Stories for December 2011

Friday, December 30

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies closed up slightly at the end of last week of a tumultuous year for the stock market.

FDA to Consider Additional Use for Amgen Bone Drug

Shares of Amgen Inc. hit a 52-week high Friday morning following the biotech’s announcement that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory committee would consider a new use for the bone drug Xgeva.

Thursday, December 29

Court Upholds Brown Plan to Dissolve Redevelopment Agencies

The California Supreme Court has upheld Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to dissolve redevelopment agencies, but struck down a compromise law that would have allowed the agencies to survive if they made payments to the state.

'Hillbillies' Actress Settles with Mattel

Actress Donna Douglas, who played Elly May Clampett on the 1960s hit show, "The Beverly Hillbillies," reportedly has settled her lawsuit concerning a Barbie doll that uses her character's name and likeness.

Wednesday, December 28

Disney to Buyout, Delist India’s UTV

Walt Disney Co. announced a plan to buy shares in Indian media conglomerate UTV Software and delist the company.

Tuesday, December 27

Capstone Sells Turbines to Nigerian Drug Company

Capstone Turbine Corp. has received an order for two turbines from a Nigerian pharmaceutical manufacturer.

Cereplast Increases Reserve for ‘Doubtful Accounts’

Maker of biodegradable plastics announced a $1.7 million increase in allowance for bad debts.

Friday, December 23

Passenger Count Increases at LAX

Passenger traffic at Los Angeles International Airport in November rose nearly 4 percent from a year earlier.

The Week’s Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies rose this week, as a mending European debt crisis and a last-minute extension of a payroll tax cut buoyed the U.S. stock market.

Cherokee Moves Corporate Headquarters

The apparel manufacturer said the relocation will accommodate growth.

Thursday, December 22

Response Genetics Selects CEO

Directors of Response Genetics Inc. have appointed Thomas A. Bologna as chief executive and they elected him chairman.

Aecom Joint Venture Wins Large Navy Contract

Aecom Technology Corp. and Shaw Group Inc. said that their joint venture, Pacific Contingency Services LLC, was among six defense contractors awarded a large U.S. Navy contract. The contractors will compete for up to $900 million in project orders from the Naval Facilities Engineering Command-Pacific.

Wednesday, December 21

Countrywide Agrees to Historic ‘Fair Lending’ Settlement

Federal officials announced a $355 million agreement with Countrywide Financial Corp, which was described as the largest fair-lending settlement in history.

KB Home Sees Smaller Profit in Mixed Quarter

KB Home said its fourth quarter earnings fell 20 percent – largely due to higher expenses and lower margins on homes sold – but noted that new orders and prices were up significantly as it builds in wealthier communities.

NexSteppe Raises $14 Million

NexSteppe, a Malibu bioenergy company, said it raised $14 million in a Series B round of venture funding.

ILFC Sells Debt

International Lease Finance Corp. has sold long term notes worth $650 million. Part of that money will pay for new aircraft that it will to lease to airlines and companies and the rest will pay down debt and go toward other business operations.

Tuesday, December 20

Kennedy Wilson Partnership Completes L.A. Office Portfolio Buy

An investment partnership led by Kennedy Wilson has completed acquisition of a five-building office portfolio in Los Angeles County from Jamison Services Inc. for an estimated $143 million.

Aecom Wins U.S. Contract to Train Afghans

The U.S. Agency for International Development has awarded Aecom Technology Corp. a contract, worth up to $177 million, to provide professional, technical and management support services to help people in Afghanistan better respond to instability in their country.

Monday, December 19

Amgen Plans Collaboration with Generic Drug Maker

Amgen Inc. announced a collaboration with generic drugmaker Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. to develop and sell “biosimilar” versions of biotech cancer drugs.

Local Cargo Handler Aims To Make Industry Waves

TRADE & TRANSPORT: Long Beach’s APS begins work at Northern California port.

Most stevedoring companies – the outfits that unload cargo ships – are big worldwide firms or subsidiaries of global shipping companies.

Rolling Out Artwork for Fundraiser

Quadriplegic painter puts talent on display at in-store event.

Storefront fundraiser offers a look at quadriplegic painter Tommy Hollenstein’s creative process.

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Getting Legs Up On Marketing

‘Bug Circus’ powers ad agency’s campaign for microprocessor.

Online viewers bug out over insect circus video promoting cell phone microprocessor.

Comfy Sales Cushion

Mattress maker Ortho beds down with more high-price models.

Mattress maker Ortho pads sales with high-price product lines.

Spanish-Language Broadcaster Signals Recovery

Entravision stock climbs with announcement of quarterly dividend.

Spanish-language TV-radio broadcaster Entravision to channel dividends to investors amid positive outlook.

Thrift Store Looks to Get On Roll With Mobile Shop

Catholic store faces same rocky, risky road as food trucks.

St. Vincent de Paul thrift shop looks to tailgate food trucks’ mobile-store trend.

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Pent-Up Supply Fueled M&A Revival

Private equity helped breathe new life into L.A.’s M&A activity.

L.A. Stock Shake-Up

Most local stocks fell, but some did well in an especially volatile market year.

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Developer Relies On Horse Sense

Developer’s proposed Burbank project saddled with opposition from horse-riding neighbors.

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Daily Deal Sites Get Discounted

Coupons fail to pay off for MyLife, ReachLocal.

ReachLocal has joined the ranks of online businesses discounting the worth of daily-deal sites.

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Champ Weighs In

Manny Pacquiao looks to punch up L.A. endorsements

Gloves come off in boxing champ Manny Pacquiao’s bid to broaden endorsement portfolio.

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Pro-Business Groups Brace for Battle at Ballot Box

Splits emerge over support, opposition to proposed tax increases.

Pro-business groups split on tax increase measures aimed at November’s ballot

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Picture Isn’t Pretty for Maker of Drawing Tablet

Slow sales spur THQ to downsize unit that developed accessory.

THQ accessory uDraw fails to connect with Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 owners.

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Playing It Cool

MagicSnow sees real rise in seasonal interest for its phony flakes.

MagicSnow piles up work as demand mounts for fake flakes during holiday season.

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L.A. Firms Hope to Court South Korean Clients

LAW: Free-trade agreement with U.S. spurs plans for overseas offices.

It’s not just automakers, semiconductor manufacturers and other U.S. goods exporters that stand to benefit from the recently passed South Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement – law firms hoping for a foothold in Seoul have been keeping an eye on it, too.

Marie Callender’s Off the Menu in Toluca Lake

REAL ESTATE: Chase Bank pays $4 million to replace restaurant with branch.

A Chase Bank branch will replace the Marie Callender’s restaurant in Toluca Lake next year.

Regional Reports

Regional Reports

Dinner With Royalty? No Joke

PAGE 3

Fasha Mahjoor flew to England last week to dine with royalty at Buckingham Palace.

Calendar & Events

Calendar

Governor Would Pile Levies on Tax-Wracked Businesses

OP-ED

Rob Babek rips Gov. Jerry Brown for piling levies on the backs of business owners.

Don’t Punt Hard Questions on NFL Stadium

OP-ED: City officials have failed to tackle tough development, tourism issues surrounding the L.A. Live project.

Kevin James warns that the public-private team pursuing an L.A. Live football stadium is getting a free pass.

Snapshots of the Year

COMMENT

Charles Crumpley salutes Mattel for its success with the tried-and-true, and Business Journal photographer Ringo H.W. Chiu for his colors and angles.

Jacobs Picked Up Legal Trouble With Acquisition

Ruling on bridge collapse may change industry’s growth practice.

Minnesota court ruling on collapsed bridge means companies can inherit legal liability with acquired firms.

Effects Firm Gains Ground As Location Shoots Wane

MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT: Culver City’s Zoic sees virtual demand rise for its digital sets.

Not everyone in show business is bemoaning the loss of on-location shooting days in Los Angeles.

Friday, December 16

Jakks Pacific Slashes Full-Year Outlook

Jakks Pacific Inc. cut its full-year earnings outlook after warning that toy sales have been disappointing so far this holiday season.

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies was down for the week, after investor optimism over better U.S. economic data was tempered by renewed concerns over Europe's debt crisis.

L.A. Jobless Rate Dips Below 12 Percent

L.A. County’s unemployment rate last month fell below 12 percent for the first time in two years. The local jobs picture was boosted by seasonal holiday hiring that also added 10,000 jobs to employer payrolls.

Long Beach Port Traffic Is Down

The Port of Long Beach handled about 18 percent less cargo in November than it did the same month last year, the fifth straight month traffic has dipped year over year.

UCLA Spinout NanoH2O Raises Nearly $15 Million

NanoH2O, a start-up developing membranes for water desalination, has raised more than $14.8 million as part of a $30.6 million fundraising effort.

Thursday, December 15

Amgen CEO to Retire Next Year

Amgen Inc. Chief Executive Kevin Sharer announced plans to retire from the company next year after 20 years with the Thousand Oaks biotech giant. The company's longtime research head, Roger Perlmutter, also is retiring.

L.A. Port Traffic Hits Record

Exports through the Port of Los Angeles have hit an all-time yearly high, according to new figures.

OriginOil Creates Biorefinery Joint Venture

OriginOil Inc., which is developing technology to create fuel from algae, announced a joint venture with an Australian partner to develop biorefineries that meet U.S. and NATO military requirements for alternative fuels.

Cadiz Inc. Gets $4.5 Million Investment

Cadiz Inc. has sold 500,000 shares of common stock to existing shareholder Water Asset Management LLC, which increases that fund's position in the company to about 8 percent.

Wednesday, December 14

State Fund Plans 'Dividend' to Employers

In a Christmas gift to thousands of employers in Los Angeles County and across the state, State Compensation Insurance Fund has agreed to return $50 million to most of its policyholders throughout the next year.

Physicians Formula’s CFO Resigns

Physicians Formula Holdings, Inc. announced that Jeff Berry has resigned his position as chief financial officer.

Debt Offering Sold for 99-Cent Only Stores Acquisition

The investors that plan to buy 99-Cent Only Stores sold a $250 million notes offering to help finance the $1.6 billion acquisition of the discount retail chain.

MannKind Resolves Claims with Former Employee

MannKind Corp. has cleared one of the shadows hanging over its experimental inhalable insulin product, announcing that it had reached an arbitration resolution with an employee who had accused the company of firing him after he alleged improprieties.

Edmunds.com Reorganizes Executive Ranks

Edmunds.com, a popular online site for automotive information, said its board had promoted three long-serving executives and selected a new chief executive.

Tuesday, December 13

Port of L.A. Signs Major Tenant for New Terminal

Shipping terminal operator California United Terminals plans to occupy a massive new terminal at the Port of Los Angeles, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s office announced.

Editor Russ Stanton to Leave Los Angeles Times

Russ Stanton, editor and executive vice president of the Los Angeles Times, announced he will leave the publication Dec. 23. Managing editor Davan Maharaj will succeed Stanton.

Arizona Company Buys Simi’s Nexicore

Avnet Inc., a Phoenix electronic components maker, has agreed to buy nearly all the assets of Simi Valley’s Nexicore Services LLC and its parent, Hartford Computer Group Inc.

N.Y. Investors Take Majority Stake in L.A.’s Encompass

Court Square Capital Partners has agreed to acquire a majority interest in Encompass Digital Media, a Los Angeles provider of services to the broadcast and cable TV industry.

Monday, December 12

THQ Imposes Layoffs in Wake of Slow uDraw Sales

Weaker than expected sales of its uDraw tablet for video game systems has led THQ Inc. to lay off 30 staff, the company confirmed.

Dick Glover: Laughs Last

Playing straightman as the CEO of Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s hit comedy website, FunnyorDie.com.

CEO Dick Glover is dead serious about running comedy company Funny or Die as a business.

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Homebuilder Makes Up Ground With Investors

KB Home stock surge reflects more faith in housing market.

Investors throw out the welcome mat for KB Home as a sign of optimism in the housing market.

High-End Move

Mall-familiar shops find homes amid ultraluxe neighbors along Rodeo Drive.

Premium chain stores get to rub elbows with higher-end boutiques as Rodeo Drive fills its empty storefronts.

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Who’s Lending?

Special Report: BANKING & FINANCE QUARTERLY

L.A.’s 50 biggest banks and thrifts, with details on their recent business-lending practices.

Regional Reports

Regional Reports

News of the Week

News of the Week

Calendar & Events

Calendar

Attorney Doesn’t Drink Here Anymore

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When retail chains or nightclub owners need to get alcohol permits in Los Angeles, they often turn to Westside land-use attorney R.J. Comer.

Lacking Loans?

Special Report: BANKING & FINANCE QUARTERLY

Loan-starved business look high and low for financial support while banks hunger for creditworthy borrowers.

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Workers’ Comp At What Cost?

Arbitration adds millions to ‘low-price’ policies.

L.A. companies that opted for low-cost workers’ comp policies have been stung by steep arbitration expenses.

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Solar Panel Business May Have New Leases on Life

Company gets new utility backer, adopts private financing model.

American Solar Direct hopes its leasing model will power up sales for its residential solar panel business.

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Event Producer Looks to Move On to Bigger Stage

ADVERTISING & PR: N’Compass adapts movie premiere model for other industries.

N’Compass International, a West Hollywood event production company, has developed a type of marketing experience that it calls “anti-Kardashian.”

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Racy Lingerie Maker Looks to Add More Clothing

Frederick’s eyes new lines after shedding money-losing division.

Newly stripped-down Frederick’s of Hollywood will try once again to move its brand and lines beyond lingerie

L.A. Developer on Rise in N.Y.

Tower project lifts CIM’s bicoastal profile.

Developer CIM Group goes on a cross-country tear as it boosts holdings in L.A. and New York.

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Heating Up Hollywood Screens

Coupa Cafe’s colorful coffee cup has cameos in two blockbusters.

Coupa Café’s coffee cups have a hot movie career with appearances in “The Social Network” and “The Muppets.”

He Did It ‘My Way’

Singer launches label to distribute his take on Sinatra standards.

Actor Robert Davi has started a record-making business from his covers of Sinatra songs.

Small-Business Loans Spur Banking Exec’s Big Idea

Brian Carlson forms El Segundo firm to outsource SBA work.

Industry veteran banks on institutions outsourcing their SBA loans.

Treated With Kids’ Mitts

Fuhu makes low-cost, durable tablet targeted to children’s market.

Software maker Fuhu sees a little opportunity in the tablet business for its new child-targeted Nabi.

Business Journal Vet Named Distinguished Journalist

Industry group salutes Howard Fine for career accomplishments.

L.A. chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists honors Business Journal reporter Howard Fine for his notable career.

Hollywood Paper Raises Curtain on New Database

MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT: Variety’s subscription service will cover TV, film projects.

Variety Group, known for its slick show business trade publications, is hoping its Hollywood readership has an appetite for a deluge of data.

Investment Duo Buys Beverly Hill Residential Trio

REAL ESTATE: Family’s apartment buildings score $27.9 million sales price.

A three-building, 97-unit apartment portfolio in Beverly Hills sold for $27.9 million last month.

Equipment Maker Dials Up More Front Office Turmoil

MRV chief exec exits amid calls for overhaul of board.

Struggling equipment maker MRV breaks connection with another top executive.

Ports Access Still Drives Teamsters

Union chief sees leases to truckers as inroad to organize.

James P. Hoffa says the Teamsters will continue its unionization drive at the ports by targeting company-trucker lease deals.

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‘You’re Not OK’

OP-ED: New generation of self-deluded entrepreneurs is working overtime to convince themselves they’re special.

Victoria Thomas fears the entrepreneurial spirit is encouraging the unemployable to become self-employed.

Ballot Measure on Cancer a Symptom of Dysfunctional State

OP-ED

State’s unhealthy ballot-box budgeting has led to an unneeded and expensive cancer research proposal, according to Teresa Casazza.

Give Banks Some Credit on Lending

COMMENT

Maybe many businesses have had trouble getting loans because they’re no longer such good credit risks, Charles Crumpley opines.

Friday, December 9

SpaceX Gets Go-Ahead for Mission to Space Station

NASA announced that Space Exploration Technologies Corp. had been approved for a mission by its SpaceX Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station early next year, a major win for the Hawthorne company.

California United Bank to Buy Anaheim Bank

California United Bank said that it will expand its limited presence in Orange County through the acquisition of a community bank in Anaheim.

The Week’s Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies was nearly flat for the week, even as European Union leaders agreed agreement on addressing the region's debt crisis and U.S. consumer confidence rose to its highest level in six months.

Green Dot Completes Bank Acquisition

Green Dot Corp. has completed its previously announced acquisition of Bonneville Bancorp for $15.7 million in cash.

American Film Market to Remain in Santa Monica

The American Film Market announced today that it will stay in Santa Monica through 2017. The market is one of the film industry’s largest local events.

Thursday, December 8

Amgen Closes 'Dutch Auction' Stock Buy-Back

Amgen Inc. said it will buy back around 83.3 million shares for $60 per share, which is at the high end of the range offered by the Thousand Oaks biotech in a modified Dutch auction.

Gores Acquires Texas Telecom Business

The Gores Group has completed the acquisition of Alpheus Communications, one of the largest fiber network and data center operators in Texas.

Wednesday, December 7

MRV Communications Loses CEO, Sells Division

MRV Communications Inc. announced that Chief Executive Dilip Singh had resigned, and that the company planned sell a Swiss subsidiary to European investors in a deal worth $24.6 million.

Economic Forecasts See Signs of Recovery

New reports from USC and UCLA economists forecast that California’s slowly recovering economy still faces a long road to rebuild from recession-era layoffs, mortgage foreclosures and the commercial real estate downturn.

L.A.'s Cleantech Incubator Adds Two Tenants

A solar company and an electric generator firm are the two newest additions to the recently launched Cleantech Incubator in Downtown Los Angeles.

Tuesday, December 6

Ikonic to Co-Develop Theme Park in China

Los Angeles entertainment company Ikonic Entertainment Group will design and co-develop a theme park in China along with a Chinese investment group.

AeroVironment’s Profit Surges

AeroVironment Inc. earnings soared in the fiscal second quarter as the maker of unmanned aircraft and electric car-charging technology saw strong growth in both business units.

Panache Acquired by New York Company

Panache, a Los Angeles provider of online advertising software and services, has been acquired by 24/7 Real Media Inc.

Memorial Announced for Former Avery Dennison Chairman

A memorial service for former Avery Dennison Corp. Chairman Charles D. Miller, who died last month, is planned for Monday in Pasadena.

Monday, December 5

Buyers of 99-Cent Only Stores Plan Debt Offering

The investors that plan to buy 99-Cent Only Stores announced a $250 million notes offering to help finance the $1.6 billion acquisition.

Long Beach Post Publisher Dies After Car Crash

Shaun Lumachi, publisher of the Long Beach Post, died early Saturday morning in Florida from injuries suffered in a car crash.

IPC Enters Pacific Northwest Market

IPC The Hospitalist Co. Inc. has acquired its first hospital-based physician group in the Pacific Northwest.

RealD Inc. Expands in China

RealD Inc. has signed a deal with Chinese language film producer and distributor Mei Ah Entertainment Group Ltd. to install its 3-D technology in one hundred screens in China.

Online Vendor Cues Live Webcast to Stream Revenue

BeachMint boosts its sales with Facebook event on Cyber Monday.

BeachMint Inc. offered Cyber Monday shoppers a different look with live video touting items on its fashion sites.

EIGHT OVER 80: Fred Astman

Special Report

Business Journal turns the spotlight on eight Angelenos, all 80 years old or over, who still get worked up about punching the clock.

Big in Shorts

Firm scores by processing high volume of short sales

Peak Corporate Network has hit it big with short sales but some rivals question its claimed case load.

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Special Report: EIGHT OVER 80

The Business Journal visits eight Angelenos, all 80 or over, who are all still working hard.

EIGHT OVER 80: Jack Schlaifer

Special Report

Business Journal turns the spotlight on eight Angelenos, all 80 years old or over, who still get worked up about punching the clock.

Fitness Company Pumped About Beefing Up in L.A.

Market seen as key for Equinox’s plan to grow high-end chains.

Equinox sees Los Angeles as a healthy growth market for its high-end gym chains.

Businessman Resists Curbs on Parked Billboards

Security firm owner says new state law violates free speech.

One business is fighting a municipal crackdown against signs on nonmotorized vehicles.

USA Today Bets on Rankings of Pro Poker Players

MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT: Federated hails newspaper list as good publicity for firm.

When it comes to mainstream, nothing says it like USA Today. And that suits the agenda at Hollywood’s Federated Sports + Gaming just fine.

Please Can the Sardine Limits

OPED: Activists are pushing job-killing protection for the fish despite state and federal precautionary systems.

D.B. Pleschner wants to give the hook to activists’ proposal for more monitoring and regulation of sardines.

L.A. Needs to Get in Business of Keeping M.B.A.s

OPED

Patricia Palleschi encourages L.A. to put more work into retaining its M.B.A. grads.

EB-5 Investors Seek Better Future for Children

Sidebar

EB-5 seen as entryway into the U.S.

Partnership Split Separating Developer, Properties

Rivals eye sites slated for two prized projects of Alan Casden.

Rival developers look to poach properties proposed for two projects by Alan Casden.

‘Call of Duty’ Kills But Game Maker’s ‘World’ Is Hurting

“Call of Duty” is going great guns but the fading magic of “World of Warcraft” has raised flags about developer Activision.

Something To Smile About

Owner cleans up with $6 million sale of his dental supply business.

Dental supply salesman credits brushing up on catalog for launching million-dollar career.

John Kilroy Jr.: Sails Director

When not leading Kilroy Realty’s expansion on land, chief executive has turned in record performances in long-distance ocean races.

Kilroy Realty’s John Kilroy Jr. is at home on land as a real estate exec and at sea as a competitive sailor.

Bad Cords Could Cost Guitar Maker Her Business

Kathy Wingert fights U.S. crackdown on banned exotic woods.

Guitar maker frets that a federal ban on imported woods will cue her business’s swan song.

1,000 Dolls to Inspire Blood Donations

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Isaac Larian is feeling generous this year, and who could be surprised? After all, he scored $309 million against rival Mattel Inc. in April after a lengthy legal dispute over Bratz dolls.

Regional Reports

Regional Reports

EIGHT OVER 80: Frederick Ruopp Sr.

Special Report

Business Journal turns the spotlight on eight Angelenos, all 80 years old or over, who still get worked up about punching the clock.

Metals Business Shutters In Pollution Settlement

MANUFACTURING: City of L.A. had sued Palace Plating over presence of toxins in sewer.

Palace Plating Inc., a small chrome-plating and metal-finishing business in South Los Angeles, will close by the end of the year as part of a pollution settlement with the city.

New Wrinkle For Senior Workforce

Doctor says some baby boomers not above a little nip and tuck.

Local doctor says some baby boomers turn to plastic surgery to make the cut in today’s business world.

No Infomercial? No Sweat For New Workout Program

HEALTH CARE & BIOTECH: Beachbody aims P90X2 at previous customers to pump sales.

How do you roll out a sequel to the most successful TV infomercial-marketed home fitness program of all time? Surprisingly, not with a TV infomercial.

Film Production Space Makes Grade With College

REAL ESTATE: Institution to purchase Santa Monica offices of James Cameron.

Santa Monica College has bought the headquarters of director James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment Inc. production company.

Calendar & Events

Calendar

EIGHT OVER 80: Jerome ‘Jerry’ Redston

Special Report

Business Journal turns the spotlight on eight Angelenos, all 80 years old or over, who still get worked up about punching the clock.

EIGHT OVER 80: Warren Haussler

Special Report

Business Journal turns the spotlight on eight Angelenos, all 80 years old or over, who still get worked up about punching the clock.

Retirement Would Be Too Hard

COMMENT

Charles Crumpley takes comfort in knowing that some people so love work that they just can’t stop, even when they’re over 80.

EIGHT OVER 80: Harold ‘Hal’ Friedman

Special Report

Business Journal turns the spotlight on eight Angelenos, all 80 years old or over, who still get worked up about punching the clock.

EIGHT OVER 80: John ‘Papa’ Maloney

Special Report

Business Journal turns the spotlight on eight Angelenos, all 80 years old or over, who still get worked up about punching the clock.

Roadside Assistance

Jewelry chain’s freeway billboard to traffic in romantics’ messages.

Engagement-ring chain Robbins hopes to drive sales with a freeway billboard featuring Facebook fans’ romantic messages.

Virtually There

StarCast website hopes to ease audition process by hosting actors’ clips.

Startup StarCast hopes to change Hollywood’s act with a paid website for wannabe actors’ audition clips.

EIGHT OVER 80: Stanley A. Dashew

Special Report

Business Journal turns the spotlight on eight Angelenos, all 80 years old or over, who still get worked up about punching the clock.

Green Card Means ‘Go’ to Investors

Projects tap foreign money with visa giveaway.

Real estate projects bank on Chinese backers via visa program that gives green cards to foreign investors.

Friday, December 2

Jacobs Makes Australian Acquisition

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. has acquired Unique World, an information technology services company based in Sydney, Australia.

The Week’s Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies closed up strongly for the week after a drop in the national jobless rate cheered investors.

Thursday, December 1

UTi Worldwide Shares Fall on Mixed Quarter

Share of UTi Worldwide Inc. fell 13 percent Thursday after the freight logistics company reported lower than expected fiscal third quarter revenue, and was cautious about results in the current quarter.

Cautious Consumer Spending Hits Guess Profit

Guess Inc. reported a smaller third quarter profit – missing Wall Street expectations – and gave a more cautious forecast for the current quarter. Despite this, shares were up more than 4 percent Friday morning on analyst optimism.

Superior Industries Founder Dies

Superior Industries International Inc. announced that its founding chairman, Louis L. Borick, died Wednesday. He was 87.