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Christian billionaires from Israel looking to buy Miramax

by Danielle Berrin

April 15, 2010 | 10:31 am

Tom and Alec Gores are the billionaire financiers battling the Weinstein brothers for a shot at acquiring Miramax Films, the independent studio founded by the Weinsteins and later sold to Disney. The bidding war for the esteemed Miramax name and its Oscar-winning library pits Christian brothers born in Nazareth, Israel against Jewish brothers born in New York.

Despite it being a shadow of what it once was, the Miramax name is extremely valuable as is its film library. Over the past few months, various bidders have to come to the table offering in the hundreds of millions for the company (Disney is asking for $700 million), but the Weinsteins have deeply personal reasons to reclaim it for themselves (for starters, Miramax is named for their parents).

But the Goreses have the cash. Born in Nazareth, they immigrated to Flint, Michigan and later built up investment companies, buying everything from software to steel, TheWrap.com reports. While the Weinsteins are struggling to keep their other film outfit, The Weinstein Company afloat, the Goreses are sitting on a financial empire that is valued in the billions: Tom and Alec are ranked 147 and 220 on Forbes’ richest Americans list, respectively.


Though the Weinsteins built Miramax into one of the most successful independent film outfits ever, the company has struggled under Disney’s tutelage and has all but disappeared over the last six months. Disney has been trying to unload the studio after a series of disappointing releases intensified the effects of a bad economy. In late 2009, Disney slashed most of Miramax’s staff, reduced its release schedule and shuttered its New York headquarters as well as its office in Los Angeles.

Though relative strangers to the Hollywood scene, the Goreses know a thing or two about business. But if you thought the Weinsteins had a contentious relationship, the Goreses make them look like peaceniks. According to TheWrap.com’s profile, Alec Gores once hired private investigator Anthony Pellicano to find out if his brother Tom was sleeping with his wife.

What the Weinsteins bring to the bidding table—besides their reputable history—are expertise and passion for movies.

What wins out in the end—money or talent—will determine the future of a company that was once considered royalty in Hollywood.

Read more about the Gores brothers at TheWrap.com.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Danielle Berrin writes the Hollywood Jew blog, a cutting edge, values-based take on the entertainment industry for jewishjournal.com. A Los Angeles Times profile dubbed her...

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