SALE OK’D: U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross of Delaware has given his approval to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ plan to sell the team to a group led by Earvin “Magic” Johnson’s for $2 billion. The decision allows the team to exit bankruptcy, but came over the objections of Major League Baseball, which had questions about the financing and other aspects of the deal. The approved reorganization plan calls for Dodgers owner Frank McCourt to sell the team for $2 billion to Guggenheim Baseball Management, of which the former Los Angeles Lakers star is one of several partners. Mark Walter, chief executive of financial services firm Guggenheim Partners, will become controlling owner.
STRATEGIC BUY: DTS Inc. has announced it will buy SRS Labs Inc. in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $148 million. The deal enables the Calabasas audio technology company to expand its portfolio of patents and trademarks. SRS of Santa Ana has developed a range of audio-processing technologies. DTS, which owns the technology behind “surround sound” for audio and video systems, said the deal will immediately add to its profit after acquisition costs. The $9.50-per-share offer represented a 39 percent premium over SRS’ closing price April 16.
APPEALING EXCLUSION: Long Beach managed care company Molina Healthcare Inc. said that its Ohio health plan has filed a formal protest of a recent award of Medicaid contracts that excluded its Columbus-based subsidiary. Molina Healthcare of Ohio Inc. is challenging the state’s Department of Jobs and Family Services’ scoring of Molina’s proposal. The appeal identifies scoring errors that, if corrected, would alter the results in Molina’s favor. About $1 billion of the $4.6 billion in premium revenue the company received last year came from the Ohio contract.
MARKET MOVE: Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has announced plans to open a Walmart Neighborhood Market in Panorama City, the second one proposed in Los Angeles County. The 31,000-square-foot store, expected to open by the end of the year, will be at the site of a former Valley Foods Warehouse. The company expects to employ about 60 people. The neighborhood market is a smaller format than a standard Walmart Discount Store or Walmart Supercenter. The company in February announced plans to open a Walmart Neighborhood Market in downtown Los Angeles that is expected to open early next year.
DOWNTOWN OFFICE: PacMutual, a landmark Class A office building in downtown Los Angeles, has been acquired by developer Rising Realty Partners and funds controlled by financial partner Mount Kellett Capital Management LP. Terms of the sales were not disclosed. Rising Realty was founded by former MPG Office Trust Inc. Chief Executive Nelson C. Rising after he left MPG in 2010. The building is 63 percent occupied. The new owners have hired real estate services firm Industry LTD to help reposition the building to appeal to a variety of potential downtown tenants.
INDUSTRIAL INVESTMENT: Magellan Group has purchased a 200,000-square-foot industrial building in Los Angeles for $10.8 million through a joint venture between Principal Financial Group and the Magellan Industrial Fund. Formerly occupied by International Paper Co., the building includes 20,000 square feet of mezzanine office space with access at Bandini Boulevard. The deal furthers the Century City real estate investment and development firm’s investment strategy of acquiring industrial and storage properties.
PORT TRAFFIC: After a slowdown last year and shrinking cargo numbers over the past several months, the Port of Long Beach reported solid numbers for March, with big gains in imports and exports. Overall port traffic was up 12 percent over the same period last year with nearly 462,000 cargo containers moving through the port, compared with about 412,000 last March. Imports drove cargo growth, with an 18 percent bump over last March as shipments poured in from Asian factories that were shut down for a week in February for the lunar new year. Exports, which showed year-over-year declines in each of the past seven months, were up 10 percent to 144,850 cargo containers.
EARNINGS: Mattel Inc. reported first quarter net income of $7.8 million, 53 percent lower than in the same period a year earlier. Revenue for the El Segundo toymaker fell 3 percent to $928 million. … City National Corp. reported first quarter net income of $46.3 million, 17 percent higher than in that same period a year earlier. Net interest income for the L.A. bank company rose 11 percent to $205 million. Noninterest income fell 19 percent to $75.7 million. … East West Bancorp Inc. reported first quarter net income of $66.4 million, 22 percent higher than in the same period a year earlier. Net interest income at the Pasadena bank company rose 4.8 percent to $219 million, with noninterest income nearly doubling to $21.7 million. … Cathay General Bancorp. reported first quarter net income of $24.8 million, 38 percent higher than in the same period a year earlier. Net interest income at the L.A. bank company rose 7.4 percent to $80.7 million, with noninterest income down 30 percent to $8.8 million. … Hanmi Financial Corp. reported first quarter net income of $7.34 million, 30 percent lower than in the same period a year earlier. Net interest income at the Koreatown bank company fell 6 percent to $24.5 million; noninterest income fell 34 percent to $3.63 million.
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