FOR SALE: Anschutz Co. of Denver is considering selling downtown L.A.-based sports and entertainment unit Anschutz Entertainment Group, with local holdings including L.A. Live and Staples Center, the Los Kings hockey team, the L.A. Galaxy soccer team and its AEG Live concert promotion business. The announcement adds to uncertainty about AEG’s plans to build a National Football League stadium and Los Angeles Convention Center annex. A new owner might seek to change agreements AEG has made with the city of Los Angeles. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said he had known about the potential for sale but didn’t disclose it.
DEFENSE CUTS: Defense giant Northrop Grumman Corp. has announced plans to reduce its payroll by nearly 600 workers in the face of looming cuts in the Pentagon budget. Northrop, which moved its corporate headquarters from Los Angeles to the Washington, D.C., area last year, confirmed it has accepted buyouts from about 590 employees in its 21,000-person aerospace division, the majority of them based in Southern California. Northrop has facilities in Redondo Beach, El Segundo and Palmdale.
WORKERS’ COMP: Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a major overhaul of California’s $17 billion workers’ compensation insurance program. The package would boost payments to permanently disabled victims of on-the-job accidents by about $740 million a year and hand employers a major break on premiums. Without the new law, businesses faced an average 18 percent increase in workers’ comp insurance premiums when they renewed their policies.
DOLE DEAL: Dole Food Co. Inc. has agreed to sell two units to Japanese trading conglomerate Itochu Corp for $1.7 billion in cash. The sale of the Westlake Village company’s worldwide packaged foods and Asia fresh produce businesses helps the world’s largest fruit and vegetable producer pay down a heavy debt load. The two businesses account for about $2.5 billion in annual revenue.
POT SHOPS: A challenge to the recently approved city of L.A. ban on medical marijuana dispensaries has qualified for the ballot, potentially delaying the city’s latest attempt at a crackdown. The law prohibits the sale of cannabis but allows groups of three people or fewer to cultivate and share the drug. City Council options now include repeal of its ordinance, replacing it with a modified version or placing a competing measure on the March 5 ballot.
PARK RE-FI: Walt Disney Co. has said that it will provide the equivalent of $1.73 billion to restructure debt at the Disneyland Paris resort, but quashed rumors that it plans to buy out other partners in the European joint venture. The Burbank entertainment giant said that restructuring will enable the financially struggling Euro Disney SCA Group to benefit from lower interest rates and greater operational flexibility.
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