Weinstein Co. Closing In On Sale To Maria Contreras-Sweet-Led Investor Group, Sources Say

By Ryan Faughnder
Los Angeles Times

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Under the terms of the deal, female investors in Contreras-Sweet’s group would take a 51 percent stake in Weinstein Co. The consortium would assume hundreds of millions of dollars of debt incurred by the New York-based company.

Los Angeles Times

Weinstein Co., the troubled movie and television studio founded by disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein, is closing in on a sale to a group of investors led by former Obama administration official Maria Contreras-Sweet, according to people familiar with the matter.

Backers for Contreras-Sweet, who ran the Small Business Administration under President Barack Obama, include billionaire Ron Burkle and Dallas-based private equity firm Lantern Asset Management, according to people with knowledge of the talks who were not authorized to speak publicly.

A deal could be reached as early as next week, capping a process that began months ago after Weinstein faced a barrage of allegations of sexual harassment and assault involving dozens of women. Weinstein, who was fired from the company in October, has denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex.

The scandal triggered the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment, exposed the company to potentially costly lawsuits and threatened its very survival.

Weinstein Co.’s board has been trying to find a buyer and last week narrowed its search to half a dozen potential suitors that valued the company for as much as $500 million, including debt.

People with knowledge of the process cautioned that a deal with Contreras-Sweet may not happen, and that negotiations are still happening.

Other options remain on the table, including an offer from Lionsgate for the assets. Another bid is from New York-based production company Killer Content, which has teamed with Abigail Disney.

But, with time running out, Weinstein Co. directors have zeroed in on Contreras-Sweet’s bid, which first emerged in November.

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