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Universal is Talking with Gores Brothers to Possibly Sell Focus

by Anne Thompson
December 11, 2010 1:52 AM
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Thompson on Hollywood

The billionaire Gores brothers have been looking to set themselves up in the entertainment business. Tom and Alex Gores (advised by their Paradigm Agency chief brother Sam) chased after Overture Films and Anchor Bay Entertainment, and made a $550-million cash-offer for Miramax Films, but the deals went elsewhere. The Gores are moving forward with a long-term plan to start their own studio.

And Universal's specialty division Focus Features has been sought-after several times, as Comcast closes in on its acquisition of NBC Universal. MRC and Relativity made stabs at acquiring it, but couldn't make the numbers work.

Now the LAT reports that the Gores brothers are trying to buy Focus. The folks at the division run by James Schamus (pictured), the subject of a laudatory recent profile in the NY Times entitled "The Professor of Micropopularity," are currently mounting Oscar campaigns for Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are all Right and Sofia Coppola's Somewhere. Sources say that the Gores are telling people that they are interested in buying Focus, and are engaged in a discussion with Universal.

One Focus exec says that they "know nothing. It's a rumor."

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