Maria Contreras-Sweet, the former head of the U.S. smaller Business Administration (SBA), has submitted an offer to acquire The Weinstein Co, a spokeswoman for the U.S. film in addition to TV studio said on Sunday.
Contreras-Sweet has put together a consortium of investors who have offered $275 million for The Weinstein Co, according to a source familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified discussing details of the bid. The Wall Street Journal first reported on the offer earlier on Sunday without stating its value.
The bid comes after the movie studio secured a $20 million cash infusion via the sale of the children’s movie “Paddington 2” last week to Warner Brothers Pictures, a unit of Time Warner. The Weinstein Co.’s co-chairman Harvey Weinstein stepped down last month following sexual assault allegations.
The movie studio, known for hit movies including The Kings Speech in addition to Silver Linings Playbook, has been trying to find a buyer or rescue financing after more than 50 women claimed which Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed or assaulted them over the past three decades.
Harvey Weinstein has denied having non-consensual sex with anyone. Reuters has been unable to independently confirm any of the allegations.
Contreras-Sweet’s plans call for a majority-female board at The Weinstein Co. should her offer prevail, the source said. The offer includes an approximately $30 million fund for the alleged victims of Harvey Weinstein, the source added. The fund might be set up through a mediation process, according to the source.
The spokeswoman for The Weinstein Co. did not comment on the details of the offer the idea received. A spokesman for Contreras-Sweet declined to comment.
U.S. President Barack Obama in 2014 selected Contreras-Sweet as the head of the SBA, which makes loans to smaller businesses in addition to helps them get government contracts. She had previously founded ProAmerica Bank, a Latino-owned community bank in Los Angeles, which focuses on lending to smaller- in addition to medium-sized Latino businesses.
Goldman Sachs has marked its smaller equity stake inside the Weinstein Co. down to zero, Reuters reported last week, reflecting the investment bank’s assessment which the value of the company has diminished following Harvey Weinstein’s departure.
The proceeds via the “Paddington 2” sale enable The Weinstein Co. to continue to operate until January, the source said. Investment firm Fortress Investment was considering lending to the film in addition to TV studio, although those talks ended without a deal earlier This kind of month.
More than 20 different potential bidders are analyzing The Weinstein Co’s financial data, the source said. The studio has $375 million in debt, including a $45 million loan via AI International Holdings, an affiliate of billionaire Len Blavatniks industrial group Access Industries, the person said. Much of the debt will be backed by the companys film in addition to TV assets.