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Business news briefs — Dec. 3

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LOCAL BUSINESS

Indians stores closing

The Cleveland Indians will close their three retail stores next month, according to news reports.

WEWS (Channel 5) said it confirmed with Indians staff that the team would be closing its stores on Jan. 27 while keeping the store at Progressive Field open.

The stores are in Jackson Township on The Strip, at Southpark Mall in Strongsville and Westgate Mall in Fairview Park.

According to WEWS, the Indians were one of only a few major league baseball teams that had their own stores. There were once as many as nine at area malls during the 1990s when the team was not only popular but also owned by the late Akron native Richard Jacobs, whose business was developing malls.

That was also before Internet shopping took off and, in recent years, the stores served as “more [of a] ticket outlet than anything,” Tribe Director of Communications Curtis Danburg told the television station.

A store in Summit Mall closed sometime in 2012.

Parking fees increase

Parking rates at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport’s Smart Parking Garage and Blue Lot increased by $1.50 on Tuesday.

The new rates will be $15.50 per day for short-term parking, and $11.50 per day after 72 hours. Blue Lot parking will increase to $9.50 daily. The Red Lot, Orange Lot and valet rates will stay the same. Customers who parked at the airport prior to Tuesday will have the previous rates.

REAL ESTATE

Modest price rise

A measure of U.S. home prices rose only modestly in October, adding to signs that prices have stabilized after big gains earlier this year. Real estate data provider CoreLogic said prices increased 0.2 percent in October from September. That’s up from a 0.1 percent gain in September. But it is down sharply from a 0.9 percent increase in August. Home prices have risen 12.5 percent from a year ago.

AUTO INDUSTRY

Jeep returns to China

Fiat SpA is nearing a deal to begin producing Jeep vehicles in China after making concessions to its Chinese partner over the manufacturing site, Bloomberg News reported. The agreement would allow Jeep, which in 1983 was the first foreign brand to be produced in China, to make a return after production stopped in 2006. The move could tie up additional capital as Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne seeks to forge a global automaker by merging Fiat and Chrysler.

Tesla dealer challenged

An Ohio House of Representatives committee declined to take up a one-paragraph amendment pushed by the Ohio Auto Dealers Association that would have blocked an innovative carmaker’s business model. That means the fight between Tesla Motors and Ohio auto dealers will carry into next year. At issue is whether to prohibit an auto manufacturer from owning an auto dealership, the method Tesla desires.

Dealers wanted to insert the amendment in a noncontroversial bill that would require drivers to move over when approaching a road maintenance vehicle. But with Tesla representatives pushing hard, the bill passed committee with no amendments.

INVESTING

Theater stock offered

AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., the U.S. movie chain controlled by China’s richest man, plans to raise as much as $368 million in an initial public offering. The company, based in Leawood, Kan., plans to sell 18.4 million shares at $18 to $20 each.

The offering would return AMC, the second-largest U.S. theater chain by revenue, to a public listing for the first time in nine years. It was acquired last year by Dalian Wanda Group for $2.6 billion, including assumption of debt. Dalian Wanda, China’s largest entertainment company, is led by Wang Jianlin, whose estimated net worth of $12.4 billion is the highest in China, according to Bloomberg News.

AMC was a public company before its purchase in 2004 by Apollo Global Management and JPMorgan Chase & Co. It was subsequently merged with Loews Cineplex, a chain owned by Bain Capital LLC, Carlyle Group LP and Spectrum Equity Investors. Wang’s Dalian Wanda bought the company in May 2012.

Compiled from staff and wire reports.


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