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Toy Biz Drops Deal to Merge With Bankrupt Marvel's Units

May 21, 1997|From Bloomberg News

NEW YORK — Toy Biz Inc. said it canceled its agreement to combine with some units of Marvel Entertainment Group Inc. as part of the comic-book publisher's bankruptcy-reorganization plan.

The toy maker said it will withdraw from the joint reorganization plan it filed with Marvel in U.S. Bankruptcy Court earlier this month. It plans to open talks with the parties involved in the bankruptcy to devise a way to participate in Marvel's reorganization, if possible.

The announcement is a blow to financier Ronald Perelman, who wanted to combine Marvel's comic-book and character-licensing businesses with Toy Biz, whose toys are modeled on Marvel characters, such as Spider-Man. Under that plan, the combined company would be auctioned, mainly to repay secured creditors.

Toy Biz declined further comment. Marvel executives declined to comment immediately. Both companies are based in New York.

Marvel owns 26.7% of Toy Biz's Class A shares, which represents about 78.4% of the voting control of the company. Chase Manhattan Bank, Marvel's lead lender, has approved the combination plan.

Marvel Holdings bondholders, who recently won an appeal to replace the board of Marvel Entertainment, have submitted a separate reorganization plan for the company.

Under Marvel's plan, the combined company may have drawn higher bids in an auction, Marvel has said.

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