Rhodes Cos. creditors agree to mediation

The Rhodes Cos., the homebuilding and development companies that filed for bankruptcy in late March, avoided a legal battle with creditors on Friday when key participants in the case agreed to mediation.

Bankruptcy Judge Linda Riegle accepted an agreement among first lien creditors, the agent for the second lien creditors, the unsecured creditors’ committee, the debtors and others.

The agreement allows owner Jim Rhodes to continue using cash for business operations until Aug 28. Parties signing the agreement also will go through up to three days of mediation over how to reorganize the companies. Parties will not file potentially competing plans of reorganization until Aug. 28.

The 32 related companies have about $400 million in liabilities and $100 million in assets.


As CIT Group talks with banks, shares rise

CIT Group Inc.’s shares nearly doubled Friday as the commercial lender held talks with several large banks about securing emergency financing in hopes of avoiding a bankruptcy filing.

But the company’s stock remains well below $1 — and down 54 percent from only a week ago — suggesting investors still rate its prospects of survival as slim after the federal government refused to rescue the firm.

CIT is in talks with JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley about receiving short-term financing that may help it avoid filing for Chapter 11 protection, a person familiar with the talks told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity.

CIT’s shares rose 29 cents, or 70.73 percent, Friday to close at 70 cents on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares had risen as high as 93 cents earlier in the day.

California gaming sites wager on horse racing

Horse racing, in a comeback bid, is headed for some California casinos.

Beginning this weekend, fans of horse racing can place bets and watch televised races at the Commerce Casino, the first new “off-track betting” site approved under a major California initiative to whip up the struggling horse-racing industry.

At the new site — sometimes called OTBs — gamblers will be able to bet at electronic kiosks and follow races from across the country on a bank of 26 television screens. The Commerce Casino, in the Los Angeles suburb of Commerce, will be the first of 15 new wagering sites permitted by legislation approved in Los Angeles, Kern, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

State and gaming officials are hoping the casino will be the first of 45 new gaming mini-satellite sites allowed in sports bars, card clubs, casinos and other gathering spots.

Delphi bankruptcy decision postponed

Resolution of Delphi Corp.’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy was postponed until Tuesday as U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain delayed an auction to sell the company’s assets that had been scheduled for Friday.

Beverly Hills, Calif., investment firm Platinum Equity is the only bidder for the world’s biggest auto parts maker and a key supplier to General Motors Co.

However, a group of Delphi’s bankruptcy lenders said in a court filing this week that they planned to submit a so-called credit bid, which would involve forgiving their debts to Delphi in return for acquiring its assets. Various lenders have provided almost $3.5 billion in financing to Delphi since it filed for bankruptcy in October 2006.

The bankruptcy lenders and other creditors have objected to the Platinum bid, calling it a “sweetheart deal” that would provide big returns for the investment firm while the lenders would recoup, at best, only 20 cents on the dollar.

Eddie Bauer shop chain bought for $286 million

San Francisco investment firm Golden Gate Capital has won the bankruptcy auction for the Eddie Bauer chain with a $286 million offer, besting several liquidators with a plan to keep open most of the outdoor-clothing retailer’s 370 stores in the U.S. and Canada.

Eddie Bauer Holdings Inc., based in Bellevue, Wash., attracted several bidders, including liquidators Great American Group, Hilco Consumer Capital and Gordon Bros. Group, as well as Iconix Brand Group Inc., which owns Rocawear clothing. CCMP Capital Advisors made the initial $202 million offer as a so-called stalking horse, a court-approved bidder who gets the action going in exchange for a fee, in this case $5 million.

The liquidators wanted to sell off the assets of Eddie Bauer, which opened its first store in 1920.


As supply fears worsen, oil prices rise again

Oil prices surged through the week, rising above $63 a barrel Friday as China reported faster economic growth and political turmoil in Iran raised concerns about future oil supplies.

Benchmark crude for September delivery jumped $1.52 to settle at $64.58 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent prices climbed $2.63 to settle at $65.38 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

Earlier in the week, crude futures were tugged higher by a rally on Wall Street, and prices continued to rise as China reported that its economy grew faster in the second quarter.


European Union leaders OK Pfizer-Wyeth deal

Pfizer Inc. said Friday that European Union antitrust regulators cleared its $68 billion purchase of rival Wyeth.

The European Commission approved the deal, and Pfizer said it committed to divesting some businesses in the EU. Pfizer agreed to buy Wyeth in January, but approvals from regulators and governments on several continents are required due to the size of the businesses involved.

Pfizer also said the Chinese Ministry of Commerce extended its review of the deal beyond the initial 30 days. A 90-day regulatory review in the U.S. is continuing, and Wyeth shareholders will also need to approve the sale.

SAN JOSE, Calif.

Cisco Systems lays off 600 to 700 workers

Cisco Systems Inc. laid off 600 to 700 workers at its company headquarters and an undisclosed number of employees at other locations this week, bringing the world’s largest maker of computer networking gear closer to its goal of reducing its work force by about 2,000 positions.

The majority of the cuts, reported earlier by The Wall Street Journal, were made at Cisco’s San Jose headquarters Thursday, adding to the 447 California workers Cisco had already laid off since the end of February, according to notices filed with the state.

As of the end of April, Cisco employed about 66,560 people. The company would not say how many people it has laid off outside of California.

Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Facial recognition software at G2E – Todd Prince
Shing Tao, CEO of Las Vegas-based Remark Holdings, talks about his facial recognition product. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Bobby Baldwin to leave MGM
MGM Resorts International executive and professional poker player Bobby Baldwin is set to leave MGM.
Caesars has new armed emergency response teams
Caesars Entertainment Corp. has created armed emergency response teams. They are composed of former military and law enforcement officials. "These teams provide valuable additional security capabilities,” Caesars spokeswoman Jennifer Forkish said. Caesars is hiring Security Saturation Team supervisors, managers and officers, according to LinkedIn. The company did not say how many people it plans to hire for the units. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas, airlines prepare for CES
CES in January is expected to attract more than 180,000 attendees. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
AGS partners with Vegas Golden Knights
AGS is the nation’s second-largest manufacturer of Class II slot machines used primarily in tribal jurisdictions. It announced a marketing partnership with the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lehman Brothers bet big on Las Vegas
Lehman Brothers collapsed 10 years ago, helping send the country into the Great Recession.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Ross & Snow launches in Las Vegas
Luxury shoe brand Ross & Snow has opened in Las Vegas, featuring "functional luxury" with premium shearling footwear. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remote Identification and Drones
DJI vice president of policy and public affairs discusses using remote identification on drones. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Drones and public safety in Nevada
Two representatives in the drone industry discuss UAV's impact on public safety. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Frontier Airlines to launch flights from Las Vegas to Mexico
Frontier, a Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier, will become the first airline in more than a decade to offer international service to Canada and Mexico from Las Vegas when flights to Cancun and Los Cabos begin Dec. 15. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International opens the doors on MGM Springfield
Massachusetts’ first hotel-casino opens in downtown Springfield. The $960 million MGM Springfield has 252 rooms and 125,000-square-feet of casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International prepares to open MGM Springfield
Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International gave news media and invited guests a preview of the $960 million MGM Springfield casino in Massachusetts. The commonwealth's first resort casino will open Friday, Aug. 24. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A Walk Through Circus Circus
It only takes a short walk through Circus Circus to realize it attracts a demographic like no other casino on the Strip: families with young children. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morphy Auctions, a vintage slot machines seller, wants gaming license
Vice president Don Grimmer talks about Morphy Auctions at the company's warehouse located at 4520 Arville Street in Las Vegas on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada's venture capital money doesn't stay in state
Zach Miles, associate vice president for economic development for UNLV, said there’s venture money in Southern Nevada, “but trying to find the right groups to tap into for that money is different.” According to a 2017 report from the Kauffman Foundation, Las Vegas ranked number 34 out of 40 metropolitan areas for growth entrepreneurship, a metric of how much startups grow. With a lack of growing startups in Las Vegas, investment money is being sent outside of state borders. The southwest region of the U.S. received $386 million in funding in the second quarter, with about $25.2 million in Nevada. The San Francisco area alone received about $5.6 billion. (source: CB Insights)
Neon wraps can light up the night for advertising
Vinyl wrap company 5150 Wraps talks about neon wraps, a new technology that the company believes can boost advertising at night. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nevada on the forefront of drone safety
Dr. Chris Walach, senior director of Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, talks to a reporter at NIAS's new Nevada Drone Center for Excellence of Public Safety, located inside the Switch Innevation Center in Las Vegas. K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
Motel 8 on south Strip will become site of hotel-casino
Israeli hoteliers Asher Gabay and Benny Zerah bought Motel 8 on the south Strip for $7.4 million, records show. They plan to bulldoze the property and build a hotel-casino. Motel 8 was built in the 1960s and used to be one of several roadside inns on what's now the south Strip. But it looks out of place today, dwarfed by the towering Mandalay Bay right across the street.
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