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Los Angeles billionaire Ron Burkle's private equity company

Yucaipa Cos.

hired Robert Hall, the former publisher of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News, as an adviser to support its efforts to buy 12 newspapers from Knight Ridder Corp. and McClatchy Corp. Hall will work with Yucaipa and the Newspaper Guild-CWA union to help acquire the papers, Yucaipa said in a statement.

& #8226; Superior Industries International Inc. has been awarded four aluminum wheel supply programs by the Chrysler Group. The new program wins for the Van Nuys-based company include 18-inch aluminum wheels for the 2006 Dodge Magnum and Charger, and a 17-inch wheel for the Jeep Commander. Superior Industries also will continue to manufacture 17-inch aluminum wheels for the 2006 Dodge Ram truck.

& #8226; Ameron International Corp. reported first-quarter net income of $3.6 million (41 cents per share), compared with $481,000 (6 cents) for the same period a year earlier. Revenue for the Pasadena-based maker of steel and reinforced concrete pipe rose 26.3 percent to $175.3 million from $138.8 million in the year-prior period.

& #8226; Jakks Pacific Inc. 's JPI Pet division signed an agreement to develop a line of pet products based on iconic rap artist Snoop Dogg. The products for dogs will include toys, beds, leashes, apparel and treats. Jakks expects to begin shipping the Snoop Dogg-branded pet line in 2006 to retail locations nationwide.

Malibu-based Jakks Pacific Inc. acquired the Pet Pal product line last June to make its push into the furry arena. It has since signed licensing agreements with dry cat-food maker Meow Mix Co. and Cat Fanciers' Association to develop branded products.

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