Former Obama administration official in bid for The Weinstein Co

(Reuters) - Maria Contreras-Sweet, the former head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), has submitted an offer to acquire the Weinstein Co, a spokeswoman for the U.S. film and TV studio said on Sunday.

Contreras-Sweet has put together a consortium of investors who have offered $275 million for The Weinstein Co, according to a source familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified discussing details of the bid. The Wall Street Journal first reported on the offer earlier on Sunday without stating its value.

Harvey Weinstein with Clinton, Obama and other top Democrats 

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Harvey Weinstein with Clinton, Obama and other top Democrats
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Harvey Weinstein with Clinton, Obama and other top Democrats
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24: United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Georgina Chapman and Harvey Weinstein attend the TIME 100 Gala celebrating TIME'S 100 Most Infuential People In The World at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 24, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage for TIME)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24: United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Georgina Chapman and Harvey Weinstein attend the TIME 100 Gala celebrating TIME'S 100 Most Infuential People In The World at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 24, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage for TIME)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - OCTOBER 6: Harvey Weinstein and Bill Clinton attend Special Premiere of SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER to Benefit the Kennedy Center with Former President Bill Clinton as Guest of Honor at Pier Sixty on October 6, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - OCTOBER 6: (L-R) Kerry Kennedy, Harvey Weinstein, Ethel Kennedy, Bill Clinton and Mary Richardson Kennedy attend Special Premiere of SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER to Benefit the Kennedy Center with Former President Bill Clinton as Guest of Honor at Pier Sixty on October 6, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
Hillary Rodham Clinton, Harvey Weinstein during Miramax premiere of 'Finding Neverland' at Brooklyn Museum of Art in Brooklyn, New York, United States. (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/FilmMagic)
Marty Markowitz, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Harvey Weinstein (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK - OCTOBER 25: Senator Hillary Clinton and Miramax boss Harvey Weinstein arrive at the Brooklyn Museum for the premiere of Miramax Films 'Finding Neverland' October 25, 2004 in New York City. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
President Bill Clinton and Miramax Chief, Harvey Weinstein at Hillary Clinton's Birthday Party at the Hudson Hotel in New York City. October 25, 2000 (Photo: Nick Elgar/ImageDirect)
President Bill Clinton and Miramax Chief, Harvey Weinstein at Hillary Clinton's Birthday Party at the Hudson Hotel in New York City. October 25, 2000 (Photo: Nick Elgar/ImageDirect)
375603 02: President Clinton talks with Miramax studio boss Harvey Weinstein, center, and an unidentified woman August 7, 2000 at West Chop Lighthouse on Marthas Vineyard, MA. The Clintons attended a fund-raiser for the first lady at Weinstein's home. (Photo by Stephen Rose/Newsmakers)
UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 03: First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton is joined by actress Gwyneth Paltrow (center) and Harvey Weinstein at the premiere of 'Shakespeare in Love' at the Ziegfeld Theater. Paltrow stars in the movie; Weinstein produced it. (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - Gwyneth Paltrow (L), Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Harvey Weinstein at the film premiere of 'Shakespeare in Love.' (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 20: Producer Harvey Weinstein and actress Jennifer Lawrence presents Former President of the United States Bill Clinton with the Advocate for Change Award onstage during the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards presented by Ketel One and Wells Fargo at JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. LIVE on April 20, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Tachman/Getty Images for GLAAD)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 20: (L-R) Harvey Weinstein, Senator John McCain, (R-AZ), Hillary Clinton and General Colin Powell attend the 'Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom' premiere presented by The Weinstein Company and sponsored by American Express and South African Airlines at The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts on November 20, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
U.S. first lady Michelle Obama gets animated while hosting a workshop at the White House for high school students about careers in film in Washington November 8, 2013. Also pictured is producer Harvey Weinstein (L) and actress Blake Lively (R). REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ENTERTAINMENT)
Film producer and studio executive Harvey Weinstein laughs at remarks directed at him by U.S. first lady Michelle Obama as she hosts a workshop at the White House for high school students about careers in film in Washington November 8, 2013. At right is actress Whoopi Goldberg. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ENTERTAINMENT)
Senator Obama, Harvey Weinstein, Senator Lautenberg and Senator Schumer *EXCLUSIVE* ***Exclusive*** (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/FilmMagic)
WASHINGTON, DC -- NOVEMBER 8: First Lady Michelle Obama hosts a workshop at the White House for high school students from DC, New York and Boston about careers in film on Friday, November 8, 2013. Over the years, Mrs. Obama has opened the White House to students to learn about everything from music to diplomacy, sports to poetry. On the panel from left to right are director David Frankel, director Ryan Coogler, production executive Harvey Weinstein, actress Whoopi Goldberg, actress Blake Lively, obscured from view, actress Naomie Harris, producer Bruce Cohen, and editor-at-large of The Oprah Magazine Gayle King. (Photo by Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 21: Producer and studio executive, Harvey Weinstein in attendance as U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer commemorates last week's change in federal tax law benefits with Broadway Stars at Sardi's on December 21, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 21: Studio Executive Harvey Weinstein attends as U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer commemorates last week's change in federal tax law benefits with Broadway Stars at Sardi's on December 21, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 21: US Senator Charles E. Schumer, Matthew Morrison and Studio Executive Harvey Weinstein attend as U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer commemorates last week's change in federal tax law benefits with Broadway Stars at Sardi's on December 21, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 29: Kirsten Gillibrand and Harvey Weinstein attend the TIME 100 Gala, TIME's 100 most influential people in the world, at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 29, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for TIME)
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The bid comes after the movie studio secured a $20 million cash infusion from the sale of the children’s movie "Paddington 2" last week to Warner Brothers Pictures, a unit of Time Warner Inc, The Weinstein Co's co-chairman Harvey Weinstein stepped down last month following sexual assault allegations.

The movie studio, known for hit movies including “The King’s Speech” and “Silver Linings Playbook,” has been trying to find a buyer or rescue financing after more than 50 women claimed that Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed or assaulted them over the past three decades.

Harvey Weinstein has denied having non-consensual sex with anyone. Reuters has been unable to independently confirm any of the allegations.

Contreras-Sweet's plans call for a majority-female board at The Weinstein Co should her offer prevail, the source said. The offer includes an approximately $30 million fund for the alleged victims of Harvey Weinstein, the source added. The fund would be set up through a mediation process, according to the source.

The spokeswoman for The Weinstein Co did not comment on the details of the offer it received. A spokesman for Contreras-Sweet declined to comment.

U.S. President Barack Obama in 2014 selected Contreras-Sweet as the head of the SBA, which makes loans to small businesses and helps them get government contracts. She had previously founded ProAmerica Bank, a Latino-owned community bank in Los Angeles, which focuses on lending to small- and medium-sized Latino businesses.   

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has marked its small equity stake in The Weinstein Co down to zero, Reuters reported last week, reflecting the investment bank's assessment that the value of the company has diminished following Harvey Weinstein’s departure.

The proceeds from the "Paddington 2" sale enable The Weinstein Co to continue to operate until January, the source said. Investment firm Fortress Investment Group LLC was considering lending to the film and TV studio, but those talks ended without a deal earlier this month.

More than 20 other potential bidders are analyzing The Weinstein Co's financial data, the source said. The studio has $375 million in debt, including a $45 million loan from AI International Holdings Limited, an affiliate of billionaire Len Blavatnik’s industrial group Access Industries, the person said. Much of the debt is backed by the company’s film and TV assets.

(Reporting by Jessica DiNapoli and Liana B. Baker in New York; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

RELATED: Women who have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual abuse or harassment:

35 PHOTOS
Women who have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment or assault
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Women who have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment or assault
Paz de la Huerta, who stars on HBO's 'Boardwalk Empire,' claims Harvey Weinstein raped her on two separate occasions in 2010: "I was in no state. I was so terrified of him," she told Vanity Fair. "I did say no, and when he was on top of me, I said, 'I don't want to do this' ... It was disgusting. He's like a pig."
British actress Lysette Anthony has publicly accused Harvey Weinstein of raping her in her home in the late 1980s.
Amber Anderson said Harvey Weinstein 'behaved inappropriately' and bragged about other actresses he had 'helped' in exchange for sexual favors.
Natassia Malthe has accused Weinstein of raping her in a hotel room. On a separate occasion, after she was assured that Weinstein would not come onto her, she was allegedly escorted to Weinstein's hotel room by an assistant. In the room was another woman, who performed oral sex on Weinstein whil he asked Malthe to join.
Lupita Nyong'o wrote a detailed essay for the New York Times recounting multiple incidents with Weinstein, including an evening during which he asked her to give him a nude massage while his family was in the same home.
Marisa Coughlan said that she planned to meet Weinstein for a meeting at his hotel. Instead, he requested a massage.

Heather Graham said Weinstein told her he had an agreement with his wife that allowed him to sleep with whomever he wants. He then asked him to meet her to discuss a film project at his hotel, falsely telling her that her friend would also be present. She declined.

French actress Judith Godreche has accused Weinstein of inappropriately pressing up against her, trying to remove her sweater and asking for a massage.

Lauren Holly said that during a seemingly normal meeting with Weinstein to discuss a project, he began disrobing, got into the shower, and went to the bathroom while continuing to converse with her. He then allegedly asked her for a massage. She fled. 
Angie Everhart said that she was sleeping in her own cabin on a yacht when Harvey Weinstein entered, blocked the door and began masturbating. He told her not to tell anyone, but she "told everyone," including many actors and producers. In response, most told her that it was just Harvey being Harvey. In an interview with TMZ, she emphasized that anyone in the industry who knew Harvey at all knew that he regularly did things like what he allegedly did to her.
Kate Beckinsale has accused Harvey Weinstein of coming onto her in his hotel room when she was 17 years old.
Tara Subkoff said that in the 1990s, on the same day that she was offered a major movie role, she met Harvey Weinstein at a party. He allegedly made her sit on his lap while he had an erection. He then told her that if he did not do certain sexual things, she would not get the role that she'd already been offered. She declined. Afterward, she said, her "reputation was ruined by false gossip" and she found it near impossible to book roles.
Minka Kelly said that Harvey Weinstein offered her a lavish lifestyle in exchange for being his extramarital girlfriend. She declined.
Gwyneth Paltrow told the New York Times that Harvey Weinstein asked her for a massage in his hotel suite. After she told then-boyfriend Brad Pitt, Pitt confronted him, leading Weinstein to contact Paltrow and "scream" at her, she said.
Asia Argento has accused Weinstein of raping her in his hotel room when she was 21. She first reluctantly agreed to give him a massage, and then he forcibly performed oral sex on her. During subsequent encounters, she had consensual sexual relations with him due to fear that he would otherwise ruin her career.
Rose McGowan has publicly accused Harvey Weinstein of rape. In October 2016, she tweeted reference to a studio head raping her. In October 2017, in a tweet to Amazon chief Jeff Bezos, McGowan referred to Weinstein by name while repeating her rape accusation. The alleged incident took place in the 1990s and resulted in a financial settlement.
Cara Delevingne has accused Harvey Weinstein of attempting to coerce her into kissing another woman in his hotel room. She had just begun her acting career and believed they were meeting just to finalize talks for a film role.
Angelina Jolie said she had a "bad experience with Harvey Weinstein in my youth" and refused to work with him subsequently.
Jessica Barth has accused Harvey Weinstein of demanding that she get naked and give him a massage.
Emma de Caunes has accused Harvey Weinstein of unexpectedly getting naked and demanding that she lie down as other women had supposedly done before her.
Lauren Sivan has accused Harvey Weinstein of cornering her in a public space and masturbating to completion in front of her.
Mira Sorvino, seen here at a Weinstein Co. event in January 2017, said that after refusing Harvey Weinstein's advances, he dissuaded others in the industry from hiring her.
Ambra Battilana has accused Harvey Weinstein of groping her breasts and reaching under her skirt. She went to the NYPD and then conducted a sting operation, the audio of which was published by the New Yorker. In the audio, Weinstein can be heard attempting to coerce her to enter his hotel room.
Louisette Geiss has accused Harvey Weinstein of luring her to his hotel room after assuring her he wouldn't hit on her. He then disrobed and repeatedly asked her to watch him masturbate, telling her he would produce her screenplay if she did.
Emily Nestor (far right), a former Weinstein Co. employee, has accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment.
Rosanna Arquette has accused Harvey Weinstein of dissuading others from hiring her after she rejected his sexual advances.
Rose McGowan has publicly accused Weinstein of sexual harassment. She has also accused others in the industry of knowing of Weinstein's misconduct and either actively or passively hiding it.
Ashley Judd has publicly accused Harvey Weinstein of asking her for a massage and then asking her to watch him shower.
Florence Darel has accused Harvey Weinstein of coming onto her in a hotel suite in 1996 while his wife was in the room next door.
Zoe Brock (left, in 2004) has accused Weinstein of getting naked and chasing her around a hotel room after she refused to give him a massage.
Katherine Kendall (right, in 2006) has accused Harvey Weinstein of disrobing and asking for a massage in his apartment after a movie screening, telling her that "everybody does it." He then asked her to at least show him her breasts, which she refused.
Romola Garai has accused Harvey Weinstein of making her feel "violated" when he watched her audition wearing only a bathrobe in his hotel room.
Lea Seydoux has accused Harvey Weinstein of forcibly trying to kiss her on the lips in 2012.
Claire Forlani said she "escaped" Harvey Weinstein on five occasions. He allegedly told her about all the actresses he had slept with and how he had in turn established their careers. He also attempted to get her to give him a massage.
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