The first true bid for the assets of troubled The Weinstein Company will be a difficult one to beat for any bidders thinking of getting into the fray. It starts with the woman fronting the bid, a Mexican immigrant who served in the Obama cabinet and has built banks and businesses and has four bona fide backers, some in Silicon Valley, ready to pony up $275 million in funds that are at the ready and will not have to be raised.
Those funds would take TWC’s long-suffering investors out of the equation, and far exceeds the $150 million-$175 million that Colony Capital offered in a bottom-feeding bid that was fed to the press as cataclysmic when the board rejected it. The new bid also means that TWC would not have to close the bridge loan with Fortress, with the proceeds from the U.S. sale of Paddington 2 sufficient to keep the company running while the bid comes through. Also important and a disappointment to several publications waving the pom-poms for it, TWC should be able to divert a bankruptcy filing.
The bid by Maria Contreras-Sweet, former head of the U.S. Small Business Administration for the Barack Obama administration, has a plan that would leave 51% of the company controlled by women. She’s got four backers behind her as well as Loeb & Loeb, Ernst & Young and FTI’s Roy Salter as advisors. This could erase what seemed like an indelible stain of scandal and could reignite the company by removing the stigma on assets that include library titles, the Kevin Costner-Taylor Sheridan series Yellowstone, movies like the recut Benedict Cumberbatch-Michael Shannon-starrer The Current War and the Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes musical In The Heights, as well as….