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The Digest

Douglas Emmett Buys Complex Los Angeles-based Mani Brothers Real Estate Investment has sold a 60,000-square-foot office building in Sherman Oaks to Douglas Emmett Realty for $12.5 million. The four-story building on Ventura Boulevard is anchored by Sanwa Bank and has about 20 other tenants. Bob Safai of Madison Partners represented Mani Brothers in the sale. Major League Baseball Comes to Valley Major League Baseball has chosen the Hansen Dam recreation area for a $10 million, first-of-its-kind baseball complex to provide free training to economically-disadvantaged teens in a variety of baseball-related fields. The academy will include at least five baseball and softball fields, classrooms and training facilities for boys and girls aimed at developing skills in areas such as playing, coaching, umpiring, groundskeeping and other baseball-related fields. Under its Urban Youth Initiative, major league officials chose Los Angeles for the first-time academy in part because of the large number of big leaguers in the area. The big leagues first announced plans to found the academy in 1999, with an initial budget of $5 million, and a target of serving some 150 kids ages 10 to 15 annually. Completion of the academy is expected as soon as fall 2002. Valley Sun Sold Severyn Aszkenazy, owner of a San Fernando-based contracting firm, has purchased the San Fernando Valley Sun, a weekly newspaper covering communities in the Northeast Valley. As a result, the paper has a new look and a new name: the San Fernando Sun. Aszkenazy and his wife, Martha Diaz-Aszkenazy, own Pueblo Contracting Services. Diaz-Aszkenazy chairs the board of the Greater San Fernando Chamber of Commerce. Daily News Publisher Steps Down Ike Massey, publisher of the Daily News and chief executive officer of the Los Angeles Newspaper Group, will resign, effective July 1. Massey came to Southern California in November 1996 when the MediaNews Group formed the Los Angeles News Group and acquired the San Gabriel Valley Newspaper Group, which includes the Pasadena Star-News, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune and the Whittier Daily News. The company went on to acquire the Long Beach Press-Telegram, the Daily News, the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin in Ontario, the San Bernardino County Sun and the Redlands Daily Facts. Film Roman, Pentamedia Reach Terms Film Roman Inc. has reached an agreement that calls for Pentamedia Graphics Ltd. to acquire a portion of the company. Under the new terms, India-based Pentamedia will be issued one new share of Film Roman’s common stock for each $1.17 in value it receives from Pentamedia. Upon completion of the transaction, Pentamedia will own just over 49 percent of Film Roman’s common stock, with an overall valuation of up to $10 million. The new deal replaces an initial sales agreement between the two companies. No Annexation for Moorpark The state’s Second District Court of Appeals has invalidated Moorpark’s annexation of a large parcel that was to house the 3,221-home Hidden Creek Ranch development. Judges agreed with a lower court’s conclusion that LAFCO didn’t have sufficient evidence that the Messenger Investment Corp. project would meet environmental standards or provide adequate city services. The developer still has several options, including appealing the decision to the California Supreme Court. Messenger also could work with the city to submit a new annexation request to LAFCO and then put development plans before voters for approval. However, the compositions of the City Council and LAFCO have changed since annexation was approved in 1998. Two current council members, Roseann Mikos and Clint Harper, were leaders in the effort to block the Hidden Creek Ranch project three years ago. Mayor Pat Hunter cast the sole council vote against the development in 1998. The developer also could abandon annexation plans and attempt to gain approval for a significantly scaled-back version of the project through Ventura County officials. Matthews to Sell Assets A subsidiary of Matthews Studio Equipment Group, which filed for bankruptcy in April 2000, Four Star Lighting Inc., has signed an asset purchase agreement with Four Star Acquisition Company, LLC to sell Four Star’s New York operation for $12.65 million. Four Star rents theatrical and industrial lighting equipment. The deal is expected to close by June 8. Matthews Studio Equipment Group had been in the business of supplying equipment and supplies to entertainment producers through its worldwide distribution network.

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