SALE: An affiliate of Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Cos. in Los Angeles agreed to purchase the Fresh & Easy grocery chain in El Segundo from British supermarket firm Tesco. Terms were not disclosed, but Tesco reportedly will lend Yucaipa at least $126 million to revamp about 150 of Fresh & Easy’s more than 200 stores.
MOVING HERE: Kinkisharyo International Inc., which is opening a Palmdale factory to build light rail cars, announced it also will move its U.S. headquarters to El Segundo from Massachusetts. The company is a subsidiary of Kinki Sharyo Co. of Osaka, Japan. The move follows a deal with the L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to build 97 new light rail vehicles for the Crenshaw/LAX Line and to replace older Metro cars.
SHOT DOWN: The state Assembly killed a measure that would have granted stronger enforcement powers to the California Coastal Commission. The bill would have given the agency the authority to impose fines on violators of the California Coastal Act without court approval. Opponents of the measure said the current procedure is a necessary check on the commission’s powers.
UNIVERSAL CHANGE: Universal Pictures chairman Adam Fogelson was replaced as part of a management shakeup that put NBCUniversal International president Jeff Shell in charge of worldwide operations for the studio’s motion picture group. Shell, who becomes chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, will also oversee Universal’s global theatrical and home entertainment businesses. A top lieutenant to NBCU Chief Executive Steve Burke, Shell was previously a Comcast Corp. executive prior to the company’s takeover of NBCU, and since the acquisition had been overseeing NBCU’s international television operations in London.
FORECAST: Economists at the UCLA Anderson Forecast expect the pace of job growth to continue to slow in California, particularly in hard-hit inland areas such as the Central Valley and Inland Empire. A healthier recovery will continue in coastal urban areas, particularly the San Francisco Bay Area, where the tech sector has been leading the state’s economic recovery. The state’s unemployment rate, currently 8.7 percent, is expected to fall to 8.5 percent by the end of this year and to 7.4 percent by the end of next year, eventually dropping to 6.7 percent by the end of 2015.
OBITUARY: Cal Worthington, the folksy car dealer whose quirky commercials featuring his “dog Spot” dominated local airwaves for decades, died of natural causes at age 92 at his home in Northern California. Worthington rose to prominence in the 1960s and early 1970s, and at the height of his fame owned 23 dealerships in five states. He still ran several dealerships, including one in Long Beach, until he died.
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