The Wall Street Journal reported that there is some movement on the sale of The Weinstein Company. The sale has been narrowed down to just six bidders. They are apparently topping out their offers at $500 million. There were a lot more companies who wanted to buy The Weinstein Company, with each desiring only some of the assets, like Django Unchained or The Hateful Eight, but not the entire company.
So, who are the final bidders? Let’s take a look at who is bidding, what they plan to do with the company, and how the deal will play out for the current owners.
1. Former Obama appointee, Maria Contreras-Sweet
Former Obama appointee of the Small Business Administration, Maria Contreras-Sweet, is leading a group that wants to keep the company running. Her plan, which includes making herself the CEO, is to make the board of directors mostly female. She would also change the name of the company itself. The most important thing is that she would keep things running as they currently are, meaning a lot of people will keep their jobs.
Next: Another female suiter
2. Killer Content, documentary filmmaker Abigail Disney, and the New York Women’s Foundation
It is rumored that the bid made by Killer Content, and championed by Abigail Disney, will be for the entire company. For now, it is unclear if that includes keeping the doors open for business at the Weinstein Company. It is possible that she is just acquiring all of the Weinstein Company’s assets.
Next: Another major studio is at the gate.
3. Lionsgate Entertainment
Lionsgate would be the one to gain the most out of the sale. Not only would they have a larger footing in Hollywood, they would also have a much larger catalog of films.
It is rather ironic that Lionsgate would want to purchase a company that is up for sale because of rampant sexual assault at the hands of the former CEO, Harvey Weinstein, as they are no stranger to sexual harassment accusations themselves.
Next: Investment firms are interested as well.
4. Vine Investments and Shamrock Capital
Vine already has a long-standing history of investing in the entertainment industry. In fact, they exclusively do just that. It makes sense that they would want to own a large, or controlling, stake of a production company in their investment portfolio.
Shamrock Capital is the same as Vine, in that they invest primarily in media and entertainment. The investment group was founded by Roy Disney, but the offer Shamrock has made is separate from Abigail Disney’s offer.
Next: $500 million seems like a lot, but it is a steal.
5. The Weinstein Company is in a lot of debt
The Weinstein Company is estimated to be just over $500 million in debt. That means that anyone who buys them will also be purchasing the mountain of debt it has accumulated, including all the mounting legal fees from Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct lawsuits. This goes to show that it never pays to be a creep, even if you think what you’re doing is normal or OK.
Next: This doesn’t look good for anyone with a current financial stake in the company.
6. Shareholders will lose big in the end
With all of that debt that has been, and is currently being accumulated, the current owners of the Weinstein Company stand to not receive any cash in the deal. According to The Wall Street Journal, that includes the Weinstein brothers, and other investors, like “WPP Group, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., and Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp.”
Next: Here’s what will happen if there isn’t a deal reached soon.
7. The Weinstein Company will have to file for bankruptcy
If the Weinstein Company is unable to reach a deal with current bidders soon, they may have to reach that deal while in chapter 11 bankruptcy. That may give the Weinstein Company a lot less leverage in the negotiation process, and hurt the bottom line. According to a source from The Wall Street Journal, bankruptcy may be a part of the deal if one is reached.
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