Fortress Loan Talks With Weinstein Co. End Without a Deal

Fortress Investment Group LLC’s negotiations to provide a $35 million lifeline to the Weinstein Co. have ended as the filmmaker continues to reel from sex-abuse allegations against its namesake co-founder, a person familiar with the situation said.

Fortress may re-enter talks with Weinstein Co. to provide funding during a bankruptcy process if the movie company seeks protection from creditors, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the discussions were private.

A loan from New York-based Fortress would have met Weinstein Co.’s cash needs for payroll and operations for about three months, a person familiar with the situation said previously. Without the loan, Weinstein will need to quickly find a new financing partner to address its funding needs. 

The talks were the second effort by the Weinstein Co. to secure funding since its co-founder Harvey Weinstein was fired from his post as chief executive officer after the New York times and New Yorker published accounts in which several women accused him of sexual harassment and, in some cases, rape. Tom Barrack’s Colony Capital last month also dropped plans to make a cash infusion. Former CEO Weinstein has denied non-consensual sex.

Fortress had been close to completing a deal with the producer of television shows such as “Project Runway” at the end of October. Fortress has deep roots in the entertainment industry, having provided credit to Oscar-winning New Regency Productions and to singer Michael Jackson, secured partially by his then-stake in the Beatles song catalog.

Apple Inc., Viacom Inc. and A+E Television Networks LLC had previously pulled projects with the Weinstein Co. or sought to distance themselves from Harvey Weinstein in the wake of the scandal.

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