Maria Contreras-Sweet announced Thursday afternoon that an investor group lead by herself and billionaire Ron Burkle reached a deal to buy The Weinstein Company. The complex and infuriating negotiations to reach a deal that kept TWC from not having to declare bankruptcy even included New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who ended up acting as a necessary mediator, given the complexity of TWC's legal problems.
In a statement Schneiderman said: "As part of these negotiations, we are pleased to have received express commitments from the parties that the new company will create a real, well-funded victims' compensation fund, implement HR policies that will protect all employees, and will not unjustly reward bad actors. We will work with the parties in the weeks ahead to ensure that the parties honor and memorialize these commitments prior to closing."
Contreras-Sweet, who served as 24th Administrator of the Small Business Administration in the Obama Administration, and Burkle organized the group of investors who are putting up $500 million to buy the once-powerful indie film and television production company founded by Weinstein and his brother, Bob in 2005.
The Hollywood Reporter writes that "the buyers have agreed to establish a victims' fund amounting to $80 million-$90 million, as much as two times higher than the fund they originally planned to put in place. Also, there appear to be no plans now for Contreras-Sweet and Burkle to retain David Glasser as CEO of the new company."
Contreras-Sweet issued this full statement:
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.
It's believed that Contreras-Sweet will rename the company and more its headquarters from the old Beverly Hills office to a space in Larchmont Village, which previously served as home to the now-defunct Broad Green Pictures.