March 1, 2018
Maria Contreras-Sweet, former head of the Small Business Administration in the Obama Administration, has reached an agreement with the New York State Attorney General’s office to purchase The Weinstein Co. – less than a week after the embattled studio’s board said the deal was off and that it would file for bankruptcy.
The award-winning studio – including The Weinstein Co. Home Entertainment – founded by Harvey and Bob Weinstein, is embroiled in myriad allegations of improper sexual conduct, including rape, by Harvey Weinstein – charges Weinstein denies.
Contreras-Sweet, together with billionaire investor Ron Burkle, had offered $500 million for TWC – a deal that apparently fell through after New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a lawsuit against TWC on Feb. 11.
Schneiderman subsequently voiced his disappointment that TWC was looking at filing for bankruptcy.
In a statement, reported by Reuters, Contreras-Sweet said investors had reached an agreement to purchase TWC assets, launch a new company, majority led by women, save about 150 jobs, protect small businesses that are owed money and create a victims’ compensation fund, among other objectives.
“We are grateful to the New York State Attorney General’s office for their efforts in helping us reach an agreement and we are grateful to our investors who have believed in this process and in the compelling value of a female-led company. We also want to thank all the parties who returned to the negotiating table to help reach this development,” read the statement.
The Weinstein Co. board later issued a statement confirming the deal.
“We greatly appreciate the efforts of Attorney General Schneiderman and his staff, Maria Contreras-Sweet, Ron Burkle and his team at Yucaipa for bringing about this agreement,” read the statement.
Schneiderman, in a statement, reiterated his support for the deal.
“Our office will support a deal that ensures victims will be adequately compensated, employees will be protected moving forward, and those who were responsible for misconduct at TWC will not be unjustly rewarded.”