MCCOURT FINANCES: In court filings in his divorce case, Los Angeles Dodgers team owner Frank McCourt contended that he is behind on his mortgage payments and essentially lives from paycheck to paycheck. In the filing, he said his liquid assets consisted of a bank account with less than $1.2 million. By contrast, Jamie McCourt has more than $3.5 million in liquid assets and an additional $1.8 million coming from an investment account, according to Frank McCourt’s filing. Jamie McCourt, who is seeking spousal support of $320,967 to $487,634 a month, estimates the couple’s net worth at more than $1.2 billion, including an estimated $800 million for the Dodgers. Frank McCourt claims to be sole owner of the Dodgers; his wife says they are co-owners.
JOBLESS RATE: L.A. County’s unemployment rate jumped in October to another record high of 12.8 percent, with the county’s manufacturing, construction and hospitality sectors the hardest hit. The percentage is up from 8.5 percent a year earlier, and 12.6 percent in September. The ranks of the unemployed increased by 8,000 to 626,000 people over the previous month. A separate survey of employers said the number of jobs reported in the county had a net increase of 36,600 to reach 3.91 million, mostly in the government sector, although professional and business services, education services and health services also recorded gains.
SUN BIZ: L.A. investment firm CIM Group has purchased the solar energy technology assets of SkyPower Corp. of Canada for an undisclosed amount. CIM said it plans to make the assets the centerpiece of a new solar energy company called SkyPower Ltd. SkyPower has a 50 percent stake in the 9.1 megawatt First Light energy park, the first operational utility-scale solar energy project in Canada, and a pipeline of 50 other projects.
LET IT ROLL: Medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles could continue to accept cash for medical marijuana under a tentative provision approved by the City Council as it works through a comprehensive final ordinance. The proposed language is carefully crafted to maneuver past the city attorney’s position that state law bars the “sale” of the drug. The council, which avoided the word “sales” on the advice of its lawyers, decided that Los Angeles would allow “cash contributions, reimbursements and compensations” as long as they comply with state law.
SOLAR LINE: Southern California Edison has received approval from the California Public Utilities Commission for a transmission line that will deliver more solar-powered electricity to Southern California. The PUC approved the Rosemead utility’s proposal for the line, which will cost $537 million, the Edison International company said in a statement. The project must also be approved by another regulator, the California Independent System Operator. When completed in 2013, the project would transport an extra 1.2 gigawatts of power.
FUNDRAISING: Under pressure from regulators to raise capital, Hanmi Financial Corp. has filed a shelf registration to raise up to $200 million. The Koreatown holding company for Hanmi Bank said it hopes to raise the capital through the sale of securities such as common and preferred stock, debt or warrants. The beleaguered bank, which recently reported a quarterly loss of nearly $60 million, received a pair of regulatory orders this month directing it to improve asset quality and raise capital. The bank’s total risk-based capital ratio recently fell below 10 percent, the level considered “well-capitalized” under regulatory guidelines.
GLOBAL HAWKS: Northrop Grumman Corp. won a $303 million contract to build five unmanned aircraft systems for the U.S. Air Force. Northrop will build five Global Hawk unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, which can fly at altitudes higher than 60,000 feet for more than 32 hours, for the 303d Aeronautical Systems Group at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. The company also will build a ground station at the base for the planes.
BURKLE BUY: L.A. Billionaire Ron Burkle has become a significant investor in Barneys New York in recent months, with his Yucaipa Cos. buying a chunk of the struggling luxury retailer’s debt, according to Wall Street Journal sources. Burkle has purchased a large part of the company’s secured term loan from Citigroup Inc. at about 60 cents on the dollar. Earlier this month, Yucaipa bought more than 4 million shares of Barnes & Noble Inc., doubling its stake in the New York bookstore chain to nearly 7 percent.
CREDIT RATING: The city of Los Angeles’ credit was downgraded by Fitch Ratings on $2.94 billion in debt, meaning that borrowing money will become more expensive for the city as it grapples with a $98 million budget shortfall for the current fiscal year. The financial ratings service credited Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the City Council for taking aggressive action to whittle down the budget gap, but said it wasn’t enough and that the ratings outlook for the city remains negative. The city faces a $408 million budget gap next year.
EARNINGS: Warner Music Group Corp. reported a fourth quarter net loss of $18 million compared with net income of $6 million a year ago. Revenue rose 1 percent to $861 million. … Pacific Office Properties Trust Inc. reported a third quarter net loss of $1.24 million compared with a $1.18 million loss a year ago. Adjusted funds from operations rose 125 percent to $1.8 million. Revenue fell 5 percent to $17.7 million.
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