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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Kerkorian into Delta Petroleum

From Wire Reports The Spokesman-Review

Kirk Kerkorian’s Tracinda Corp. will pay $684 million for a 35 percent stake in Delta Petroleum Corp. in a deal that will help Delta speed drilling activities in the Rocky Mountains.

Denver-based Delta said the agreement will also provide funding for possible acquisitions. Its board unanimously approved the agreement allowing Tracinda to acquire 36 million shares.

The $19-per-share purchase price represents a 23 percent premium to the company’s closing stock price on Friday.

The deal must be approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Based in Beverly Hills, Calif., Tracinda is a privately held corporation wholly owned by Kerkorian.

The 90-year-old investor is a majority shareholder in MGM Mirage – operator of the MGM Grand, Bellagio and other casinos. A planned Gatorade factory in Albany, Ore., that was to have employed 250 people probably won’t be built until 2009, officials say.

Instead, SVC, the PepsiCo. subsidiary planning the project, will pay the city $710,000 for a year’s delay, and a $200,000 reimbursement for expenses.

The agreement to build the plant dates to 2006, but construction plans were first delayed in May of 2007.

Later, SVC Manufacturing said it would decide in January whether to go ahead in 2008 and, if not, to re-evaluate the project again in subsequent years.

Albany City Manager Wes Hare said Gatorade officials are expected in Albany for a visit on Jan. 23.

The company has been developing G2, a Gatorade with less sugar and calories, and Hare expects that’s the product it wants to make in Albany.

Parts of the project have been challenged before the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals.

The Travelers Cos. Inc., one of the nation’s largest commercial insurers, has settled a lawsuit and separately will pay $6 million to settle several state investigations over how it paid brokers, the company and the Florida Attorney General said on Monday.

Travelers did not disclose how much it was paying to settle the 2004 shareholder lawsuit over contingent payments to brokers and allegations that it rigged bids.

The St. Paul, Minn.-based company said it had reached agreements with attorneys general in Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, Michigan, Oregon, Texas, West Virginia, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia. The settlement still needs court approval.