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Economy Briefs: Striking Lockheed Martin machinists to vote Thursday

FORT WORTH — Striking Lockheed Martin Corp. machinists will vote Thursday on a new labor deal.

Members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers in Fort Worth went on strike April 23. Union members earlier rejected an offer that would have raised health care costs and eliminated pensions for new hires.

Leaders of Machinists Local 776, which represents about 3,600 striking workers, announced a tentative deal Saturday after four days of talks.

The four-year agreement, outlined Monday, says workers would get $2,000, plus annual pay increases starting at 3 percent the first year. Current basic health care plans would not change.

Workers hired after July 2, the deadline for ratification, would not get traditional pensions but instead would have a retirement savings plan and contributions from Lockheed Martin.


Madison Square Garden Co. buys L.A. Forum for $23.5M

NEW YORK — The Madison Square Garden Co. says it bought the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., for $23.5 million.

The historic arena opened in 1967 and was home to both the NBA’s Lakers and NHL’s Kings until they left for the Staples Center in 1999.

The venue also hosted generations of pop music acts, including Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, Aerosmith and Nirvana. It’s currently owned by the Faithful Central Bible Church, which uses it for services as well as concerts.

Madison Square Garden Co., which owns the namesake New York arena along with the NBA’s Knicks and the NHL’s Rangers, says it plans to start renovating the Forum later this year.

Shares of MSG closed down 35 cents at $36.76.


SBA Communications buys towers in $1.45B deal

BOCA RATON — Communications tower operator SBA Communications Corp. is buying 3,252 towers in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $1.45 billion.

The transaction with affiliates of TowerCo includes $1.2 billion in cash and 4.6 million shares of SBA common stock.

The towers are in 47 states and Puerto Rico. SBA says the towers will be in great demand for future cell-splitting needs of U.S. wireless carriers.

SBA and rivals such as American Tower Corp. and Crown Castle International Corp. make money by leasing towers and other equipment to wireless carriers.

“We believe the TowerCo assets are high quality, well located and have ample capacity for additional tenants,” SBA President and CEO Jeffrey Stoops said in a statement.

SBA said Tuesday that it will pay for the cash portion of the buyout with available cash, existing credit facilities and up to $900 million in financing commitments from J.P. Morgan.

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