Friday 20 September 2019

Weinstein Company enters into talks to sell assets as assault scandal grows

The company has also secured a cash injection from the private equity firm.

Harvey Weinstein Film Academy
Harvey Weinstein Film Academy

By Kalyeena Makortoff, Press Association City Reporter

The Weinstein Company is mulling over the sale of “all or a significant portion” of its assets amid growing allegations of sexual assault by film producer Harvey Weinstein.

The independent film studio confirmed that it had entered into “a negotiating period” with private equity firm Colony Capital over a potential deal.

Colony Capital has also reached a preliminary agreement to provide an “immediate” capital injection for The Weinstein Company that could provide a financial lifeline to the firm, but did not disclose the total sum.

The announcement made no reference to a growing scandal surrounding Weinstein, who is facing a litany of rape, harassment and assault accusations from a number of women including some of the film industry’s biggest stars.

Weinstein has been dismissed him from the firm, but questions have been raised over what the independent film studio’s board may have known about the movie mogul’s actions.

Weinstein Company board member Tarak Ben Ammar said: “We believe that Colony’s investment and sponsorship will help stabilise the company’s current operations, as well as provide comfort to our critical distribution, production and talent partners around the world.

“Colony’s successful experience and track record in media and entertainment will be invaluable to the company as we move forward.”

US banking giant Goldman Sachs last week confirmed it was “exploring options” for its near $1 million (£752,000) stake in the Weinstein Company.

“There is no place for the inexcusable behaviour that had been reported, and we strongly condemn it,” a Goldman Sachs spokesperson said.

Colony Capital’s founder and executive chairman Thomas J Barrack Jr said he believed The Weinstein Company offered “substantial value and growth potential”.

“We look forward to working with the company’s critical strategic distribution and production partners to help preserve and create value for all stakeholders, including its employees.

“We will help return the company to its rightful iconic position in the independent film and television industry.”

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