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CL taps Mancuso to top A MGM tipping to solvency.

In a major shake-up at largely dormant MGM. Credit Lyonnais has dismissed Alan Ladd Jr. as the studio's chairman and CEO and has replaced him with Frank G. Mancuso, the former chairman of Paramount Pictures and an expert in distribution.

What's more, Credit Lyonnais. which is owned by the French Government, has increased its revolving credit for MGM from $190 million to $400 million, with $210 million allocated for the production and marketing of films.

Under American law, Credit Lyonnais is obligated to sell the studio by 1997 at the latest and is seeking to improve the studio to increase its eventual sales value.

The various inter-linked changes, including the re-establishment of United Artists as a viable production organization, were orchestrated by Michael Ovitz, the chairman of Creative Artists, who has been engaged by the French bank to help with the MGM reorganization.

Patterned after the Disney organization, MGM and UA will both contribute product to a common marketing organization.

In addition to enlarging the MGM credit, Credit Lyonnais is also assuming $800 million of MGM's bank debt. The studio has been losing about $1 million a day. The French bank intends to sell MGM's 500 theaters overseas by way of redeeming its $221 million in bonds.

Ladd has been with MGM since the Kirk Kerkorian days (1985-1988). He became chairman under Giancarlo Parretti, the Italian financier, who eventually defaulted on payments and lost MGM to Credit Lyonnais.

It is understood that the MGM board had suggested that Ladd share the MGM leadership with Mancuso and that Ladd had firmly rejected the idea. A number of MGM executives are understood to be leaving the studio as well.

Mancuso spent some 30 years at Paramount, creating a reputation as a very effective sales and marketing executive. It is estimated that Ladd will receive anywhere between $5 million and $7 million by way of a financial settlement with Credit Lyonnais. Ladd's performance at MGM has been a major disappointment with one picture after another failing to perform at the box office.

Ovitz summed it all by stating: "For Credit Lyonnias this is enlightened pragmatism. They have created a healthy climate to grow their assets, and film makers have two major additional marketplaces for their product." Ovitz will be at Mancuso's elbow in helping him select a new MGM executive roster.
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Title Annotation:Credit Lyonnais; Frank G. Mancuso
Publication:Video Age International
Article Type:Company Profile
Date:Sep 1, 1993
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