The Weinstein Company to declare bankruptcy after sale talks fail
In the fallout of the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault scandal that has rocked Hollywood, the company he co-founded with his brother Bob has been attempting to salvage itself with a sale of all its content to another owner. Investors Maria Contreras-Sweet, Ronald Burkle and Dallas private equity firm Lantern Asset Management had been in negotiations to acquire the assets of the company for $500 million, but now those talks have faltered and TWC will file for bankruptcy. The Board of Representatives for The Weinstein Company released a letter on Sunday night confirming the news.
“We have believed in this Company and in the goals set forth by the Attorney General,” it reads. “Based on the events of the past week, however, we must conclude that your plan to buy this company was illusory and would only leave this Company hobbling toward its demise to the detriment of all constituents. This Board will not let that happen…We will now pursue the Board’s only viable option to maximize the Company’s remaining value: an orderly bankruptcy process.”
The sale of The Weinstein Company was previously set to take place before New York Atty. Gen. Eric Schneiderman filed a lawsuit against it citing concerns that had been made about the sale. The Attorney General’s Office of New York, The Weinstein Company, and the bidders have since been working together to finalize the deal; however, TWC claims that the needed funds and expenses to keep the company afloat before the sale could be finalized weren’t being put up, prompting the bankruptcy filing.
Maria Contreras-Sweet had previously noted her plans for the company which would have included a new name, ousting co-founder Bob Weinstein, setting up a new board with majority women members, and a $40 million fund for the victims of Harvey Weinstein.
It remains to be seen what will now happen to the assets of The Weinstein Company as they move forward with the bankruptcy filing, though other studios had previously expressed an interest in buying the catalog of the company to salvage it. The LA Times notes that previous bidders included Lionsgate, Killer Content, BeIN Media (the owners of Miramax), Shamrock Capital, Vine Investments, and Sony.
Whoever does end up purchasing the company’s assets will end up with a library that includes the likes of Quentin Tarantino’s Grindhouse, Inglorious Basterds, Django Unchained, and The Hateful Eight, Kevin Smith’s Clerks II and Zach and Miri Make A Porno, Best Picture winners The King’s Speech and The Artist, plus some television assets like Project Runway.