Disney Buying Fox Family Worldwide

In a move that will enhance its already formidable cable operations, Walt Disney Co. has agreed to acquire Fox Family Worldwide Inc. for $3 billion in cash and $2.3 billion in debt.

Disney agreed to buy Fox Family from News Corp. and Saban Entertainment Inc., which each owned 49.5 percent of the company. The move is widely viewed as a prelude to News Corp.'s purchase of El Segundo-based Hughes Electronics and its satellite operator DirecTV from parent company General Motors Corp.

Chris-Craft Sale Approved

Federal regulators have approved News Corp.'s $4.4 billion acquisition of Chris-Craft Industries Inc., giving the company two broadcast outlets in Los Angeles, New York and Phoenix.

In Los Angeles, News Corp.'s Fox television group will now own KTTV-TV in addition to its existing station, KCOP. Nationally, Fox group will own 33 stations reaching 41 percent of the country's 100 million households.

La Brea Bakery Selling

In a bid to push national expansion plans, Los Angeles-based gourmet bread maker La Brea Bakery has agreed to be purchased by the IAWS Group of Ireland for $55 million.

A bakery official said the acquisition would enable the company to build a production plant in Philadelphia and accelerate its East Coast expansion.

Under the terms of the deal, Dublin-based IAWS will purchase 80 percent of the company's shares, with an option to buy the balance in five years.

The purchase would not include La Brea's Campanile restaurant.

LAUSD Buys Future Headquarters

The Los Angeles Board of Education will pay $74.5 million for a downtown office building that will serve as a new district headquarters.

The 928,000-square-foot, 29-story office building at 333 S. Beaudry Ave. is owned by Beaudry I Investors Corp. The purchase clears the way for the district to tear down its headquarters at 450 N. Grand Ave. and build a 2,200-seat year-round high school by the year 2005, officials said.

District officials said they were offered a chance to lease the building, but determined that the purchase would save $61 million over 30 years.

K2 Closing U.S. Plants

Ski and snowboard maker K2 Inc. will close four U.S. plants and eliminate 450 jobs, more than 15 percent of its workforce.

Following up on a plan that began two years ago, K2 plans to shift manufacturing operations to China to reduce expenses. The company expects to savings of $7 million a year.

Universal To Offer On-Demand Films

In a first among major Hollywood studios, Vivendi Universal has struck a long-term agreement to license its movies to cable operators for new video-on-demand services.

Vivendi's deal with In Demand, a cable programming distributor owned by four of the nation's top cable operators, will allow its movies to be available to cable subscribers approximately 45 to 60 days after they are released on video.

Vivendi will receive about 60 percent of the revenues cable operators collect from customers who order the studio's titles, about 10 percent more studios generally receive from pay-per-view movies.

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