Weinstein Co. board meets to consider bids as decision time looms

The Weinstein Co. board of directors met Friday to consider bids for the struggling film and television studio, according to a person familiar with the matter who requested anonymity because the talks are private.

Bids came due this week, and the board members are expected to make a decision quickly as the company struggles to stay afloat amid the swirling sexual assault allegations against co-founder Harvey Weinstein.

The board, which includes Lance Maerov and Tarak Ben Ammar, must choose a bidder for continued negotiations. The directors are likely to come to a decision about how to proceed during the weekend, if not before, the source said.

A representative for the New York-based company did not respond to requests for comment.

Board members are said to be considering five or six serious offers for all or part of the company, the knowledgeable person said. Interest has been limited, given the heavy legal liabilities that would come with any deal. Multiple women have sued Weinstein Co. over the alleged conduct of its co-founder.

The Weinsten Co. has been under pressure to sell, file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, or shut down amid the billowing scandal. Weinstein was fired by the board in October shortly after sexual harassment allegations against him were first reported by the New York Times.

Bidders who have submitted offers include an investor group led by former Obama administration official Maria Contreras-Sweet. Under her plan, the company would get a new name, keep its approximately 150 employees and install a majority-female board of directors, according to people familiar with the talks.

Another bid came from New York production company Killer Content, which wants to buy Weinstein Co. assets and funnel some of the proceeds to women’s charities.Private equity firms and Santa Monica-based studio Lionsgate also submitted bids for Weinstein Co. assets, according to people familiar with the process.

Choosing a buyer is likely to be the beginning of a difficult process for the company. Many financial experts familiar with the matter have said the studio would probably need to go through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy process in order to complete a sale.

ryan.faughnder@latimes.com

@rfaughnder


UPDATES:

6:12 p.m.: This article has been updated with information about additional bidders.

This article was originally published at 12:40 p.m.

Copyright © 2018, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World
65°