Morgan Creek inks deal for $200 mil line of credit

Funds will be used to finance portions of upcoming pics

Warner Bros.-based Morgan Creek Prods. has inked a $200 million deal for a line of revolving credit through a consortium of banks to be led by Chase Manhattan.

Structured by Chase Securities managing director John Miller, deal will help finance a bevy of Morgan pics — including oater “Jesse James”; Jesse Vaughn’s NBA farce “Juwanna Mann”; Tom McLoughlin’s “Dominion,” a prequel to “The Exorcist”; and John Milius’ “The Northmen.”

Total negative cost of the upcoming Morgan Creek slate approaches $221 million-$225 million, with production and advertising costs of roughly $127 million, according to Robinson.

Morgan Creek, which owns the negatives to hit pics like the Kevin Costner starrer “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves,” the Jim Carrey “Ace Ventura” franchise and “The Last of the Mohicans,” is understood to have a war chest of $400 million-$500 million.

While Morgan CEO and chairman James Robinson would not discuss the company’s assets, he did say, “I’ve yet to take $1 out of this company in profits.” He further cautioned that while the Chase facility would be used for P&A and to defray negative costs, it would be used only to finance portions of the upcoming pics as “the last dollar in and the first dollar out.”

“I have a real problem with having debt,” Robinson said. “I hate it.”

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