×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Weinstein Company Renews Sale Effort as Colony Capital Drops Out, Bankruptcy Looms

The embattled Weinstein Company is expected to pursue a new round of sale discussions with prospective buyers next week now that the company’s three-week window of exclusive negotiations with Colony Capital is set to expire on Wednesday.

Colony is understood to have passed on making a deal for all or part of the Weinstein Co. A structured bankruptcy filing looms if banker Moelis & Company cannot find a taker for the company’s film and TV assets.

Viacom, Lionsgate, MGM, and the parent company of veteran indie player Killer Films are among those expected to look at some of the distressed company’s assets. The intensity of interest among the suitors varies, sources said.

Weinstein Co.’s fortunes have plummeted since early last month, when the New York Times and New Yorker published damning exposes detailed allegations of sexual assault and harassment against former co-chairman Harvey Weinstein dating back decades. Weinstein is now facing criminal investigations in New York, Los Angeles, and London. He is now in a legal battle with Weinstein Co., which fired him shortly after the stories were published.

The growing scandal has led to an exodus of business partners and creative talent from Weinstein Co. The company has had to table planned film releases, delay TV development projects at Apple and Amazon, and yank its title card off of existing shows such as Lifetime’s long-running “Project Runway.”

The indie studio behind such recent Oscar winners as “The Artist” and “The King’s Speech” is also saddled with hundreds of millions in debt. Several prospective buyers have indicated they would not make a play for any assets until it goes into bankruptcy proceedings. A reorganization would allow the company to improve its financial liabilities and it would indemnify a potential owner legal action that might arise in connection with Weinstein’s tenure at the company.

In another sign that a bankruptcy restructuring is in the works, The Wrap reported Tuesday that the studio has hired FTI Consulting, a firm with extensive experience in corporate reorganizations. FTI previously worked with Relativity Media when the film and television studio filed for bankruptcy protection.

Last month, Thomas Barrack’s Colony Capital had come forward with an emergency cash infusion in return for an exclusive window to negotiate an acquisition. At present, sources said Weinstein Co. is looking to Fortress Investment Group to provide a short-term financial influx to stave off bankruptcy.

Weinstein Company leaders were floating valuations in the $300 million range, at various points, but companies that have kicked the tires say those figures are wildly inflated. In addition to “Project Runway,” Weinstein Co. has a film library, although the rights are encumbered for some time, and a host of development projects, as well as a distribution and marketing infrastructure.

Killer Content, the parent of Killer Films, is a new entrant in the mix of prospective Weinstein Co. buyers. The indie film banner has access to capital through its Killer Impact division that has a track record of partnering with socially conscious investors on various initiatives. Notably, the company is also headed by women.

(Pictured: “Project Runway”)

More Film

  • Steve Bannon appears in The Brink

    Sundance Film Review: Stephen K. Bannon in 'The Brink'

    Stephen K. Bannon drinks Kombucha (who knew?), the fermented tea beverage for health fanatics that tastes like…well, if they ever invented a soft drink called Germs, that’s what Kombucha tastes like. In “The Brink,” Alison Klayman’s fly-on-the-wall, rise-and-fall-and-rise-of-a-white-nationalist documentary, Bannon explains that he likes Kombucha because it gives him a lift; he drinks it for [...]

  • Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith

    Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith Dies at 78

    Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith, the historian who spent 40 years cataloging and preserving the company’s legacy of entertainment and innovation, died Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 78. Smith served as Disney’s chief archivist from 1970 to 2010. He was named a Disney Legend in 2007 and served as a consultant to the [...]

  • Oscar OScars Placeholder

    Cinematographers Praise Academy Reversal: 'We Thank You for Your Show of Respect'

    Cinematographers who fought the decision to curtail four Oscar presentations have praised the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for reversing the exclusions. “We thank you for your show of respect for the hard-working members of the film community, whose dedication and exceptional talents deserve the public recognition this reversal now allows them to enjoy,” [...]

  • Peter Parker and Miles Morales in

    'Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse' Colored Outside the Lines

    The well-worn superhero genre and one of its best-known icons are unlikely vehicles for creating a visually fresh animated feature. But Sony Pictures Animation’s work on the Oscar-nominated animated feature “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” shows throwing out the rule book and letting everyone play in the creative sandbox can pay off big. “I think we [...]

  • Denis Villeneuve

    Denis Villeneuve's 'Dune' Gets November 2020 Release Date

    Warner Bros. has scheduled Legendary’s science-fiction tentpole “Dune” for a Nov. 20, 2020, release in 3D and Imax. “Aquaman” star Jason Momoa is in negotiations to join the “Dune” reboot with Timothee Chalamet, Javier Bardem, Rebecca Ferguson, Stellan Skarsgard, Dave Bautista, Josh Brolin, Oscar Isaac, and Zendaya. Production is expected to launch in the spring [...]

  • James Bond Spectre

    Bond 25 Moved Back Two Months to April 2020

    James Bond will arrive two months later than planned as MGM moved back the release date on the untitled Bond 25 movie from Feb. 14 to April 8, 2020 — a Wednesday before the start of Easter weekend. It’s the second delay for Bond 25. MGM and Eon originally announced in 2017 that the film [...]

  • Fast and Furious 8

    'Fast and Furious 9' Release Date Pushed Back Six Weeks

    Universal Pictures has shifted “Fast and Furious 9” back six weeks from April 10 to May 22, 2020 — the start of the Memorial Day weekend. It’s the second backwards shift for the title. In 2017, Universal moved the film back a year from April 19, 2019, to April 10, 2020. Both dates fall on [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content