Lack of Park Funds Kills Deal in Malibu Mountains

A potential transaction in which the investment group that owns the Los Angeles Athletic Club had agreed to sell 1,600 acres of rugged mountain land in Malibu for use as a public park has collapsed.

"It is disappointing, but the financing simply wasn't there," said Ruth Kilday, executive director of the Mountains Conservancy Foundation, which had agreed to pay Laaco Ltd., the investment group, $25 million for the property.

The deal, negotiated last spring, was contingent on Congress appropriating at least $20 million for the National Park Service to acquire land in the Santa Monica Mountains. Although the lawmakers have yet to decide on the amount, it is certain to be well below $20 million. The Athletic Club, however, said it has no immediate plans to sell the land to another party.

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