Investor ‘terminates’ Weinstein Company assets deal

Exterior views of the Weinstein Company headquarters on October 17, 2017 in New York
AFP

New York (AFP) – The deal to buy assets from Harvey Weinstein’s former production company hit another roadblock Tuesday as former Obama administration official Maria Contreras-Sweet said her investor group was abandoning the venture — for now.

“After signing and entering into the confirmatory diligence phase, we have received disappointing information about the viability of completing this transaction. As a result, we have decided to terminate this transaction,” she said in a statement.

It was the latest dramatic twist in a long-running saga over the future of the New York-headquartered film studio, which has teetered on the brink of bankruptcy since Weinstein was hit by bombshell allegations, torpedoing his career last October.

But Contreras-Sweet did not exclude future attempts to create a new firm from the ashes of Hollywood mogul Weinstein’s downfall for alleged sexual misconduct.

“I believe that our vision to create a women-led film studio is still the correct course of action,” she said.

“To that end, we will consider acquiring assets that may become available in the event of bankruptcy proceedings, as well as other opportunities that may become available in the entertainment industry.”

Contreras-Sweet, who headed the Small Business Administration under president Barack Obama, said Thursday that she had reached an agreement to purchase assets from The Weinstein Company in order to launch a new firm.

Just days earlier, the production house had announced it would file for bankruptcy, accusing the investor group of coming up short on making a deal.

New York state attorney general Eric Schneiderman stipulated last month that any deal should provide adequate compensation for victims, protect employees and remove executives who had been complicit in Weinstein’s misconduct.

Weinstein was sacked as company chairman in October after bombshell exposes accused him of years of sexual harassment, assault and even rape.

More than 100 women have since accused him of impropriety going back 40 years, ending his career but also prompting a US reckoning over harassment and abuse that has toppled a litany of powerful men in various sectors.

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