Money Matters - Simplified

No talks on Focus Features sale to Gores

Hollywood -- Universal Pictures denied media reports that it was in negotiations to sell its specialty film division Focus Features

A Universal representative told The Hollywood Reporter the reported talks with investors Alec and Tom Gores had not gone past an informal proposal and, according to The Reporter's sources, no discussions about a potential deal were scheduled.

Focus Features was behind this year's release "The Kids are Alright" and scored its biggest success in 2005 with "Brokeback Mountain."

The Reporter said Saturday that while Focus runs its own releases, it is tied to Universal for financing, administration and ancillary
distribution. Any sale would also have to wait until after the planned merger of NBC Universal and Comcast clears regulatory review, which could take weeks or months.

The Gores brothers have made a fortune in leveraged buyouts of technology companies. Another brother, Sam, is head of the Paradigm talent agency and has been advising Alec and Tom as they explore possible entertainment-industry acquisitions.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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