Disney ends Miramax sale talks with Weinsteins: report

(Reuters) - Walt Disney Co DIS.N has ended discussions to sell its struggling Miramax Films division back to Hollywood producers Harvey and Bob Weinstein, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.

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

The Weinsteins, backed by billionaire Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Co, reportedly offered $625 million for the shuttered studio with a library of more than 600 films, including Pulp Fiction and Shakespeare in Love.

Weinsteins’ complex structure of the acquisition was the primary reason why the talks collapsed, the Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.

The ending of talks would now enable Disney to open discussions with other bidders, the paper said.

Disney and The Weinstein & Co could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters outside regular U.S. business hours.

Reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore; Editing by Mike Nesbit