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BUSINESS
August 7, 2012 | By Shan Li, Los Angeles Times
Two months after former Best Buy Co. Chairman Richard Schulze exited the board amid scandal, he offered to buy the struggling electronics giant for as much as $8.84 billion, a deal that would make it the largest buyout ever of a U.S. retailer. But the offer of $24 to $26 a share was met with considerable skepticism Monday among analysts and investors, who nudged the stock price up $2.35, or 13.3%, to $19.99 but nowhere close to the proposed takeover offer price. Standard & Poor's cut Best Buy's credit rating to junk since such a buyout would add debt to its books.
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NEWS
July 25, 2012 | By Melanie Mason
  WASHINGTON -- Priorities USA Action, the pro-Obama "super PAC," is bringing its anti-Romney message to the Olympics broadcast, the group announced Wednesday. The latest salvo from the liberal group, run by former Obama White House aides, capitalizes on the global nature of the competition to ding Republican Mitt Romney for some of his more politically perilous international business ties. The spot depicts a faux Olympics opening ceremony, with Romney (in video from the 2002 Salt Lake City Games, which Romney ran)
NEWS
July 13, 2012 | By Melanie Mason
Priorities USA Action, the “super PAC” supporting President Obama, raised $6.1 million last month, its co-founder said Friday. Bill Burton, the group's senior strategist, announced on Twitter that June was the best fundraising month yet for the Democratic group, which has been active on the airwaves in slamming GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney's tenure at the private equity firm Bain Capital. In an interview on Bloomberg Television's “Political Capital with Al Hunt,” which will air this weekend, Burton said the group has raised $20 million in the cycle so far and also secured $20 million in commitments for future donations.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 8, 2012 | By Ben Fritz
Marketcast, one of three dominant research firms in the movie industry, has been sold to Shamrock Capital.  Like its competitors Nielsen NRG and OTX, Marketcast provides studios with box office predictions based on audience research and also consults on marketing campaigns to help determine which advertisements and trailers are most effective with different audience segments. Its prior owner was Reed Business Information, a division of Dutch media giant Reed Elsevier that also owns the trade publication Variety.
NEWS
June 7, 2012 | By David Lauter
The Obama campaign's jabs at Mitt Romney's record at Bain Capital, which have been widely panned across the Northeast, could work quite well in Ohio, judging by the latest survey from the bipartisan Purple Poll. Across the 12 battleground states the monthly poll surveys, 47% of likely voters said they agreed with the statement that private equity firms “care only about profits and short-term gains for investors. When they come in, workers get laid off, benefits disappear and pensions are cut. Investors walk off with big returns, and working folks get stuck holding the bag.” By contrast, 38% agreed that “private investment and equity firms help the American economy grow.
BUSINESS
June 5, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Slumping stocks, rising unemployment and a European crisis: Does such a depressing cocktail make consumers feel more or less inclined to party? Would you pay $2.7 billion to find out? That's what private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners essentially agreed to do Tuesday, buying a majority stake in Party City Holdings Inc. The shindig supplier, founded in 1947, leads a party goods industry worth $10 billion, according to Boston-based THL. Party City has products in more than 40,000 retail outlets worldwide, 825 brick-and-mortar party superstores and more than 400 temporary Halloween pop-up shops each year.
BUSINESS
May 31, 2012 | By Laura Hautala, Los Angeles Times
The future of Pep Boys has been cast in serious doubt after a Los Angeles private-equity firm scuttled a $1-billion deal to buy the struggling auto parts retailer. Gores Group walked away from the acquisition amid worries that Pep Boys' business was deteriorating. The company posted weak first-quarter results this month, when the deal first began to disintegrate. Analysts pointed out that the Gores Group's willingness to pay a $50-million breakup fee without challenging it in court might signal trouble for Pep Boys.
BUSINESS
May 25, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
For all its flirting, private equity firm Sycamore Partners didn't want to commit in the end to Talbots Inc., breaking off talks to buy the struggling women's retailer for $215 million. Talbots' stock sank 36%, sinking 92 cents to $1.64, in late morning trading in New York on Friday, even as the company reported improved profit. The retailer's negotiations with Sycamore had been extended twice since May 5. Ultimately, Sycamore told Talbots that it wasn't ready for a deal. The retailer said in a statement Friday that it “remains open to pursuing a transaction” with the private equity firm.
BUSINESS
May 24, 2012 | By Meg James, Los Angeles Times
Top agents at International Creative Management on Wednesday completed the buyout of the agency from longtime Chairman and Chief Executive Jeff Berg and private equity firm Rizvi Traverse Management - ending a long-running management drama at one of Hollywood's leading agencies. Staff members of the 400-person firm celebrated with a champagne breakfast. Twenty-nine agents are now partners who will own and control the Century City-based firm, which has been renamed ICM Partners.
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