Wednesday morning headlines

Stocks open lower: The slump continues; Dow is down 9 points.

California Pizza Kitchen is sold: Private-equity firm Golden Gate Capital has agreed to buy the L.A.-based chain for $470 million in cash, or $18.50 a share. That's an 11 percent premium from the closing share price on Tuesday. CPK has been on the block for more than a year. (DealBook)

Lakers close to hiring Mike Brown: The former Cleveland coach is being offered a four-year deal worth $18 million. Brown went 272-138 in five seasons with the Cavaliers. From

The move is believed to be driven by Jim Buss, the Lakers' executive vice president of player personnel and son of owner Jerry Buss, whose role was expected to increase with Jackson's departure. Brown, the defensive-minded coach who took the 2010-11 season off after being fired by the Cavaliers last summer, was believed to be the frontrunner for the Golden State vacancy as well.

Storms causing flight cancellations: Anyone flying to the Midwest today could have a tough haul - the tornadoes are creating flight schedule problems. (NBC LA)

Bratz maker seeking damages: Van Nuys-based MGA entertainment wants Mattel to shell out $339 million in connection with a seven-year fight over rights to the dolls. A federal judge has scheduled a hearing today. (Bloomberg)

Chrysler pays back loan: Retiring $7.6 billion in government loans will save the automaker about $350 million a year in interest payments and bolster its image. From the NYT:

Now the company's revival will enter a new phase that depends heavily on its alliance with Fiat, which on Tuesday increased its stake in Chrysler to 46 percent, from 30 percent. Fiat will most likely increase its ownership to 51 percent by the end of the year. Terms of Chrysler's federal bailout allow the Italian company to gain an additional 5 percent interest when a prototype of a new fuel-efficient compact car is ready for production in the United States.

City Council creates "collections czar:: The Inspector General for Revenue and Collections will be responsible for ferreting out hundreds of millions of dollars that are owed to cash-strapped city - much of it in past due parking tickets and ambulance fees. (KPCC)

L.A. air controller caught napping: No details, other than that the person has been suspended pending the outcome of the FAA's disciplinary process. (Bloomberg)

CNBC anchor dies: Mark Haines had been one of the financial network's most popular personalities. Apparently a heart attack - Haines was 65. (CNBC)

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
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