Weinstein Company rescue deal collapses

Harvey Weinstein Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The company co-founded by Harvey Weinstein was found to have debts of $280m

A deal to rescue The Weinstein Company from bankruptcy has collapsed at the last minute.

Businesswoman Maria Contreras-Sweet had led a team that was poised to buy the struggling film production and distribution company.

However, the deal was reportedly terminated after it was found the firm's debt was $280m (£201.4m) rather than the $225m previously disclosed.

The company was co-founded by disgraced US movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.

Mr Weinstein is facing dozens of allegations of sexual abuse, including rape, but he denies non-consensual sex.

Last week, it was revealed the investor group led by Ms Contreras-Sweet - who led the US Small Business Administration under President Barack Obama - was set to pay $500m for the company's assets.

That figure included a $90m victims' compensation fund.

"After signing and entering into the confirmatory diligence phase, we have received disappointing information about the viability of completing this transaction," said Ms Contreras-Sweet.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Maria Contreras-Sweet was set to be chairwoman of the new film business

The deal would have seen the new owners launch a company with a board of directors made up of a majority of independent women. Ms Contreras-Sweet would have been chairwoman of the business.

It would also have saved about 150 jobs.

Prior to the deal, The Weinstein Company said it would file for bankruptcy.

Ms Contreras-Sweet said: "We will consider acquiring assets that may become available in the event of bankruptcy proceedings, as well as other opportunities that may become available in the entertainment industry."

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