The Weinstein Company Is ‘A Patient That’s Dying on the Table,’ Investor Says
Billionaire Thomas Barrack, founder and executive chairman of Colony Capital, likened the Weinstein Company to “a patient that’s dying on the table” in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Erik Schatzker in Riyadh.
Last week, The Weinstein Company (TWC) and Colony Capital reached an agreement “to provide an immediate capital infusion” to TWC, according to a joint statement.
“You need to revive them to get them to breathe first,” Barrack said. “If you can do that then maybe you can see, can they walk? And if they can walk then perhaps you can get them in a race.”
Reviving the company will depend on its “liabilities”—namely former co-chairman Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused of multiple counts of sexual harassment and assault—and how much those liabilities can be excised from the company’s day-to-day operations. Weinstein was recently ousted from the company.
Barrack, an early backer of Donald Trump, told Bloomberg that he doesn’t know yet if Colony Capital will acquire TWC; the two entered a negotiation period this month. The decision will come “soon,” Barrack said.
This is not the first time that Barrack has worked with the Weinsteins; Colony Capital purchased Miramax, which was started by the Weinstein brothers from the Walt Disney Co. in 2010 and sold it in 2016.
“If the Weinstein element could be removed, if the toxicity of the liabilities that surround it could be addressed, and if the content of the company could continue on in a normal way, there’s some value,” he explained.
Barrack hedged when discussing where Harvey’s brother and remaining chairman Bob Weinstein fits into the equation, but he called Harvey Weinstein’s conduct “unacceptable” and “reprehensible.”
“No one is interested in salvaging a company which would benefit Harvey,” he said.
Earlier this month, the New York Times and New Yorker published bombshell reports alleging sexual misconduct by the producer. Following those reports, multiple women have come forward with their own allegations—including Angelina Jolie, Lupita Nyong’o, and Gwyneth Paltrow. There are active police investigations into Harvey Weinstein’s alleged conduct in Los Angeles, New York, and London.
This week New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman began a civil rights investigation into the Weinstein Co. and issued a subpoena for documents related to harassment complaints, casting practices, and settlements.