U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Mary Walrath approved on July 11 Dallas-based private equity firm Lantern Capital Partners’ $289 million purchase of the Weinstein Company Inc., freeing the Weinstein Company to dissolve.

Walrath is expected to close the proceeding Fri., July 13, enabling Lantern to form Lantern Entertainment and set up shop in Los Angeles, managing over 100 movie and television assets.

Lantern will enter the entertainment business with a scaled down staff. Variety reported that the Weinstein Co. laid off 20 staff members July 11, following a year in which the company had already dropped from 140 to 70 staff members.

Under Chapter 11 bankruptcy rules, all Weinstein Co. employees will technically lose their jobs, and must be re-hired by Lantern. Lantern has not disclosed whether it will retain the approximately 50 staff members who reportedly remain, or other personnel decisions the company plans to make.

Lantern announced July 10 that it hired Hollywood veterans Steve Beeks, Alexa Platt and Lauren Zalaznick as strategic advisors.

Reeling from the sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein, the Weinstein Company filed for bankruptcy in March, and Lantern soon thereafter emerged as the best bet to acquire the company.

Media and entertainment reporter Matthew Blake can be reached at (323)556-8332 or mblake@labusinessjournal.com