Competitors are moving to snap up the imploding independent studios back catalogue, but the assets cannot be fully valued until the scandal subsides
The death knell may have sounded over The Weinstein Company (TWC) name but Hollywood rivals believe the business has a secure future without its disgraced co-founder due to a legacy of hits including The Kings Speech and Silver Linings Playbook, as well as a strong slate of upcoming releases.
The independent studio, mired in the Harvey Weinstein abuse scandal, has put itself up for sale and this week TWC secured an emergency injection of cash from private equity firm Colony Capital, which is also in talks to buy all or part of the business. Last year, Weinstein said that the business, including its library, was worth up to $800m (600m) and had no debt. What is certain now, however, is that the brand is worthless.
Harveys brother Bob, who owns a combined 42% of the business with his sibling, has already said the company will be renamed but entertainment industry investors are more interested in the Weinstein back catalogue. A string of titles, including Quentin Tarantinos most recent films such as Django Unchained and Oscar winners such as The Artist, are being eyed by bidders, as well as a TV division that co-produced Netflixs Marco Polo and the BBCs War & Peace.
The death star is imploding, said Eric Schiffer, chief executive of Los Angeles-based private equity firm Patriarch Organization. The old company will be burnt to ashes but the assets will survive. There are some very valuable properties.
However, the problem with attempting to value future exploitation of any films or TV shows associated with TWC is that the scandal shows no signs of abating.
An allegation of sexual harassment has been levelled at Bob Weinstein and he denies the claim. And TWC president David Glasser, whose close ties with the Weinsteins have seen him called the third brother, is under pressure over what he knew of Harveys decades-long behaviour.
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