Art Capital Group Gives Annie Leibovitz a Lifeline

Nearly bankrupt photographer Annie Leibovitz has received an extension from the high-class pawnbroker to whom she owes $24 million —Art Capital Group has dropped their lawsuit against her and refinanced her debt to keep her out of bankruptcy.

The terms weren't disclosed, but Leibovitz and Art Capital released a joint statement this afternoon saying "they have reached an agreement that provides a further restructuring of Ms. Leibovitz's finances and resolves pending legal matters between them."

Leibovitz owes Art Capital $24 million, and gave up her photo archive and homes in Rhinebeck, N.Y., and Greenwich Village as collateral. Art Capital sued her in July over her refusal to help them sell the archive so it could recoup the loan, which came due three days ago. We wrote earlier this week that Leibovitz's only options appeared to be bankruptcy are coming to terms, and that Art Capital CEO Ian Peck hates the uncertainty of bankruptcy.

It looks likes they chose to come to terms—an advance glimpse of which we may have heard yesterday, when a tipster spotted a woman in black business suit telling Leibovitz, "You may not like it, but you probably don't have a choice" on the street in Greenwich Village.

As part of the deal, Leibovitz "purchased from Art Capital its rights to act as exclusive agent in the sale of her real property and copyrights." Art Capital had secured that right when it loaned Leibovitz the money. Our question: What on earth did she purchase it with? She has no money! Our guess is that she promised to pay Art Capital a surcharge amounting to their lost commission on the sale if she could decide who to sell it to herself. Her refusal to help Art Capital sell it thus far, coupled with the fact that she clearly has no other option than that it be sold to someone, leads us to believe that she wanted to control the deal and decide how it was sold and to whom. And it looks like Art Capital is now OK with that, as long as it gets its money.

Here's the joint statement:

Art Capital Group Gives Annie Leibovitz a Lifeline