IN BRIEF

Sale of Stratosphere parent now complete

The $1.3 billion sale of the Stratosphere’s parent company to an affiliate of Goldman Sachs has been completed, American Casino & Entertainment Properties reported.

American Casino & Entertainment Properties, a gaming subsidiary established by billionaire corporate raider Carl Icahn, is now an affiliate of Whitehall Street Real Estate Funds.

Along with the Stratosphere and its famous 1,150-foot tower, both Arizona Charlie’s casinos and the Aquarius in Laughlin were part of the sale.

Whitehall plans to expand its gaming interests in Nevada under the American Casino umbrella.

This is Whitehall’s second casino purchase in Nevada. Whitehall holds a 40 percent share in the Las Vegas Hilton.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.

Bid for Yahoo called threat to innovation

Google co-founder Sergey Brin called Microsoft Corp.’s takeover bid for Yahoo an “unnerving” maneuver that threatens innovation on the Internet.

Brin reiterated the Internet search leader’s position that a merger could violate antitrust laws and harm Internet users.

Brin made the comment after an event at the Mountain View-based company’s headquarters for the Google Lunar X Prize, a race to land a privately funded robotic spacecraft on the moon.

“The Internet has evolved from open standards, having a diversity of companies,” Brin told The Associated Press after the event. “And when you start to have companies that control the operating system, control the browsers, they really tie up the top Web sites, and can be used to manipulate stuff in various ways. I think that’s unnerving.”

TORONTO

Barrick Gold to buy all of Nevada venture

Barrick Gold Corp. said Thursday that it will pay about $1.7 billion for Rio Tinto subsidiary’s 40 percent stake to complete its ownership of the Cortez joint venture in Nevada.

Toronto-based Barrick said that buying out the 40 percent stake will increase its share in proven and probable reserves by 4.6 million ounces to 11.5 million ounces. Barrick acquired its 60 percent interest in Cortez through its acquisition of Placer Dome in March 2006.

The Cortez Joint Venture is comprised of the Cortez mine and the Cortez Hills development project.

CEO Greg Wilkins characterized Cortez as “a multi-million-ounce deposit with tremendous exploration potential” that is expected to contribute almost 1 million ounces of gold annually.

The purchase is set to close this year.

NEW YORK

Treasury prices rise amid economic news

Treasury prices advanced Thursday after new reports showed the economy should weaken further this year and that the decline of manufacturing in the Philadelphia area is accelerating.

The benchmark 10-year note rose 1.06 to 97.69 with a yield of 3.76 percent, down from 3.89 percent late Wednesday, according to BGCantor Market Data.

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