Weinstein Company to file for bankruptcy

The Weinstein Company announced late Sunday, February 25, that it will file for bankruptcy after plans for a $500 million sale collapsed.

“While we recognize that this is an extremely unfortunate outcome for our employees, our creditors and any victims, the board has no choice but to pursue the only viable option to maximize the company’s remaining value: an orderly bankruptcy process,” the film and TV studio said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times.

The decision came after TWC was unable to finalize a deal to sell its assets to an investor group led by Maria Contreras-Sweet, who ran the Small Business Administration under President Barack Obama from 2014 to 2017. The group had offered to pay about $275 million for the company, in addition to the assumption of $225 million in debt.

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Bob Weinstein (L) and his brother Harvey Weinstein, the founders of The Weinstein Co., an independent motion picture studio, pose at the premiere of their studio's film "1408" in Los Angeles, California June 12, 2007. REUTERS/Fred Prouser (UNITED STATES)
LOS ANGELES, CA- 081009- Brothers Bob and Harvey Weinstein, outside the Mann Chinese Theater after the red carpet opening of the movie 'inglorious Basterds' Photo by J. Emilio Flores/CORBIS (Photo by J. Emilio Flores/Corbis via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 16: Producer Bob Weinstein and producer Harvey Weinstein attends the New York premiere of Dimension Films' 'The Road' at Clearview Chelsea Cinemas on November 16, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Mark Von Holden/Getty Images for Dimension Films)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 24: Bob Weinstein and Harvey Weinstein attend Bing Presents 'The Details' Official Cast Dinner and After-Party on January 24, 2011 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Bing)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - OCTOBER 24: Harvey Weinstein and Bob Weinstein attend A Celebration for the Launch of THE FOX BUSINESS NETWORK at Temple of Dendur on October 24, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by JIMI CELESTE/patrickmcmullan.com/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
Producer Bob Weinstein and Producer Harvey Weinstein (Photo by E. Charbonneau/WireImage)
Robert Rodriguez, Harvey Weinstein, Quentin Tarantino and Bob Weinstein (Photo by Jeff Vespa/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 26: Producer Harvey Weinstein, actress Rosario Dawson, and producer Bob Weinstein arrive to the premiere of 'Grindhouse' at the Orpheum Theatre on March 26, 2007 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - NOVEMBER 14: (L-R) Harvey Weinstein, John Antioco and Bob Weinstien attend A Special Screening of The Weinstein Company's 'Bobby' at Le Cirque on November 14, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Chris Ford/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
Harvey Weinstein, John Antioco, Chairman and CEO of Blockbuster Video, and Bob Weinstein (Photo by G. Gershoff/WireImage for The Weinstein Company)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - OCTOBER 23: Harvey Weinstein and Bob Weinstein attend Bob and Harvey Weinstein honor Lee Scott of WAL-MART with a special performance by THE EAGLES at The Rainbow Room on October 23, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Joe Schildhorn/Patrick McMullan.com/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - JUNE 4: Harvey Weinstein and Bob Weinstein attend A Sunday with the New York Times Magazine: How We Are Entertained with Bob and Harvey Weinstein at City University of New York on June 4, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Rudd, Matt Carasella & Clint Spaulding/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
Bob Weinstein and Harvey Weinstein (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/FilmMagic)
Harvey Weinstein of Miramax, Robert Rodriguez, co-director and Bob Weinstein of Miramax (Photo by M. Caulfield/WireImage)
Bob Weinstein and Harvey Weinstein during 2006 Weinstein Company Pre-Oscar Party - Red Carpet and Inside at Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by J. Vespa/WireImage for OK! Magazine USA)
Bob Weinstein, Quentin Tarantino, Harvey Weinstein ***Exclusive*** (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/FilmMagic)
Bob Weinstein & Harvey Weinstein during 29th Annual Dinner Of Champions Honoring Bob and Harvey Weinstein at Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
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Sale discussions came to a halt on February 11 when the New York attorney general’s office filed a civil rights lawsuit against TWC and its cofounders, Bob and Harvey Weinstein. Harvey, 65, was dismissed from the studio in October after more than 80 women came forward to accuse him of sexual harassment or assault, as first reported by The New York Times. He has denied any allegations of non-consensual sex.

TWC recently asked a judge to dismiss a class action lawsuit filed against the studio in December. The federal suit claimed Harvey’s former colleagues enabled his alleged behavior, while the company argued that the film producer acted alone and that most of the alleged incidents occurred more than a decade ago.

Before the bankruptcy news broke, TWC board members sent a strongly worded letter to Contreras-Sweet and one of her backers, billionaire investor Ron Burkle. The letter, which was obtained by Variety, said the studio had been working “tirelessly to finalize an agreement” and accused the bidders of failing to produce a deal that would prevent bankruptcy.

“We have believed in this company and in the goals set forth by the Attorney General. Based on the events of the past week, however, we must conclude that your plan to buy this company was illusory and would only leave this company hobbling toward its demise to the detriment of all constituents,” the letter read. “This board will not let that happen.”

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