The Weinstein Co. Drops Purchase Price, “Creditors Feel Thrown Under The Bus”

Lantern Entertainment

The Weinstein Co. has dropped its price by 7% to complete the sale to Lantern Capital, provoking howls of protest from the unsecured creditors who said they feel “thrown under the bus.”

The lead attorney for the Dallas-based private equity firm said The Weinstein Co.’s board agreed this morning to reduce the price from $310 million to $287 million in order to close the sale, according to a recording of today’s hearing. The 7% price cut reflects the number of claims against the bankrupt studio, sources say.

However, the $23 million concession will mean less money for unsecured creditors, who are hoping to recover their losses.

“We don’t think the purchase price reduction is warranted,” Robert Feinstein, an attorney representing the committee of unsecured creditors, told Judge Mary Walrath. He said he plans to object to the reduction and requested time for discovery.

“The committee of unsecured creditors feel thrown under the bus here,” Feinstein said.

Lantern hopes to formally complete its acquisition of the bankrupt company’s film and television assets by June 29 and take control of the newly constituted studio on July 1.

The price drop represents another wrinkle in The Weinstein Co.’s financial woes. The studio was forced to seek the shelter of bankruptcy court after a last-minute financial rescue collapsed, when an investor group led by former Obama administration official Maria Contreras-Sweet and Yucaipa Enterprises’ Ron Burkle walked away from the deal.

Lantern Capital emerged the winner of The Weinstein Co.’s bankruptcy-court supervised sale, offering to pay $310 million in cash and assume some of the Weinstein Co.’s debts. An anticipated bid from Inclusion Media, which promised to become “the most diverse and progressive film and TV studio in the industry” never officially made to the court.

Also in court today, Lantern Capital surrendered the rights to the movie Hotel Mumbai in exchange for an undisclosed payment.

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