Seven months after The Weinstein Company announced a broader commitment to television, the movie company wants to spin off its TV division. The New York Times reports that TWC is looking to either sell the division to a strategic partner or take it public.
Company co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein confirmed to the paper that the company is exploring a spinoff, but stopped short of providing details.
Weinstein told The Times in a phone interview Wednesday: “It’s not about needing anything. If anything, we’re in the best financial shape of our lives.”
The Times reports: "People who were briefed on the plan, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because it was still being developed, said Mr. Weinstein was seeking cash to finance a major expansion that could include one or more new television channels.
"At the same time, they said, Mr. Weinstein is considering selling the television unit to a digitally minded corporate giant like Yahoo, Amazon or Google, any of which might use its reach to bolster his company’s presence on the Web and elsewhere."
Weinstein has had a television presence for some time with Lifetime's "Project Runway," which is going into its 13th season. But the big push is still coming.
"In addition to 'Project Runway' and its spinoffs, Weinstein has a number of shows set for various networks in the next six months," the story reports. "They include the reality shows 'Cement Heads,' on A&E; 'Threads,' on Lifetime; 'Mob Wives,' on VH1; and 'Myrtle Manor,' on TLC. 'Marco Polo,' a scripted martial arts drama, is set for a Dec. 12 premiere on Netflix."
The company also has what the story calls "dozens of development projects" in the works, and is exploring foreign programming — such as its recent acquisition of North American rights to the BBC talk show “The Graham Norton Show," the report notes, citing sources briefed on the company's plans.
"Mr. Weinstein has not yet retained an adviser for the possible spinoff. But he is expected to push his proposal next week at the annual Allen & Company investment conference in Sun Valley, Idaho," The Times reports. "The Weinstein Company, which is privately held, does not disclose financial information. But the people briefed on its spinoff plan said the television unit accounted for about 40 percent of the company’s business."