Chase hikes IEG credit to $135 mil

'Gangs,' 'Traffic' among projects acquired, financed

Chase Manhattan Bank has increased Los Angeles-based Initial Entertainment Group’s revolving credit line to $135 million, continuing a three-year relationship between the two entities. Chase initially established a $21 million credit line for IEG in 1997.

“The positive response that IEG received in the syndicated bank market is a testament to the sound business strategy and impressive relationship network that this management team has developed in its short history,” said Christa Thomas, Chase Securities VP and relationship manager for IEG.

In the past 12 months, IEG CEO Graham King has acquired and financed such major projects as “Gangs of New York,” now being directed by Martin Scorsese in Rome; Steven Soderbergh’s “Traffic”; and “The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys.”

Both “Altar Boys,” which was produced by Jodie Foster and Meg LeFauve’s Egg Pictures, and “Traffic” are in post, with IEG selling international rights.

Took ‘T’

IEG also controls foreign rights to Robert Altman’s “Dr. T and the Women,” starring Richard Gere, which is due for imminent worldwide release and set for an Oct. 13 bow in the U.S. through Artisan Entertainment.

“It gives us great pleasure to know that Chase is increasing its support toward the rapid growth of the company,” IEG chief operating officer Colin Cotter said.

In July 1999, IEG negotiated a strategic partnership with Splendid Media, which owns a 49% minority share of IEG. Splendid Media, a public company on the Neuer Markt, is Germany’s leading broker of film licenses. The alliance plans to actively develop a slate of big budget titles through acquisitions and productions.

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