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Marvin Peart has finished his lawsuit against Lantern Capital Partners after the Texas-based private equity firm agreed to compensate him for his role in the $270 million buyout of Weinstein Co. assets more than three years ago. The parties have filed a notice of settlement in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Peart, a financier and producer (Mob Wives, The War with Grandpa), attempted to find a buyer when the Harvey Weinstein scandal sent The Weinstein Company into a tailspin. Peart reached out to Lantern but was later cut out of any financial participation. In his lawsuit, he alleged being promised in writing a 3 percent “introduction fee,” a seat on the board of directors, and public recognition of being the African-American architect of the deal. With some suspicion that racial animus was to blame, he also was denied under an alleged oral contract a 10 percent share in the proceeds from selling TWC assets.
In June, a judge decided that the case couldn’t be resolved without trial. One was scheduled for December where Lantern — which later spun out Spyglass Media — was primed to argue that Peart was only entitled to fees for a deal that included Yucaipa, Ron Burkle’s investment firm. (Yucapia, which wasn’t part of the transaction, is separately pursuing legal claims over the Weinstein Co. buyout with a judge set to rule soon whether that goes to trial.)
A settlement for Peart, which includes financial consideration, finishes the dispute.
“I’m very satisfied,” says Peart. “We’ve had conversations about doing stuff in the future and they’ve acknowledged my participation in the transaction. In a world in which divisive rhetoric rules the day and the craziest voice wins, I was happy that we could put our differences aside and sit down like professionals and come to a positive place.”
Peart is now chief business officer at 101 Studios, chief executive officer at Brookdale Studios, and is working to finance the P&A for two or three films in the coming year including the follow-up from the War with Grandpa writers. He describes what he learned from this ordeal: “As much as you know people and like them, when offering services and expertise, it’s always good to document your understandings from day 1. It doesn’t say ‘I don’t trust you.’ It says, ‘I’m a business person.'”
He adds, “I did this because people who look like me aren’t often in those rooms, so the onus is on me to set an example.”
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