UPDATE 2: “We are disappointed by the announcement today that the investor group led by Maria Contreras-Sweet and Ron Burkle has (again) walked away from its bid to buy the assets of The Weinstein Company,” a rep said in a statement. “Although we publicly predicted this outcome, the Board entered last week’s agreement in the hope and good faith that a transaction would save this Company and its employees. The investors’ excuse that they learned new information about the Company’s financial condition is just that — an excuse. The company has been transparent about its dire financial condition to the point of announcing its own likely bankruptcy last week.
“We regret being correct that this buyer simply had no intention of following through on its promises,” the rep added. “Nevertheless, this Board will not quit. We will continue to work tirelessly – as we have for months – to determine if there are any viable options outside of bankruptcy. In the meantime, we continue to pursue an orderly bankruptcy process to maximize the company’s value.”
UPDATE: Maria Contreras-Sweet said in a statement on Tuesday that her investor-led group will back out of their plan to buy The Weinstein Company, according to Reuters. Contreras-Sweet reportedly ended the deal after discovering the company’s debt was $280 million and not $225 million as previously disclosed. “After signing and entering into the confirmatory diligence phase, we have received disappointing information about the viability of completing this transaction,” Contreras-Sweet said in a statement.
Former U.S. Small Business Administration head Maria Contreras-Sweet announced that a deal has been reached to purchase The Weinstein Company’s (TWC) assets, The Hollywood Reporter reports. A rep for The Weinstein Company confirmed the agreement to Rolling Stone. The studio’s future had appeared in jeopardy since studio co-founder Harvey Weinstein’s firing following multiple accusations of sexual assault and harassment.
Earlier this week, a potential sale fell through from buyers Contreras-Sweet and Ron Burkle, and TWC announced it was preparing for bankruptcy. However, on Thursday, it was announced that Contreras-Sweet, Burkle and a group of investors the pair is leading put up a reported $500 million, which would result in a majority stake in the company. The deal would also include assuming $225 million in debt.
In Contreras-Sweet’s statement announcing the deal via THR, she emphasized the importance of a female-majority board.
“Our team is pleased to announce that 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 this process last fall,” she said. “Those principles have never wavered and have always been to build a movie studio led by a board of directors made up of a majority of independent women, save about 150 jobs, protect the small businesses who are owed money and create a victims’ compensation fund that would supplement existing insurance coverage for those who have been harmed.”
The Weinstein Company Board of Directors released a statement to Rolling Stone confirming a deal has been reached.
“We are pleased to announce that we have entered into an agreement to sell the assets of The Weinstein Company to an investor group led by Maria Contreras-Sweet and Ron Burkle,” the TWC board said in its statement. “The deal provides a clear path for compensation for victims and protects the jobs of our employees. We greatly appreciate the efforts of Attorney General Schneiderman and his staff, Maria Contreras-Sweet, Ron Burkle and his team at Yucaipa for bringing about this agreement. We consider this to be a positive outcome under what have been incredibly difficult circumstances.”