Weinstein Co. sale approved by bankruptcy court

The planned sale of the studio co-founded by film impresario Harvey Weinstein won Bankruptcy Court approval Tuesday, a key milestone for the troubled company seven months after its former leader was accused of sexual harassment and assault.

At a crowded hearing in Wilmington, Del., Judge Mary F. Walrath said she would approve the sale of Weinstein Co.’s assets to Dallas-based private equity firm Lantern Capital Partners, which offered $310 million (Dh1.13 billion) in cash and will assume about $115 million in liabilities related to film and television projects.

Lantern, best known for holdings including a zinc recycling firm and a bulk shipping operation, won the assets by default last week when Weinstein Co.’s planned bankruptcy auction attracted no serious competitive bids by the April 30 deadline. As a Hollywood outsider focused on distressed assets, Lantern now faces the daunting task of turning the remains of the once high-rolling studio into a new and thriving film company.

But after the company’s auction process, it became clear that the Lantern bid was the only way for Weinstein Co.’s assets to have a future, lawyers said.

“The Lantern deal represents full and fair value for the company,” said Paul Zumbro, an attorney at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP who is representing Weinstein Co. in the sale.

Weinstein Co. filed for Chapter 11 protection from creditors March 19 with less than $500,000 in cash, having failed to find a buyer that would spare the studio from bankruptcy after the dozens of accusations against Weinstein. The fallout pushed the company into a free fall and touched off the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and assault.

The company was hobbled by multiple lawsuits, including an ongoing case brought by the New York attorney general’s office in February.

Weinstein, who has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex, was fired from his namesake company October 8.