Weinstein Co. sale is back on after negotiations broke down last week
Alexander Koerner/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Days after The Weinstein Co. announced its intention to file for bankruptcy, the on-again, off-again sale of the embattled company is back on, which would save it from having to file for Chapter 11.
The firm’s board of directors confirmed in a statement obtained by ABC News that it has arranged the sale to the same investor group with whom talks broke down last week.
“The deal provides a clear path for compensation for victims and protects the jobs of our employees,” the board statement said on Thursday, referring to alleged victims of sexual harassment or assault by company co-founder Harvey Weinstein. “We consider this to be a positive outcome under what have been incredibly difficult circumstances.”
The film production company has been looking for an influx of cash and assets ever since Harvey Weinstein became the subject of dozens of allegations by women of harassment or assault.
Last week, the potential sale to an investor group led by Maria Contreras-Sweet and Ron Burkle appeared to break down, with the Weinstein Co. board sending a memo to the would-be purchasers claiming they had gone back on promises of keeping the company afloat and preserving jobs.
Contreras-Sweet said in a statement Thursday that the revived agreement will allow the investor group to purchase Weinstein Co. assets “to build a movie studio led by a board of directors made up of a majority of independent women.”
Additionally, she said the agreement will “save about 150 jobs, protect the small businesses who are owed money and create a victims’ compensation fund that would supplement existing insurance coverage for those who have been harmed.”
New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, whose suit against the Weinstein Co. three weeks ago brought pressure to ensure the creation of a fund to compensate alleged victims of Harvey Weinstein, expressed satisfaction with the sale agreement.
“We are pleased to have received express commitments from the parties that the new company will create a real, well-funded victims compensation fund” and implement human resources policies to protect employees, Schneiderman said in a statement. “We will work with the parties in the weeks ahead” to ensure the commitments are honored prior to the sale’s closing.
However, the attorney general also stressed that his lawsuit against the company “remains active, and investigation remains ongoing at this time.”
In the wake of the allegations against Harvey Weinstein, Weinstein apologized for his behavior and sought professional help, but his spokeswoman has said that “any allegations of nonconsensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.” Following the women’s claims and news reports, Weinstein was fired from the company that bears his name, banned from the Producer’s Guild of America and expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
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