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Weinstein loses Colony lifeline

The Weinstein Company (TWC)’s future has again been thrown into doubt after it emerged that a planned private equity investment from US-based Colony Capital has been pulled.

Harvey Weinstein

TWC said last week it had entered into a preliminary agreement with Colony to make an “immediate capital infusion” to secure its future, with the equity group also exploring the acquisition of “all or a significant portion” of the producer’s assets.

However, the New York Times has reported overnight that the deal is now off. Colony chief Thomas Barrack Jr had earlier appeared on Bloomberg TV to confirm that a decision over his firm’s further involvement would be made soon.

Additional details over the proposed agreement and the reasons it fell through have not been revealed, but the decision again places TWC in a precarious position.

The New York Times said Colony had found TWC’s assets to be of less value than first thought, with bankruptcy now the likeliest outcome. C21 understands the TV side of the business is attracting particular interest, something Barrack confirmed in his Bloomberg interview.

Numerous other private equity firms are still looking at TWC, including Fortress Investment Group, according to the New York Times, which is exploring a deal that would allow the US producer to continue operating until early next year.

The US film producer behind Pulp Fiction and Gangs of New York has been left reeling since numerous allegations of sexual harassment emerged earlier this month against the company’s co-founder Harvey Weinstein, who was subsequently sacked.

Barrack told Bloomberg TV that investors were keen to ensure any deal to save TWC would not benefit Weinstein himself. The media mogul owns around 20% of the firm.

TWC is behind fashion series Project Runway for Lifetime in the US and the forthcoming Les Misérables for the BBC, but it has also seen numerous shows on its slate being scrapped, including a project from Robert De Niro and Julianne Moore for Amazon.

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