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Harvey Weinstein: Film company in talks over possible sale

Harvey Weinstein Image copyright AFP

The film production company co-founded by Harvey Weinstein, who is facing a number of sexual assault allegations, is in talks over a possible sale.

The Weinstein Company said it had entered a preliminary deal with US private equity firm Colony Capital.

Mr Weinstein, 65, was fired by the board of his company earlier this month, and was later expelled by the organisation behind the Oscars.

The Hollywood producer insists sexual relations he had were consensual.

Police in London and New York are investigating various allegations against Weinstein.

The Weinstein Company, which was behind Oscar-winning films including The King's Speech and The Artist, has come under intense pressure over the scandal.

The firm said it was in talks with Colony Capital about the sale of some or all of the company. Colony has also agreed to inject funds immediately into embattled firm.

Tarak Ben Ammar, a board member of The Weinstein Company, said the extra funds would "help stabilise the company's current operations".

Who is Colony Capital?

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Colony Capital founder Thomas J Barrack Jr with Harvey Weinstein and Julia Roberts at a film premiere in 2013

Colony Capital, founded by Thomas J Barrack Jr - a friend of President Donald Trump - is already a major player in the film industry.

In 2010, it bought Miramax, another film production company set up by Harvey Weinstein and his brother Bob Weinstein, from Disney.

It also worked with The Weinstein Company in developing the film libraries of the two firms for platforms including Netflix, Amazon and Apple, before selling Miramax last year for an undisclosed price.

Mr Barrack Jr said: "We are pleased to invest in The Weinstein Company and to help it move forward.

"We will help return the company to its rightful iconic position in the independent film and television industry."

The real estate tycoon is a former business partner of President Trump and chaired his inauguration committee. His private equity firm Colony says it has funds of $56bn (£42bn) under management.

The Weinstein brothers set up The Weinstein Company in 2005, twelve years after selling Miramax to Disney.

Last year, Harvey Weinstein said the The Weinstein Company, including its film library, was worth up to $800m and had no debt.

However, a number of the firm's partners have cut ties in recent days amid the allegations against Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault and harassment.

Goldman Sachs said on Friday it was exploring options for the small stake it holds in the company, a day after US publisher Hachette Book Group terminated its tie-up with Weinstein Books.

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