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Business Briefs: Bell Industries, NBC Universal, Hilton, Northrop



– Bell Industries Inc.

offered to buy Coast Distribution System Inc. for $7.70 per share in cash, or about $34.1 million, upping an earlier bid of $7.16 made on Dec. 6. The new proposal, which was sent to Coast’s board, represents a 15 percent premium over the past month’s average closing price of $6.69 per share, Bell said. The El Segundo-based distributor of parts for motorcycles, boats and recreational vehicles also offered to assume $16 million of Morgan Hill-based Coast’s debt. Bell said it has yet to receive a formal response from Coast.



– NBC Universal

on Thursday promoted Jeff Zucker to chief executive of the company’s expanded television group, which now combines television stations with operations, ad sales and distribution. Zucker was previously president of NBC Universal television networks. He will continue to report to NBC Universal CEO Bob Wright. Randy Falco, previously president of the networks group, will be president of the new group.



– Hilton Hotels Corp.

sold the 357-room Hilton San Diego Resort Mission Bay in San Diego County to LaSalle Hotel Properties for approximately $90.3 million. LaSalle will spend about $10.5 million to upgrade the property during the fourth quarter of 2006. The hotel will continue to operate as a Hilton-branded property under the terms of a 20-year franchise agreement, the Beverly Hills-based hotelier said in a statement. The resort is LaSalle’s third hotel property in the San Diego market.



– Northrop Grumman Corp.

was awarded a 5-year, $64 million contract by the U.S. Navy to provide support services for newly built and in-service ships, such as destroyers and assault ships . The contract includes a 15-month base period and four options. Northrop’s Mission Systems sector, based in Reston, Va., will perform work on the ships being introduced into the Navy’s fleet.

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