Annie Leibovitz and her creditor ended a week of negotiation and speculation Friday when they reached a deal that allows the photographer to maintain control of her life’s work. Leibovitz bought back the rights to act as exclusive agent in the sale of her property and copyrights from Art Capital Group by renegotiating the conditions of a $24 million loan, the parties said in a joint statement. Art Capital will in turn drop a lawsuit it filed against Leibovitz in New York State Supreme Court in July. The new arrangement extends the loan’s maturity date, and Leibovitz will continue to control the assets only “within the context of the loan agreement,” the sides said.The loan had originally been due Sept. 8, but the day passed without word of further legal action from Art Capital, or, as some had predicted, a bankruptcy filing from Leibovitz. Representatives for both parties declined to comment on further details of the extension, such as the new maturity date.
“In these challenging times, I am appreciative to Art Capital for all they have done to resolve this matter and for their cooperation and continued support,” Leibovitz said. “I also want to thank my family, friends and colleagues for being there for me and look forward to concentrating on my work.”
The famed photographer had used every photo she’d ever taken, as well as homes in the West Village and Rhinebeck, N.Y., as collateral for a $22 million loan in June 2008. In December 2008, she upped her credit line to $24 million and agreed to let Art Capital sell the assets. In its suit, the lender alleged that Leibovitz broke the deal and would not allow its agents to ready her properties for sale. “We’re gratified to be able to further assist Ms. Leibovitz to achieve financial stability and proud to have been of such a value to her at this juncture in her life and career,” said Ian Peck, Art Capital’s chief executive officer.