Broadway Producer Makes 11th-Hour Bid for Weinstein Co. That Includes $30 Million Victims Fund

Howard Kagan’s Inclusion Media says its bid is similar to Lantern Capital’s $310 million proposal

Last Updated: May 1, 2018 @ 3:06 PM

The sale of The Weinstein Company and its assets to stalking-horse bidder Lantern Asset Capital seemed all but a done deal Monday after the bankruptcy court’s deadline for bids had passed.

Around lunchtime on Tuesday, however, veteran Broadway producer Howard Kagan’s Inclusion Media submitted a bid similar to Lantern Capital’s $310 million proposal to buy The Weinstein Co.’s assets and keep the production company running.

Kagan had asked for an extension to the April 30, 5 p.m. ET deadline set by the Delaware bankruptcy court so it’s unclear whether Kagan’s bid will even be considered.

Kagan told TheWrap that he asked for an extension because he and his company felt they didn’t have all of the information and context surrounding TWC contracts that they needed to confidently submit an offer.

“Going into the bid last night we were trying to figure out what to do. It looks like some of the bidders stayed home,” Kagan told TheWrap. “We submitted our bid with the caveat that we’d get the additional information after the fact.”

Kagan said at the time that he’d not yet heard back from representatives of TWC.

An assistant for Mary Walrath, the judge in the Weinstein bankruptcy, said more of the circumstances of surrounding the bid would likely come to light at a scheduled hearing on Wednesday. Reps for TWC did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Lantern Capital declined to comment for this story.

Kagan is touting that his late bid for TWC includes a $30 million victims’ fund — something he said was lacking in Lantern Capital’s $310 million offer dating from the time the New York-based film and TV studio filed for Chapter 11 protection in late March.

“It’s still a great investment and a great company that should be able to prosper,” Kagan said. “But the right thing in this situation is to make sure the victims are taken care of.”

Attorneys for the accusers in the sexual assault cases against Harvey Weinstein said they will oppose a sale of The Weinstein Company that could leave the dozens of women who have accused him of sexual misconduct empty-handed.

The group of plaintiffs, which include those who brought racketeering cases against Weinstein and the studio, have thrown their support behind Kagan’s bid.

“Mr. Kagan has a long history of supporting and promoting women and diversity, and has stated that he intends to ensure that the content of the new company is likewise forward-thinking and will serve as a model for the industry,” Cris Armenta, founding partner of The Armenta Law Firm, said in a statement Tuesday.

Armenta Law Firm and Hagens Berman are representing many of Harvey Weinstein’s accusers.

Under Lantern Capital’s bid, the money used in the acquisition would go into a pot that creditors — secured and unsecured — and Weinstein’s accusers would then have to fight over. There’s no guarantee the accusers would receive any compensation.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman penned an open letter on Monday to the parties in the bankruptcy case, asking that they use the sale as an opportunity to “help survivors of past misconduct and ensure that current workers are protected.”

“Lantern’s bid in no way addresses the victims of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault enterprise, and would sweep the 100-plus instances of sexual assault, rape and more under the rug. We’re here to show them the assault survivors will not go away quietly,” Hagens Berman partner Elizabeth Fegan said in a statement.

“Victims have already shown they will no longer be silenced, and we intend to protect them from being further harmed.”