New RI Governor Vows to Keep an Eye on 38 Studios

Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios has received an initial payment of $13 million from the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (EDC) as part of a $75 million bond deal put together to lure the developer from Massachusetts to the Ocean State.

38 Studios is slated to receive approximately $51 million in all, with $20 million held in reserve in order to guarantee three years worth of repayments on the debt. Schilling’s firm will receive the rest of the money over the next 15 months as it meets certain milestones.

Rhode Island’s governor-elect, and opponent of the 38 Studios deal, Lincoln Chafee (pictured) stated that he was disappointed over the closing of the loan, as he would have liked to “formally contribute to the process.” He wished 38 Studios success while vowing to do everything in his power “to protect the interests of the taxpayers of our state.”

Chafee also promised to keep watch over the EDC and 38 Studios, saying, “I will, however, ensure that 38 Studios fully and completely comply with each and every commitment that it has made to the taxpayers of Rhode Island.”

A Providence Journal story features details on the fund raising used to fuel the 38 Studios deal, which will be generated by a bond sale. Moody’s gave the bonds in question an A2 rating, “three notches below the Aa2 rating on Rhode Island’s general obligation bonds.”

Standard & Poor’s rated the bonds A, “with a negative outlook,” which indicates “the possibility the rating could be lowered in the next 6 to 24 months.”

The primary job of repaying investors will fall upon 38 Studios. Moody’s said about the bonds, “Given the development stage nature of the company, loan payments from 38 Studios have inherently more risk than other revenue streams that have established track records and predictability.”

Meanwhile, another story on the Providence Journal website outlines the entire story of the deal between 38 Studios and Rhode Island, which apparently began as a result of a visit by then Governor Donald Carcieri to Schilling’s Massachusetts home earlier this year for a fundraiser.

Carcieri recounted telling Schilling that he should relocate to Rhode Island, but he added, “I wasn’t thinking anything would come of it.”

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