Weinstein Co Blasts ‘Excuses’ From Maria Contreras-Sweet Over Failed Sale

“This buyer simply had no intention of following through on its promises,” board says

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The Weinstein Company’s board of directors doesn’t want to hear Maria Contreras-Sweet’s “excuses,” the group said in a statement after the entrepreneur called off her prospective purchase of the company.

“We are disappointed by the announcement today that the investor group led by Maria Contreras-Sweet and Ron Burkle has (again) walked away from its bid to buy the assets of The Weinstein Company,” the statement read. “Although we publicly predicted this outcome, the Board entered last week’s agreement in the hope and good faith that a transaction would save this Company and its employees. The investors’ excuse that they learned new information about the Company’s financial condition is just that — an excuse.”

The bidding group led by Ron Burkle and Maria Contreras-Sweet announced earlier Tuesday that it had pulled out of the deal, with an individual familiar with the deal telling TheWrap that a $50 million liability that appeared “out of the blue” had caused the deal to collapse.

Just five days ago, the Contreras-Sweet Group announced that it had found a satisfactory deal to purchase almost all of TWC’s assets, despite a turn of events that involved a lawsuit from New York’s attorney general and a Chapter 11 threat from the existing TWC board.

The Company has been transparent about its dire financial condition to the point of announcing its own LIKELY bankruptcy last week,” TWC continued. “We regret being correct that this buyer simply had no intention of following through on its promises. Nevertheless, this Board will not quit. We will continue to work tirelessly — as we have for months — to determine if there are any viable options outside of bankruptcy. In the meantime, we continue to pursue an orderly bankruptcy process to maximize the Company’s value.”

Had the deal been completed, Contreras-Sweet had planned to form a rebranded TWC with a female-majority board of directors while creating a compensation fund for those who have accused former CEO Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault. Weinstein has named in over 80 accusations of harassment, rape, and abuse.

A sale amount was not immediately disclosed, though the investors had been exclusively negotiating for the company at a $500 million price –half of it cash, and the other half an assumption of the studio’s existing debt.