents that have finally been made available. Disney wants at least $600 million for Miramax – the bids are expected to fall between that figure and $700 million.

Says one bidder: “Everyone’s running into everybody over there. It’s very incestuous.”

* In the race for Miramax – The Weinstein Company (plus their monied partners); Tom Gores of Platinum; Lionsgate. (Len Blavatnik is keeping half a foot in this door.)

Weinstein wants it the worst, without a doubt. Lionsgate is keeping its finger in the game, but thinks the price is (still) too high. 

* Of note: Pixar/Disney honcho Jon Lasseter and his posse were at The Weinstein Company’s party on Saturday night; wonder if that suggests cozying up before the final moves.

* Coincidence? We think not. An analyst at Miller-Tabak comes out with an $8-$12 “buy” recommendation on  Lionsgate shares. This is sent to journalists. Looks to me like a clever PR move to counter Carl Icahn’s offer to buy a big chunk of stock at $6 a share (it’s currently trading at $5.78).

Smart move, Feltheimer. Lionsgate will be filing its 14D-9 in response to Icahn’s tender offer by Friday. Rather doubt the company will be interested.

* And finally, MGM – yes, the bids are due on March 19.

As reported here earlier, Time Warner is considered to be the leading candidate, Relativity with Elliott Associates is just behind. Blavatnik has bid. 

Here’s what one bidder says: “Nobody got into the second round without bidding $2 billion or very close to it. “

Here’s what another bidder says: “I guess there’s no such thing as an NDA.”

Here’s what a third bidder says: "I feel like a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest."


MiЯamax Bidders and Len, the Russian Billionaire (updated)

More MGM Update: 6 Bids, Relativity is In