A deal to sell the Weinstein Company to an investor group led by former Obama administration official Maria Contreras-Sweet and backed by billionaire Ron Burkle has imploded five days after the two sides appeared to reach an agreement.
Contreras-Sweet announced the news Tuesday, in a statement that said, “We have received disappointing information about the viability of completing this transaction. As a result, we have decided to terminate this transaction.”
The collapse of the deal marks the latest twist in a saga that has gone back and forth for weeks, and it leaves the embattled studio — which has been upended by a sexual misconduct scandal centered on co-founder and former chief Harvey Weinstein — facing bankruptcy once again. (Weinstein has denied any allegations of non-consensual sex.)
Contreras-Sweet, who is best known for running the Small Business Administration under President Obama, launched the bid to buy TWC in November and has said the new company would be “led by a board of directors made up of a majority of independent women.”
In a statement Tuesday evening, the Weinstein Co. board of directors expressed disappointment over the breakdown of the deal and placed blame on Contreras-Sweet and Burkle’s group. “Although we publicly predicted this outcome, the board entered last week’s agreement in the hope and good faith that a transaction would save this company and its employees,” the statement said. “The investors’ excuse that they learned new information about the company’s financial condition is just that — an excuse.”
The board added, “We will continue to work tirelessly — as we have for months — to determine if there are any viable options outside of bankruptcy. In the meantime, we continue to pursue an orderly bankruptcy process to maximize the company’s value.”