GO PRIVATE: Dole Food Co. has agreed to a takeover offer from Chairman David Murdock in a deal that now values the Westlake Village fresh fruit and vegetable producer and marketer at $1.21 billion. Murdock, who served as chief executive between 1985 and 2007, and returned to the role in February, raised his offer to $13.50 a share in cash, which will be paid with cash and equity contributed by Murdock and financing from Deutsche Bank AG, Bank of America Corp. and the Bank of Nova Scotia.
CABLE SUIT: Time Warner Cable customers have filed a class-action lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against the cable company, seeking better refunds due to a prolonged blackout of CBS Corp.’s broadcast and pay channels in Los Angeles and other major markets. The company has said it would issue credits to Showtime subscribers retroactive to Aug. 2, the first day of the blackout, but contends that other CBS stations are part of the basic programming package.
MARVELOUS: A New York federal appeals court has ruled that Walt Disney Co.’s Marvel Entertainment subsidiary owns some of the company’s most popular superheroes, including the Incredible Hulk and Spider-Man. The judges found that a lower court ruled correctly in granting ownership to Marvel of the work co-created between 1958 and 1963 by Stan Lee and his late writing partner Jack Kirby, who died in 1994. Kirby’s four children sued Marvel in 2009, shortly after Disney acquired it for $4 billion, over the rights to superhero characters such as the X-Men and Fantastic Four.
TOXIC CASE: An L.A. federal judge has dismissed a $1 billion environmental lawsuit against Walt Disney Co. that accused the studio of dumping cancer-causing toxins from its 50-acre Burbank film and TV production facility into storm drains of an adjacent neighborhood. The judge ruled the lawsuit, which alleged that Disney made false statements to the Environmental Protection Agency about the pollution, had no legal basis and ordered plaintiffs William Dunlap, Doris Nichols and their related companies pay Disney’s legal fees.
SOLAR SALE: Santa Monica direct-marketing giant Guthy-Renker LLC has sold its solar energy marketing subsidiary, Paramount Solar in Granite Bay, to solar technology provider SolarCity Corp. in San Mateo in a stock-and-cash deal valued at $120 million. Paramount Solar offers financing and other services to residential solar energy customers in 14 states, and is part of Paramount Equity, which Guthy-Renker acquired about 18 months ago.
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