PLAY BALL: The $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers to Guggenheim Baseball Management, a group that includes former Los Angeles Lakers star Earvin “Magic” Johnson, was completed, the team announced. Mark Walter, chief executive of financial services firm Guggenheim Partners, becomes the controlling owner of the Dodgers and the team will be run by former Atlanta Braves President Stan Kasten.
ACADEMY DEAL: Kodak Theatre will be renamed Dolby Theatre and the Academy Awards will be held there for the next 20 years under agreements announced by the owner of the Hollywood & Highland Center. CIM Group said it signed a 20-year contract with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to retain the annual Academy Awards show at what has been named the Kodak Theatre. In addition, sound technology company Dolby Laboratories Inc. signed a separate 20-year naming-rights agreement that will take effect this summer.
SALES QUESTIONS: David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital Ltd. in New York questioned Herbalife Ltd.’s percentage of distributors who actually were selling products to others, as opposed to signing up primarily to benefit from the distributor discount. In a conference call, Einhorn asked why the company had stopped disclosing more details on levels of distributor activity in its annual filings. Herbalife later said Einhorn’s questions raised no new subjects or concerns.
BON VOYAGE: Mark S. Liberman, chief executive of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, announced plans to retire by the end of the year. Liberman has been with the board for nine years and was an executive with United Air Lines for 34. The tourism board represents Los Angeles to the meetings and convention industry, and promotes the region to both individual travelers and event planners. Liberman said he would work with the board’s executive committee to find a successor. Chairman Tom Mullen, who is vice president of American Express, will lead the search committee.
NO EXPANSION: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration rejected an application by Amgen Inc. to expand the use of its drug Xgeva to slow the spread of tumors to the bones of patients suffering from advanced prostate cancer. Xgeva, which went on the market last year, is approved to prevent fractures in patients with advanced prostate cancer that already has migrated to the bone.
DRUG LICENSE: MannKind Corp. has announced that it is licensing a portfolio of early stage experimental drugs to Tolero Pharmaceuticals Inc. in a deal that could be worth more than $130 million. The companies said the drug candidates are being studied as treatments for blood cancers and inflammatory diseases. Tolero, a Salt Lake City developer of cancer and other drugs, will have worldwide rights to develop the drugs. The deal provides a means for cash-strapped MannKind of Valencia to develop other drugs in its pipeline while it concentrates on getting U.S. regulatory approval for its main drug candidate, inhalable-insulin treatment Afrezza. Tolero will make up-front and milestone payments to MannKind as the drugs advance through clinical development and regulatory review and, if approved, reach sales targets. MannKind also would receive licensing payments and royalties.
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