With some help from NY A.G. Eric Schneiderman's office, the beleaguered Weinstein Co. board and a group of investors have struck a $500 million deal to sell most of the studio's assets to an investor group led by Maria Contreras-Sweet.
According to Variety, the deal came together in a lengthy meet on Thursday where the Weinstein Co.board, including Bob Weinstein, sat down with Burkle and his partner Maria Contreras-Sweet to solidify the deal.
This next step represents the best possible pathway to support victims and protect employees.
The Weinstein Company's bankruptcy talk has been replaced by deal talk. Weinstein denies having non-consensual sex with anyone.
Maria Contreras-Sweet said the deal had been reached with the NY state attorney general's office, which last month sued The Weinstein Company fearing that its imminent sale could leave his alleged victims without adequate redress. Also, there appear to be no plans now for Contreras-Sweet and Burkle to retain David Glasser as CEO of the new company.
According to a source familiar with the situation, lawyers for both sides were hunkered in a conference room at Schneiderman's office on Thursday, trying to "hash out the details" of the deal.
The investors originally wanted to make Glasser the COO of the new company but Schneiderman considered him an enabler of Weinstein, and therefore wanted him out of the new business.
Harvey Weinstein is accused of sexual misconduct, including rape, by more than 80 women and was sacked from the company in October past year.
Weinstein Co., founded in 2005, has produced Oscar winners such as "The King's Speech" and TV shows such as "Project Runway". The future of TWC was thrown into serious doubt previous year following the tidal wave of allegations of sexual misconduct, harassment, assault, and rape being directed at Harvey Weinstein. Several other powerful men in media, entertainment and politics have since been held accountable for allegedly inappropriate behavior.
He said his office would work with the two sides to ensure they honour their commitment and that his lawsuit and investigation into the Weinstein Co. remain active.
She continued, "Those principles have never wavered and have always been to build a movie studio led by a board of directors made up of a majority of independent women, 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". Carreras-Sweet said it would have "a new board and a new vision that embodies the principles that we have stood by since we began this process last fall".
The buyers would pay $220-million for most of the Weinstein Co. assets and assume about $225-million of the studio's debt.
The deal includes a library of 277 films, and could save as many as 150 jobs as employees are invted to join the new business. He also said the deal would potentially keep in place top executives accused of enabling Weinstein's alleged abuse of the company's female employees.