October 24- 30
Movie Merger: Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. will buy closely held Artisan Entertainment for $160 million in cash, plus assumed debt of between $45 million and $60 million. The combined company will have more than 8,000 movies in its library, the companies said in a statement. Vancouver-based Lions Gate, which offered to acquire Santa Monica-based Artisan in 2001, has said it is seeking to build a larger film library. Lions Gate Chief Executive Jon Feltheimer will head the new company.
Tenet Decision: A California appeals court ruled that Tenet Healthcare Corp. must pay $253 million in damages and interest to a former executive for failing to provide him certain benefits. The Los Angeles court modified a lower court decision that had awarded $9.2 million to John C. Bedrosian, a co-founder of National Medical Enterprises Inc., the predecessor of Santa Barbara-based Tenet. Bedrosian was dismissed from National Medical in 1993. The award, which can be appealed, is the equivalent of almost one-third of the company’s earnings in 2002. Separately, Tenet said its banks agreed to amend terms of a credit facility, allowing the it to avoid a potential default. The Santa Barbara-based company said earlier that it might exceed a 2.5 times leverage ratio covenant, based on preliminary results for the third quarter.
Earnings Results: California Pizza Kitchen Inc. reported a third-quarter net loss of $4.8 million, compared with net income of $3 million for the like period a year earlier. The loss came after writing down underperforming restaurants. Revenue for the Westchester-based restaurant chain rose 18 percent, to $93.1 million. IHOP Corp. reported third-quarter net income of $11 million, compared with $9.8 million for the like period a year earlier. Revenue for the Glendale-based restaurant chain rose 14 percent, to $104.8 million. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. reported a third-quarter net loss of $32.6 million, compared with net income of $11.7 million for the like period a year ago. The Los Angeles-based company cited higher marketing costs. Revenue rose 20 percent, to $457.1 million. Guess Inc. reported third-quarter net income of $6.7 million, compared with $3.4 million for the like period a year ago. Revenue for the Los Angeles-based apparel designer rose 5.6 percent, to $166.7 million. Unocal Corp. reported third-quarter net income of $152 million, compared with $99 million for the like period a year ago. Revenue for the El Segundo-based energy company rose to $1.54 billion from $1.3 billion. Arden Realty Inc. reported third-quarter net income of $10.5 million, compared with $15.1 million for the like period a year ago. Revenue for the Los Angeles-based real estate investment trust rose 5.4 percent, to $105 million. Northrop Grumman Corp. reported third-quarter net income of $184 million, compared with a loss of $59 million for the like period a year ago. Revenue for the Los Angeles-based defense contractor rose 57 percent, to $6.6 billion.
Foxball: Viewership of the six-game World Series between the Florida Marlins and the New York Yankees was up 8 percent over the 2002 Series between Anaheim and San Francisco. The postseason games have been strong ratings generators for Fox, much to the chagrin of executives from competing networks, who have struggled in the first few weeks of the new season attracting viewers.
Dream Deal?: DreamWorks SKG is close to selling its music unit to Vivendi Universal SA for about $100 million, Dow Jones Newswires reported, citing unnamed sources. Universal Music Group plans to add the record company to its Interscope Geffen A & M; unit.
November 3 – 9
Election Day: OK, so it’s not the recall election or the presidential race but any number of municipal contests will be determined on Tuesday (4th) throughout L.A. County. Among the more interesting is a proposal to develop property in the city of Malibu.
Sports Beat: UCLA continues its tough November on Saturday (8th) at Washington State; USC is off this week. In basketball, the Lakers, Clippers and Kings are all away this week to make way at Staples for the Women’s Tennis Association Tour Championships on Wednesday through Sunday (5th-10th). The six-day, six-session tournament is the final tournament of the year.
Film Festival: Now in its 17th year, the AFI Fest gets underway on Thursday (6th) and runs through Nov. 16th. With the festival based largely at the ArcLight Hollywood, AFI Fest will feature more than 140 films through an international competition of features, documentaries and shorts. For information: 866-234-3378.
Economic Reports: Monday (3rd): September construction spending. Wednesday (5th): September factory orders. Friday (7th): October jobless data, September wholesale trade and consumer credit.
Valley Forecast: The Valley Industry and Commerce Association presents its annual business forecast conference on Friday (7th) at the Warner Center Marriott, beginning at 7:30 a.m. Economist Jack Kyser of the L.A. County Economic Development Corp. will be among the featured speakers. For information: 818-817-0545.
About Writing: Screenwriter and director Gary Ross (“Seabiscuit”) speaks to the Writers Guild of America/West on Wednesday (5th) at the WGA building (7000 W. Third St.) as part of the Writers on Writing series. For information: 323-782-4692.
Wet Seal: The L.A. Department of Public Works will hold a conference Wednesday (5th) on a new regulation known as the Standard Urban Stormwater Mitigation Plans. The regulation requires all new developments to be designed to retain or treat the first 3/4 inch of rain that falls in a 24-hour period. For information: 323-342-1570.
Minority Report: Azmi Bishara, an Arab member of the Israeli Knesset, discusses the Arab-Israeli conflict at a Town Hall Los Angeles event co-sponsored by the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee L.A./Orange County Chapter, Monday (3rd), at 6:30 p.m. For Information: 213-312-9465.