Following the downfall of producer Harvey Weinstein, The Weinstein Company found itself in financial turmoil. Weinstein ran the company with his brother Bob. He stepped down not long after the first accusations of sexual abuse and misconduct against him were made public. The company was close to reaching a deal with a group of investors made up almost entirely of women. However, it said it would file for bankruptcy when that deal appeared to have fallen through. But the tides have apparently turned, and the sale to the investment group appears ready to move forward.
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The Weinstein Company will be acquired by an investor group led by Maria Contreras-Sweet. Ms. Contreras-Sweet is the former head of the Small Business Administration under President Barack Obama.
The investor group, made up of mostly female investors, reached a deal late last week. They agreed to acquire The Weinstein Company for around $500 million, which includes about $225 million in debt held by the production company. More importantly, Ms. Contreras-Sweet will create a victims’ compensation fund as part of them deal, which will supplement existing insurance coverage for his victims.
How much do I love that Maria Contreras-Sweet just bought the Weinstein Company for a song, is going to change the name, save a bunch of jobs, have a mostly female board, and is making the victims compensation fund a key part of the deal? I love it a LOT. https://t.co/n7SAW3yczN pic.twitter.com/QCoQGwiX6E
— Shannon Coulter (@shannoncoulter) March 4, 2018
In a statement after the deal was made, Ms. Contreras-Sweet said the future of The Weinstein Company will include a new board and vision.
Ms. Contreras-Sweet says the group will “launch a new company, with a new board and a new vision that embodies the principles that we have stood by since we began this process last fall. Those principles have never wavered and have always been to build a movie studio led by a board of directors made up of a majority of independent women, save about 150 jobs, protect the small businesses who are owed money and create a victims’ compensation fund that would supplement existing insurance coverage for those who have been harmed. The cornerstone of our plan has been to launch a new company that represents the best practices in corporate governance and transparency.”
“I have had a long-standing commitment to fostering women ownership in business. This potential deal is an important step to that end”, she continued.
The fund for victims was a key part of the deal. New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman filed a civil suit against the company and its founders, alleging years of harassment and intimidation. Had the new deal not addressed the issues raised in the civil action, Schneiderman could have prevented it from moving forward. But with the inclusion of the victims’s fund, the deal appears to have the approval of the attorney general. However, the lawsuit and investigation are ongoing.
The board of directors of the new company, which has yet to be named, will be helmed by Ms. Contreras-Sweet. In addition, it will also be composed of mostly women. A nice little kick in the crotch for a man who built a career on abusing them, I imagine. At any rate, it’s a huge move, and I can’t wait to see what comes of it.
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