Colony Capital in talks to buy troubled Weinstein Co

Entertainment


(Reuters) – The Weinstein Company has entered talks to sell the bulk of its assets to private equity firm Colony Capital, the companies said on Monday, as the film production company looks for stability after the departure of co-founder Harvey Weinstein.

The announcement about the deal talks comes only days after co-Chairman Bob Weinstein, Harvey’s brother and the other co-founder, denied the firm was seeking to sell or shut down after firing Harvey Weinstein following accusations that he sexually harassed or assaulted a number of women over the past three decades.

Colony Capital, which has about $20 billion in assets under management, will provide an immediate capital infusion into Weinstein Co and is in talks to buy all or a significant portion of its assets, the companies said in a statement.

Thomas Barrack, founder and executive chairman of Colony Capital, is no stranger to the film business. His firm and the Qatar Investment Authority sold movie production and distribution company Miramax to BeIN Media Group last year after buying it in 2010.

Barrack is a friend of U.S. President Donald Trump and served as chairman of his inaugural committee.

The cash infusion comes after more of the Weinstein Co’s partners have cut ties in recent days. Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) said on Friday it is exploring options for the stake it holds in the company. Goldman’s stake is less than $1 million.

Hachette Book Group, the U.S. publishing house of French group Lagardere (LAGA.PA), terminated the Weinstein Books imprint on Thursday.

Colony’s cash infusion will “stabilize the company’s current operations, as well as provide comfort to our critical distribution, production and talent partners around the world,” the companies said in the statement.

A number of women have claimed that movie producer Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed or assaulted them over the past three decades. Weinstein has denied having non-consensual sex with anyone.

Colony Capital is the private equity arm of Colony NorthStar Inc (CLNS.N).

Reporting By Aparajita Saxena in Bengaluru and Anna Driver in New York; Writing by Bill Rigby; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli



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