EXCLUSIVE: Word in financial circles is that The Weinstein Company will officially file for 363 bankruptcy by tonight in Delaware. Sources said that will start a bankruptcy procedure that some have compared to the one that MGM went through rather quickly several years ago. Just as happened in that case, there is no shortage of bidders that want the TWC assets, either in pieces or to run as an ongoing concern.
The bidders had meetings right after the $500 million bid by Ron Burkle and Maria Contreras-Sweet was withdrawn abruptly March 6. The stalking horse bid in first position is Lantern Capital, considered at advantage because it was part of the Burkle Contreras-Sweet bid, has seen everything there is to see and can put an official offer on the table that doesn’t require due diligence. Others expected to be in the mix are Miramax (beIN), Lionsgate, Vine Investments and Critical Content.
This will be an intriguing process to observe. The deal had all but closed when New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed the civil rights lawsuit that created weeks of headlines, and ended up with a higher commitment by the buyers to start a victims fund. What happens to that, the commitment for future jobs of the TWC staff, and the money due other unsecured debtors remains to be seen, as any bankruptcy can be a trip down the rabbit hole.
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