FOUL BALL: The Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, with owner Frank McCourt blaming Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig for blocking a plan to improve the team’s finances. The Chapter 11 filing in a Delaware bankruptcy court said the Dodgers have a source for $150 million in interim financing to cover daily operations. The bankruptcy filing blocks MLB from taking over the team. Selig announced last week that he wouldn’t approve a Dodgers television deal with Fox Sports that reportedly was worth up to $3 billion. McCourt in a statement blamed Selig for refusing to approve the multibillion-dollar TV deal. The Chapter 11 petition lists assets of as much as $1 billion and debt of as much as $500 million.
BIG DEAL: West L.A.’s Leonard Green & Partners LP, working with one of the world’s largest private-equity firms, will buy East Coast membership warehouse store BJ’s Wholesale Club Inc. for $2.82 billion. Under the terms of the agreement, shareholders of Westborough, Mass.-based BJ’s will receive $51.25 per share in cash. That’s nearly a 7 percent premium to the closing price July 28, and a premium of about 38 percent over the price before Leonard Green disclosed that it had acquired a 9.5 percent stake late last June. Leonard Green’s partner is London-based CVC Capital Partners, considered one of the world’s five largest private-equity firms with $46 billion under management.
CONVENTIONAL: Kansas City, Mo., architectural firm Populous, a specialist in convention and sports facilities, has been selected to design a proposed replacement building for the Los Angeles Convention Center’s West Hall. LA Live developer Anschutz Entertainment Group, which hopes to build a National Football League stadium on the West Hall site, made the selection in consultation with the city of Los Angeles, which owns the Convention Center. Populous has completed convention center projects in Phoenix and Anaheim, and full convention centers in Qatar and India. Its sports facilities include the new Yankee Stadium, Wembley Stadium and San Francisco’s AT&T Park.
STOCK SALE: Kennedy-Wilson Holdings Inc. has entered an agreement with two large institutional investors for a private placement of its common stock. The Beverly Hills real estate investment and services company said that the deal will result in gross proceeds of about $51.4 million and broaden its shareholder base. The company will issue 4.8 million shares at $10.70 per share, 13 percent less than the closing price July 28. Kennedy-Wilson plans to use the net proceeds from the private placement for future acquisitions and general working capital purposes. The company has a market cap of $494 million with 40 million shares outstanding.
MORE MONEY: National Technical Systems Inc. has raised $14 million in a private placement and will use the proceeds for acquisitions. The Calabasas company, which provides compliance testing and engineering services to the aerospace, telecommunications, automotive and other industrial markets, said it raised the debt and equity with Mill Road Capital of Greenwich, Conn. NTS said the financing is the culmination of two years of efforts by the board to be able to move quickly on acquisition and strategic expansion opportunities. The company noted it already has targeted several potential acquisition candidates.
BERKSHIRE BUYOUT: Wesco Financial Corp. shareholders have approved a deal for majority shareholder Berkshire Hathaway Inc. to acquire the remaining 20 percent of the Pasadena company. Pasadena-based Wesco is led by Charlie Munger, Berkshire’s vice chairman, but the company has operated as a Berkshire subsidiary since 1983. Munger consults with Warren Buffett on Wesco investment decisions and major capital allocations, and Buffett does likewise with Munger about Berkshire decisions. Omaha, Neb.-based Berkshire will buy the more than 1.4 million shares it doesn’t already own for $385 per share, or $545 million.
TELECOM MERGER: U.S. TelePacific Corp. has agreed to buy Tel West Network Services Corp. for an undisclosed amount. TelePacific, an L.A. communications and network services company, said the deal will enable it to enter the enterprise market in Texas. Austin-based Tel West provides Internet, data and voice communications services to businesses in Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, Fort Worth and Corpus Christi. TelePacific’s largest shareholders are private equity investors and affiliates of Investcorp SA and Clarity Partners L.P. The company said it has the fourth largest revenue market share for small and medium-size business customers in California and Nevada after AT&T, Verizon and CenturyLink.
NOTES SALE: UTi Worldwide has sold $150 million in senior unsecured guaranteed notes in a private offering. The Long Beach logistics company said it also entered into a new revolving credit facility for up to $50 million with Bank of the West. It also amended and extended two existing letter of credit facilities, for $40 million and $50 million, respectively, with Nedbank Ltd. and Royal Bank of Scotland. The new notes in the private placement have a fixed rate of 3.7 percent and will mature in August 2018. A portion of proceeds were used to pay off older notes that would have been due July 9.
FLYING: Boingo Wireless Inc., which provides Internet hot spots at airports and other public locations around the world, has announced a partnership with a company that provides wireless access on airplanes. The deal with Gogo Inflight Internet will enable Boingo subscribers to log in to Gogo using their existing Boingo account instead having to create a separate account and billing. Gogo is a unit of Itasca, Ill.-based Aircell LLC. Boingo users will have to pay a premium for in-flight access in addition to their monthly fee, the companies said.
EARNINGS: KB Home reported a net loss of $68.5 million for the quarter ended May 31, compared with a loss of $30.7 million a year earlier. Revenue fell 27 percent to less than $272 million. … CKE Restaurants Inc. reported a net loss of $2.6 million for the quarter ended May 23, compared with a $3.1 million loss a year earlier. Revenue fell 8 percent to $400 million.
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