Weinstein Company deal falls through after more debt found

Weinstein Company deal falls through after more debt found

A last-minute deal to buy The Weinstein Company has collapsed after more debt was uncovered by investors.

The consortium led by Maria Contreras-Sweet, a former senior official in Barack Obama’s administration, announced it would no longer buy the studio’s assets.

Ms Contreras-Sweet and her investment partner, US billionaire Ron Burkle, said they were “disappointed” after discovering tens of millions of dollars of additional liabilities on top of the $225m that were prepared to take on.

“All of us have worked in earnest on the transaction to purchase the assets of The Weinstein Company,” they said.

Ms Contreras-Sweet was a senior member of the Obama administration

“However, after signing and entering into the confirmatory diligence phase, we have received disappointing information about the viability of completing this transaction.

“As a result, we have decided to terminate this transaction.”

The studio had said before it was considering filing for bankruptcy, and has reinforced it will now pursue such “orderly process” if no other viable options arise.

Pressure for the deal to be closed has been enforced by the Attorney General’s office, which said it would be “disappointed if the parties cannot work out their differences”.

This comes in the backdrop of the fall of Harvey Weinstein, co-founder of TWC and one of the biggest film producers in Hollywood history.

Bob and Harvey Weinstein in 2011
The Weinstein Company was founded by Harvey and his brother Robert

He was accused by dozens of women of a wide range of sexual misconduct and sexual abuse accusations, all of which he denies.

Weinstein is being investigated by authorities in both the US and the UK.

Ms Contreras-Sweet left open the possibility that she could still forge a new company from the ashes, saying she believes “our vision to create a women-led film studio is still the correct course of action”.

More from Harvey Weinstein

The Mexican-born business woman has previously stated her intention is to have a majority female board, save jobs and create a victims’ compensation fund.

Now that the deal seems to have collapsed, TWC has said it was an “excuse” by investors to back out from the deal, and the company “has always been transparent about its dire financial condition”.

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