BANKRUPTCY ENDS: Los Angeles Times owner Tribune Co. has emerged from bankruptcy. Chicago-based Tribune closed on a new $1.1 billion term loan and a $300 million revolving credit line, and plans to begin a wide-ranging sale of assets such as the Times, Chicago Tribune and six other daily newspapers. The new board includes Bruce Karsh, president of L.A.’s Oaktree Capital Management, and Kenneth Liang, an Oaktree managing director.
DEAL DONE: Walt Disney Co. has completed its $4.06 billion cash-and-stock acquisition of “Star Wars” film franchise owner Lucasfilm Ltd. The Burbank entertainment giant issued 37.1 million shares and made a $2.21 billion cash payment to buy the holding company from sole owner George Lucas. The acquisition includes LucasArts, Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound. Disney has announced plans to revive the “Star Wars” franchise, and expects to release “Episode VII” in 2015.
WAL-MART WIN: The Los Angeles Office of Zoning Administration rejected an appeal by Wal-Mart opponents to block a planned Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market in Chinatown. The Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance had alleged that the Department of Building and Safety shouldn’t have issued building permits for the site at 701 W. Cesar E. Chavez Ave. Wal-Mart announced the 33,000-square-foot grocery store in February and received city permits in March. The project quickly prompted opposition from labor and neighborhood groups. The alliance might appeal to the city’s Planning Commission.
MIAMI PARTNERSHIP: Sam Nazarian’s SBE Entertainment LLC has partnered with developer David Edelstein to acquire Miami’s famous Raleigh Hotel. The partners plan to renovate the hotel and turn it into the flagship for a new brand of luxury hotels. SBE Entertainment, which operates the SBE and Redbury hotel brands, recently opened an SLS Hotel down the block from the Raleigh. Edelstein also owns a hotel in the neighborhood, the W South Beach. The purchase price was not disclosed, but local news reports said it was about $55 million.
AZOFF EXITS: Irving Azoff, executive chairman of Live Nation Entertainment Inc. and chief executive of its Front Line Management Group subsidiary, resigned from all positions at the end of the year and sold slightly over half his stake to Liberty Media, the largest Live Nation shareholder. Azoff, 65, founded Front Line, which was part of Ticketmaster when it merged with Live Nation in 2010. Azoff might take with him some of his longtime clients, including the Eagles and Christina Aguilera.
NO SANCTIONS: The House Ethics Committee has ended its investigation without taking action on alleged favored treatment by Countrywide Financial to House members. Calabasas-based Countrywide, now part of Bank of America, was accused of making discount loans to government officials, legislators and their staffs in an effort to buy influence. The program was dubbed “Friends of Angelo” for former Chief Executive Angelo Mozilo, who has denied any impropriety. The committee determined that the case was too old.
NEW HOME: Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, who founded Hawthorne rocket maker SpaceX, Tesla Motors and an Internet payment company that would become PayPal, has bought a 1.7-acre estate in Bel-Air for a reported $17 million. The 20,248-square-foot, seven-bedroom home sits on 1.7 acres and features a two-story library, a theater, gym, tennis court and swimming pool.
LAWSUIT: A bankrupt unit of Rosemead-based Edison International has been sued by Chevron Corp. affiliates, which claim that the Edison unit unfairly rejected a buyout offer and is forcing them to take on unwanted partners in two joint ventures. The San Ramon oil giant’s affiliates are partners in two cogeneration joint ventures near Bakersfield with Edison Mission Energy, which filed for bankruptcy protection last month.
DEAL DONE: Korn/Ferry International has completed its acquisition of Minneapolis staffing firm PDI Ninth House. The L.A. global staffing giant had said it would pay $80 million in cash, with the potential of adding an additional $15 million in cash if certain targets were met. PDI brings in $90 million to $100 million in annual fee revenue.
ACQUISITION COMPLETED: The Gores Group has completed acquisition of medical device maker Therakos Inc. from Johnson & Johnson’s Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics Inc. The Westwood investment firm, led by billionaire financier Alec Gores, did not disclose terms of the deal, which was first announced in October. Therakos is a 25-year-old company in Raritan, N.J., that makes a medical devices used to treat blood cancer in a process comparable with kidney dialysis.
RATE HIKE: DirecTV in El Segundo plans to raise customer bills an average of 4.5 percent. The nation’s largest satellite operator said the increase is needed because the fees it pays broadcasters and cable networks are going up by about 8 percent.
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