After their announcement last week of plans to file for bankruptcy, the latest development now for The Weinstein Company says they are finally concluding a deal talk.
The beleaguered Weinstein Co. board and a group of investors have struck a $500 million deal to sell most of the studio’s assets to an investor group led by Maria Contreras-Sweet. The deal was made possible with some help from New York A.G. Eric Schneiderman’s office.
The deal could be ready to be finalized in the coming weeks, pending some works that both sides need to take care of first.
Contreras-Sweet is the former head of the U.S. Small Business Administration. She has been working with Ron Burkle and other investors on the bid to acquire The Weinstein Company.
Just four days ago, the Weinstein Co. Board said that the deal to sell their company had fallen apart, and they have turned their sights on filing for bankruptcy instead following the crisis that hit the company after its former CEO Harvey Weinstein got embroiled in one scandal after the other as more than 70 women accused him of sexual misconduct.
Contreras-Sweet’s statement on Thursday, however, signifies that not only were the talks for a deal got revived, but chances are it will push through this time. Contreras-Sweet said in the statement: “We have taken an important step and have reached an agreement to purchase assets from The Weinstein Company in order to launch a new company, with a new board and a new vision that embodies the principles that we have stood by since we began the process last fall.”
Apparently, even as the board warned that filing for a bankruptcy was imminent, the talks continued behind the scenes.
A source privy to the negotiations said the deal finally came through at around 9:30 p.m. on Thursday after lawyers from both sides met at Schneiderman’s office on the same day working out the details of the deal.
Contreras-Sweet’s group is set to acquire 90-95% of the studio’s assets, including shows like “Project Runway” and a slate of movies.
The investors working on said new assets will form a new company and with all the intention of “wiping away the stain” from the Harvey Weinstein abuse scandal that shook the entertainment industry last fall.
The still to be named new company will also include a compensation fund for Weinstein’s accusers, with up to $90 million allotted for the fund. Victim compensation was one of the priorities stressed by Schneiderman when he sued the Weinstein Co. last month.
Contreras-Sweet also said the studio will be “led by a board of directors made up of a majority of independent women.”