MONEY BACK: For AEG Live, the L.A. event promoter of 50 Michael Jackson concerts that were to start this month at London's O2 Arena, the star's death means there will be refunds. The company, which sold more than 750,000 tickets for the series, announced it would issue full refunds to fans who had purchased tickets through authorized agents. AEG had invested more than $20 million to mount an elaborate stage production that was to have included up to 22 sets. Profits for the series had been estimated at $115 million.
INSURER SOLD: American International Group Inc. closed the sale of its Woodland Hills-based 21st Century Insurance Group unit to L.A.-based Farmers Group for $1.9 billion. Farmers is a subsidiary of Zurich Financial Services Group. The deal, which was first announced in April, includes $1.7 billion in cash and $200 million in subordinated notes backed by Zurich Insurance Co. Farmers Group also assumed 21st Century's outstanding debt of $100 million.
UNDOCUMENTED WORKERS: American Apparel Inc. said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials had determined that 1,800 of its employees one-third of the apparel company's L.A. manufacturing operations did not have the right to work in the United States or couldn't prove they did. The company said the investigation did not find that the company willingly hired illegal workers. Those workers unable to provide proof of eligibility for legal status will be forced to leave the company. The American Apparel said it could not accurately assess the impact from losing that many workers, but believed it would not significantly affect its financial results because of current inventory surpluses and excess manufacturing capacity.
RESELLER SETTLES: TicketsNow, a subsidiary of West Hollywood's Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc., has reached a settlement with the Illinois Attorney General's Office concerning complaints it sold overpriced tickets to concerts by Bruce Springsteen, Hannah Montana and other events. The office said Illinois-based TicketsNow operated Web sites that led customers to believe they were paying face value instead of higher resale prices. TicketsNow has disabled more than 100 Web sites, and will pay $50,000 for consumer fraud enforcement and education.
CHIP ISSUE: International Rectifier Corp. said that it has agreed to refund $30 million to settle disputes related to Vishay Intertechnology Inc.'s $290 million acquisition of its power-control business in 2007. Vishay, a Malvern, Penn., maker of similar semiconductor products, also was granted a license to technology to be developed in the future by the El Segundo chipmaker. Vishay alleged former International Rectifier officials misrepresented certain facts about the operation.
DEAL STRUCK: The Walt Disney Co. and Hong Kong reached a deal to expand Hong Kong Disneyland at a cost of about $465 million in hopes of boosting the theme park's attendance. The agreement has the Burbank entertainment giant invest new capital to pay construction and operation costs during the building phases. The expansion will add three new theme areas as well as 30 new attractions. The joint venture is an effort to turn around the park, which failed to meet attendance targets. Hong Kong is also under pressure to increase the theme park's appeal to compete with a proposed Disneyland in Shanghai.
FRAUD ALLEGED: The Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection filed a series of civil and criminal charges against five Van Nuys companies accused of bilking consumers out of about $300 million by selling fraudulent programs related to real estate or online businesses. The cases are part of a federal crackdown dubbed Operation Short Change. The companies John Beck Amazing Profits, John Alexander, Jeff Paul, Mentoring of America and Family Products and five people who had founded or run those companies were accused of violating federal laws related to telemarketing and consumer fraud.
ACQUISITION MADE: VCA Antech Inc. has acquired Eklin Medical Systems Inc., a Santa Clara maker of digital radiology, ultrasound and management software for the veterinary market. The L.A. veterinary hospital chain, which launched its own medical technology business with the 2004 acquisition of Sound Technologies, said the addition of Eklin would make VCA Antech the largest supplier of such products to the veterinary market. Sound Technologies President Steve Eyl will serve as president of the merged Sound Elkin unit.
CEO LEAVES: Pacific Office Properties Trust Inc. said Chief Executive Dallas Lucas will leave the struggling L.A. real estate investment trust at the end of August. The company, an affiliate of Honolulu's Shidler Group, said its board has formed an executive search committee to find a successor. Chairman Jay Shidler will serve as interim chief executive if a new one has not been appointed by Aug. 31. The real estate investment trust owns office buildings in Los Angeles, Honolulu, San Diego and Phoenix.
EARNINGS: KB Home reported a second quarter net loss of $78.4 million, compared with $256 million the prior year. Revenue fell 40 percent to $385 million.
An article in the June 15 issue headlined "No Relief in Sight for State Contractors" included a figure for layoffs and their time frame at ARB Structures. ARB Structures is a subsidiary of ARB Inc., which has three additional subsidiaries. The layoff figure was for ARB systemwide and over a two-year period.
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An article in the June 22 issue headlined "Developers Brace for Housing Fight" should have stated that the city's Community Redevelopment Agency deal with Forest City Enterprises Inc. for the Metropolitan Downtown Lofts project was a discount lease, not a discount sale.
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