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Carolco’s year is ‘Basic’

Buoyed by the success of “Basic Instinct,” Carolco Pictures Inc. slowed the tide of red ink in 1992, posting a net loss of $ 88 million.

That compares to a whopping $ 265 million net loss for 1991.

The loss per share for 1992 was $ 3.06 based on 30.1 million shares, and $ 9. 44 for 1991, based on 28.7 million shares. Last year, Carolco took $ 118.4 million in write-offs related to its restructuring.

Revenues were off 6% to $ 565.3 million, from $ 601.1 million in 1991.

Healthy slate

Overall, Carolco’s slate produced $ 269.3 million in revenue, a 15% jump over its 1991 productions. “Basic Instinct,” along with “Universal Soldier” and “Chaplin,” generated $ 91 million in revenues for Carolco’s coffers. Another $ 22 million came from 1991’s “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” plus $ 49 million in pay-TV titles.

The sale of Carolco’s U.S. TV rights to Spelling generated another $ 49 million.

Lower revenues, the company said, were due to smaller sales at Live Entertainment, the homevideo label of which Carolco owns 49.9%.

In addition, Carolco’s board approved a new employment agreement for chairman Mario Kassar. His new contract runs through December 1997.

Another overhaul

Carolco is also making another attempt to craft a financial overhaul.

In its most recent effort, a 2,000-page filing made Friday morning to the Securities & Exchange Commission, the struggling indie revised an exchange offer to its two classes of bondholders to accept new notes. The last version was released this past December.

When the restructuring is completed, Carolco’s three partners — Pioneer, Canal Plus and Rizzoli — will hold 63% of the voting control at the company.

The trio will get 72 million new shares for their preferred and notes.

Carolco’s newest partner, Metro-Goldywn-Mayer, will own 30,000 preferred shares with 18% voting power. Current shareholders — with 46.7% control today — will retain just 15% when the deal is done.

One change will benefit MGM. The studio, owned by French bank Credit Lyonnais , has broader international rights under its new distribution agreement. MGM replaces TriStar in 1994.

TCI an addition

Another addition involves Carolco’s latest bedfellow, Tele-Communications Inc. The cable operator and movie company are launching a unique pay-per-view deal in 1994.

As part of this, Carolco is negotiating with TCI and Canal Plus to make available $ 27.5 million in production funds not covered by bank loans. In addition, the indie is looking to its partners to buy $ 20 million in new notes. Neither deal kicks in before December 1994.

All this may be stalled if the restructuring plan isn’t accepted. Carolco’s investment bankers say they are ready to file for a pre-packaged bankruptcy, thereby forcing bondholders to accept their plan or possibly something worse. Bankers are looking for 85% approval by the bondholders.

Previously, bondholders had been promised cash in addition to new notes. But the addition of TCI as a partner is making it easier for debtholders to swallow new notes with higher values.

There’s certainly pressure to consummate the deal. The company’s 14% senior notes, valued at $ 33.7 million, come due June 1. Under the terms of the 13% senior subordinated notes, Carolco has to buy back $ 5 million worth by June 30. Under the revision, holders of Carolco’s 14% notes would get $ 950 in new senior notes with 10% return due 2003 for each $ 1,000 of their current bonds. Those holding the 13% notes would receive $ 600 in new 10% senior notes.

If Carolco’s hand is forced by some holdouts, the company gives the 14% bondholders just 90 cents on the dollar and 13% holders 55 cents on the dollar.

The deal, if approved, would also mean issuing 22.5 million common shares to swap for its series D preferred shares and the 10% bonds.

As previously reported, Carolco investors Pioneer, Canal Plus and MGM will pay $ 82.5 million for a new class of preferred shares. MGM will also snap up $ 30 million of 5% payment-in-kind convertible subordinated notes.

Also, Carolco’s partners, including Rizzoli, will forgive a portion of the $ 32.2 million loan it made to the filmmaker in March 1992 in exchange for all of Live Entertainment’s shares, valued at 115%. The balance of the loan will be paid off with Carolco common stock.

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