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Lenders let Marvel draw $15 million loan

NEW YORK — Marvel Entertainment Group said Tuesday that its lenders have approved a waiver allowing the cash-strapped comics and trading card company to borrow the remaining $15 million on its revolving credit facility.

However, the news did not buoy the stock price of Marvel, whose stable of characters includes Spider-Man, X-Men and the Hulk. Marvel shares closed down 6.25¢ at $2.50 Tuesday.

The company, which is 81% owned by Ronald Perelman’s MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings, said that it is continuing to meet with its senior lender group, led by the Chase Manhattan Bank, in order to restructure its current credit facilities.

Marvel is seeking additional commitments of $130 million from the banks to finance 1997 investments and working requirements in connection with a proposal by MacAndrews’ Andrews Group to invest new equity in Marvel, and to have Toy Biz become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marvel. Currently, Marvel owns 27% of Toy Biz equity and controls 78% of its voting power.

Last month, Andrews offered to pay $350 million for 410 million new Marvel shares. The offer, which is payable in cash, Toy Biz stock or a combination of the two, is contingent on merging Toy Biz into Marvel and extending credit agreements. Toy Biz markets Marvel action figures and girls’ dolls.

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