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Weinstein Company sale finalised, owners Lantern take over

[NEW YORK] Harvey Weinstein's one-time production company no longer exists. On Monday, its new owners confirmed they had concluded the purchase of The Weinstein Company and introduced its successor, Lantern Entertainment.

The Weinstein Company was sold to Lantern Capital Partners for a reported US$289 million in a deal finalized nine months after Weinstein's career went into free-fall over explosive allegations of sexual assault, rape and harassment.

The sale amounts to more than US$20 million less than the originally reported price of US$310 million.

"Today, we turn the page to begin anew," said Lantern Entertainment co-presidents Andy Mitchell and Milos Brajovic.

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The new company, they said, would be "anchored by creativity in a meritocracy-based culture" and across all disciplines, they were "extremely motivated to become a forward-thinking force in this industry."

Last Thursday, The Weinstein Company announced that four of its five board members would step down upon the closing of the sale, including Weinstein brother and company co-founder Bob.

The sale gives Lantern a library of more than 270 films, which generated more than US$2 billion at the box office worldwide, as well as a television business that includes the hit reality fashion series, "Project Runway."

Among the film titles are Oscar winners "The King's Speech" and "The Artist," as well as "Inglourious Basterds," "Silver Linings Playbook" and "The Hateful Eight."

Its unreleased feature films include "The Upside," starring Bryan Cranston and Nicole Kidman and "The Current War" with Benedict Cumberbatch.

Lantern Entertainment, with offices in Dallas, Los Angeles and New York, said it was committed to being a culture of "diverse professionals who will operate with the absolute highest level of ethics and standards."

Lantern Capital, a Texas-based private equity firm, was the winning bidder when The Weinstein Company was forced to file for bankruptcy.

Weinstein's career imploded in October in a blaze of accusations of sexual misconduct and abuse from dozens of women that triggered a major reckoning about harassment in the workplace and the #MeToo movement.

He is now fighting six counts of sexual assault and rape in New York, and risks a maximum sentence of life imprisonment if put on trial and convicted of the most serious charges. The former producer has pleaded not guilty.

AFP

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