Contreras-Sweet Reaches Agreement to Buy Weinstein Assets
(Bloomberg) -- A group led by former Small Business Administration chief Maria Contreras-Sweet agreed to acquire assets of Weinstein Co., the film and TV company that went into a tailspin after its co-founder was accused of sexual misconduct.
The deal represents the bulk of the business and will keep the company out of bankruptcy, according to a person with knowledge of the matter who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly and asked not to be identified. The sale is valued at about $500 million, including the assumption of $225 million in debt, the person said. The deal is subject to a 40-day closing.
The group worked out a deal after discussions with New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman who had sued the company, saying management was complicit in Harvey Weinstein’s alleged abuses. Contreras-Sweet, who served under President Barack Obama, announced the agreement Thursday in an email after first making an offer in November, pledging to save 150 jobs, create a majority female board and set up a victim’s fund.
She renewed those pledges in Thursday’s email. Weinstein Co. confirmed the agreement in a separate email and said investor Ron Burkle is also leading the group buying the assets.
There will be a victims compensation fund of $80 million to $90 million under the agreement, according to another person familiar with the deal.
Schneiderman said his office will support the pact while its probe and lawsuit remain active.
“We are pleased to have received express commitments from the parties that the new company will create a real, well-funded victims compensation fund, implement HR policies that will protect all employees, and will not unjustly reward bad actors,” Schneiderman said in a statement Thursday on his website.
Weinstein Co., founded in 2005, has produced Oscar winners such as “The King’s Speech” and TV shows such as “Project Runway.” Several projects were canceled after allegations of rape and sexual harassment were made against Weinstein in October. He has denied having non-consensual sex.
©2018 Bloomberg L.P.