SANTA MONICA, July 8, 2013 – Global film and television studio Miramax announced today that Thomas J. Barrack, Jr. has been named Chairman of the company, effective immediately, replacing Richard Nanula, who has resigned. Mr. Barrack is Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of Colony Capital, LLC. Miramax is privately owned by an investor group that is led by Colony Capital, LLC.
This week’s sudden leave of absence for personal reasons isn’t the only sex related problem for Richard Nanula and Colony Capital. The former Walt Disney Company exec and the investment firm were charged with sexual harassment in a suit (read it here) filed earlier this year by a former paralegal. “On or about January 30, 2012, Plaintiff was subjected to inappropriate workplace conduct. Plaintiff was engaged in a conversation with her colleague, K.C. Brooks, when she felt someone squeeze and grope her buttocks. This touching was unwelcome, extreme, and offensive. When she turned around Plaintiff observed Defendant Nanula walking away, and then heard him say, ‘uh-oh.’ Plaintiff immediately felt shocked, humiliated and demoralized by Defendant Nanula’s conduct. At first she attempted to refocus on her conversation with Ms. Brooks, however, she was too upset to continue the conversation and returned to her desk,” alleges the eight-claim complaint from Stephanie Shaw. Filed on January 30, 2013 in LA Superior Court, the complaint goes on to detail how Shaw attempted to have the situation addressed by Colony, how she suffered emotional distress from the groping and other incidents and how she was let go on April 24, 2012 after less than a year at the company. Besides the sexual harassment …
BREAKING… EXCLUSIVE… UPDATE: Few Hollywood business executives have as distinguished a record of success as Richard Nanula. Now Deadline has learned from Colony Capital that the former Walt Disney Company SEVP/CFO has taken an unexpected leave of absence for personal reasons from the investment firm where he is a Principal and Miramax, where he actively manages that entertainment banner’s strategy. There is no return date pending, which indicates his future with both companies is being left open. Nanula is now the second major movie/TV executive this year alleged to have crossed the line between personal and professional behavior because of a private sex scandal. In March, Hearst Entertainment & Syndication President Scott Sassa left after his company became aware of an extortion plot and sexting scandal involving a stripper. Nanula’s surprise leave of absence comes nearly two weeks after Deadline began receiving tips that TheDirty.com was identifying Nanula in online photos having sex with a porn star. That post now appears to have been removed by the website. But Deadline learned that another website, GenesisOnline, re-posted the story and screen shots under the headline Ex Disney Exec Shoots a Porno with Wicked Contract Girl Samantha Saint on June 18th and made allegations it had related “old texts” involving Nanula. (Deadline did not write about the online stories at the time because it doesn’t post about personal lives.)
Nanula received recognition when …
The changes will begin to take place after private equity firm Colony Capital completes its acquisition of LodgeNet Interactive, part of a pre-packaged Chapter 11 that’s expected to wrap up later this month. At that point DirecTV will participate in what the companies call “an expanded strategic relationship” to improve LodgeNet’s interactive TV and broadband services which go to 1.4M hotel and hospital rooms in the U.S. and Canada. The No. 1 satellite company will provide LodgeNet’s customers with “upgraded products and services” and receive warrants that it can use to buy up to 2.5% of the restructured LodgeNet. The arrangement will provide customers with “a unique financing program to facilitate upgrades to HDTV service at little or no out-of-pocket capital expense.” In addition, LodgeNet plans to offer additional a la carte programming, exclusive content, and DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket. LodgeNet’s user interface will resemble DirecTV’s, and the satellite company will provide support for operations and customers.
Remember when Mike Lang came to Cannes with Rob Lowe to tout Miramax Films’ aspirations to freshen and expand the film library with new projects culled from the script arsenal they bought along with 700 titles in the $663 million Disney deal? The company, run by former Disney exec Richard Nanula for Colony Capital principal Tom Barrack, has lately been as quiet as you’d expect a library management company to be, especially since Lang got his walking papers (except for its unsuccessful run at Lionsgate). They’ve just announced two executive promotions, which was useful for me because I’d completely forgotten the company existed. Here’s the announcement:
SANTA MONICA, CA – January 8, 2013 – Miramax, the independent studio with a
renowned library of critically acclaimed films, today announced that Joe Patrick
has been named executive vice president, Worldwide Television, and Beth Minehart
has been named executive vice president, Global Digital, reporting to Miramax
interim CEO Steve Schoch. Minehart will remain responsible for all digital
initiatives and sales across the company, and Patrick will remain responsible
for all television sales and initiatives across the company.
“Miramax’s global sales organization has grown our distribution to more than 125
countries through both new and traditional platforms, and Joe and Beth have been
at the forefront of this expansion,” said Schoch. “They have also been a
driving force in further leveraging the strength of the Miramax sales group,
offering distribution in the worldwide marketplace to other highly regarded
content owners. We are very pleased
Film financier David Bergstein has filed suit over Disney’s December 2010 sale of Miramax to a group of investors including Colony Capital, Filmyard Holdings, Miramax chairman Richard Nanula, and other individuals involved in the deal. The suit, which you can read here, was filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court. Bergstein alleges numerous counts of fraud, breach of contract, unjust enrichment and that he is owed money for his role in facilitating the $660 million transaction for Miramax. His claims include arranging crucial financing for the deal and that without ”the capital he expended and his considerable efforts, there would not have been a deal”.
In putting together his initial campaign to purchase Miramax, the suit alleges Bergstein approached investor Ron Tutor and led evaluation and due diligence on Miramax and its film library. Additionally, the suit claims Bergstein created a business plan that ultimately was put into place once the acquisition was completed. But after Bergstein won the competition to acquire Miramax, the suit alleges, Colony Capital and its CEO Tom Barrack approached Tutor and asked to join the deal in exchange for investing $100 million of its own money. The lawsuit claims there was an agreement for Bergstein and his Exodus Film Co to receive a non-dilutable 5% equity in the deal, a 1% transaction fee, and consulting agreement.
The suit says Colony’s Barrack subsequently asked Bergstein to reduce his equity …
As expected, former News Corp exec Mike Lang was named CEO of the new Miramax Films now owned by construction magnate Ron Tutor and Tom Barrack’s Santa Monica-based Colony Capital (led by former Disney CFO Richard Nanula), and Qatar Holding. Colony Capital’s Nanula will be the key person picking a CEO and CFO from the usual roster of experienced movie executives. Barrack has said frequently that Miramax didn’t want to end up hiring someone who’ll use distribution as an “excuse” to go into production. “Because that would be disastrous.”
The Walt Disney Co’s sale of Miramax Films to Filmyard Holdings for $663 million — subject to certain adjustments — has been completed, it was announced today by both companies. The actual owners are construction magnate Ron Tutor and Tom Barrack’s Santa Monica-based Colony Capital (led by former Disney CFO Richard Nanula), and Qatar Holding. The deal includes rights in over 700 film titles, including Academy Award winners Chicago, Shakespeare in Love and No Country for Old Men. Also included are non-film assets, such as certain books, development projects and the “Miramax” name.
Back on January 27th, Deadline was first to tell you that the Weinstein Brothers who founded Miramax in 1979 were trying to buy back the Miramax name, because it’s based on their parents’ first names – Max and Miriam. The bros sold Miramax to Disney in 1993, but left behind the name and the library when they walked away because of a money feud with Michael Eisner and started the The Weinstein Company in 2005. Soon even more potential buyers began kicking the tires and the Weinsteins were in a fierce bidding battle with richer rivals. But then negotiations with the Weinsteins became exclusive, only to fall through.
Then, on January 27th, I was the first to tell you that construction magnate Ron Tutor and Tom Barrack’s Santa Monica-based Colony Capital led by former Disney CFO Richard Nanula had joined together to negotiate the acquisition of Miramax from Disney. And so that deal finally gets done today after so many frustrating and …
EXCLUSIVE: I’m told that Miramax transaction between owner Disney and soon-to-be new owners, construction magnate Ron Tutor and Tom Barrack’s Santa Monica-based Colony Capital (led by former Disney CFO Richard Nanula), won’t be finalized until the end of the year or soon after because of “strictly logistical reasons”. (“Standard practice in a deal of this magnitude,” one insider tells me.) As a result, it has impacted two movies: The Debt, which was supposed to be released on December 29th, and Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark the end of January. Now both pics are postponed until parent company Filmyard, which is what Tutor and Barrack are calling their new film company umbrella over Miramax, takes over. No new dates have been set.
Back on July 8th I was the first to tell you that construction magnate Ron Tutor and Tom Barrack’s Santa Monica-based Colony Capital led by former Disney CFO Richard Nanula had joined together to negotiate the acquisition of Miramax from Disney. And so that deal finally gets done tonight after so many frustrating and annoying stops and starts, and bidders and runners-up. (Announcement below.) Still, this was relativity speedy considering that Colony Capital only a month ago entered the deal as a big equity provider matching Tutor’s equity of several hundred million dollars. So I have to ask: Are bidding war losers Harvey and Bob Weinstein crying into their beer tonight?
All in all, $660 million is a very good price for the company because film library values have taken a hit as DVD/video has flattened. True, Disney once placed a sky-high $1.2 billion pricetag on the Miramax library. The studio hoped to get around $800 million, then $700 million, and this number comes awfully close to that. The final figure exceeds the $625M-$650M which the Weinstein brothers/Ron Burkle/Fortress-Colbeck partnership seemed ready to pay until talks broke down. Due diligence showed that Miramax is sitting on a lot of cash, as much as $300M in receivables. Also, I’ve learned that Disney stands to make even more because …
I couldn’t agree more with a Disney insider who just told me, “We could all have a nice vacation in Tahiti if there was a dollar for every time this deal was reported as done.” So here’s what I know about how close this deal actually is between Disney and the Ron Tutor/Colony Capital/James Robinson partnership. It’s “95% just about done,” an insider tells me. “A couple of deal terms and timing issues remain. Like when does the deal actually close? When do all of the contingencies Disney needs to deliver get cleared? Right now there’s not really a Miramax because it’s been comingled with other Disney assets. So what has to happen is those assets have to go in and out so that the partnership can end up buying Miramax with clean assets and no liabilities. By tomorrow we could have a deal in principle. But it’ll be up to Disney to decide when to sign it and announce it.” Still, this is incredibly speedy considering that Colony Capital only a week ago entered the deal as a big equity provider matching construction magnate Ron Tutor’s equity of several hundred million dollars. Colony Capital will receive Miramax board seats as a result.
And here’s what I know about the price being paid. “The headline …
Former Disney CFO Richard Nanula Now Leading Ron Tutor’s Miramax Negotiations; “Bullet Train” Deal Could Close In A Week; Disney May Get Its $700M Asking Price; Harvey Weinstein Threatening Lawsuit
EXCLUSIVE – UPDATED FROM 8:30 AM: Forget the bizarre involvement of David Bergstein, and Morgan Creek’s James Robinson, and even Rob Lowe. (I know, I know… I’ve learned Lowe may pull in Arnold Schwarzenegger post-November.) More on them in a minute. But they’re just the side show. Instead, I can report that, 5 days ago, Santa Monica-based Colony Capital, the private international investment firm which currently has $30 billion of assets under its management, was brought in by construction magnate Ron Tutor to help him buy Miramax from Disney. The reason? Because two years ago, Colony Capital president Tom Barrack hired 12-year Disney popular executive and former CFO Richard Nanula who’s now leading the Tutor negotiations with the Mouse House point man on the Miramax sale, Kevin Mayer, who’s EVP for Disney’s Corporate Strategy in the Business Development and Technology Group.
So, for the past five days, Nanula has organized a team of “25 guys working on it 24 hours a day” to get the deal done “like a bullet train”, I’ve learned — maybe as soon as next week. My insiders tell me that Disney could get very near to the $700 million price it’s recently wanted for Miramax — a big raise from the $625M, maybe even $650M max, which the Weinstein brothers/Ron Burkle/Fortress-Colbeck partnership seemed ready to pay until talks broke down. The reason is that Nanula and his team have now confirmed from due diligence that Miramax is sitting on a lot of cash, as much as $300M in receivables. That’s more than even the Weinstein partnership told me was out there.
Meanwhile, I’ve learned that Harvey is a Barrack pal, and the Weinstein bro is spitting mad that Tutor now looks to snag Miramax with Colony Capital’s help. “Harvey is very agitated,” an insider tells me. “He’s threatening litigation everywhere.” That’s vintage Harv: when he loses, he sues. Of course, the Weinstein brothers wanted to reclaim their former company because of its sentimental value: it’s named after their parents, Miriam and Max. To that end, I’ve previously reported how Harvey privately is warning to screw over anyone even thinking of buying Miramax. Under their exit deal in 2005, the Weinstein bros were able to retain a hold over sequel or reboot rights to films like Scream, Spy Kids and some other Dimension titles. Harv, in his inimitable way, has said he’ll do what he can to make developing those projects a nightmare.
Because the Tutor group has signed a non-disclosure agreement and entered into an exclusive negotiating period with Disney, no one is publicly commenting on anything. From Disney’s POV, it’s “still negotiating” with the Tutor group. But its comfort level has vastly improved now that Nanula has taken charge. The Harvard alum was the youngest CFO of a Fortune 500 company when he took the fiscal reins of the $22B corporation. He left in 1998 to become president and CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts to work for his best friend Barry Sternlicht. Then Barrack snatched him up 2 years ago. Barrack, too, has tangential Disney ties. He worked with Robert Bass, one of the Texas billionaire Bass brothers whose 1983 investment rescued the Hollywood studio.
Meanwhile, on Nanula’s team is also Justin Chang whom Barrack hired in April as a principal responsible for extending the Colony brand into complementary areas. Chang most recently served as a partner of TPG Capital, the international private investment firm which took a bath on MGM.
I’ve learned that Tutor first approached Barrack last week “because he was queasy about the existing guys he had,” an insider tells me. “especially about David and the baggage he brings.” Before Tutor brought in Colony Capital, he was being advised by two of Hollywood’s most controversial and disliked figures: not just troubled film financier/distributor David Bergstein, whose film companies this year were placed in involuntary bankruptcy; but also his good friend, Morgan Creek’s James Robinson whose company has a mediocre track record. I understand that both men are being pushed aside now.