Bids for The Weinstein Company are due on Wednesday, an individual familiar with negotiations told TheWrap.
It’s unclear how many bidders may emerge for the indie studio by day’s end — and whether they will seek the whole company or pieces of the operation assembled by brothers Bob and Harvey Weinstein 12 years ago.
TWC was on the verge of bankruptcy back in November after the company fired Harvey Weinstein in the wake of multiple sexual misconduct accusations. The company bided time by selling the domestic distribution rights for “Paddington 2” to Warner Bros. for $28 million.
Bidders include Maria Contreras-Sweet, who on Nov. 8 made a proposition to acquire TWC, rename it, and to make the board 51 percent female; Lionsgate; and Shamrock Capital Advisors, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm, according to an individual with knowledge of the negotiations.
The individual said TWC management is interested in a deal with Contreras-Sweet, maybe due to fear Lionsgate would absorb TWC operations and shed employees.
Complicating matters for TWC is its suffocating debt. Two individuals with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap the company’s estimated total debt is about $900 million, however insiders pegged it at closer to $300 million outstanding. TWC re-upped a $500 million senior credit facility with a variety of institutions last year, which carries a 4 percent interest rate. And the company is only releasing about six to eight movies a year.
Another individual close to the film finance industry told TheWrap he had heard TWC was looking to raise even more debt, this time in a fourth lien position — an extremely rare and almost certainly very expensive financing arrangement that would indicate cash pressures.The bondholders control TWC’s assets, including its library, and will likely want $1 billion or more to be made whole.
Once offloaded, TWC will change its name — which TheWrap reported the company was looking into in October.