July 21, 2012 in Business

AmericanWest plans to buy California bank

From Staff And Wire Reports
 

AmericanWest Bank of Spokane is buying a Southern California bank for $23.7 million.

The deal, announced Thursday, folds Inland Community Bank, based in Ontario, Calif., into AmericanWest.

The combination gives the Spokane lender a total of 13 offices in Southern California. Inland has five – in Los Angeles, Pasadena, Ontario, Rialto and Duarte – that will be added to AmericanWest’s current eight branches there.

AmericanWest has assets of $2.5 billion. As of March, Inland had assets of $221 million.

The agreement is expected to be finalized later this year.

Viacom, DirecTV settle fight, end blackout

LOS ANGELES – Viacom and DirecTV fought a bruising fight over fees to a draw Friday and agreed to a long-term deal that ended a 10-day channel blackout.

Their new deal restored MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and other channels to 20 million DirecTV customers and ensured those channels will be available to subscribers on computers and mobile devices in the coming months.

According to terms shared by both sides on Friday, DirecTV Group Inc. will pay about 20 percent more to carry Viacom Inc. channels on satellite TV lineups. That works out to about $600 million in the first year of a seven-year deal. The companies agreed to annual single-digit percentage increases in subsequent years.

DirecTV was able to save itself about $500 million over the entire term by not taking the premium pay TV channel Epix. It said it also was able to send a message that it won’t roll over every time a media company threatens to pull channels over fees.

Shares of both companies edged downward Friday. Since the dispute resulted in a blackout July 10, Viacom shares are down 0.9 percent, closing Friday at $46.41, while DirecTV shares are down 0.7 percent, closing at $48.33. Over the same period, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 1.3 percent.

Dimon increases stake in JPMorgan Chase

NEW YORK – JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is boosting his stake in the bank by 360,000 shares.

A regulatory filing Friday says Dimon spent about $12.3 million to buy the shares on Thursday and Friday. The average price was $34.14. JPMorgan shares fell 56 cents Friday to close at $33.90.

JPMorgan shares have been hammered because of a multibillion-dollar loss by the bank’s traders this spring. The loss was first described in news reports April 5. Since then, JPMorgan shares have lost one-fourth of their value.

The purchases boost Dimon’s direct personal stake in JPMorgan by 12 percent, to 3.2 million shares from 2.9 million shares. He has the second-biggest individual stake in the bank.

The filing says Dimon’s wife and companies that he controls bought an additional 140,000 shares.


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