Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Leibovitz-Colony Capital Deal!

Annie Leibovitz, the photographer who mismanaged her fortune so badly that she faced losing legal rights to some of pop culture's most enduring images, has reached a long-term agreement with a private investment firm to help manage her debt and market her vast portfolio, both sides said Tuesday.

Leibovitz, 60, will retain total control of her multimillion-dollar portfolio under the deal she signed with Colony Capital LLC of Santa Monica, Calif., on Monday, said Richard Nanula, a principal with the firm.

Under the agreement, Colony will become the photographer's sole creditor and help market her archive of such provocative images as a nude John Lennon cuddling with a clothed Yoko Ono hours before his death, as well as a nude and very pregnant Demi Moore.

"Colony is a dedicated and creative team," Leibovitz said in a statement. "We will be working on new projects, and I will have the support and freedom necessary for nurturing my work and preserving my archive."

"Colony Capital, LLC has formed a new partnership with Annie Leibovitz, one of world's greatest portrait photographers," the firm said in a statement. "We are delighted to be able to do that here by partnering with Ms. Leibovitz in a business relationship that allows her to continue to flourish as an artist while together we seek opportunities to enhance the value of the magnificent body of work she has created over the past 40 years."

Those opportunities, Nanula said, could involve traveling exhibitions of Leibovitz's works, books and fine-art copies of her photographs.

Leibovitz's portfolio is estimated to contain more than 100,000 images and 1 million negatives.

Colony Capital is a global firm that focuses primarily on real estate-related assets, securities and operating companies. Last year, it purchased a loan with a face value of $23.5 million on Michael Jackson's Neverland in California, giving it the rights to the late singer's nearly 3,000-acre property.

In the course of her 40-year career, Leibovitz's lens has captured such famous faces as Queen Elizabeth II and Bruce Springsteen, many for the covers of Vanity Fair, Vogue and Rolling Stone.