The Weinstein Company officially belongs to Lantern Capital Partners, Variety reports, ending the studio’s arduous bankruptcy proceedings. In a Delaware courtroom last week, Judge Mary Walrath oversaw the closing. A Dallas-based private equity firm, Lantern Capital Partners paid $289 million for Harvey and Bob Weinstein’s namesake distributor — $23 million less than the parties’ previously-agreed-upon $310 million. Lantern will henceforth be known as Lantern Entertainment, operating offices in Dallas, New York, and Los Angeles, and assuming the rights to TWC’s 277-film library.
“Over the last several months, we have immersed ourselves in the formation of Lantern Entertainment,” co-presidents Andy Mitchell and Milos Brajovic said in a statement. “Throughout all our conversations with employees, creatives and industry professionals, we are inspired by the collective commitment and support extended to the launch of our new company, which is anchored by creativity in a meritocracy-based culture. Across all disciplines, we are extremely motivated to become a forward-thinking force in this industry.”
After deterring its first serious suitor — former Small Business Administration head Maria Contreras-Sweet and a group of investors — by downplaying the severity of its debts, TWC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 20. Lantern submitted the lone bid before the auction deadline: $425 million, consisting of $310 million cash, and the rest assumed liabilities. The sale was approved in May.
Yet when a multitude of well-known ex-TWC collaborators filed objections, citing long-due money for their work (including Quentin Tarantino, Julia Roberts, and Robert De Niro), Lantern almost scrapped the deal. Instead, on June 22, a $287 million price agreement was reached. An additional $2 million followed after complaints from TWC’s committee of unsecured creditors. Its chair, Louisette Geiss, is among the 100-plus women who, since last fall, have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment or assault.
On Wednesday, Deadline reported that TWC fired more than 20 employees, about one-third of its staff. Two days later, coinciding with the sale’s closing, Bob Weinstein and three more TWC board members departed their posts.
Harvey Weinstein now faces six sexual offense charges in Manhattan, three of which are for rape. Police in London and L.A. are also investigating the Oscar-winning producer.