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2017-10-16 15:16:03
Weinstein Company Agrees to a Rescue Investment From Colony Capital

The Weinstein Company secured a financial lifeline — and a potential new owner — on Monday from Colony Capital, as the embattled studio reels from the growing scandals surrounding its co-founder, Harvey Weinstein.

In a short statement, the Weinstein Company said that it had a preliminary agreement from Colony for an immediate cash infusion, though the amount was not disclosed.

The two sides will begin negotiations over selling some or all of the studio’s assets to Colony, which is led by Thomas J. Barrack Jr., a financier who is one of President Trump’s closest advisers.

“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,” Tarak Ben Ammar, a Weinstein Company board member, said in the statement.

The move, struck early on Monday, provides the Weinstein Company with some breathing room as it grapples with a host of problems that have arisen since The New York Times and The New Yorker revealed sexual harassment and rape allegations against Mr. Weinstein going back decades.

Mr. Weinstein was fired from the company last week. But the damage to the studio has only grown since then.

Numerous content partners, from Apple to Disney to Amazon, have dropped projects that involved the Weinstein Company. Most of the studio’s board has resigned.

Bob Weinstein, Mr. Weinstein’s brother, and his remaining team have scrambled to keep the company afloat. Last week, he denied that the studio was up for sale or at risk of filing for bankruptcy protection, saying that the business had the support of “banks, partners and shareholders.”

The company is also in the midst of changing its name to drop any reference to Harvey Weinstein.

In turning to Colony, the Weinstein Company and its advisers at the investment bank Moelis & Company are reaching out to an investment company with experience in the media industry. It was Colony that rescued Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch from foreclosure, by buying loans from the creditors.

Mr. Barrack also has ties of sorts to the Weinsteins. In 2010, Colony teamed up with a group that included Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund to buy Miramax, the first studio that the Weinstein brothers had founded, from Disney for $660 million. Mr. Barrack became chairman of the studio.

Colony sold Miramax to another set of Qatari investors last year.

“We will help return the company to its rightful iconic position in the independent film and television industry,” Mr. Barrack said in the statement on Monday.

Mr. Barrack is an old friend of President Trump. He was a fund-raiser for the presidential campaign, spoke at the Republican National Convention last year in support of his friend, and was chairman of Mr. Trump’s inaugural committee.