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CEO named film board member


Spokane Convention & Visitors Bureau CEO Harry Sladich is one of eight people named to a new state motion picture competitiveness program board.

Sladich is the only member of the board from Eastern Washington.

The motion picture competitiveness program was created by the Legislature to help boost movie production in the state. The program will provide rebates to producers who film movies, television shows or commercials in the state, and the new board will establish the criteria for doing that.

New York

Two convicted of securities fraud

A pair of New York Stock Exchange specialists were convicted Friday of securities fraud in a case where they were accused of stealing $1 million apiece by skimming small amounts of money from stocks they were entrusted to oversee.

Michael Hayward and Michael Stern, who worked for Van der Moolen Specialists USA LLC, were each convicted by a Manhattan federal jury of a single count of securities fraud. They face up to 20 years in prison when they are sentenced Oct. 27.

The jury acquitted the pair of the lesser count of conspiracy, which carried a maximum five-year jail term, and of several other securities fraud counts.

San Diego

Petco agrees to buyout

Petco Animal Supplies Inc., the nation’s second-biggest pet supplies retail chain, said Friday it has agreed to be acquired for about $1.68 billion by a private investment group. Its shares climbed 44 percent.

The deal marked the latest example of the attraction that solid retail cash flows and real estate assets have for private equity investors.

The investor firms Leonard Green & Partners LP and Texas Pacific Group are offering $29 per share in cash for Petco, a 45 percent premium over its closing price of $19.45 on Thursday.

For Leonard Green, the purchase marks something. The Los Angeles firm was a part-owner of Petco before the retailer went public in February 2002.

Shares of pet retailers have suffered amid concern about high gas prices. Petco’s stock had fallen by half since January 2005.

The private equity firms likely saw investor disfavor as a buying opportunity, said David Schick, an analyst at Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., a brokerage firm in New York.


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