Weinstein Company Expected to File for Bankruptcy

Harvey Weinstein was fired last October after being accused of sexual assault and harassment.
Photograph: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Harvey Weinstein’s film and TV production company is to file for bankruptcy after the sexual harassment scandal that has engulfed the beleaguered firm scuppered a last-ditch $500m (£356m) deal to save the business.

The company’s board said it had been forced to file for bankruptcy protection following the collapse of revived talks to sell to an investor group led by Maria Contreras-Sweet, a former official in Barack Obama’s administration. It branded the takeover proposal as “illusory”.

“While we recognise that this is an extremely unfortunate outcome for our employees, our creditors and any victims, the board has no choice but to pursue the only viable option to maximise the company’s remaining value: an orderly bankruptcy process,” the board said in a statement.

The Weinstein Company has been seeking a buyer for the business, which has backed films including The King’s Speech, The Artist and Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, since a wave of sexual harassment and assault allegations against co-founder Harvey Weinstein emerged last year.

Since then the company, which Weinstein valued at up to $800m two years ago, has been involved in fire sale talks to secure a financial lifeline to salvage the business.

Under the proposed $500m deal, which would have given Contreras-Sweet’s consortium 51% control, the Weinstein Company was to be renamed with a new board of directors.

The majority of the new-look board were to have been women, in recognition of the Weinstein scandal that has triggered the #MeToo movement, and a $40m-plus fund to compensate Weinstein’s accusers.

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SOURCE: The Guardian, Mark Sweney