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Tuesday, Sep 26, 2023



Air ball

The Los Angeles Dodgers last week ended a 23-year relationship with West L.A.-based KABC-AM (790) by signing a radio broadcasting contract with Burbank-based KIIS.

The Dodgers games will be broadcast on both the AM (1150) and FM (102.7) outlets of KIIS, which currently simulcasts its top-40 music format on both radio bands. The five-year contract with the Dodgers which also includes off-season programming from the team begins in 1998.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Dodgers, whose games have been broadcast by KABC-AM since 1974, reportedly did not even seek a counteroffer from their old partner before switching to KIIS.

KIIS is planning to increase the power of its AM signal from 5,000 to 50,000 watts and change its format to sports/talk, with the Dodgers as its centerpiece. The moves follow the December purchase of KIIS by Jacor Communications from Gannett Co. Inc.

Koll raises stakes

A partnership group bidding for control of the Santa Anita Cos. improved its offer last week, upping the ante from $19 a share to $27.

The partnership comprised of Newport Beach-based Koll Co. and New York-based Apollo Real Estate Advisors made the original $19-a-share offer in an unsolicited bid in October. Santa Anita, whose sprawling Arcadia property contains a retail mall and huge surface parking lot in addition to the famous race track that bears its name, rejected the original offer.

Documents filed with the SEC by the Koll group, which is seeking 5.6 million Santa Anita shares to give it a 58 percent stake in the company, spelled out two alternative offers for Santa Anita shareholders.

First, shareholders could receive a special dividend of $11 a share, plus a cash payment of $16 a share. Or they could opt for the $11 dividend plus a warrant giving them the right to buy Santa Anita stock for $16.25 a share over a five-year period.

Santa Anita officials released a statement saying they would respond to the sweetened Koll offer once they have had an opportunity to review all proposals.

HMOs threaten to move

Five Los Angeles health maintenance organizations told the L.A. City Council last week that, unless granted a tax break, they would relocate outside city borders.

Councilwoman Laura Chick, whose San Fernando Valley district is home to all but one of the HMOs, had put forward a proposal to grant them special tax status. The Council, however, sent the proposal to its Budget and Finance Committee for further study.

Like nearly all other businesses, the HMOs in question Blue Cross of California, CareAmerica Health Plans, Health Net, Maxicare Health Plans and Prudential HealthCare are subject to the city’s gross receipts tax, a sliding tax based on how much money a business takes in.

Because of their high billings, the HMOs are taxed in the highest bracket of about $6 for every $1,000 in billings. But because most of their revenue is “passed through” their books in payments to hospitals and physicians, the HMOs told City Council members, they should not be treated like normal businesses.

CB off to a good start

In its first earnings report since its initial public offering last November, downtown L.A.-based CB Commercial Real Estate Services Group Inc. the nation’s biggest commercial property services provider reported net income of $25.15 million ($1.68 per share on a fully diluted basis) for the three months ended Dec. 31.

For the year-earlier quarter, net income was $9.05 million (66 cents per share).

Revenues for the quarter totaled $192.2 million, up from $143.57 million for the year-earlier period.

The quarterly net income figure includes the benefit of a net operating loss carryover totaling $15.5 million, compared with $4.32 million for the year-earlier quarter a difference of $11.18 million.

CB stated that earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) is the most accurate measurement of its financial strength. The EBITDA figure was $25.80 million for the quarter, up from $18.99 million for the year-earlier quarter.

Utility partnership

L.A.’s Department of Water and Power might be forced to reopen the bidding for its strategic alliance partner, after the Los Angeles City Council last week sent a measure on the issue to a committee on energy deregulation.

A measure introduced by Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas would require the DWP to accept new bids from companies interested in its future alliance, even though the agency already accepted bids last year and had narrowed the field of candidates to three Enron Corp., Louis Dreyfus Energy Corp. and PacifiCorp.

A major force behind the Council’s recent action is thought to be Southern California Edison Co., which wanted to be considered for the alliance but was ruled out by the DWP because it didn’t meet the agency’s criteria.

If the committee instructs the DWP to reopen the bidding, Edison and other interested bidders would have 30 days to file new bids.

Edison spokesman Tom Higgins said Edison plans to submit a new proposal if the process is reopened.

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