Miramax studio sale enters final phase

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The Independent Online

The consortium vying to take control of Miramax Films has been asked to put up $40m to secure the deal, according to reports in the US.

Miramax's owner, the Walt Disney Company, asked the consortium, led by a construction tycoon, Ronald Tutor, and the investment firm Colony Capital, to stump up a non-refundable down-payment by today. Disagreement between the two parties could pave the way for an approach from other potential buyers, most notably Miramax's co-founders Bob and Harvey Weinstein, pictured, who sold the studio to Disney in 1993 and left to form The Weinstein Co in 2005.

The brothers, who named Miramax after their parents Miriam and Max, have the backing of the investor Ron Burkle and the New York hedge fund Fortress Investments.

Their efforts to acquire Miramax faltered last month but could be rekindled if the Tutor/Colony Capital bid, which is reportedly valued at $675m, falls through.