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Troubled Theater Co. Gets Financing

December 4, 1998

NEW YORK (AP) _ The Canadian theater company Livent Inc. obtained $25 million in financing in a deal approved by a bankruptcy judge Thursday, a day before the company would have run out of cash.

The money for the company, which produces hit musicals such as ``Ragtime″ and ``Kiss of the Spider Woman,″ will keep Livent operating through June, when it plans to complete a reorganization and achieve a positive cash flow, said executive vice president Robert Webster.

Without it, the company would have had to start selling assets on Monday. ``We do not have sufficient liquidity to fund the payroll next week, basically to fund the business,″ he said.

The $25 million will be put up by Angelo Gordon & Co., a private investment fund specializing in troubled companies.

The company sought bankruptcy protection on Nov. 18. Its directors chipped in $5 million in loans, but that money runs out Friday, Webster said.

In August, an investigation by the company’s new managers, former Walt Disney executive Michael Ovitz and New York investment banker Roy Furman, produced allegations of financial irregularities.

The company last month fired its flamboyant co-founder, Garth Drabinsky, and his partner, Myron Gottlieb, and accused the executives of fraud.

The Toronto-based Livent owns or controls theaters in New York, Chicago, Toronto and Vancouver and its Broadway productions have won 18 Tony Awards.

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