Weinstein Co Sale Talks Stabilize After Bidders’ ‘Productive’ Meeting With NY Attorney General

$500 million deal to sell studio seems healthier after Wednesday sit down

Last Updated: February 21, 2018 @ 3:57 PM

A group of investors inched closer to completing its planned purchase of The Weinstein Company after a “productive” talk on Wednesday with New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, insiders told TheWrap.

Schneiderman had stalled the presumptive sale last week with a lawsuit saying the civil rights of TWC employees had been violated by ousted co-founder Harvey Weinstein.  Schneiderman demanded the removal of current executive leadership plus proof of a compensation fund for Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment accusers.

The investors group, led by Maria Contreras-Sweet and Ron Burkle, sat for several hours in a discussion on Wednesday about the parameters Schneiderman put forth for the $500 million sale to go through.

Representatives for Schneiderman, Contreras-Sweet and Burkle’s Yucaipa Capital declined to comment on the matter.

One major sticking point for Schneiderman was a plan to name longtime TWC Chief Operating Officer David Glasser as the new company’s CEO. At the time of filing, Schneiderman blasted Glasser and the board as “complicit” in Weinstein’s predatory behavior. Glasser was fired “for cause” by the board last Friday five days after the suit hit.

Schneiderman has also openly said there was no evidence of a victims fund in the deal documents he was given to review. TheWrap previously reported that the fund would be valued at around $50 million, with $20 million personally coming from Contreras-Sweet.

The group discussed increasing the dollar amount in the fund, several media reports said.

While a sale might bolster confidence that 157 TWC employees will keep their jobs, creditors of the studio are getting anxious as bankruptcy is certain, according to insiders, if the sole bid falls through.

Entertainment One, which sued The Weinstein Company earlier this month for money it says was owed for rights “to Paddington 2,” demanded Wednesday that a California federal judge place a lien on the company.

The Canadian movie distributor previously said it was owed $7.2 million for its 2014 advance on the family film as well as expenditures for its planned release — before TWC sold it to Warner Bros. last fall so they could pay bills while Harvey’s scandal rocked their operation.

Also on Wednesday, the company behind Lindt chocolates sued TWC for a sponsorship repayment. The company entered into a three-year agreement to feature its chocolates at TWC’s Golden Globes after-party — typically co-hosted with Netflix — but the event was canceled in 2018.

Lindt wants a portion of their cash back, read more about it here.