Following through on deals that began moving into place a few months ago, an investment group, headed by former Obama administration member Maria Contreras-Sweet, is finishing negotiations to buy the embattled Weinstein Company and replace it with a majority female-led movie studio. According to Deadline, the $500 million deal will include a change of the company’s name, the installation of a board of directors made up mostly of women, and a fund set in place to help the alleged victims of the company’s co-founder, Harvey Weinstein.
The Company has been foundering for the last few months, ever since accusations of rape and sexual harassment on Weinstein’s part began appearing in outlets like The New Yorker and The New York Times. The deal with Contreras-Sweet’s group was reportedly touch-and-go for a time, thanks to a pending civil rights case against TWC from the New York attorney general’s office, but the promised creation of the victims compensation fund reportedly smoothed over the problems.
Contreras-Sweet, who’s expected to serve as the head of the company’s new board, issued a statement about the deal earlier today:
Our team is pleased to announce that we have taken an important step and have reached an agreement to purchase assets from The Weinstein Company in order to 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.
This next step represents the best possible pathway to support victims and protect employees.
We are grateful to the New York State Attorney General’s office for their efforts in helping us reach an agreement and we are grateful to our investors who have believed in this process and in the compelling value of a female-led company. We also want to thank all the parties who returned to the negotiating table to help us reach this development.
I have had a long-standing commitment to fostering women ownership in business. This potential deal is an important step to that end.