Stories for August 2011

Wednesday, August 31

San Diego County Bank Acquires Beach Business Bank

First PacTrust Bancorp Inc. on Wednesday said that it will acquire the South Bay’s Beach Business Bank in a cash-and-stock deal valued at roughly $37.4 million.

Revolution Capital Group Acquires Capital Exchange

Los Angeles private equity firm Revolution Capital Group has acquired Capital Exchange, an online community serving the financial community.

Tuesday, August 30

Port of Long Beach to Renew Lease with Toyota

Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles will keep rolling into the Port of Long Beach through at least 2028, following action by the Long Beach Harbor Commission.

Icahn to Pull Out of Lions Gate

Lions Gate Entertainment Inc. said that activist investor Carl Icahn has agreed to end his nearly two-year-old takeover bid, selling substantially all of his investment firm’s shares in the studio and settling outstanding litigation.

Hudson Pacific to Unlock Restricted Shares

Hudson Pacific Properties Inc. has filed a regulatory registration statement that would enable insiders and other buyers of restricted stock in previous private placements to begin trading up to $10.3 million worth of shares on the open market in the coming months.

Monday, August 29

Vernon Dissolution Bill Fails to Pass State Senate

A bill to dissolve the manufacturing city of Vernon failed to pass the state Senate on Monday afternoon.

Public Storage Names COO

Public Storage said that Shawn Weidmann has joined the real estate investment trust as chief operating officer.

Dreamworks Animation Gets Chinese Distribution Deal for 'Panda'

Dreamworks Animation SKG has signed its first-ever online distribution agreement in China, starting with its popular “KungFu Panda” film franchise.

RealD Signs Deal with Chinese Theater Chain

RealD Inc. has signed a deal with Chinese theater chain Beijing SAGA Luxury Cinema Management Co. Ltd. to install its 3-D movie projection technology in all the chain’s theaters.

L.A. Billionaire May Slip Into American Apparel

Ron Burkle could steer company by picking up its debt.

Billionaire investor Ron Burkle may see American Apparel’s debt load as a good fit for his Yucaipa Cos.

Public Participation Comes by Design

Special Report: WHO’S WHO IN REAL ESTATE

As co-head of the design team at Venice architecture firm Jerde Partnership, David Rogers was design principal of Macerich Co.’s reconstruction of Santa Monica Place and was a senior designer of Universal CityWalk.

L.A. Retail’s Groundbreakers

Special Report: WHO’S WHO IN REAL ESTATE

In this year's annual Who’s Who in Real Estate Special Report, the Business Journal profiles a dozen retail specialists who are behind some of the top projects in the Los Angeles area.

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Lawyer Makes Case for Hollywood

Special Report: WHO’S WHO IN REAL ESTATE

Jerry Neuman is the man behind Hollywood … and Burbank and Crenshaw, and a growing list of cities with large retail developments.

Investor Hopes to Play Ball With Sporting Goods Chain

Lead shareholder Stadium wants to take seat as a director of Big 5.

Big 5 could be sporting a new board member if a Connecticut investor gets its way.

New Chain Might Bag Hike From a Strike

Picket lines at rivals could lift struggling Fresh & Easy.

A labor strike at large supermarkets could spur shoppers to check out struggling nonunion chain Fresh & Easy.

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Driving Foot Traffic

Santa Monica mulls car dealership for Third Street Promenade.

Electric-car maker Coda looks to park a dealership at Third Street Promenade.

Banker Buys Into Refinancing

Special Section: WHO’S WHO IN REAL ESTATE

As the head of operations and strategy at real estate investment bank George Smith Partners, David Rifkind has spent much of his time in recent years working with commercial property owners trying to hold on to their assets. While he would rather be financing new retail developments, it hasn’t been all bad.

Steven Streit: Card Player

Green Dot CEO, who went from radio DJ to creator of the prepaid debit card, leads an active dating life after shedding 140 pounds.

Former radio DJ Steven Streit scored his biggest hit as the creator of prepaid debit cards.

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Sour Loans to Churches Lead Bank to Shut Branches

Pressure from regulators also drives Broadway to raise capital.

Broadway Federal will shutter branches and work to raise capital as it copes with a shaky portfolio of real estate loans.

Natural Gas Fails to Light Fire Under Investors

Company shares may be undermined by BNK’s drilling methods.

Concern over BNK’s European gas fields may be driving away investors.

Taking Stock of Buybacks

COMMENT

Charles Crumpley takes stock of all the share buyback programs, and he isn’t sold.

Developer Accents Latino Neighborhoods

Special Report: WHO’S WHO IN REAL ESTATE

Not everyone who notices a problem decides to do something about it. But developer Arturo Sneider has made a career out of solving a problem he saw when he moved here from Mexico City in 1986: few shopping centers in Latino neighborhoods.

Charging Station Company Opens L.A.’s Incubator

Sidebar – “Clean tech incubator” launches with single tenant.

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WHO’S WHO IN REAL ESTATE - David Lee Glover

Special Report

niversal CityWalk. The Microsoft store at Westfield Century City. The Zone common area at Glendale Galleria. Shoppers may not recognize David Glover, but they have experienced the clever, entertaining venues he has created.

WHO’S WHO IN REAL ESTATE - Mac Chandler

Special Report

From his downtown L.A. office, Mac Chandler manages the West Coast portfolio of Regency Centers Corp., a Jacksonville, Fla., owner of more than 400 shopping centers nationwide, including 20 in Los Angeles County.

Office Campus Deal Heats Up Creative Hot Spot

REAL ESTATE: Westside’s allure pumped up price for Playa Vista property.

Playa Jefferson, a nearly 200,000-square-foot office campus in Playa Vista, traded hands this month for $33 million.

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Regional Reports

Regional Reports

Caruso Sings His Tune in Vegas

Special Report: WHO’S WHO IN REAL ESTATE

Rick Caruso’s distinctive shopping malls attract admiration – and envy – from fellow real estate pros as they reel in shoppers from just about every corner on earth. But until now, the Beverly Hills native has located his upscale retail and entertainment complexes close to home.

News of the Week

News of the Week

Company Hopes to Boost Frequency of New Shows

Westwood One program strategy comes in wake of Dial Global union.

Westwood One looks to dial up business by producing more nationally syndicated programming.

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WHO’S WHO IN REAL ESTATE - Robert Aptaker

Special Report

Robert Aptaker completed the largest project of his career last year with the reopening of Santa Monica Place, the mall next to the Third Street Promenade designed by architect Frank Gehry.

So You Think You Can Dance With the Masai?

PAGE 3

Jonathan Larsen learned a new kind of dance in East Africa.

WHO’S WHO IN REAL ESTATE - Peter Roth

Special Report

Peter Roth immerses himself in all aspects of retail, from strategic planning to negotiating complex ground leases.

Adding to Its Plate

Overhill Farms tries new distribution recipe in deal with Boston Market.

Frozen-food maker Overhill Farms has added marketing and distribution to its menu in a deal with Boston Market.

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Focus on Quality, Quantity

Special Report: WHO’S WHO IN REAL ESTATE

If you’ve ever driven down Robertson Boulevard in West Hollywood or Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, then you’re familiar with Jay Luchs’ work.

Downtown Deliveryman

Special Section: WHO’S WHO IN REAL ESTATE

The 7th and Fig project is Kevin Dow’s biggest rush job. A 29-year veteran with Turner Construction, Dow is in charge of completing a $40 million redevelopment of the three-story outdoor mall in time for its scheduled opening in May.

Bottling Vintage Appeal

Resnicks tap Fiji Water customer base to sell their new wine lines.

Fiji Water hopes for bottoms-up benefits from a pair of recently acquired vineyards.

Food Company Faces More Overseas Toxin Woes

Filipino plantation workers latest to sue Dole over alleged sterility.

New pesticide lawsuit from the Philippines adds to food giant Dole’s chemical court cases.

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Gains From Wal-Mart-Style Stores Not So Super

OP-ED

Robert J. Rodino sees little positive impact from the creation of Wal-Mart-style superstores.

Zuckerberg Zinger Backfires

Membership soars for video site after slam by Facebook founder.

Social video-watching site Chill heats up after unfriendly comment by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.

Trash Companies Dig In on Recycling

Haulers, host cities clash over competing plant plans.

Trash talk between two rival companies’ recycling centers has spilled over into court.

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WHO’S WHO IN REAL ESTATE - Gwen MacKenzie

Special Report

Veteran retail broker Gwen MacKenzie has sat on both sides of the table. At illi’s, she handles acquisitions, development, repositioning and sales of real estate.

L.A. Making Clean Break With Tech?

Villaraigosa opens green corridor to all comers.

Mayor’s troubled clean tech corridor may hinge on redevelopment of downtown L.A. industrial site.

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The Cost of Violence

OP-ED: Stopping young people from joining gangs would be a solid investment for L.A.’s business community.

Gang violence has steep costs for L.A.’s business community, writes Amelia Xann.

Calendar & Events

Calendar

Friday, August 26

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies rose for the week after investors reacted to encouraging remarks by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke about the U.S. economy.

Homebuilder Ryland to Pull Out of Jacksonville and Dallas

Ryland Group Inc. said that it plans to wind down its homebuilding operations in its Dallas and Jacksonville, Fla. regions.

Thursday, August 25

Electro Rent Completes Acquisition

Electro Rent Corp. has closed a $10.7 million acquisition of Equipment Management Technology Inc., a maker of electronic test equipment.

OSI’s Quarter Beats Wall Street Expectations

OSI Systems Inc. said improving sales in its long-struggling health care diagnostics unit helped it achieve a fiscal fourth quarter profit that beat analysts’ forecasts, although revenue was less than expected.

3D Production Equipment Makers to Combine

3ality Digital, a Burbank provider of 3D production technology and services, has acquired Element Technica of Los Angeles, which makes motorized 3D camera rigs, for an undisclosed amount.

Wednesday, August 24

LAX Passenger Traffic Picks Up as Freight Declines

Passenger traffic at Los Angeles International Airport rose more than 6 percent last month, but the struggling economy took a toll on air cargo activity, according to figures released Wednesday.

Guess Stock Falls on Mixed Quarter, Cautious Outlook

Guess Inc. shares fell more than 6 percent on Thursday, a day after the apparel company reported a lower fiscal second quarter profit and gave guidance below Wall Street expectations.

San Gabriel Valley Bank Merger Completed

First General Bank of Rowland said that its merger with Golden Security Bank of Rosemead has been completed.

Newegg Names Chief Financial Officer

City of Industry online electronics and technology retailer Newegg Inc. has hired veteran e-commerce executive Robert Bellack as chief financial officer.

Jakks Promotes From Within for COO

Jakks Pacific Inc.'s board has promoted Jack McGrath to chief operating officer of the Malibu toymaker.

Tuesday, August 23

Judge Says No New Trial for Namvar

A federal judge has tentatively denied motions for an acquittal and a new trial for Ezri Namvar, the Brentwood real estate investor found guilty in May of federal wire fraud charges.

Acquisition Adds to TrueCar’s Auto Pricing Services

TrueCar, a Santa Monica online publisher of new and used vehicle pricing, has acquired ALG Inc., a provider of automotive residual value information.

Broadway Federal to Recapitalize, Close Branches

Broadway Financial Corp. plans to close two of its five branches and pursue a recapitalization plan as the struggling savings bank seeks to shore up its capital reserves.

Atlanta Firm Acquires CompuLaw

CompuLaw, a developer of legal calendar and docket management software, has been acquired by Aderant, a private equity-backed competitor in Atlanta.

Monday, August 22

Lockheed Martin to Acquire QTC Holdings

Lockheed Martin Corp. plans to acquire QTC Holdings Inc., a Diamond Bar provider of medical examination and diagnostic testing for U.S. government employees.

Podcast: Editor Charles Crumpley on KNX-AM

The Business Journal's web site now features audio of Editor Charles Crumpley's weekly conversation with Frank Mottek of KNX-AM (1070) for station's KNX Business Hour.

Demand Media Buyback Boosts Shares

Demand Media plans to spend up to $25 million to buy back shares.

Buyout Rumors Fuel 99 Cents Run-Up

Shares of 99 Cents Only Stores gained more than 10 percent Monday following reports that private equity firm Apollo Management might buy the chain.

Labor Day May Open IPO Window for L.A. Firm

BANKING & FINANCE: Analyst expects holiday cool-off to aid downtown’s Oaktree.

One of L.A.’s largest financial institutions is trying to go public during one of the most violent market maelstroms in recent memory, but analysts say there isn’t reason to panic – yet.

Education Needs to Get Down to Business

OP-ED: Private sector can help ensure a more educated work force by getting kids started early in the classroom.

Investing in early education will pay off long term for the business community, according to Celia C. Ayala and Bob Zukis.

City of Los Angeles Needs ‘Unpolitician’

OP-ED

David W. Fleming and Lee Kanon Alpert make a mayoral case for “unpolitician” Austin Beutner.

Big Development in Los Angeles

OP-ED: City initiative launched by the mayor comes up with reforms to help streamline the planning process.

Renata Simril and Arturo Sneider praise the city of L.A.’s blueprint to ease the planning process.

Airing It Out

Blimp maker brings in execs to talk up craft in D.C.

Blimp maker Aeros has signed up some defense industry veterans to lift the prospects for its massive airship.

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13 Just a Prop in Villaraigosa’s Act

COMMENT

Charles Crumpley finds Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s proposal to scrap Prop 13 for businesses just too taxing.

Rainwater Rules to Soak L.A. Businesses?

State proposal brings forecast of steep fee hikes.

Some local businesses fear being drained by new state rules on rainwater runoff.

Terminal Revival Brings Life to LAX

Airlines’ fight for Bradley space lifts airport.

Renovations at LAX’s Bradley terminal have allowed airport passenger traffic to take off.

L.A.’s Pricey Jeans In a Tight Squeeze

Department stores tighten belt on denim makers.

Some department stores see L.A. denim makers’ very premium prices as a poor fit.

Taking Shine to Shoemaking

Raul Ojeda went from cleaning footwear to owning high-end shop.

Raul Ojeda stepped up his game by going from shining shoes to crafting $2,400 pairs.

Getting Emotional Online

SendLove lets website visitors rate celebs, athletes and politicians.

SendLove.to adds “heart” and “frowny face” icons to websites to let visitors click off on public figures.

Commercial Break?

Son of movie director wins ad contests while waiting for film gig.

Director Alex Rydell hopes to roll his contest-winning videos into a Hollywood career.

Coming Back Into Fashion

PAGE 3

As president of the California Fashion Association, Ilse Metchek doesn’t go many places without dressing to the nines.

Regional Reports

Regional Reports

Canadian Company Jumps Border for L.A. Location

REAL ESTATE: Avison Young opens Westwood office as part of U.S. expansion plan.

There’s a new commercial real estate company in town.

Creative Control

Break Media teams with TV producer to upgrade its online videos.

Break Media tunes in TV producer Reveille to upgrade its online videos.

Calendar & Events

Calendar

Some L.A. Businesses Dive Into Plunging Market

Companies launch buyback programs to snap up stock.

Some L.A. businesses are using the market’s recent fall to literally take stock of the companies.

Game Rental Service Delivers New Business Model

GameFly to add PC downloads and computer titles to offerings.

Rent-through-the-mail service GameFly hopes to connect with more revenue by offering online downloads.

Defense Foresees Long Future for Namvar Trial

Attorneys for convicted businessman face big rulings Monday.

Two motions by the defense team could extend the trial for convicted Brentwood investor Ezri Namvar.

Maker of All-Electric Sedan Charges Into China

Coda signs deal to provide technology to Chinese car company.

Electric-car maker Coda has made inroads overseas in a deal with China’s Great Wall Motor Co.

Firm Taps Business Pockets For State Beaches, Parks

GSG runs branded campaigns that link companies and causes.

Good Solutions Group’s business-branded campaigns have raised funds for state parks and beaches.

L.A. Sales Guru-Author Sold on Hollywood Shop

ADVERTISING & PR: Grant Cardone goes with Levine to handle books and new website.

Michael Levine, a media commentator, Hollywood publicist and the author of multiple books, has a new client.

Korean Shipper Going With the Grain in Long Beach

TRADE & TRANSPORT: TTI plans Long Beach terminal to boost agricultural business.

Total Terminals International LLC, a terminal operator and U.S. subsidiary of Seoul, South Korea’s Hanjin Shipping Holdings Co., wants to help customers export more grain to Asia.

News of the Week

News of the Week

Seeing a Bigger Picture

TV promo maker Stun adds print unit, develops television show.

Stun Creative hopes to channel its TV promo business into print work and show development.

Friday, August 19

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies dropped again for the week as the markets continue to slide for a fourth week on recession fears.

County's Jobless Rate Rises on Government Layoffs

L.A. County’s unemployment rate shot up to 12.4 percent in July from 12 percent in June as budget cuts took their toll on government payrolls and more people were looking for work.

True Religion Apparel Names President

True Religion Apparel Inc. has appointed Lynne Koplin as president of the company, effective immediately.

Thursday, August 18

California Pizza Kitchen’s New Owners Name CEO

Newly acquired California Pizza Kitchen Inc. said G.J. Hart, who has run a similar restaurant chain, had been named as chief executive, replacing the company’s founders.

Panel Endorses Elimination of L.A. Gross Receipts Tax

A city advisory panel has unanimously recommended that Los Angeles eliminate its gross receipts tax on businesses.

Wednesday, August 17

Hot Topic Shares Rise on Improved Quarter

Hot Topic Inc. shares gained 6 percent Thursday, a day after the teen retailer reported a smaller fiscal second-quarter loss on higher same-store sales and better margins. The company also announced a repurchase of shares.

International Rectifier Shares Drop on Cautious Outlook

International Rectifier Corp. shares dropped 11 percent on Thursday, a day after the El Segundo chip maker gave guidance below Wall Street expectations.

Ebay Buys Culver City’s Magento

Ebay Inc. completed its acquisition of Magento Inc., which offers an open-source e-commerce platform, for an undisclosed price.

Shoe Models Sue Skechers

A group of models alleging violation of their rights have sued Skechers USA Inc. for $10 million.

Tuesday, August 16

Coda Signs Car Development Deal with Chinese Firm

Coda Holdings, a developer of electric cars and advanced battery systems, has signed a letter of intent to develop electric vehicles with Chinese vehicle manufacturer Great Wall Motor Co.

Aecom to Repurchase $200 Million of Stock

Aecom Technology Corp.'s board has authorized the repurchase of up to $200 million of its common stock to reduce the number of outstanding shares.

Shamrock Capital Invests in Video Licensing Firm

Shamrock Capital Advisors has invested $25 million in Thought Equity Motion, a Denver digital video manager for large media companies.

Saehan Bank Moves to Profit

Saehan Bancorp said that it moved to a small second quarter profit, the second consecutive quarter it has done so.

Tetra Tech Makes Chilean Acquisition

Tetra Tech Inc. has acquired engineering firm Metalica Consultores of Santiago, Chile for an undisclosed amount.

Monday, August 15

Traffic Jumps at L.A. Port

Last month saw a big increase in exports at the Port of Los Angeles, with 12.8 percent more containers leaving the port than in July 2010.

DineEquity Announces $45 Million Stock Repurchase

Shares of DineEquity Inc. rose 7 percent on Monday after the restaurant operator said its board approved the repurchase of up to $45 million of its common stock.

OpenGate Capital to Buy Wisconsin Dairy Plant

OpenGate Capital plans to buy a Wisconsin dairy processing plant and two dairy brands from Dean Foods Co.

Colony Financial Plans Stock Repurchase

Colony Financial Inc., which sold roughly $272 million worth of common stock earlier this year, announced plans to buy back up to $50 million of stock over the next year.

Market Pulls Rug From Under IPOs?

L.A.-area firms’ public plans disrupted by fluctuations.

The stock market’s wild ride may lead some local IPO-primed firms to sit it out for a while.

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Publisher’s Cuts Fail to Score Points With Investors

THQ’s shares tumble as company plots online strategy.

THQ pulls plug on studios and 200 employees in a turnaround effort that hasn’t swayed investors.

Reframing Online Auction

Time always runs out on Blacklots’ 24-hour artwork sales.

Blacklots 24-hour online auctions put collectors on the clock.

Giving Real Estate Sales a Lift?

Broker uses minicopter to record videos of coastal properties.

Broker Bill Kerbox is high on using minihelicopters to shoot video of his coastal properties.

Chamber Needs to Dig Deeper for Subway Facts

OP-ED

Lisa Korbatov doesn’t dig the Century City Chamber of Commerce’s subway stance.

Bad Performance Review

OP-ED: California Assembly’s latest bill on worker retention is another example of the state impairing free enterprise.

Michele Dennis hopes California locks out a proposed worker-retention law for building staff.

Commercial Appeal

Appearance in AT&T spot boosts profile of local pet hospital.

Montrose Pet Hospital has collared more customers from its appearance in an AT&T TV commercial.

Does Dov Charney Have Something Up His Sleeve?

Store sales rise as American Apparel partners with online retail giants.

American Apparel looks like it’s fashioning a comeback out of stores-in-stores and online retail partnerships.

Liquidator Hits Hard Times as Economy Picks Up

Great American tries riskier financial strategies.

Great American adopts new strategies as bankruptcy business slows.

Wider Berth

Long Beach port plans growth to keep cargo hold

Officials hope to anchor Long Beach port as a prime cargo handler by building a terminal at Pier S.

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Unstable Chain Reaction

COMMENT

Charles Crumpley wants the state to shelve a measure that would get in the way of more superstores.

Family Man’s Full House

PAGE 3

You think you’ve got balancing issues between work and family.

Playing It Up

Jakks lines up trading cards, TV show to launch toy franchise.

Toymaker Jakks is making a play for global conquest with its new line, Monsuno.

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Vernon Jeans Maker Looks to Fit in Kids Market

RETAIL & APPAREL: Children’s pants first step in new line from 7 for All Mankind.

Premium denim maker 7 for All Mankind is going small, but it’s part of a plan to grow.

Jacques Stambouli: Pallet Cleanser

Entrepreneur went from the Ivy League to West Coast warehouses as the founder of a wholesale dealer in returned items.

Harvard Business grad Jacques Stambouli had some lessons to learn when he launched his wholesale business.

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Apple to Shine Up New Space in Santa Monica

REAL ESTATE: Tech giant books Borders site at Third Street Promenade.

Apple Inc. wants to take a bigger bite out of Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade.

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Affordable Housing May Lose Capital to Sacramento

Funding squeeze could flatten affordable housing developments.

News of the Week

News of the Week

Stockbrokers Say Customers Grin and Bear Market

BANKING & FINANCE: Diverse portfolios credited with keeping mood calm.

Despite wild swings in the financial markets last week, a number of local investment professionals said the mood among their clients has remained remarkably calm.

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Redevelopments Coming Up Short

Money now owed state may kill CRA projects.

The state’s hunt for more money could cost county several redevelopment projects.

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Local Businessman Courts NBA Fame

Buying Hawks a big jump for Alex Meruelo.

Downey businessman Alex Meruelo has taken wing with his purchase of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks.

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Calendar & Events

Calendar

Drink Maker Strikes Plum Deal With Prune Farmers

MD Drinks of Culver City snapped up by Sunsweet Growers.

MD Drinks’ trendy nutraceutical line proves to have the right prescription for acquisition.

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Regional Reports

Regional Reports

Friday, August 12

L.A. City Council May Reconsider Solar Incentives Cuts

Responding to complaints from solar roof installation companies, the Los Angeles City Council has voted to intervene on a controversial proposal by the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power to scale back solar incentives given to homeowners.

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies dropped nearly 4 percent for the week as investors remained nervous about the prospect of another recession.

MannKind Soars after FDA Approves Study Design

Shares of MannKind Corp jumped Friday morning, a day after the biotech said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the design of two clinical studies needed to answer lingering concerns about its experimental insulin inhaler Afrezza.

Thursday, August 11

Air Lease’s Quarter Beats Expectations

Air Lease Corp., which went public in April, reported better-than-expected net income in the second quarter and said it will continue to increase its fleet of jetliners.

Electro Rent Makes Las Vegas Acquisition

Electro Rent Corp. plans to acquire the assets of Equipment Management Technology Inc., a privately held provider of electronic test equipment that filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this year.

Ares Management Acquires Real Estate Investment Platform

Ares Management LLC has acquired the investment platform of Wrightwood Capital, a commercial real estate lender based in Chicago, for an undisclosed amount.

New CEO at eHarmony

Online dating and matchmaking site eHarmony has named Jeremy Verba, a veteran in developing social networking services, as chief executive.

Wednesday, August 10

N.Y. Company to Pay $1.8 Million to Settle Supergraphics Suit

Sign company Fuel Outdoor LLC has agreed to pay $1.8 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the city of Los Angeles over the company’s mounting of supergraphic signs and pole and wall posters.

Hudson Pacific Properties Narrows Loss

Hudson Pacific Properties Inc., which in recent weeks has made some high-profile local acquisitions, said that it narrowed its second quarter net loss on stronger tenant revenue.

THQ Moves Away from Licensed Games

THQ Inc. shares fell more than 7 percent Wednesday morning after the video game developer said it was closing two Australian development studios and laying off 200 employees as as part of a "strategic realignment."

Demand Media Shares Rise on Good Quarter, Google Pact

Shares of Demand Media gained 11 percent Wednesday morning after reporting better-than-expected second quarter sales, renewing a key agreement with search engine Google and making two acquisitions.

Tuesday, August 9

City Council Approves Downtown Stadium Plan

The Los Angeles City Council has unanimously approved a partnership plan with Anschutz Entertainment Group to build a $1.2 billion stadium and replace a $275 million wing of the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Disney’s Shares Fall Despite Better-Than-Expected Quarter

Walt Disney Co’s fiscal third earnings topped analysts’ expectations, boosted by higher revenue from its cable networks and theme parks. But shares were down more than 9 percent Wednesday morning in fears that a faltering economy would hurt future growth.

DTS Shares Slide After Second Quarter Disappoints

Shares of DTS Inc. dropped more than 14 percent Tuesday, a day after the audio technology company reported second quarter results that missed Wall Street forecasts and predicted full-year results also below expectations.

Platinum Equity Buys Denver Software Developer

Platinum Equity has acquired Quark Inc., a Denver developer of widely used page-layout software for print and other publications.

American Apparel Narrows Second Quarter Loss

Shares of American Apparel rose slightly Tuesday, a day after the Los Angeles apparel maker and retailer reported improved summer sales and a smaller loss in the second quarter.

Monday, August 8

New Air Carriers Boost LAX Traffic

Passenger traffic at LAX was up by more than 5 percent in the first half of the year, despite a drop in travel to and from Japan following the March earthquake and tsunami.

Cornerstone OnDemand Calls Off Secondary Offering

Cornerstone OnDemand Inc., which held one of the hottest initial public offerings locally earlier this year, has canceled on a planned follow-on offering due to the two-week-old stock market downturn.

Live Nation Moves to Profit

Live Nation Entertainment Inc. reported a second quarter profit on higher concert attendance and increased sales at its North American events, with the results beating Wall Street expectations.

Ares Management to Acquire London Firm

Los Angeles global asset manager Ares Management LLC has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Indicus Advisors for an undisclosed amount.

Jakks Buys Hong Kong Toy Company

Malibu toymaker Jakks Pacific Inc. plans to acquire Moose Mountain Toymakers Ltd., a Hong Kong maker of licensed arcade-style games, children's vehicles and other toys, for an undisclosed amount.

Sale Pumps Up Earnings for American States Water

American States Water Co.'s second quarter profit jumped 78 percent as the water and electric utility sold a unit and saw revenues rise for its remaining businesses.

Fit for L.A.

Local apparel makers bring production home

Manufacturing in L.A. is back in fashion as production costs continue to rise overseas.

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Bank’s SoCal Branches Reach Out to ‘Community’

BANKING & FINANCE: Banco Popular hopes new name nets non-Spanish speakers.

What’s in a name? Well, if you ask some bank customers, a lot.

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Activists Drive Maintenance Crackdown at Port

Long Beach officials say trucks already meet clean-air standards.

Activists look to rev up Long Beach port’s clean-air program by requiring more truck checkups.

Internet Firm Looks for Real Overseas Presence

Google deal fuels ReachLocal’s growth into new countries.

Online ad firm ReachLocal is seeing real-world growth through expansion into new countries.

Security Software Maker Sheds Chief Exec, Staff

TECHNOLOGY: Downtown L.A.’s CyberDefender had defaulted on its debt.

It was quite a week for CyberDefender Corp., a downtown L.A. security software company.

Google’s Santa Monica Offices Click With Buyer

REAL ESTATE: Real estate investment trust picks up building for $22 million.

Hudson Pacific Properties Inc. has acquired the Santa Monica offices of Google Inc., as the local real estate investment trust seeks to expand on the Westside.

Regional Reports

Regional Reports

News of the Week

News of the Week

Wary Buyers Still Giving Summer the Cold Shoulder

July home sales down from last year amid sputtering economy.

July fails to bring any summer relief to the market as sales tumble year to year.

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Calendar & Events

Calendar

Jay Grossman: Biting Down

Dentist treats both Hollywood stars and destitute veterans. Did it all start when he was fired from McDonald’s?

Some big-name celebrities have taken a shine to dentist Jay Grossman’s teeth-whitening skill.

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Business of Doing the Right Thing

COMMENT

Charles Crumpley salutes the late John E. Anderson, who got ahead by believing in people and doing the right thing.

Fitness Company Sweats Copycats

Beachbody brings in muscle on DVD counterfeiters.

Beachbody targets counterfeiters looking to muscle in on company’s fitness tape business.

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State Measure Would Box In Local Communities on Growth

OP-ED

Bill Dombrowski blasts a state bill that would pile more impact reports on superstore projects.

Driving the Overtime Debate

OP-ED: Carmaggedon’s traffic-free weekendpoints out the need to revisit state laws that hinder work schedules.

Brendan Huffman wants California to clock out of its strict overtime laws.

Neighborly Approach Would Help State Government

OP-ED

John Cox proposes a local approach to revamping and resizing state government.

On the Right Track

OP-ED: Beverly Hills merchants should know other cities’ high-end retail centers have benefited from subway access.

David C. Murphy urges Beverly Hills merchants to get on board with a proposed local subway stop.

Employment Firm Making Career Out of Pickups

On Assignment acquires doctor placement business to nurse revenue.

On Assignment hopes for a healthy revenue boost by picking up an Atlanta physician placement firm.

Downtown’s Prospects Pump Up Property Owner

Meruelo Maddux shares also get boost from reverse split.

Downtown L.A. property owner Meruelo Maddux gains ground with investors after bankruptcy

Talk About Making It to the Top

PAGE 3

The bucket list for attorney Gary Nelson, 52, just got a little shorter. He climbed Mount Everest during a trip from April to June.

Heroes on The Green

Golf tourney to host Congressional Medal of Honor recipients.

Local golf tourney hopes to swing with a group of Congressional Medal of Honor recipients.

There’s No Console-ing Game Maker

Liquid drops discs for social, mobile titles.

Liquid Entertainment has shelved its console focus and hopes to click with online social games.

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Setting Up Cuban Beachhead

L.A. business groups travel to island with eye on the future.

Business groups are heading to Cuba to shore up future prospects on the island country.

Business Rips Bill’s Superstore Impact

Measure would pile on another study for projects.

Business groups blast state bill that would require another impact report on superstore projects.

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Rolling With Clover

New Bergin’s owner to keep Irish ambience at renovated eatery.

New owner of Tom Bergin’s Tavern hopes to raise the bar for the aging watering hole.

Raising Curtains

Eatery Mohawk Bend latest L.A. business to roll into old movie theater.

Eatery Mohawk Bend offers dinner but no movie at a renovated film theater in Echo Park.

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Restaurant Chain Wants Extra Helping of Change

Parent pins sales recovery on new menu, improved service at IHOP.

Slumping IHOP sales have taken a bite out of parent DineEquity’s share price.

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Friday, August 5

Gores Group to Buy U.S. Operations of Hypercom Corp.

An affiliate of the Gores Group plans to acquire the U.S. point-of-sale checkout business of Hypercom Corp for an undisclosed amount.

Colony Capital Acquires European Loan Portfolio

Colony Capital has acquired from four German banks a portfolio of non-performing commercial real estate loans that has a face value of nearly $523 million.

Great American Invests in U.K. Retailer’s Debt

The European subsidiary of inventory liquidator Great American Group Inc. has acquired debt issued by struggling U.K. discount department store chain TJ Hughes.

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies dropped more than 9 percent for the week following the biggest stock market plunge in three years.

Higher Aluminum Prices Boosts Superior’s Profit

Superior Industries International Inc.’s second-quarter earnings jumped 46 percent on higher sales and the lack of a write-down that hurt year-earlier results. Both profit and sales beat Wall Street expectations.

Public Storage Reports Strong Quarter

Public Storage Inc.'s second quarter profit jumped 61 percent on higher occupancy and rents.

Aecom’s Exceeds Wall Street Expectations for Quarter

Aecom Technology Corp. reported a better-than-expected increase in fiscal third quarter profit but cut its guidance. Its shares slipped.

Thursday, August 4

Mattel Ordered to Pay $309 Million in Bratz Case

A federal judge has ordered Mattel Inc. to pay rival toymaker MGA Entertainment Inc. more than $309 million in the long-running battle over the Bratz fashion dolls

DirecTV Profits Rise Sharply, Considers Hulu Bid

DirecTV Group Inc.'s net income in the second quarter rose 29 percent as increasing subscriptions in its younger Latin America market offset slower growth in the United States.

Health Net’s Quarter Beats Street View

Health Net Inc. reported 29 percent higher second quarter net income, boosted by growth in its core Western region, and raised its outlook for the year.

Sports Club Company Assets Acquired by Equinox

High-end New York fitness center chain Equinox plans to acquire the assets of struggling L.A. competitor Sports Club Co. for an undisclosed amount.

Lack of Tax Benefit Lowers Edison’s Quarter

Edison International reported a lower second quarter profit, although a tax benefit boosted the year-earlier quarter.

Large Loss Kicks K-Swiss Stock

Shares of K-Swiss Inc. sank more than 25 percent Thursday after the athletic footwear maker reported a wider-than-expected second-quarter loss despite higher revenue. It lowered its guidance for the year.

Wednesday, August 3

ILFC to Acquire Miami Aircraft Parts Seller

Aircraft leasing company International Lease Finance Corp. said that it would buy aviation parts seller AeroTurbine Inc. for $228 million.

On Assignment Beats Analysts’ Forecasts

Shares of On Assignment Inc. jumped 13 percent in after-hours trading on Wednesday after the specialty staffing company reported second quarter profit above Wall Street expectations.

J2 Global Reports Growing Profit, First-Ever Dividend

J2 Global Communications Inc. shares jumped more than 16 percent on Wednesday, a day after the business communications services provider reported a 52 increase in second-quarter net income and announced it would start paying a dividend.

Staar Surgical Reports Second Consecutive Profit

Shares of Staar Surgical Co. soared more than 27 percent on Wednesday, a day after the ophthalmic company reported its second consecutive quarter of profitability – the first time that’s happened since 1999.

Reliance Steel Completes $415 Million Acquisition

Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. has completed the acquisition of Continental Alloys & Services Inc. and certain affiliated companies in a deal now valued at $415 million.

Tuesday, August 2

CyberDefender Shares Drop After CEO Resigns

Shares of CyberDefender Corp. fell more than 13 percent on Wednesday, a day after the struggling Internet security software company announced that Chief Executive Gary Guseinov had resigned and some product development employees had been laid off.

ValueClick Shares Fall on Acquisition Announcement

ValueClick Inc. shares fell nearly 9 percent Wednesday morning, a day after the company said second quarter profit jumped 40 percent but also announced an acquisition considered dilutive to shareholders.

Shares Sink After Dine Equity Slips to Loss

Shares of DineEquity Inc. dropped 18 percent on Tuesday after the restaurant operator said weak sales at its IHOP chain contributed to a second quarter loss and worse-than-expected adjusted earnings and revenue.

Monday, August 1

MPG Office Trust Moves to Profit

Sales of some non-core properties boosted MPG Office Trust Inc. to a profit in the second quarter.

Two Valley Insurance Brokerages Merge

Scanlon Guerra Burke Insurance Brokers and Northridge Insurance Agency, two longtime independent San Fernando Valley insurance brokerages, have merged.

Herbalife Shares Rise on Profit Report

Shares of Herbalife Ltd. rose more than 8 percent in after-hours trading on Monday following a second quarter sales and profits report that beat Wall Street expectations.

Improved Quarter for Mercury General

Mercury General Corp. more than tripled its second quarter earnings on higher revenue, lower expenses, and investment gains.

On Assignment Acquires Atlanta Staffing Company

On Assignment Inc. has acquired a regional physician-staffing firm based in suburban Atlanta for more than $15 million.

Soon-Shiong’s Institute Plugs Into Data Network

Billionaire takes reins at struggling National LambdaRail.

Billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong has plugged in as CEO of a national scientific and medical data network.

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Time to Apply the Brakes to L.A.’s Car Culture?

OP-ED

L.A.’s car culture could be at a crossroads, according to Chauncey Swalwell.

Subway’s Tunnel Vision

OP-ED: Transportation officials have been planning since the 1960s for a station at Constellation Boulevard.

Susan Bursk says local officials have long dug Constellation Boulevard as a subway stop.

Calendar & Events

Calendar

News of the Week

News of the Week

Putting the Burden on Business

OP-ED: New drive to revamp Proposition 13 to increase state tax revenue would stick consumers with higher bills.

New attempts to modify Proposition 13 could result in businesses passing higher expenses on to customers, cautions John Kabateck.

Regional Reports

Regional Reports

Postproduction Company Looks to Channel 3-D TV

ADS sees conversion of 2-D shows as business boost.

Postproduction company ADS looks to expand its depth of field by adding 2-D-to-3-D conversion services.

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Adam Miller: Birth Sign

Cornerstone Chief Executive credits becoming a father in 2005 with spurring him to refocus and re-evaluate his HR services company.

Cornerstone OnDemand CEO Adam Miller says his bartending skills are still on tap.

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Less Tax, More Business

COMMENT

Charles Crumpley thinks reforming the city of L.A.’s permit process may take time, but there’s no reason to wait on ditching its gross receipts tax.

Some Don’t See 99 Cents as Deal

But discounter may be Leonard Green’s next buy.

Shareholders of Leonard Green are discounting the firm’s move to acquire the 99 Cents Only chain.

‘Six Degrees of Carl Terzian’

PAGE 3

Joe Cilic, an executive with Sotheby’s International Realty in Brentwood, had heard the name of Lucie Barron through a mutual acquaintance.

Plan for Tower Records Spot in a Spin

Neighbors fear new center will bring traffic.

Neighbors have rocked a developer’s plan to roll a new project into the old Tower Records space on the Sunset Strip.

Tower Owner Hopes to Rise After Chapter 11

REAL ESTATE: Deal for downtown property has eluded Milbank.

The partnership that owns Figueroa Tower in downtown Los Angeles has filed for Chapter 11 protection while it reorganizes its finances.

Agents Using Term ‘Certified’ Doesn’t Add Up for CPAs

Koreatown CPAs feel enrolled agents who work on tax returns are taking too much credit when they use the term “certified.”

Earnings Something to Bank on in Second Quarter

Results of most L.A. institutions met or beat analyst expectations.

L.A.’s publicly traded banks checked in with a strong second quarter, pointing to a continued recovery.

Space to Grow

Farmscape looks to go beyond backyard gardens and sow farming clients among institutions with in-house cafeterias.

Farmscape looks to break out beyond backyard farms to reap institutional customers.

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L.A. Companies’ Public Perception Gets a Boost

BANKING & FINANCE: IPO filings picked up in second quarter following sluggish first.

After several stops and starts over the past few years, L.A.’s IPO market is showing signs of healthy activity, according to a new report.

Brothers Added To Menu

Umami founder turns to Nazarians to grow L.A. burger chain.

Umami hopes the Nazarian brothers can add some sizzle to the burger chain’s expansion plan.

Scoring Credit

LENDING: ZestCash.com hopes to offer low-cost alternative to payday lenders with its Google-inspired data analysis.

ZestCash looks to lure customers of payday lenders with a lower-cost online alternative.

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Architecture Firm Proves Its Mettle

Korean resort designed to boost 2014 bid pulls in 2018 Winter Games.

A local office that designed an Olympic resort for South Korea’s failed 2014 bid helped that country score the 2018 Winter Games.

Working On Jobs

New L.A. ‘czar’ all about business

New L.A. jobs czar Matt Karatz will work to improve the city’s relationship with businesses.

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Quebec Eyes ‘Iris’

Canadian province to roll out festival tied to new Cirque show.

Angelenos will get an eyeful of Quebec thanks to an “Iris”-linked festival of events.

Investors Devalue Firm’s Plan for Stock Offering

CytRx CEO defends decision despite tumble in share value.

CytRx’s plan for a capital shot in the arm through a stock offering has sent share prices tumbling.

Downtown L.A. Company Forges Healthy Quarter

Reliance sees net income and sales rise compared with a year ago.

Increase in sales helped Reliance Steel & Aluminum forge a strong second quarter.

Calabasas Company Takes Growth Plan on Trial Run

Expansion of NTS continues with the firm’s second pickup.

National Technical Systems has grown its reach and customer base with a Midwest pickup.

Bin Laden Death Weighs Heavy on Firm’s Shares

NetSol says Pakistani unrest caused customer concern.

Unrest in Pakistan after the killing of Osama bin Laden has shot down the stock of software maker NetSol.