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Saturday, Dec 9, 2023

The Digest

Zany Brainy Is Right Stuff The Right Start Inc. has reached an agreement to acquire Zany Brainy in a cash and stock deal worth over $100 million. Right Start, a Calabasas-based retailer of infants and children’s products, will pay $11.5 million in cash for the toy chain along with stock shares worth more than $3.5 million. In addition, Right Start will assume $85 million in liabilities in the deal. Waterton Management in Los Angeles had previously announced plans to acquire Zany Brainy but, with the current management, will invest $20 million to help finance the acquisition. Zany Brainy, with 187 stores, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May after an aggressive expansion program resulted in $9.3 million in losses. Once the acquisition is completed, the companies are expected to begin cross-marketing their products. Tech Assn., 101 Align The Business Technology Association (BTA) has formed an alliance with 101 communications LLP, Chatsworth, parent company of Recharger Magazine and World Expo. 101communications will assume the management of the association’s magazine and annual conference. BTA Solutions magazine and the Copier Marketplace, 101’s entry into the field, will be merged into a new publication entitled Office Technology. The first issue will be published in September. BTA’s annual conference will become part of the arrangement in 2002. The first 101-produced BTA conference is scheduled for June 2002 in Las Vegas. BTA will develop and produce the educational seminars for the conference. 101communications is an integrated media company in the business-to-business market aimed at the information technology community. New Valley DWP Plant OKed The Los Angeles City Council has approved a $228 million plan to build a power plant that would replace the San Fernando Valley Generating Station. When finished in 2004, the plant should produce 500 megawatts, enough to power 450,000 homes, with a savings of $50 million each year from enhanced fuel efficiency. Conceived before California’s energy crisis, the project is part of a plan by Los Angeles to upgrade its power plants, a system that has allowed the city to avoid the blackouts that have hit much of the rest of the state. Countrywide Expands in Lancaster Countrywide Home Loans plans to build a $10 million loan service center that will employ 500 people in Lancaster. Calabasas-based Countrywide Home Loans, the largest subsidiary of Countrywide Credit Industries, will establish a 102,000-square-foot office building in the Lancaster Business Park on 12.7 acres it is buying from the city. With 500 jobs starting up the moment the office opens, the project is the largest to ever come to the city. The Rite Aid distribution center in the Fox Field Corridor has more than 600 workers, but that work force was built up gradually. The plans for the Countrywide complex includes provisions to add a 50,000-square-foot building in the future. Countrywide has more than 13,000 employees and 550 offices nationwide. The company services the mortgages of 3 million homeowners. The city plans to offer $1.5 million in assistance for the project, including relocating a street to the southern end of the office complex, building a wall along the western edge of the office campus and helping finance the purchase. The city will sell the land for almost $1 million. The office building, scheduled to open in the spring, will be built at Business Center Parkway and Federal Drive. The office complex will be developed by Frank Visco, a Lancaster businessman and former chairman of the California Republican Party. Visco owns and develops several buildings in the business park, including those occupied by Los Angeles County.

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