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Globetrotters sold to Roy Disney firm

BURBANK - An investment company controlled by Roy E. Disney has bought 80 percent of the Harlem Globetrotters and will help expand the basketball team's merchandising and licensing activities worldwide.

The Shamrock Capital Growth Fund bought the controlling interest from Mannie Jackson, the team's chief executive officer, who will continue to own 20 percent. Jackson, who had bought the Globetrotters in 1993, will continue to serve as the team's chairman and CEO.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Shamrock manages the investments for the family of Roy E. Disney, son of Roy O. Disney and nephew of Walt Disney. The company, managed by Stanley Gold as president and CEO, has invested more than $550 million in media, entertainment and communications businesses in the United States.

Crude oil prices drop after rally

NEW YORK - Crude oil prices eased Tuesday after a robust rally a day earlier, but investors worried about possible shortages in gasoline and other products, such as heating oil, that require refining.

Refineries were still assessing the damage caused by Hurricane Rita.

Light sweet crude for November fell 75 cents to settle at $65.07 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It had risen by $1.63 Monday.

On London's International Petroleum Exchange, Brent futures for November fell 96 cents to $676 a barrel.

About a dozen refineries in Texas and Louisiana remained shut Tuesday because of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina. Prices rose for gasoline and distillates.

WellPoint adding New York region

INDIANAPOLIS - WellPoint Inc., the nation's largest health insurer, moved Tuesday to expand its reach by acquiring New York-based WellChoice Inc. in a move that analysts said would thwart competition but that physicians said could be bad for customers.

The deal, valued at $6.5 billion in cash and stock, gives Indianapolis-based WellPoint an important inroad into the New York area with 5 million new customers and access to nationwide accounts, company officials said.

The deal calls for WellPoint to pay $77.23 in cash and stock per WellChoice share, about 9.4 percent more than WellChoice's closing price Monday.

WellChoice shares rose $4.91, or 7 percent, to close at $75.51 in trading Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange, while WellPoint fell 8 cents to $75.01.

Together, WellPoint and WellChoice will serve more than 33 million members in 14 states.

WellPoint CEO Larry Glasscock said some WellChoice workers will be laid off as a result of the deal but did not specify how many jobs would be affected.

FCC gives Internet phones a break

NEW YORK - The Federal Communications Commission backed off again Tuesday on enforcing a deadline for Internet phone service providers to disconnect all customers who haven't acknowledged that they understand it might be hard to reach a live emergency dispatcher when dialing 911.

The agency explained that the status reports required from every Internet phone company last week showed that by ``repeatedly prompting subscribers through a variety of means, the majority of providers .... have obtained acknowledgments from nearly all, if not all, of their subscribers.''

The decision came a day before a deadline that would have required Internet phone companies to cut off at least 10,000 of the estimated 2.7 million users of the service in the United States.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 28, 2005
Words:553
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