LAOOC Settles With 4 Souvenir Firms

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Times Staff Writer

The Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee has agreed to pay a financial settlement to four minority-owned companies that had charged the committee with violating the terms of licenses they held to produce Olympic souvenirs, it was announced Monday. The amounts to be paid were not disclosed.

In announcing the settlement--reached at a session in Mayor Tom Bradley’s conference room that lasted until 4:30 a.m. Sunday--mediator Ezunial Burts said the LAOOC is still negotiating settlements with three other licensees and may negotiate with five more in the future.

The settlement led to a delay in court-ordered arbitration of claims by the seven licensees involved in the weekend discussions for a total of between $17 million and $20 million in damages.


The licensees claim that the Olympic committee failed to honor agreements that it would see that its big sponsors bought their Olympic souvenirs only from the licensees, that it would grant the licensees space to market their products to the general public at Olympic venues and that it would allow the licensees to sell to other distributors.

Burts said that representatives of the four firms receiving settlements--Avandi II, Awards Media, Ken Norton Co. and UTC Inc.--did not want the amounts disclosed because they were not anxious to let their creditors know how much money they were getting. And he said the Olympic committee did not want disclosure because it feared it would let other complaining licensees set a floor value on what they could expect to receive.

Burts, executive director of the Los Angeles Harbor Department, said he had been called in to facilitate the discussions between the new staff director of the Olympic committee, G. Edward Smith, and the presidents of the various companies.

He said the three firms with which discussions continue are Moochies, Parkland Industries and Panama Glove Co. The settlements already agreed to will be paid this week, he added.

Smith declined to confirm the settlements but they were confirmed by three members of the Olympic committee’s executive board.