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Chevron’s Unocal Bid Gets More BackingChevron Corp.'s...

From Associated Press From Reuters From Dow Jones/Associated Press From a Times Staff Writer

Chevron’s Unocal Bid Gets More Backing

Chevron Corp.'s bid to buy Unocal Corp. won endorsements from two more shareholder advisory companies Wednesday, a day after China’s CNOOC Ltd. withdrew its higher offer for the El Segundo oil company.

The reports from Glass Lewis & Co. and Proxy Governance Inc., which come a week before Unocal shareholders vote on the Chevron deal, conclude that Chevron was offering a fair price for Unocal.

On Monday, the deal won the backing of Institutional Shareholder Services.

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Chevron’s stock rose 79 cents to $60.35, raising the value of its stock-and-cash offer to $17.7 billion, or $64.90 per Unocal share. Unocal shares rose 37 cents to $64.90.

-- Elizabeth Douglass

Malone to Become CEO of Liberty Media

Cable magnate John Malone will step into the chief executive’s job at Liberty Media Corp. to succeed the retiring Robert Bennett, the company said.

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Bennett will remain a director of the media holding company and will work on special projects. His departure is scheduled for April 1.

Malone, 64, is currently Liberty’s chairman.

China Bars Entry of New Foreign TV Channels

China will forbid any new foreign-owned TV channels from entering the country, according to an official report, expanding an industry clampdown and placing plans by Walt Disney Co. and Viacom Inc. on hold.

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Analysts said the curb could be a reaction to the accelerating expansion of foreign participation in local media, in a country where the media is traditionally more a propaganda tool than a form of entertainment.

China “will not again allow a foreign satellite TV station to have landing rights in the country,” the official New China News Agency said.

Casual Corner Stores to Be Sold to Liquidator

The owner of Casual Corner Group Inc. said it would sell the struggling women’s clothing chain to a liquidator, which in turn may sell a chunk of its stores to a big rival.

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Looking to spend more time on its upscale Brooks Brothers chain, privately owned Retail Brand Alliance Inc. plans today to sell Casual Corner’s 550 stores to Gordon Bros. Group, a Boston-based retail liquidator, Retail Brand Alliance President and Chief Executive Claudio Del Vecchio said.

Del Vecchio declined to discuss specific terms of the deal.

Aside from a modest cash payment, the agreement is largely a transfer of leases, Del Vecchio said.

TBA Global to Buy Production Group

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TBA Global Events, a Los Angeles company specializing in organizing major corporate events, announced that it was buying rival Production Group International of Washington.

TBA’s partners are veteran music industry figures Irving Azoff and Robert Geddes, who serves as chief executive, along with financial backers JHW Greentree Capital and an affiliate of Whitney & Co.

Terms weren’t disclosed, although TBA said that the combined revenue of the two companies would be about $175 million.

Also

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* General Motors Corp.'s finance arm, which has warned that it may have to curtail lending because of its “junk” credit ratings, said it agreed to sell a 60% stake in its commercial mortgage unit to a private equity consortium.

* Executive recruiting firm Korn/Ferry International Inc. of Los Angeles has accused a former senior executive and other ex-employees of stealing client information and using it at a competing business.

* Arthur Andersen, the now-defunct auditor, has agreed to pay $25 million to settle a lawsuit brought by investors over its role in the collapse of telecommunications network provider Global Crossing Ltd., lawyers for the plaintiffs said.

* Gateway Inc. delayed its quarterly results for a second time while it decides how to account for a $150-million payment from Microsoft Corp.

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