Weinstein Company names Lantern Capital winning bidder


New York (AFP)

Harvey Weinstein's former production company on Tuesday named a Texas-based private equity firm as the winning bidder for substantially all its assets after filing for bankruptcy.

The Weinstein Company had on March 19 announced a "stalking-horse" agreement -- an initial bid on a bankrupt company's assets from an interested buyer -- with Lantern Capital.

Trade magazine Variety reported that Lantern had offered $310 million plus the assumption of project-based liabilities totaling $115 million.

On Tuesday, a studio representative said the Lantern bid, which was negotiated with the New York state attorney general's office, offered "the highest and best value for the estate and its creditors."

"We look forward to working with Lantern to close the transaction and consummate the going concern sale," said Ivona Smith, a member of The Weinstein Company Board of Representatives.

The film studio said a letter of interest from Inclusion Media, a potential bidder backed by Broadway producer Howard Kagan, had been submitted too late and was deemed not a bona fide offer.

The production house announced March 19 that it had filed for bankruptcy, less than six months after the Hollywood mogul was beset by avalanching sexual assault allegations.

At the time Lantern co-founders Andy Mitchell and Milos Brajovic said they intended "to reposition the business as a pre-eminent content provider, while cultivating a positive presence in the industry."

The New York-headquartered studio has been engulfed in chaos since 66-year-old Weinstein was sacked as chairman last October, his career going down in flames over sexual abuse allegations.

More than 100 women have since accused him of impropriety going back 40 years and ranging from sexual harassment to assault and rape.

The twice-married father of five has been investigated by British and US police, but is yet to be charged with any crime. He denies having non-consensual sex and is reportedly in treatment for sex addiction.