Weinstein Co. founder Harvey Weinstein speaks during an interview in New York, Wednesday. (Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg News.)

Weinstein Is Said to Buy Time to Seek Buyer With Paddington Deal

(Bloomberg) -- Weinstein Co., the embattled studio cofounded by disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein, raised enough from the sale of distribution rights to the film “Paddington 2” to fund operations while it seeks a buyer, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Warner Bros. paid $32 million for the children’s movie about an anthropomorphic bear in London, said another person, who asked not to be identified discussing private information. The film studio owned by Time Warner Inc. also has the right of first refusal to distribute a future “Paddington” project, the second person said. Weinstein Co. and Studiocanal, which financed the film, will share proceeds from the Warner deal, the person said.

Weinstein Co. has been in survival mode after ousting its co-founder last month over allegations by several women that he harassed or assaulted them. A $35 million loan from Fortress Investment Group fell through last week, and a financing arrangement with Colony Capital evaporated late last month. Harvey Weinstein has denied engaging in non-consensual sex.

Weinstein Co. didn’t reply to requests for comment.

The original “Paddington,” based on a children’s book series, brought in $76.3 million for Weinstein Co. at the North American box office in 2015. The sequel is currently scheduled for release on Jan. 12 in the U.S.

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