The Weinstein Company officially dead
When private equity firm Lantern Capital bought The Weinstein Company on Monday for $289 million, it said goodbye to the last Weinstein brother involved with the company, co-founder Bob Weinstein, who stepped down from the board of directors Friday.
After Delaware bankruptcy Judge Christopher Sontchi approved the deal last week, Lantern acquired the studio’s extensive assets: a 277-film library, unreleased movies such as Benedict Cumberbatch’s The Current War, and TV shows such as Project Runway. The firm plans to rebrand itself as Lantern Entertainment.
Co-founder Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct scandals left the studio in shambles. In a scramble to survive, it filed for bankruptcy in March, gutted its staff, and announced its intent to sell. While various bidders expressed interest, some shied away after former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman blocked one sale with concerns that victims would not be compensated.
One company persisted. Lantern originally agreed to pay $310 million until prominent actors, including Meryl Streep, Bradley Cooper, and George Clooney, objected to the sale, claiming it would jeopardize outstanding contract payments. Lantern whittled the price to $289 million after agreeing to set aside funds to pay outstanding debts.
Several other board members resigned Friday, as well. Only one, Ivona Smith, a consultant who joined to advise the board, remains.
None of the proceeds will benefit the Weinstein brothers but will go to lawyers, bankruptcy advisers, creditors, and actors. It is unclear how much—if any—will remain to compensate Harvey Weinstein’s alleged victims. —Harvest Prude
Amazon vs. the world
Walmart announced a five-year partnership with Microsoft on Tuesday to fend off their shared rival, Amazon.
Walmart is Amazon’s biggest retail competitor, while Microsoft’s Azure duels with Amazon Web Services for the top spot among cloud computing services.
“The difference is staggering,” wrote Eugene Kim for CNBC. “Amazon grew its gross profit by $7 billion during the first quarter. That’s nearly five times as much gross profit growth as Morgan Stanley expects for the top five retailers combined.”
Walmart and Microsoft hope to give Amazon some competition and share the profits. Their strategy will include “new projects focused on machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data platforms,” according to The Verge, a technology news site. It also means Walmart will use Azure and Microsoft 365 throughout its operations.
The effort is Walmart’s latest to adapt to the world of cybershopping. Last summer, Walmart formed a partnership with Google, another of Amazon’s tech rivals, to let customers order Walmart products through Google Home, the alternative to Amazon’s digital assistant Alexa. Walmart also purchased Jet.com in 2016 and woman’s clothing boutique ModCloth and outdoor retailer Moosejaw last year. The world’s top retailer hopes those trendy websites and their online savvy will give it the boost needed to keep pace with Amazon. —Charissa Crotts