×

Ron Burkle Travels to New York in Bid to Revive Weinstein Co. Deal

Billionaire investor Ron Burkle has traveled to New York in a bid to revive negotiations to buy the beleaguered Weinstein Co., sources tell Variety.

Burkle is trying to enlist New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in his effort to get the Weinstein Co. board back to the negotiating table. Insiders note that it would be in Schneiderman’s interest to complete a deal with robust protections for Harvey Weinstein’s victims, and thereby avoid taking blame for the company’s collapse.

Talks broke down over the weekend, as the board abruptly announced that the sale was off and that it would pursue a bankruptcy filing. The company’s directors felt that Burkle and his partner, former Small Business Administration head Maria Contreras-Sweet, were not negotiating in good faith. The board had sought $7 million in up-front financing from the buyers to keep the company afloat while the transaction was pending, which the buyers rejected.

It is not yet clear whether the board will be receptive to Burkle’s entreaties. Bob Weinstein, the chairman of the board, is taking heat from the company’s employees, who saw the sale as the best hope to retain their jobs. In a memo to the staff on Tuesday, he indicated that he is still open to discussing various potential transactions.

But the board remains wary of Burkle. The board has indicated that it is willing to put the company into bankruptcy if the terms and the tenor of the negotiations do not improve, though a filing may not actually happen for another couple of weeks.

In addition to the dispute over interim financing, the two sides also had conflicts over David Glasser, the ousted chief operating officer. In the original plan, Glasser was supposed to become CEO under the new ownership group. But Schneiderman filed suit against the company on Feb. 11, alleging that Glasser was among those who enabled Harvey Weinstein’s abuse of employees. He insisted that Glasser not be allowed to run the company. The Weinstein Co. board fired Glasser on Feb. 16 “for cause,” but Burkle and Contreras-Sweet have still not ruled out retaining him in the top job.

More Biz

  • Honoree Yusef Salaam poses at the

    Yusef Salaam Signs With CAA (EXCLUSIVE)

    Yusef Salaam, one of the men who was exonerated after being wrongfully convicted in the 1989 Central Park jogger case, has signed with CAA for representation in all areas of business worldwide. The story of Salaam and the four other men — then boys — who were wrongfully convicted was recently told in Netflix’s miniseries [...]

  • Kim Kardashian West Kimono

    Kim Kardashian West's 'Kimono' Shapewear Sparks Backlash

    West announced yesterday that she was launching a line of form-fitting shapewear in nine different skin tones and a range of sizes. But the name of the reality star’s latest business venture — “Kimono” — is already wrapped up in controversy.Kimonos are Japanese robes traditionally worn at formal affairs, prompting some to accuse the businesswoman [...]

  • Discovery Corporate New Logo

    Discovery Faces Backlash From Unscripted Producers After Shift in Series Payment Process

    Discovery Inc. is facing a backlash from the unscripted production community following a shift in the cable giant’s protocol for paying for programming. During the past year, Discovery has implemented a new system that calls for the company to pay producers for shows after all episodes and related material for a given season have been [...]

  • Wendy Goldstein Named Republic Records President,

    Republic Records Names Wendy Goldstein President of West Coast Creative

    Republic Records advances Wendy Goldstein to President of West Coast Creative, label co-founders and chief executives Monte and Avery Lipman announced today. Goldstein has overseen the company’s Santa Monica office since 2017 as EVP of Republic Records. Over the past year, she headed up the label’s efforts for Ariana Grande’s  back-to-back No. 1 debuts for the singer’s “Sweetener” and “Thank U, Next” albums, and [...]

  • The Traitor

    MMC Studios, One of Germany's Biggest Production Facilities, Changes Hands

    Germany’s MMC Studios, which has hosted such recent international productions as Joseph Gordon-Levitt thriller “7500” and Marco Bellocchio’s Cannes competition film “The Traitor,” is changing hands. Frankfurt-based investment company Novum Capital has acquired the facility in Cologne, one of Germany’s biggest film and TV studios, from Luxembourg private equity fund Lenbach Equity Opportunities I. The [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content