Weinstein Co., the film studio co-founded by Harvey Weinstein and his brother Bob, will file for bankruptcy protection after last-minute efforts to sell its assets to an investor group collapsed, the company’s board of directors told the Los Angeles Times Sunday night.
Discussions of the $500 million sale between the board and the investor, Maria Contreras-Sweet—who ran the Small Business Administration under President Obama from 2014 to 2017—came to a halt after the New York state filed a lawsuit against Weinstein, his brother, and the film production company. The suit detailed the disturbing way Weinstein reportedly violated a number of human and civil rights and argued Weinstein Co. should be held responsible for knowingly allowing Weinstein’s predatory behavior to continue.
But the board said it wasn’t the suit that ended the deal altogether: The board didn’t think the investors were offering to invest enough money to keep the company out of bankruptcy.
“We have believed in this company and in the goals set forth by the Attorney General,” the board said in a statement. “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 investors have not issued a statement, as of press time.
Under the proposed deal, Weinstein Co. was to be renamed under a new, women-filled board of directors. The bidders had also promised to raise at least $40 million for a fund to compensate Weinstein’s accusers.
“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 board said.
Weinstein Co. has been looking to sell the company since October, when Weinstein was first accused of sexually harassing actresses and co-workers throughout the past three decades, issuing in the #MeToo era.