HERE'S ANOTHER REASON why Ronald Perelman is so rich. When he zapped bondholders in his Marvel Entertainment bankruptcy deal, Wall Street buzzed that he would have trouble raising capital in the future. Even Perelman's lieutenants admit they were leery about the reception that the swashbuckling billionaire would get in the market.

But a month after the Marvel fracas, he confounded the skeptics by easily raising $500 million for another of his holdings, California Federal Bank, a San Francisco savings and loan. The preferred-stock issue was heavily over-subscribed. Sighs Phelps Hoyt, an analyst at KDP Investment Advisors: ''The market has a short memory.''

At issue: Perelman on Dec. 27 put Marvel into Chapter 11 and is trying to push through the court a restructuring plan that would reduce the bondholders' claim on Marvel stock from 80% to 16% so he can retain control. Carl Icahn and other large Marvel bondholders denounced Perelman, who reasons his plan is fair since he's putting fresh capital into the comic-book company. Helping Perelman's cause with the California Federal (formerly First Nationwide) issue is the fact that the thrift, unlike Marvel, is profitable. But his critics warn that other, less-solid Perelman companies might get the Marvel treatment.

By Sam Zuckerman


Updated June 15, 1997 by bwwebmaster
Copyright 1997, Bloomberg L.P.
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