×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Weinstein Co. Closes Bidding Process as Offers Approach $500 Million

The Weinstein Co. has closed its bidding process and winnowed potential buyers to about a half dozen, according to knowledgeable insiders.

However, it is still unclear which of the prospective suitors will emerge with the beleaguered indie studio. The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that bids approached $500 million, a substantial portion of which is the assumption of the studio’s considerable debts.

Bidders include a group led by Maria Contreras-Sweet, the former head of the Small Business Administration; Killer Content and philanthropist Abigail Disney; and Lions Gate Entertainment. The Journal also reported that Vine Alternative Investments and Shamrock Capital Investments were among the potential buyers. Some of the bids are for control of the entire company, while others would extract certain assets while leaving behind a shell of a company that would face substantial legal liability.

At various points, the Weinstein Co. flirted with filing for bankruptcy. Board members Lance Maerov and Tarak Ben Ammar are leading the efforts to sell the company.

The Weinstein Co. fired co-chairman Harvey Weinstein three days after the New York Times reported in October on his extensive history of sexual harassment settlements and allegations. The company was already struggling financially, weighed down by a series of film flops, and came under severe strain as its partners abandoned projects due to negative publicity.

Weinstein has challenged his ouster in private arbitration, and adamantly denies allegations that he engaged in non-consensual sex. He continues to own more than 20% of the company. The Weinstein Company’s library of films and television shows includes “Django Unchained,” “The Artist,” “Lion,” and “Project Runway.” It was founded in 2005, though the harassment allegations against Weinstein go back to his days running Miramax, an indie film studio that was owned by the Walt Disney Company.

Cynthia Littleton contributed to this report.

More Biz

  • Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith

    Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith Dies at 78

    Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith, the historian who spent 40 years cataloging and preserving the company’s legacy of entertainment and innovation, died Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 78. Smith served as Disney’s chief archivist from 1970 to 2010. He was named a Disney Legend in 2007 and served as a consultant to the [...]

  • Colin Kaepernick Kneel

    Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid Reach Settlement With NFL

    Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid, two football players who alleged the National Football League colluded to oust them from the game after they started kneeling in protest of racial inequality during the playing of the national anthem, have reached a settlement in the matter, according to a statement from the sports organization and lawyers representing [...]

  • R. Kelly

    R. Kelly Could Be in ‘Big Trouble’ Over Alleged New Sex Tape, Attorney Says

    Strong allegations of sexual misconduct have followed R. Kelly for 25 years, but the singer has always managed to slip free. Yet reports that a videotape of him sexually assaulting an underage girl, combined with the outcry surrounding the Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly,” means that public sentiment, at the very least, is definitely not [...]

  • Christian Bale as Dick Cheney in

    New Media Residuals and Feature Films Contribute to Spike in Writers' Pay

    The outlook for members of the Writers Guild of America has brightened — even amid pervasive uncertainty in the entertainment industry. According to the most recent report to WGA West members, earnings surged 2.8% to $1.41 billion in 2017, thanks mostly to gains in feature films and new-media residuals. Total covered earnings for WGA West [...]

  • Joe Dante Gremlins

    Hollywood Execs Seek Licensing Deals at the New York Toy Fair

    On Feb. 16 more than 30,000 studio executives, buyers and toy company reps will gather in Manhattan for the annual Toy Fair New York, all vying for market share and trying to snag the latest hot trend in a fast-changing industry. Those working the film side of the business will focus much of their attention [...]

  • Lady Gaga Bradley Cooper A Star

    Universal Music Group Fuels 11.3% Rise in Vivendi's 2018 Revenues

    Vivendi’s revenues were up 11.3% to €13.93 billion ($15.7 billion) in 2018, powered by Universal Music Group, which delivered such hits as the “A Star Is Born” soundtrack and Drake’s new album. UMG’s revenues climbed by 10% to €6 billion ($6.8 billion) compared to 2017. On top of the “A Star Is Born” soundtrack, the [...]

  • The Blacklist 100th Episode

    'The Blacklist' EP Sues for Wrongful Termination

    A former executive producer of the NBC show “The Blacklist” has filed suit against Sony, alleging he was fired after being wrongfully blamed for a workplace scuffle. Michael Watkins is a veteran TV director and cinematographer. He was an executive producer for several seasons of “The Blacklist,” the NBC crime show starring James Spader. According [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content