In Brief

Weinstein Company files for bankruptcy

Studio’s board says it has ‘little choice’ after collapse of buyout deal

The Weinstein Company (TWC) has announced plans to declare bankruptcy, four-and-a-half months after co-founder Harvey Weinstein was fired from the firm over sexual abuse allegations.

TWC employees were among the dozens who came forward with reports of sexual harassment, abuse and exploitation at the hands of the disgraced movie mogul.

Earlier this month, New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman announced that the state would be filing a lawsuit against TWC, charging “vicious and exploitative mistreatment of company employees”, and “egregious” violations of civil and humans rights and business laws.

The fallout from the scandal left the company - behind screen hits including The King’s Speech and Paddington - “struggling to secure its survival in the wake of cancelled projects and the resignation of most of its board”, says the Financial Times

The collapse of a potential takeover deal has left the studio with “little choice” but to start readying a bankruptcy filing, TWC said in a statement.

A group of investors led by Maria Contreras-Sweet, former head of the US government’s Small Business Administration, had offered to pay around $275m (£196m), while assuming $225m ($160m) of debt.

The investors planned to instate a majority-female board of directors as part of a massive rebranding of the beleaguered studio, says The Hollywood Reporter.

However, on Sunday evening TWC dismissed the buyout plans as insufficient in a “sharply worded” letter addressed to Contreras-Sweet and fellow investor Ron Burkle, a private equity billionaire.

According to the letter, “an orderly bankruptcy process” is “the only viable option” to maximise the “company’s remaining value”.

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