Despite repeated denials from Bob Weinstein and the Weinstein Company Board that the Hollywood studio was exploring a sale or shutdown after former executive Harvey Weinstein's 30-year history of using his position to harass and assault actresses was exposed, the Weinstein Company revealed that it's negotiating a sale of "all or a significant portion of" its major assets to Colony Capital, the private-equity arm of investment firm Colony NorthStar Inc.
The two companies have already entered into a preliminary agreement whereby Colony is providing Weinstein with a needed capital infusion - again appearing to contradict executives' claims that the studio is in strong financial health despite the scandal. Financial terms of the investment weren’t immediately disclosed.
Colony Capital is owned by billionaire investor Thomas Barrack, a longtime friend, donor and close adviser to President Donald Trump who recently publicly expressed his "disappointment" in the president during an interview with the Washington Post last week. During the interview, he said that Trump is "better than this" after criticizing the president's inflammatory tweets and rhetoric.
“We are pleased to invest in The Weinstein Company and to help it move forward,” Barrack told WSJ. “We will help return the company to its rightful iconic position in the independent film and television industry.”
Here's the press release:
The Weinstein Company (“TWC” or the “Company”) today announced that it has entered into a preliminary agreement with Colony Capital (“Colony”) to provide an immediate capital infusion into the Company. In addition, the Company has entered a negotiating period with Colony Capital for a potential sale of all or a significant portion of the Company's assets.
TWC board member, Tarak Ben Ammar, said, “On behalf of the board, we are pleased to announce this agreement and potential strategic partnership with Colony Capital. We believe that Colony's investment and sponsorship will help stabilize 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.”
Thomas J. Barrack, Jr., Founder and Executive Chairman of Colony Capital said, “We are pleased to invest in The Weinstein Company and to help it move forward. We believe the Company has substantial value and growth potential, and 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.”
Neither the Company nor Colony will make any further comment beyond this announcement at this time.