May 3, 2018 / 7:41 PM / 19 days ago

Last-minute Weinstein Co bidder returns with higher offer

WILMINGTON, Del. (Reuters) - Broadway producer Howard Kagan said he has raised his last-minute bid for the Weinstein Company in another push to acquire the TV and film producer, which filed for bankruptcy in the wake of harassment claims against co-founder Harvey Weinstein.

FILE PHOTO: Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of the Weinstein Company, kicks off the Film Finance Circle conference with an informal discussion at the inaugural Middle East International Film Festival in Abu Dhabi, October 15, 2007. REUTERS/Steve Crisp/File Photo

The Weinstein Co on Tuesday selected Lantern Capital’s $310 million bid for the company and rejected an offer from Kagan that he said was worth $315 million. Kagan’s initial bid, made through his Inclusion Media LLC business, lacked a deposit and financing, according to the Weinstein Co.

“We have increased our offer to $325 million, matching Lantern’s cash bid and providing the cash needed to satisfy Lantern’s alleged breakup fee claims,” Kagan said in a statement to Reuters on Thursday. 

Kagan has not yet made a deposit or shown he has committed financing for his new bid, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The money raised from the sale will be used to pay off the Weinstein Co’s creditors.

Harvey Weinstein, once one of Hollywood’s most influential men, has been accused of rape and other sexual misconduct by more than 70 women. He has denied having non-consensual sex with anyone.

Kagan said his bid would include compensation for harassment plaintiffs.

Lantern is exploring installing an all female-led board for the Weinstein Co, the person said.

“It is now abundantly clear that Inclusion Media’s bid is the highest and best bid,” Kagan said in a statement.

A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday in the U.S. bankruptcy court in Wilmington, Delaware to approve the sale.

Co-founded with Bob Weinstein, Harvey’s brother, the Weinstein Co produced and distributed critically acclaimed hits, including “The King’s Speech” and “Silver Linings Playbook,” as well as TV’s fashion reality competition “Project Runway.”

Entertainment website The Wrap first reported that Kagan upped his bid.

Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware; additional reporting by Jessica DiNapoli in New York; Editing by Steve Orlofsky

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