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Maria Contreras-Sweet Bid Leads Weinstein Co Auction; Staff Would Stay, Bob Weinstein Exit, Women Lead Board

EXCLUSIVE: After a protracted bidding process, the sale of the scandal-scarred The Weinstein Company..

EXCLUSIVE: After a protracted bidding process, the sale of the scandal-scarred The Weinstein Company is close at hand, and the company will rise from the ashes with a future that will be forged by women, timely on a day when the Golden Globes is expected to be dominated by the #metoo theme, which was borne out of allegations of sexual assault and harassment by co-founder Harvey Weinstein. Maria Contreras-Sweet, former head of the U.S. Small Business Administration for the Barack Obama administration, has emerged as the frontrunner to soon complete a deal to buy the pieces and resurrect a company that will be renamed, and majority controlled by women, sources said. Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Enterprises and Lantern Capital are minority partners in the bid, sources said. The derby isn’t quite done yet and Lionsgate is also squarely in the mix.

Bob Weinstein, who founded TWC with brother Harvey Weinstein, is expected to exit and set up his own company and take the Dimension Films name along with properties that include The Six Million Dollar Man, which has interest from both Warner Bros, and potential star Mark Wahlberg.

As Deadline reported last December, the board pored over bids –more than 20 came in, including bids for just the TV component, or the library — and the ones in the final round include Lionsgate, a Killer Content bid backed by Abigail Disney (daughter of Roy Disney), Shamrock Capital, Vine Investments, Sony (for the television business), MSD Partners, Critical Content, Versa, and Qatar-based beIN, which owns Miramax. The finalists are Contreras-Sweet, Lionsgate and Killer Content, which would for sure put women at the helm, as well as Sony, Shamrock and Vine, the latter two for the library.

Wall Street Journal reported last week that the company will sell for around $500 million, a figure I’ve also heard. That number includes a purchase around $275 million, an infusion of fresh capital, plus the assumption of liabilities and operating costs that includes keeping employed the long suffering 157 or so staffers and managers whose lives turned upside down the moment that The New York Times and The New Yorker detailed shocking first person accounts of sexual assault and harassment allegedly perpetrated by Harvey Weinstein, who was summarily fired by the board of directors.

TWC will quickly be renamed and it is all moving quickly as the intent is to complete the deal before the money runs out in February, when it would need bankruptcy protection. Phoenix might be an appropriate name given the potential turnaround here, but that is taken by Mike Medavoy’s company. There is the possibility this new company could be in motion for Sundance, where Weinstein was once the biggest buyer of prestige films, going all the way back to Steven Soderbergh’s sex lies & videotape.

If it is Contreras-Sweet who emerges victorious, she certainly puts a positive face on a company that badly needs one. Her bid has no contingencies, and solid backing. She is an immigrant from Guadalajara, Mexico and was executive chairwoman and founder of ProAmerica Band, a commercial lender to small to mid-sized business with a specialty in the Latino community. She became California’s cabinet secretary overseeing the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency before spending three years as a member of President Obama’s cabinet.

Contreras-Sweet has followed through on her pitch letter to the board of directors in late November, where she promised to not only assume liabilities but also infuse new capital to retain staff and pay suppliers. While the shock of the Weinstein scandal left those with TV or movie projects wanting to get far away with series and films that have been stalled, that stigma might be removed if this deal makes. Her bid was blessed by Gloria Allred, who will rep numerous women who file civil lawsuits against Weinstein. Included is contingency funding that will be paired with insurance policies to cover liabilities related to claims against Weinstein.

The bidder inherits a strong lineup of library titles and output deals with the likes of Netflix. Projects include 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, Hotel Mumbai, the Armie Hammer-Dev Patel starrer Hotel Mumbai, as well as numerous other series and films. It might make possible the David O Russell-directed series with Robert De Niro and Julianne Moore, which was scrapped at Amazon even though it had a two-season commitment.

Investment banker Lloyd Greif said word has circled that it came down to Contreras-Sweet and Lionsgate, with motivations that couldn’t be more different: Lionsgate is looking to bulk up its portfolio at a time when companies are looking to grow larger in the wake of the Disney acquisition of Fox and the pending merger of AT&T and Time Warner.

“You’re either prey or predator,” Greif said. “This is an opportunity to buy on the cheap.”

In this scenario, Lionsgate would look to acquire content, but it doesn’t need or want the The Weinstein Co.’s organization. Even the tainted Weinstein brand might disappear, Greif said.

Contreras-Sweet presents a phoenix-rising-from-the ashes opportunity, in which, “The phoenix is wearing a dress,” Greif said. The ne company, he said, “will be accepted by the entertainment community at large — writers, actors and directors.”

Contreras-Sweet is the only potential acquirer who would keep the studio intact — making her the likely preferred buyer, assuming all offers are roughly equal. This option also gives The Weinstein Co.’s board to claim a modest victory at a moment of defeat. After all, the investors who were close to a megadeal with ITV that imploded when Weinstein was investigated for groping an actress/model in New York. are essentially walking away losing their investment. The board is expected to be gone in the new configuration.

“The board could say, ‘We saved all these people’s jobs!'” Greif said.

No comment from TWC.

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10 Coronation Street spoilers: Rape trauma, baby danger and Bethanys confession

(Picture: ITV)
Coronation Street is buiding up to some dramatic and heart wrenching storylines as ou..

(Picture: ITV)

Coronation Street is buiding up to some dramatic and heart wrenching storylines as our brand new spoilers reveal. As the devastating death of Sinead Tinker (Katie McGlynn) draws nearer, a confession from Bethany Platt (Lucy Fallon) could have huge ramifications for her dying days.

Elsewhere, a brand new crisis kicks off for David (Jack P Shepherd) as he is forced to come face to face with his rapist Josh Tucker (Ryan Clayton) in prison while Gemma Winter (Dolly-Rose Campbell) finds herself in a drastic situation ahead of the birth of her quads.

Here, we reveal whats coming up in Weatherfield.

10 Coronation Street spoilers

  • Shona blames Max when Harry is injured.
  • Gemma is trapped in a turnstile during a day at the match with Chesney.
  • Sinead finds herself too ill to undertake everyday tasks.
  • Geoff suggests that he and Yasmeen invest in Speed Daal.
  • Marion decides that she wants to fighr David and Shona for custody of Max.
  • Kirk plans an early Christmas for Sinead.
  • Gemma tries to turn the press over her disaster to her advantage.
  • David is horrified to come face to face with Josh in prison.
  • Geoff contacts Zeedan and arranges to buy his half of Speed Daal.
  • James realises that Bethany is in love with Daniel.

Monday 14th October

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No episode.

Wednesday 16th October Part One

Gemma is trapped in Coronation Street
(Picture: ITV)

Gemma nets two VIP tickets to the Weatherfield County match and excitedly heads there with Chesney but disaster strikes when she tries to get through the turn stile and ends up trapped due to her pregnant stomach.

Max returns home in a foul mood and ends up in a row with Lily over the TV. When Harry is then hurt and has to be taken to hospital, Shona accuses Max who defiantly claims that it was Lily who pushed him.

Sinead is disheartened when she has to use a wheelchair to attend a family picnic and when she becomes too unwell, she has to be taken home. Geoff suggests to Yasmeen that they invest in Speed Daal while Bethany accidentally causes James to be injured.

Wednesday 16th October Part Two

Marion arrives and tells Shona that Max has been visiting her and when she spots that Shona has been drinking, she accuses her of being an unfit mother and seeks legal advice over custody. Later, Shona realises that it was Lily who pushed Harry and she feels terrible.

Gemma is mortified when the fire service have to cut her out of the turnstile while Daniel and Sinead are given a painful reminder that time is running out. Alya agrees to let Alya invest – but not Geoff while Bethany picks James brains over an article.

Friday 18th October Part One

Shona and Marion in Coronation Street
(Picture: ITV)

Shona tries to contact Max and is horrified when Marion makes it clear that she plans to fight her and David for custody of Max. David is rocked by the news and his day gets worse when he spots Josh in the medical wing of the prison.

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Emmerdale spoilers: Ryan Hawley reveals all on Robert Sugdens exit

(Picture: ITV)
Robert Sugden hasnt had an easy couple of months in Emmerdale — what with him having ..

(Picture: ITV)

Robert Sugden hasnt had an easy couple of months in Emmerdale — what with him having been charged for GBH with intent for brutally assaulting Victoria Bartons (Isabel Hodgins) rapist Lee — but things are set to get much worse for the beloved character before his on-screen exit arrives, and actor Ryan Hawley has all the gossip on Roberts exit.

Robert was livid when he first learned about what had happened to Victoria, and thus he set out to seek revenge on her behalf — in spite of her consistently asking him not to. After multiple failed attempts to get justice for what Lee did, Robert lost control and picked up a shovel, before hitting the rapist on the back of the head — and he was charged for the crime as a result.

He ended up pleading guilty so that he could save Victoria having to lie on his behalf in court, and since then hes been enjoying the free time hes got left with husband Aaron (Danny Miller). On Roberts current state of mind, Ryan said: Hes waiting for the inevitable.He is however, optimistic that it is going to only be a short amount of time that hes going to be away for.

Robert leaves Emmerdale
(Picture: ITV)

I believe, worst case scenario – only a couple of years. He is quite confident in the fact that he has pled guilty so sentencing will be a bit more lenient.

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Roberts circumstances are set to worsen in the coming episodes, as he learns that Lee has passed away in hospital. The ramifications that the rapists death will have on his prison sentence is the main cause of concern, as its now incredibly likely that hell be charged with murder for what he did to the young man.

Robert understandably struggles to process this information, but Liv (Isobel Steele) offers up a solution, when she suggests that he and Aaron go on the run together.

Ryan said: The news has just been broken to them so they havent really got a plan, they are going to have to take it as it comes. It means some very emotional goodbyes to some people in the village, but they have to be quick and there are some people they dont even get the chance to because Read More – Source

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Holby City review with spoilers: Ric opts for the risky surgery after Darla decides to keep the baby

Ric considers his options (Picture: BBC)
First the good news on tonights Holby City – Ric Griffin (H..

Ric considers his options (Picture: BBC)

First the good news on tonights Holby City – Ric Griffin (Hugh Quarshie)s brain tumour is benign. Unfortunately the bad news is very bad indeed. The tumour is huge, which makes surgery to remove it extremely difficult, according to Ric. The risks are very high that he could have a stroke or not survive the surgery at all. Leaving the tumour where it is could be an option, but it will probably keep on growing and compress his brain, leading to more mood swings, more forgetfulness and worse. His days as a surgeon would definitely be over very soon.

Because he had Darla (Naomi Katiyo) to worry about, he decided that he wouldnt risk the surgery and would try to manage the symptoms of the tumour with drugs. He also decided not to worry Darla by telling her about his diagnosis.

Darla decides to keep the baby in Holby City
Meet the parents (Picture: BBC)

Everything changed when Darla was visited by Peter (Jordan Adene), the father of her baby, who proved to be a very mature, supportive and sensible 15 year old. Donna (Jaye Jacobs) had already detected in Darla signs of doubt that she wanted to go through with having her baby adopted and Peters arrival cemented her decision – she wanted to keep her daughter. Peter said hed get a job and theyd manage.

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Ric was on board with this plan because hes always wanted whatever makes Darla happy. Then Peters father (Daniel Adegboyega), an elder of the church, arrived and kicked off a bit. He accused Darla of trying to trap his son and said the baby might not even be Peters. There was a bit of a tussle as he tried to take Peter away and Ric ended up being thrown to the ground and knocked unconscious.

Ric Griffin in Holby City
Everyones worried about Ric (Picture: BBC)

Ric wasnt seriously hurt, but as everyone clustered around his bedside Cameron (Nic Jackman) said something about his serious condition in front of Darla, so Ric had no option but to tell her the truth. Peter proved that hes a keeper by smoothing things out with Darlas dad, so Darla is going to move back in with Kofi and bring up the baby, after making Ric promise that he has to do whats best for him and not delay the surgery just for her sake. And theyre naming the baby Erica, after her great-granddad – which made him fill up. She wouldnt be here now if it werent for you, Darla said. And Cameron, he reminded her, But Ericas a better name.

Ric apologised to Zav (Marcus Griffiths) and Donna for his recent behaviour and told them hes going to go for the surgery, because he wants to carry on being a surgeon himself if theres even a slim chance.

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Meanwhile a small bunch of supporting artists had assembled to give Essie (Kaye Wragg) a party to welcome her new adopted baby. This was mainly a plot device so one of the cards would be found later on by Connor (Calum Lill) – Islas father. Hed come to the hospital to get Frankies phone number from Essie but he soon worked out that Essie is pretending that Isla is her legally adopted daughter. Sacha (Bob Barrett) tried to help Essie out by warning Connor off but only succeeded in making the situation worse. Essie finally resorted to good old faRead More – Source

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