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News
Livent finds backing
November 30, 1998: 3:59 p.m. ET

Eleventh-hour C$35 million finance package will keep company afloat
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Time and operating funds nearly ran out for Livent Inc. on Monday, but a last-minute cash infusion could keep the bankrupt theatrical concern from canceling more events from its production calendar.
     Before Toronto-based Livent raised the additional C$35 million ($22.81 million) "debtor in possession" financing, industry watchers estimated that the company would be suffocated by its C$230 million ($149.93 million) debt burden.
     The new line of credit - which must be repaid before the company can service its existing debt burden - could extend Livent's operations for weeks or even months.
     Previously, Livent had been subsisting on a similar C$5 million loan raised immediately after the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection two weeks ago.
     Angelo, Gordon & Co. LP, an investment management firm specializing in financially troubled companies, will provide the financing.
     Livent said it will gain access to C$19.5 million of the financing later this week, and the rest by mid-December.
     As part of its fiscal housecleaning, the company also said Monday it will end unprofitable productions and cut general costs by 40 percent from a year ago.
     A spokesman said about 100 of Livent's 250 full-time employees will be laid off. The company is likely to slash its 1,250-strong part-time work force.
     Last week, Livent gave the ax to two comparatively minor shows slated for its Vancouver theater and a number of events programmed for its Toronto venues.
     So far, performances of the company's headline productions - including Broadway hits Phantom of the Opera and Ragtime - have not been affected. However, the touring production of Show Boat has been canceled.
     Livent also said it plans to continue development of the Dr. Seuss-themed Seussical, Pal Joey and other Livent productions in progress.
     Livent's fall from the footlights began abruptly in August when it sued co-founders Garth Drabinsky and Myron Gottlieb for accounting irregularities.
     Since then, the company has limped along, filing for bankruptcy protection Nov. 18 and suffering mass defections from its corporate board.On Monday, Ronald Burkle, Martin Goldfarb, Jerry Speyer and Heather Munroe-Blum followed record producer Quincy Jones and Canadian businessman H. Garfield Emerson in resigning.
     Livent shares (LVNTF) rose 5/32 to 7/16 in late-day New York trading. Back to top

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