As "Twilight" studio Summit Entertainment is immersed in negotiations with multiple parties to get acquired before the end of the year, a new bidder may have emerged: Summit itself.

According to the LA Times:

Co-chairmen Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger are putting together a management buyout plan in partnership with a private equity fund to take financial control of Summit, according to a person familiar with the matter but not authorized to speak publicly.

[Update, 12:31 p.m.: A person close to Friedman and Wachsberger who declined to be identified because of the privacy of ongoing discussions denied that a management-led buyout is in fact in the works.]

The plan would involve Friedman and Wachsberger buying out their current investors, which include private equity firm Rizvi Traverse Management and film financing and production company Participant Media. It would leave the two chiefs of Santa Monica-based Summit in control, as opposed to other proposals currently on the table that would merge the independent studio with Lions Gate Entertainment or Miramax Films.

Under the Lions Gate scenario, Friedman and Wachsberger would head Lions Gate's motion picture group while the company's Chief Executive Jon Feltheimer and Vice Chairman Michael Burns would remain in charge. At Miramax, the duo would have to work with that studio's Chief Executive Mike Lang and report to its investor Colony Capital, a Santa Monica private equity firm, which is leading an effort to acquire Summit.

Lions Gate and Colony are both offering $350 million to $400 million in cash and agreeing to assume about $200 million in debt to buy Summit, the person said.

Read the full article here


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