announced it has named General Counsel Richard B. Levy to the newly created position of chief operating officer. In expanded role at the Beverly Hills-based talent agency, Levy will oversee business affairs, corporate communications, human resources and all other areas of the agency's day-to-day operations. He will retain his title as general counsel and his responsibilities as the company's chief legal and compliance officer.
& #8226; Federal securities regulators can freeze $29.5 million in severance pay to Henry Yuen, former chief executive of Gemstar-TV Guide International , a panel of 11 judges on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled today, reversing a 2004 decision by a three-judge panel.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission froze the severance of Yuen and former Chief Financial Officer Elsie Leung after accusing them of inflating revenue by $223 million in 2003. The decision also freezes Leung's access to $8.1 million in severance. Earlier this year, Leung and Yuen reached proposed settlements with the SEC, which are still awaiting approval.
& #8226; Mattel Inc. announced it will buy back another $250 million of its common stock. The El Segundo-based toymaker said in a statement that it has repurchased 27.4 million shares for $499.6 million worth of stock since February 2003, leaving $400,000 in its previous buyback authorization. Mattel said market conditions will determine when it buys shares.
& #8226; National Technical Systems Inc. , said it has acquired Phase Seven Laboratories. The Calabasas-based provider of quality and conformance testing bought Phase Seven, a Santa Rosa-based facility that provides performance testing for new and emerging technologies, to expand on its ability to test central office equipment and fiber optical components. Financial details of the transaction were not released.
& #8226; Small World Toys , a wholly owned subsidiary of Small World Kids Inc., announced it has signed multiple international distribution agreements. The Culver City-based manufacturer of specialty toys and educational products forged agreements with Early Learning Centre in the U.K., Toy Europe Group in Spain, Toys4Kids Ltd. in New Zealand, Goody Toys Ltd. in Hong Kong, Harmony in Singapore and Gentle Star in the Philippines.
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