The Weinstein Co. sale is not settled yet, as a second buyer submitted a late bid for the company on Tuesday.
A source told Variety that the bidder is Howard Kagan, a former partner at Harbinger Capital who has produced a number of Broadway shows. Kagan’s $315 million bid would keep the company as a going concern, and would include a $30 million fund for victims of Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual abuses.
Lantern Capital, the Dallas-based private equity firm, was the only bidder to submit a bid for the whole company before the 5 p.m. deadline on Monday. Lantern has offered $310 million, plus the assumption of certain liabilities. Sonar Entertainment submitted a smaller bid on Monday for some of the TV library, according to Dan Gagnier, a spokesman for the company.
It is unclear whether the Weinstein Co. will consider the Kagan bid. The Weinstein Co. did not respond to a request for comment. Kagan will have to argue for an extension of the Monday deadline. If he is successful on that front, an auction would be held on Friday.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued an open letter on Monday calling for bidders to establish a separate victims’ fund and adopt workplace practices to prevent sexual harassment. Lantern has not committed to create a fund, which would seem to require the consent of secured creditors.
The committee of unsecured creditors, which represents Weinstein victims, has also raised an objection to the Lantern sale.
Five plaintiffs in a Weinstein class action suit issued a statement on Tuesday supporting the Kagan bid, which they said would set aside $30 million for victims in the class action case.
“Mr. Kagan has a long history of supporting and promoting women and diversity, and has stated that he intends to ensure that the content of the new company is likewise forward-thinking and will serve as a model for the industry,” said Cris Armenta, one of their attorneys. “We believe this is the best possible course of action for the class of women who suffered unspeakable harassment at the hands of Harvey Weinstein.”
The five plaintiffs are Katherine Kendall, Zoe Brock, Sarah Ann Masse, Melissa Sagemiller and Nannette Klatt. A sixth plaintiff, Louisette Geiss, chairs the unsecured creditors committee and did not join the statement of support for Kagan.
In a press release, Elizabeth Fegan, another attorney for the class action plaintiffs, said the group is opposed to the Lantern bid.
“Lantern’s bid in no way addresses the victims of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault enterprise, and would sweep the 100+ instances of sexual assault, rape and more under the rug. We’re here to show them the assault survivors will not go away quietly,” Fegan said. “Victims have already shown they will no longer be silenced, and we intend to protect them from being further harmed.”
It remains likely that Lantern will end up owning the company, but it is not a done deal yet.