Lantern Entertainment announced Tuesday that it has picked three industry veterans to help consult on the turnaround of the Weinstein Co.
Lantern Capital, a Dallas-based private equity fund, expects to close the $289 million purchase of the bankrupt studio on Friday. The company will be led, at least for the time being, by Lantern co-founders Milos Brajovic and Andy Mitchell. The pair are veterans of finance, but have no background in entertainment.
In order to bolster their relationships in Hollywood, they have hired Steve Beeks, Lauren Zalaznick, and Alexa Platt as consultants. Beeks was a longtime Lionsgate executive, where he served as co-president of the motion picture group. Zalaznick served as a top exec at NBCUniversal for a dozen years, where she developed Bravo into a reality TV powerhouse. Platt was CFO of Open Road Films and head of finance at AwesomenessTV, and started her career at the Weinstein Co.
“As we close this transaction in the coming days, these industry experts will help us implement a thoughtful strategy to launch Lantern Entertainment,” Mitchell and Brajovic said in a statement. “We have such tremendous respect for Alexa, Lauren, and Steve. This further underscores our commitment to engage the best in the business in this formative stage of the new company.”
The Weinstein Co. declared bankruptcy in March, after efforts to reach an out-of-court sale collapsed. Lantern initially agreed to pay $310 million and assume $115 million in debt, but later raised concerns about profit participations. The Weinstein Co. ultimately agreed to a price reduction to $289 million, but a Delaware bankruptcy judge must still approve the reduction at a hearing on Wednesday.
Several A-list stars have raised objections to the amended agreement, which puts their participations in Weinstein films at risk of not being paid.
Lantern Entertainment has said it will keep offices in Los Angeles and New York, and will have an office in Dallas.