Six months after sexual assault allegations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein broke, the entertainment company he co-founded is officially headed for bankruptcy.
On Monday night, The Weinstein Company's board announced their plans to file for bankruptcy, along with tentative sale terms with Lantern Capital, a Dallas-based private equity firm. Lantern essentially fills the role of what’s known in bankruptcy proceedings as a “stalking horse bidder,” an entity that helps seek the true market value of a company before any sale process would be opened to other potential buyers.
Here's what we learned about the state of Weinstein's business affairs from the filings, including the first-day affidavit filed by Robert Del Genio, the chief restructuring officer for the Weinstein companies:
The impact of the Harvey Weinstein allegations hitting the news last fall was swift.
Court documents filed provide an overview of the chain of events leading to the bankruptcy filing, starting with the initial Oct. 5 New York Times story about Weinstein’s alleged pattern of sexual misconduct. The affidavit essentially characterizes the company as having been in a death spiral ever since, with many major business partners fleeing while others canceled pending deals.
Basically, The Weinstein Company is almost out of cash.
Average weekly receipts plunged from $2 million at the end of September 2017 to $150,000 the week before the bankruptcy filing.
The cash shortage forced the company to halt its independent investigation of Harvey Weinstein's alleged abuse by a partner of law firm Debevoise & Plimpton roughly one month after the probe got started.
“Faced with these circumstances, the company has been largely unable to operate following the public disclosure of the allegations against Harvey Weinstein,” the affidavit stated.
So how much is The Weinstein Company actually worth?
Despite the company's current cash-poor status, it owns a substantial library of film assets that would be pivotal to a bankruptcy sale. According to the affidavit, net cash flow from the company’s library of 277 feature films generated approximately $57 million during the fourth quarter of 2017 and company officials forecast the film library will generate $151 million during 2018.
If the bankruptcy court approves its bid and a better deal doesn’t emerge, Lantern could buy the company for approximately $310 million in cash, including the assumption of some debt.
How much does the company owe?
The bankruptcy filings list between $500,000,001 and $1 billion in liabilities, and the same range for assets.
Claims listed in the bankruptcy petition for the company’s 30 largest creditors range from a low of nearly $859,000 to a high of nearly $17.4 million, owed to a creditor listed as Sartraco Inc. The creditors include Chinese film company Wanda Pictures, which is listed with a $14.4 million claim, and media giant Viacom International, with a claim of more than $5.6 million. Meanwhile, talent agency Creative Artists Agency is owed roughly $1.5 million.
Other debtors listed include companies set up in the name of high-profile Weinstein projects like Tulip Fever, The Current War (which is still unreleased after its fall date was shelved) and Waco, the Paramount Network television show the company produced.
How big is The Weinstein Company, and can it remain in business?
The company had 120 full-time employees on Oct. 1, 2017, four days before the scandal broke. It has 85 now, and major positions have gone unfilled.
The first hearing at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware took place Tuesday afternoon, at which a Delaware judge granted interim approval for the company to borrow up to $25 million to continue paying its bills and working towards a sale of its assets.
More than 80 women have come forward to accuse Weinstein of sexual harassment or misconduct, kicking off a nationwide reckoning on workplace conduct and the Me Too and Time's Up movements. Weinstein has continually denied any allegations of non-consensual sex.
Contributing: The Associated Press