EXCLUSIVE: The Broadway producer whose offer to buy The Weinstein Co.’s assets was rejected yesterday as too little, too late, is back today with a new bid that exceeds the cash offer from Lantern Capital.
“When combined with the stock allocation we provided to victims, in addition, it is now abundantly clear that Inclusion Media’s bid is the highest and best bid,” Kagan said in a statement to Deadline.
The Weinstein Co. already pronounced Lantern the successful bidder for its assets, seemingly bringing to an end a tortured sale process that began with the rapid erosion of the studio’s business following damaging disclosures about its former co-founder, Harvey Weinstein. The company filed documents canceling Friday’s scheduled auction.
But bankruptcy experts say the judge could re-open the bidding process if she feels that would maximize the value of the estate, especially if, as Kagan contends, his missed the bid deadline because The Weinstein Co. failed to provide the financial documents necessary to complete due diligence.
“It really comes down to the discretion of the bankruptcy court judge,” said Robert K. Rasmussen, an expert in bankruptcy law and former dean of the USC Gould School of Law.
Los Angeles bankruptcy attorney David Neale said another party, like the Unsecured Creditors Committee, could object to the sale and argue that the new bid should be considered because it’s higher and better than the one The Weinstein Co. accepted.
Inclusion Media on Tuesday offered $315 million in cash offer for Weinstein Co.’s film and television assets, and promised to set aside $30 million and 5% equity for victims of sexual assault. Inclusion requested an extension of the bid deadline from TWC to complete due diligence on its offer.
Women who filed a class action suit in New York, saying they and others were sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein, quickly threw their support behind Kagan’s offer.
But The Weinstein Co. rejected Kagan’s earlier letter of interest, saying it failed to meet the requirements for a qualified bid. The company declared Lantern Capital the winner in the bid for substantially all of the company’s assets, with an offer of $310 million in cash and assumption of liabilities.
The bankruptcy court will hold a sale hearing on May 8 in Delaware.