BEVERLY HILLS SALE: China’s largest commercial developer has purchased the former Robinsons-May site in Beverly Hills, one of the most prominent retail locations in the L.A. area. Beijing’s Wanda Group announced that it bought the high-profile site at 9900 Wilshire Blvd. for an undisclosed sum. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Country Club has withdrawn its application for a 166-foot fence to keep errant golf balls from straying onto the proposed development after the previous co-owners of the Robinson’s-May site, who objected to the fence, said that they would not hold the country club liable for errant balls damaging property or injuring people.
CLIPPERS CLOSE: The sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Steve Ballmer has closed, the National Basketball Association has announced. The $2 billion purchase officially ends the three-decade ownership by the Sterling Family Trust. The sale comes after the league fined and banned Donald Sterling for racist comments he made earlier this year that were recorded by a companion and then publicized. After the league’s punishment, Shelly Sterling arranged the sale to Ballmer. Donald Sterling protested in court but lost. The NBA filed a countersuit against Sterling, seeking damages related to his comments and legal fight.
HIGHER RATES: Workers’ compensation insurance rates should go up 11 percent next year from current levels, an insurance industry body said despite objections from business and labor interests. The governing board of the Workers Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau, comprising mostly insurance industry representatives, voted to file an advisory rate of $2.86 per $100 of payroll, 11 percent more than the industry’s premium average as of July 1.
EXPANDED WASH: Wash Multifamily Laundry Systems of El Segundo has acquired American Meter & Appliance in a deal that will allow the company to expand in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Terms were not disclosed. Both companies provide design services and laundry equipment to apartment complexes and college campuses. The acquisition allows Wash Multifamily to expand to Washington state, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska. The company plans to establish branch offices in Anchorage, Alaska, and Seattle.
IPO: Second Sight, a Sylmar company founded by billionaire Alfred Mann to develop an artificial retina for blind patients, filed paperwork for an initial public offering. The company plans to sell 3.5 million shares at $9 each to raise $31.5 million. The net capital of $30 million will go to “increase our visibility in the markets we serve” as well as strengthen the balance sheet, the company said in its prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Mann, who is the chairman, will have a 33 percent stake after the IPO closes.
DISNEY SALE: Walt Disney Co. is selling 23 of its Radio Disney stations and laying off about 200 employees as it moves to digital distribution of radio content. The Burbank entertainment and media company will keep ownership of KDIS-AM (1110) in Los Angeles, the flagship station of Radio Disney, and continue to distribute its content through affiliated radio stations. The layoffs would be done at the local station level and in ad sales and operations, the Wrap reported.
MORE FLIERS: Los Angeles International Airport had strong passenger growth during the first half of the year, according to numbers from the city agency that runs LAX. More than 34.3 million passengers used LAX in the first six months of the year, a 7 percent increase above the same period last year. Cargo volume was stable.
SUNKIST MOVES: Sunkist Growers Inc. announced that it will begin moving in September from Sherman Oaks to a new home in Santa Clarita. The 120-year-old citrus growers cooperative will move into LNR Entrada Gateway Center, at 27770 N. Entertainment Drive, which it bought for about $22 million last summer. The cooperative sold its 8.3-acre campus at 14130 Riverside Drive in Sherman Oaks to residential developer IMT Capital Inc. for about $36 million in February 2013.
PASSING: George Nicholaw, longtime general manager at news radio station KNX-AM (1070), has died. He was 86. Nicholaw died after being hospitalized for an infection, according to news reports. Nicholaw started out working on the television side of CBS in 1955. He went to work at KNX as the station switched to an all-news format in 1968. Nicholaw told the Business Journal in 1997 that around-the-clock radio news was a novel and exciting idea at the time.
NEW PUBLISHER: Former Los Angeles Deputy Mayor Austin Beutner has been named publisher and chief executive of the Los Angeles Times Media Group, the Times has announced. As chief executive, Beutner’s job will be growing revenue at a time when print advertising is dropping industrywide. Beutner succeeds Eddy W. Hartenstein, now chairman of Times parent company Tribune Publishing Co. of Chicago. Beutner, a former investment banker and L.A. mayoral candidate, had considered buying the Times last year in partnership with billionaire Eli Broad. Tribune later called off plans for a sale and chose instead to spin off the Times and other daily newspapers into Tribune Publishing, which began trading on the New York Stock Exchange last week.
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