Stories for July 2011

Friday, July 29

John Anderson Dies at 93

Billionaire Bel-Air businessman and philanthropist John Anderson died Friday at UCLA Medical Center from complications of pneumonia. He was 93.

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Rising R&D Costs Lower Amgen’s Profits

Amgen Inc.’s second-quarter net income fell 3 percent, as the biotech sank money into clinical trials and product launches. The adjusted results exceeded Wall Street expectations.

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies dropped nearly 5 percent for the week on mixed earnings reports and unease over the continued debt ceiling battle in Washington D.C.

Revenue Growth Boosts Dole’s Profits

Dole Food Co. said its second quarter net income more than doubled on revenue growth for both its fresh and packaged fruit and vegetable products.

RealD’s Quarterly Revenue Disappoints

Shares of RealD Inc. slumped 16 percent Friday morning, a day after the 3-D technologies developer reported a big profit for the first quarter but also a drop in revenues that was far below expectations.

Thursday, July 28

True Religion’s Quarter Beats Street Forecasts

True Religion Apparel Inc.'s second-quarter net income jumped 25 percent, helped by strong sales both at its retail stores and online, and offsetting a decline in its wholesale unit.

Higher Vet Revenue Lifts VCA Antech’s Quarter

VCA Antech Inc. reported a 35 percent increase in second quarter profit, which the company attributed to higher sales at its animal hospitals and the absence of a large expense that hurt year-ago results. Earnings met Wall Street expectations, but revenue fell short.

Reliance Steel Reports Solid Quarter

Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. said second-quarter earnings jumped 60 percent as the Los Angeles company sold more metal products at higher prices.

Fisher-Price Recalls Toy Wagons

Mattel Inc.’s Fisher-Price Inc. subsidiary has announced a voluntary recall of certain models of Little People Builders Load 'n Go Wagons in the United States and Canada.

Wednesday, July 27

Skechers Shares Soar Despite Quarterly Loss

Skechers USA Inc. shares jumped 18 percent on Thursday morning, a day after the company reported a loss after cutting prices to clear out inventories of its toning shoes. Executives said new versions of the shoes were selling well.

CB Richard Ellis Shares Slide after Profit Falls Short of Forecasts

CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. shares were down more than 7 percent on Thursday morning, a day after the real estate services giant reported an 11 percent increase in second quarter earnings, but still missed Wall Street expectations.

Soon-Shiong to Invest $100 Million in 'Alternative Internet'

Billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong’s CSS Institute announced that it is taking over management of a leading “alternative Internet” used by academics to transmit huge chunks of data.

Wesco Aircraft IPO Raises $315 Million

Wesco Aircraft Holdings, the Carlyle Group-controlled aerospace equipment supplier in Valencia, on Wednesday priced an initial public offering of 21 million shares at $15 a share, below initial expectations.

Home Sales Boost County Assessment Rolls

L.A. County’s total property values rose during 2010 after two years of decline, according to new county figures.

Beutner Raises $405,000 in Prospective L.A. Mayoral Bid

The Austin Beutner for Mayor Exploratory Committee said that it raised $405,034 in its first 11 weeks of operation.

CytRx Shares Plunge on $20.4 Million Stock Offering

Shares of West L.A. biotech CytRx Corp. plunged more than a third Wednesday after the West L.A. biotech priced a stock and warrant offering that the markets apparently believed was too dilutive.

Maryland Company Acquires L.A. Landscaping Firm Dworsky Cos.

The Brickman Group has acquired Dworsky Cos., a large Los Angeles commercial landscape services firm, for an undisclosed amount.

Lack of Tax Benefit Lowers Northrop’s Quarter

Northrop Grumman Corp.’s second-quarter net income fell 30 percent in the second quarter on lower revenue and the lack of a tax benefit that boosted the quarter last year.

Tuesday, July 26

DreamWorks Animation Beats Wall Street’s Expectations

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. said that better-than-expected box office performance of “Kungfu Panda 2” boosted its second quarter revenue above analysts’ estimates.

Nara Bancorp Posts Q2 Profit

Nara Bancorp Inc. beat Wall Street expectations for the second quarter, as the Koreatown bank holding company cleared bad loans dating from the recession off its books and generated strong production of new loans.

Disney to Acquire Rest of Bollywood Movie Company

Walt Disney Co. has offered to pay as much as $454 million to buy out the remaining half of Indian media company UTV Software Communications Ltd.

CytRx Stock Offering to Finance Drug Development

CytRx Corp. plans an offering of common stock to raise money for development of its experimental cancer drugs.

Jacobs Engineering Reports Mixed Quarter

Shares of Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. fell 4.5 percent Tuesday morning after the engineering company reported that fiscal third quarter revenue was down in one of its largest segments.

Avery Dennison Earnings Fall

Avery Dennison Corp.’s second-quarter profit fell 13 percent on lower sales volume at its two largest businesses, pressure-sensitive materials and retail branding segments.

Occidental Profit Up 71 Percent

Occidental Petroleum Corp. reported a 71 percent jump in second quarter earnings, boosted by higher oil prices and operating profits in its chemicals and pipeline businesses.

Monday, July 25

New Meruelo Maddux CEO Appointed as Reorganization Takes Effect

Meruelo Maddux Properties Inc. named Matt Caverly its chief executive. He had been serving in that post on an interim basis.

Response Genetics Founder Steps Back from CEO Role

Response Genetics Inc. Chief Executive Kathleen Danenberg has resigned to focus on research and development at the company she helped found in 1999.

MPG Disposes of Orange County Office Property

MPG Office Trust Inc. has disposed of City Tower in the city of Orange, in cooperation with the special servicer on the mortgage loan.

Car Tracking System Drives New Deal for Patent Owner

Oxnard’s CalAmp paid $3 million by Tennessee repo business.

CalAmp has revved up revenue with a deal for its vehicle tracking systems.

Venture Capital Fails to Come Out in Second Quarter

BANKING & FINANCE: Lack of IPOs could be holding back money for startups.

Venture capital investment in Los Angeles was sluggish in the past quarter, according to a pair of reports released last week, but experts say there is reason to be hopeful that the sector can make a comeback.

Century City Firm Welcomes Chinese Connection

LAW: New group at Jeffer Mangels to advise on local investment deals.

It’s no secret that Chinese investment in U.S. commercial real estate is taking off. With its creation of a Chinese investment group earlier this month, Century City firm Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP is looking to get in the pilot’s seat.

News of the Week

News of the Week

Gone to Markets

Special Report: LARGEST & MOST PROFITABLE L.A. COMPANIES

Occidental Petroleum paced the field of L.A.’s largest public companies, which saw their combined market cap soar by 27 percent.

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Mule Train Comin’ Through

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Gary Toebben had a noteworthy sighting on his first Rim-to-Rim hike through the Grand Canyon.

Insurer’s Curbside Appeal

Matthew Carlson has made covering food trucks his policy.

Matthew Carlson rolls with a niche business offering coverage to L.A.’s food trucks.

It’s a Small World of Cuts at Disneyland

COMMENT

Disneyland cost cuts let Charles Crumpley down at the Happiest Place on Earth.

Boom and Bust in Middle East

Frederick’s hopes its sexy styles find a home in conservative region.

Frederick’s of Hollywood hopes for a discrete boost in sales by opening shops in the covered-up Middle East.

Calendar & Events

Calendar

In the Batter Box

OP-ED: Media score easy points by bashing Dodgers owner Frank McCourt far in excess of his transgressions.

Jess and Rachel Bressi go to bat for media-savaged Dodgers owner Frank McCourt.

Beverly Hills Merchants Wrong to Rail Against Subway

OP-ED

Beverly Hills merchants opposed to a planned subway stop are on the wrong track, according to Kevin Klowden.

Ticketmaster Looks to D.C. To Restrict Rival’s Resales

StubHub has lobbied to tear up limits on ‘paperless’ tickets.

Ticketmaster forms Washington lobbying group to preserve limits on resale of its “paperless” tickets.

Downtown L.A. Makes Space for More Offices

REAL ESTATE: L&R plans first new project since opening of L.A. Live.

Work got under way this month to transform a vacant, dilapidated concrete bank building near L.A. Live into a state-of-the-art office and retail complex with glass walls.

Software Security Company in the Danger Zone?

Plunging value of CyberDefender stock may force delisting.

Security software maker CyberDefender’s problems have raised flags with investors. 5

Scandal May Shut Business Bureau

L.A. chapter hurt by pay-for-play revelations.

Better Business Bureau hopes to pinkslip its scandal-plagued L.A.-area chapter, which is fighting to remain open.

Mayor Grabs Ax For L.A. City Tax

Villaraigosa wants to kill gross receipts levy.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has joined the crowd calling for an end to L.A. city’s gross receipts tax.

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Regional Reports

Regional Report

Channel Change

Meruelo Group adds station KWHY to diverse holdings with goal of tapping Latino audience for advertisers.

Meruelo Group hopes to channel Latino viewers to advertisers with the pickup of station KWHY.

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Visual Effects Company Puts Focus on Costs, IPO

Indian partner may help Digital Domain stay competitive.

Visual effects studio Digital Domain Productions is rolling with a new Indian partner as the parent company refocuses on an IPO.

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You’ve Got Charity

GiveBackMail donates e-mail ad revenue to customer’s choice.

E-mail service GiveBackMail.com’s main message is charity through the donation of ad revenue.

No Concessions for Movie Theater?

Luxury cinema too tall for Beverly Hills.

A nearly 80-foot height may mean curtains for a proposed high-end movie theater in Beverly Hills.

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Robert O’Brien: After Hours

Arent Fox attorney stays busy outside the office assisting Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign and working to overhaul Afghanistan’s justice system.

Arent Fox attorney Robert O’Brien is busy building a case for Mitt Romney to be the next U.S. president.

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Local Clothing Company to Take Credit Overseas

Guess to use borrowed bucks to open shops across the world.

Clothing maker Guess sees its move into markets across the globe as a sure thing.

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Supplement Maker Shakes Out as Most Profitable

Special Report: LARGEST & MOST PROFITABLE L.A. COMPANIES

Nutritional supplement maker Herbalife delivered a healthy return to investors.

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Regulators’ Latest Lawsuit May Break Execs’ Way

Analyst sees new filing possibly undercutting suit against WesCorp execs.

U.S. regulators’ new lawsuit may undermine a previous suit against the former execs of failed thrift WesCorp.

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Friday, July 22

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies rose for the week on mixed news about prospects for a deal on the federal debt ceiling.

L.A.’s Unemployment Rate Up Again to 12 Percent

Education-related layoffs pushed Los Angeles County’s unemployment rate back up to 12 percent last month and led to a drop of 9,500 payroll jobs, according to state figures.

Hanmi Moves to Profit

Hanmi Financial Corp. swung from a loss to a profit in the second quarter, despite lower revenue, as the Koreatown bank holding company was not forced to set aside money to cover bad loans.

Thursday, July 21

City National Profit Better Than Expected

City National Corp.’s second quarter profit rose 15 percent as the parent of Los Angeles County’s largest locally based bank increased both interest income and deposits.

RealD to Install More 3D Screens at Cinemark Theaters

RealD Inc. has reached an agreement with Cinemark Holdings Inc. to install an additional 1,500 3D-enabled screens in Cinemark theaters across North America and Latin America.

Cathay Bank Returns to Profit

Cathay General Bancorp swung to a profit in the second quarter as the Los Angeles bank holding company increased its income from loans and slashed its provision for credit losses.

NTSC Acquires Illinois Company

National Technical Systems Inc. has acquired Ingenium Testing, a provider of product compliance and engineering services, in a deal valued at more than $12.5 million.

East West Nearly Doubles Profit

East West Bancorp Inc. increased its second quarter profit by 95 percent as the Pasadena bank holding increased deposits and took fewer charge-offs for bad loans.

Wednesday, July 20

Cheesecake Factory Revenue Below Expectations

Cheesecake Factory Inc. shares were down 5 percent in aftermarket trading Wednesday after the restaurant chain reported second quarter revenue that was lower than analysts expected.

Access Industries Completes Warner Music Acquisition

Warner Music Group Corp. said that affiliates of Access Industries Inc. had completed its previously announced acquisition of the company in an all-cash deal valued at $3.3 billion.

Jakks’ Quarter Beats Wall Street Expectations

Jakks Pacific Inc. reported higher revenue for the first time in two years, enabling the Malibu toymaker to report earnings that surpassed analysts’ estimates.

Tetra Tech Makes Australian Acquisition, Names CFO

Tetra Tech Inc. plans to purchase most of the assets of Proteus EPCM Engineers, an Australian mining engineering company, for an undisclosed amount.

LAEDC Forecast Sees Modest Local Jobs Growth

Los Angeles County will see modest job growth for the rest of this year and into next year, but it will not be enough to make a significant dent in the county’s jobless rate, according to a new forecast.

Tuesday, July 19

RPost Sues Adobe over Electronic Signature Technology

RPost, a provider of electronic signature services, on Tuesday said it filed a patent infringement suit against Adobe Systems Inc. and its new acquisition, EchoSign.

Sport Chalet Founder Norbert Olberz Dies

A memorial service for Norbert Olberz, the late founder of Sport Chalet Inc., are scheduled for this Friday in La Canada Flintridge.

Intel Acquires Fulcrum Microsystems

Fulcrum Microsystems, a Calabasas manufacturer of specialized semiconductors used in data center networks, is being acquired by Intel Corp. for an undisclosed amount, the companies said Tuesday.

Monday, July 18

Avery Dennison Cuts Outlook for Quarter and Year

Avery Dennison Corp. shares fell more than 12 percent Tuesday morning, a day after the label maker warned that it expects to report second quarter and full year earnings below Wall Street expectations.

Ixia Completes VeriWave Acquisition

Ixia has completed its acquisition of VeriWave Inc., which provides performance testing services and technology for wireless local-area networks and Wi-Fi enabled smart devices.

CalAmp Sells GPS Patents for Car Repo Apps

Oxnard-based CalAmp Corp. has sold several patents that help finance companies repossess vehicles. The buyer is a Tennessee provider of Global Positioning Satellite applications.

SANTA CLARITA VALLEY: Small Deals Make Little Impression on Stratospheric Vacancy Rate

Special Report: REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY

There were faint signs of life in the Santa Clarita Valley in the second quarter, but the market was hardly robust.

SAN FERNANDO VALLEY: Valley Heats Up as Companies Come Over the Hill for Lower Rents

Special Report: REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY

The numbers in the San Fernando Valley tell a good story.

WILSHIRE CORRIDOR: Miracle Mile Picks Up Tenants As Koreatown Suffers Exodus

Special Report: REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY

About all you need to know about the Wilshire Corridor in the second quarter is this: Koreatown lost tenants and the Miracle Mile gained them – a dynamic that reflected the soft commercial real estate market.

SAN GABRIEL VALLEY: Economic Worries, Japanese Disasters Slow Sales and Leasing Activity

Special Report: REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY

Economic jitters and the Japanese disasters struck the San Gabriel Valley in the second quarter – where they had the effect of quieting the largely industrial market.

Hoping Bakery Pans Out

West Hollywood shop to challenge cupcakes with its take on tarts.

Tart bakery Früute hopes it can get a taste of the success of L.A.’s cupcake shops.

WESTSIDE: Surging Santa Monica Spurs Interest in Marina del Rey, Culver City

Special Report: REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY

The Westside office market exploded last quarter as tenants took more space than anywhere else in Los Angeles County, largely driven by a new tech boom in Santa Monica and its environs.

Building an L.A. Team for Russian Thrill Rides

‘Gene’ Moshkovitch banks on his connections with Moscow.

Beverly Hills oil exec looks to grease the wheels for a theme park in Moscow.

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HOLLYWOOD: Westside’s Strength Spills Over Into Hollywood, West Hollywood

Special Report: REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY

As Westside office vacancies declined – and leasing rates rose – in the second quarter, the Hollywood and West Hollywood markets saw a bump of their own.

TRI-CITIES: Entertainment Businesses Boost Burbank and Market Optimism

Special Report: REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY

Entertainment companies moving into Burbank helped the Tri-Cities market just about hold its own in the second quarter, raising optimism for the rest of the year.

L.A. County in Limbo as Pace of Recovery Slows

Special Report: REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY

Major events in Los Angeles County commercial and industrial submarkets in the second quarter.

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Firm on Second-Name Basis With L.A. Lawmakers

Partners related to public officials say they avoid conflicts of interest.

Avoiding conflicts of interest is a family issue for Englander Knabe & Allen partners who are related to a county supervisor and an L.A. councilman.

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DOWNTOWN: Downsized Lease Renewal, Firm’s Closure Drive Up Vacancy Rate

Special Report: REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY

The downtown L.A. office market was shaken by a few large departures during the second quarter that plunged the market back into negative territory.

NYSE Says Clothing Maker’s Changes Don’t Fit

RETAIL & APPAREL: Exchange warns American Apparel on board requirements.

The New York Stock Exchange is trying to keep up with American Apparel’s board moves.

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Bad Environment For Development?

Business aims to rewrite antigrowth CEQA.

Business groups are looking to rewrite a state act they say opponents use to stifle development projects.

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REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY: Tech Revs Up Santa Monica Market

SPECIAL REPORT: REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY

With its beachside locale, Santa Monica has long attracted businesses. But now, the city has become a virtual hot spot for today’s generation of Internet businesses, especially those involved with social networking websites.

Supplement Maker Joins the Clubs

Storefront model pumps up Herbalife sales.

A new distribution system – selling single servings at clubs in storefronts – has strengthened the revenue of nutritional supplement maker Herbalife.

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Letting Career Go To Waste

Ex-financial manager now rolls with trucks, trash-hauling business.

Ex-Merrill Lynch manager enjoys the junk bonds he has formed in the trash-hauling industry.

Investment Officer Buys Into Running His Own Firm

BANKING & FINANCE: Jeffrey Bronchick forms Cove Street after former employer merges.

After his longtime employer got swallowed up by a bigger fish, Jeffrey Bronchick decided to swim out on his own.

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SOUTH BAY: Market Gives Back Space After First Quarter’s Absorption

Special Report: REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY

After a strong start to the year, sales and leasing activity slowed in the South Bay’s industrial market during the second quarter.

Herbalife Looks to Compete in Athletic Market

Sidebar

Company weighs in with new line aimed at athletic consumers.

Businesses Wait to Endorse New Permit Process

New city of L.A. office is latest try to slice through red tape.

Business leaders are waiting to sign off on the city of L.A.’s latest effort to ease permit processing.

Clicked Off Over Internet Taxes

COMMENT

The state’s simple plan to raise revenue with an Internet sales tax is quickly becoming a complicated and expensive mess, writes Charles Crumpley.

News of the Week

News of the Week

L.A.’s Public-Private Paydays

OP-ED: Chief of city’s tourism non-profit takes home more than some recently scandalized public servants.

Tim Cavanaugh thinks the city of L.A. is overcompensating execs at public-private agencies with plump pay packages.

Calendar & Events

Calendar

Teamwork Is Getting LAX Off the Ground

OP-ED

Gary L. Toebben credits Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and some airport officials for giving LAX a much needed lift.

Music Video Firm in Tune With Office

Special Report: REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY

Santa Monica space draws in a trio of tech firms.

Web Startup Already Sees Bigger Future

Special Report: REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY

Santa Monica space draws in a trio of tech firms.

Game Developer Logs In to Santa Monica

Special Report: REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY

Santa Monica space draws in a trio of tech firms.

Boning Up On Business

Architectural firm took Dinosaur Hall project as college work lagged.

Dinosaur Hall is Exhibit A of Miracle Mile firm CO’s new focus on nonuniversity projects.

Missing Links Stunt L.A. Sites

Local marketers lose affiliates to sales tax law.

California’s drive to collect sales tax from web vendors has left affiliate sites in a painful state.

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Basking in The Heat

State requirement has boosted work for fire sprinkler installers.

A state requirement for new homes is showering fire sprinkler installers with more business.

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In Full Swing

Special Report: REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY

So many Web-based businesses have clicked with Santa Monica that some have nicknamed it Silicon Beach.

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Third Generation of Rotarian Leadership

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At 33, Megan Tunnell O’Rourke became the youngest president in the 103-year history of the Rotary Club of Los Angeles when her term began July 1.

Regional Reports

Regional Report

Value of 99 Cents Only Could Be on the Way Up

New potential bid could drive up acquisition price for discount chain.

A prospective buyer could put a higher price on the 99 Cents Only chain.

Friday, July 15

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies fell for the week as investors worried whether Congress would act in time to raise the federal debt ceiling.

Amgen Says Infection Drug Patent Dispute Settled in its Favor

Amgen Inc. said that final judgment and a permanent injunction against competitor Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. bans Teva from marketing an infection-fighting drug that infringes on Amgen patents.

Mattel’s Quarter Tops Expectations

Mattel Inc. reported a 56 percent jump in second quarter profit on higher sales of Barbie and American Girl dolls and toys based on the “Cars 2” movie that opened last month.

Amgen Bone Drug Gets European Approval

Xgeva, Amgen Inc.’s drug to retard bone loss in advanced cancer patients, has received approval from the European Commission to be marketed in all 27 European Union states.

Thursday, July 14

Traffic Mixed at Ports Last Month

Container traffic through the Port of Los Angeles slid more than 12 percent in June compared with a year ago when the economy began recovering from the recession. The last month's picture was brighter at the Port of Long Beach, which saw some growth.

Reliance Steel to Acquire Houston Company

Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. on Thursday said it signed an agreement to acquire Continental Alloys & Services Inc., which makes products for the oil and gas industry.

Phunware Buys GoTV Networks

A Texas company has acquired GoTV Networks, which makes mobile apps that distribute media content for clients that include the NFL and TV network ESPN, Univision, and Oprah Winfrey’s OWN.

Wednesday, July 13

Wedbush Invests in NorCal Investment Firm

Wedbush Inc. has purchased a partnership interest in Van Hulzen Asset Management, and is forming a strategic partnership with the Northern California asset manager.

Oprah Winfrey to Become CEO of OWN

Oprah Winfrey will take over as chief executive of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, the Los Angeles cable channel announced.

Report Says Class-A Office Prices Poised for Rebound

The harder hit San Francisco and Silicon Valley office markets will likely be the first in California to recover, but Los Angeles may not be far behind, according to the latest Allen Matkins/UCLA Anderson Forecast California Commercial Real Estate Survey.

Tuesday, July 12

Report: Lions Gate's Break Media Seeking Money

Break Media, which operates media web sites targeting young men and is 42-percent owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., reportedly is seeking new investors to finance its expansion.

New L.A. City Office Aims to Ease Permitting

In an attempt to make L.A.’s permit process easier to navigate for developers and business, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced the opening of a development services office.

Cost Controls Embroider Second Quarter for Joe's Jeans

Joe's Jeans Inc. shares rose Tuesday, a day after the apparel maker reported a more than 41 percent jump in second-quarter earnings thanks to cost controls and sales from its growing number of retail stores.

UCLA Health Chief Joins Office REIT’s Board

Douglas Emmett Inc. said that Dr. David T. Feinberg, chief executive of the UCLA Hospital System and associate vice chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences, has been elected to its board.

Monday, July 11

Amgen Prepared to Invest Nearly $1 Billion in Experimental Cancer Treatments

Amgen Inc. has licensed three experimental cancer antibodies from Maryland drug developer Micromet Inc. that have potential to treat solid tumors.

Teledyne Awarded Two Defense Contracts

A Teledyne Technologies Inc. subsidiary has been awarded contracts to develop and manufacture a replacement for the Navy’s SEAL Delivery Vehicle, and a data-gathering glider, with total potential value of more than $436 million.

VCA Antech Buys Veterinary Marketing Company, Clinic Chain

VCA Antech Inc. has signed two separate deals, one to buy a marketing communications company that serves veterinary practices and the other a group of North Carolina animal hospitals.

J2 Global Makes Two European Acquisitions

J2 Global Communications Inc., which provides online communications and fax services, said that it is acquiring an Irish online data backup service as well as a virtual PBX business based in the United Kingdom.

Subway to the Sea? Don’t Stop at Rodeo Drive

Station seen tarnishing Golden Triangle.

Some Beverly Hills merchants aim to derail plans for a subway stop at the Golden Triangle.

Regional Reports

Regional Report

Summer Home Sales Cool Off Without Incentives

June deals fall 15 percent from last year; condos also slow down.

June home sales fizzle without sizzle of last year’s incentives.

Deploying Jobs Program

Non-profit gears up to assist returning Afghanistan veterans.

Local non-profit expects to step up its Veterans First jobs program as more soldiers return from Afghanistan.

Tutoring Parents On Tuition

Local consultant helps families navigate way through financial aid.

Consultant helps parents and students make the grade with financial aid.

Matter of Tastes

Wine bar dispenser lets customers control size of pours and bill.

Some local bars offer wine lovers a taste of fine vintages with dispensing machines that keep prices and pours on the small side.

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Plan to Tunnel Under High School Flunks ‘Common Sense’

OP-ED

John Mirisch gives F’s to subway backers looking to tunnel under Beverly Hills High.

Selling Cities on Retail

OP-ED: Local codes can get in the way of efforts by shopping centers to find creative ways to fill shops.

Cities need to get creative to avoid being mauled by empty shopping centers, according to Ellen Berkowitz.

Protecting the ‘Golden’ Egg

COMMENT

Charles Crumpley thinks Golden Triangle merchants may be on the right track in trying to keep a subway stop away from their high-end shops.

Calendar & Events

Calendar

Facebook Links Up With More Space in L.A.

REAL ESTATE: Social networking giant signs for 12,000 square feet in Playa Vista.

It’s official: Facebook Inc. is opening its first major office in Los Angeles next month.

News of the Week

News of the Week

Jerry Digney: Stunt Man

P.R. veteran has used everything from a public clown marriage to putting the pope on the Harlem Globetrotters to stoke the careers of his show business clients.

Making the pope an honorary member of the Harlem Globetrotters was a slam-dunk P.R. move for Jerry Digney.

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Retail Center-Focused REIT Has Buyers Lining Up

Macerich stock hits 52-week high after chain store sales rise in June.

Analyst thinks retail REIT Macerich’s stock has a lot more in store for investors.

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New Parent of Pipe Maker Plans to Go With Flow

Varco wants Ameron to keep a line on oil-drilling projects.

New parent Varco digs Ameron’s fiberglass pipes for deep oil drilling.

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Big Split

Developer, partners bedeviled by downturn

Even deep-pocketed developer Alan Casden had to abandon some projects in the downturn.

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State to Lock In Building Workers?

Landlords see 90-day law as union boon.

Building managers hope to lock out a state bill that would force new contractors to retain old building service workers for 90 days.

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Signs of Trouble?

Billboard company’s lawsuit claims AEG violates city permits with its signs at downtown’s L.A. Live.

Billboard business alleges AEG is posting illegal outdoor ads at L.A. Live.

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Taking Care of Rwanda’s Legal Business

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Los Angeles doesn’t seem like the first place the government of Rwanda would look for a lawyer.

Online Ad Titan’s Growth Fueled by Actual Dollars

Analyst credits real revenue at ValueClick for new hiring spree.

Analyst says real money is behind online ad giant ValueClick’s virtual hiring boom.

Maker of 3-D Cinema Tech Turns Its Focus Overseas

Deals with French and Japanese chains boost MasterImage.

MasterImage hopes new overseas theater deals take some focus from 3-D tech rival RealD.

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Company Opens Windows for Business Tablet Use

TabletKiosk sees iPad’s popularity boosting its business-focused devices.

TabletKiosk CEO Martin Smekal says the iPad has come in handy in promoting his company’s business-focused tablets.

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Local Contractor’s Growth Blueprint Includes Pickups

Tutor Perini has quietly built up its industry presence with a string of acquisitions.

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Friday, July 8

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies closed up slightly for the week as investors reacted to mixed economic data.

Ameron’s Profit Falls 90 Percent on Weaker Markets

Ameron International Corp., which earlier this week agreed to sell itself to a Houston company, on Friday said that its earnings plunged 90 percent in the second quarter due to weaker U.S. construction activity and lower demand in Asia.

Thursday, July 7

Ixia Shares Fall on Lowered Q2 Expectations

Ixia shares fell nearly 24 percent on Friday, a day after the company released preliminary second quarter results that were lower than expected. Two analysts lowered their recommendations on the stock.

Beach Business Bank Makes TARP Repayment

Beach Business Bank has partially repaid the $6 million in TARP money it had received during the credit crisis.

Tender Offer for California Pizza Kitchen Completed

Golden Gate Capital has completed its tender offer for the casual restaurant chain California Pizza Kitchen Inc., the first part of Golden Gate’s $470 million acquisition.

Wednesday, July 6

MPG Office Trust Disposes of O.C. Property, Refinances L.A. Tower

MPG Office Trust Inc. has disposed of another non-core office tower in Irvine, and refinanced a mortgage loan on a trophy office property in downtown Los Angeles.

Paramount Launches Animation Division

Paramount Pictures is launching an in-house animation division, with the first film planned for release in 2014.

Guess Inc. Gains New, Larger Credit Facility

To help finance its global expansion plans, Guess Inc. has entered into a larger $200 million credit facility with a syndicate of banks led by J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

ValueClick Plans to Increase Staff by 10 Percent

ValueClick Inc. announced plans to add more than 100 employees in its primary markets as part of an organic growth strategy for its online advertising services.

Oil Exploration Firm Scales Back Baldwin Hills Plans

Plains Exploration & Production Co. has agreed to reduce the number of planned oil and gas wells in Baldwin Hills and take other steps to address residents' concerns.

Tuesday, July 5

Two American Apparel Directors Resign

American Apparel Inc. said that two board members resigned.

Kennedy Wilson Completes $147 Million of Acquisitions

Kennedy Wilson Holdings Inc. has closed two transactions in California and Hawaii with combined value of around $147 million.

Ameron to Be Sold to Houston Company

Ameron International Corp.'s board has agreed to sell the industrial pipe maker to the nation’s largest oilfield equipment maker for $772 million.

Monday, July 4

Building Sale Sets New Low in San Gabriel Valley

REAL ESTATE: Buyer pays record $73.40 per square foot in West Covina.

Local real estate investor Rao Yalamanchili got a steal last month when he closed on a West Covina office building for $5.8 million after the owner fell into default.

Poker Company Makes Play for New Pro TV Tour

Federated also sees opening online after rivals’ websites shutter.

Federated Sports and Gaming is betting on its new type of pro poker tour to draw a TV deal.

Business Journal Earns National and Local Honors

Paper takes home AABP’s top laurel for third year in a row.

Business Journal staffers have earned a slew of local and national industry honors, including the Alliance of Area Business Publications’ top award for the third year in a row.

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A Vision Of Women In 3-D

New trade group tries to get more women involved in film technology.

MoonlightDrive’s Shannon Benna sees 3-D technology offering women bigger Hollywood roles.

Big Hollywood Role Eyed for ‘Iris’

But some fear Cirque’s spotlight will miss them.

Kodak Theatre’s neighbors may share the spotlight with Cirque du Soleil’s new production, but businesses farther away fear being upstaged.

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Regional Reports

Regional Report

Network Testing Businesses Hook Up

Calabasas’ Ixia acquires VeriWave to move into new market.

Ixia has picked up a Wi-Fi testing business to connect with a new market and customer base.

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Freeway Breaks

L.A. businesses offer 405-themed deals for July closure weekend.

Some local businesses are using the 405 freeway’s upcoming closure as an opening to offer deals.

Kingpin Booted From Downtown

Judge ousts Meruelo from his company.

Richard Meruelo’s long battle to hold on to his company has ended with his ouster from Meruelo Maddux.

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Playing His Cards Right, He Outlasts the Oracle

PAGE 3

Three years ago, Mercury Air Group Chief Executive Joe Czyzyk played his first rounds of Texas Hold ’em Poker with Warren Buffett – and had to fold before the Oracle of Omaha did.

Aircraft Orders Fail to Lift Jet Chartering Shares

Air Lease stock loses altitude while rivals take off.

Air Lease’s stock has failed to take off even after the jet-chartering business announced big orders of Boeing and Airbus aircraft.

Jonathan Larsen: Aiming High

Real estate broker hasn’t shied from pulling the trigger, from playing basketball in Brazil to brokering some of downtown L.A.’s biggest real estate deals.

Transwestern’s Jonathan Larsen played semipro hoops in Brazil before courting big real estate deals.

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No Vacancy?

Westwood Village businesses and groups split over proposal for four-star hotel.

Some Westwood Village businesses see no room in the area for a proposed four-star hotel.

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Full House in the Cards for ‘Iris’?

Sidebar

Circus troupe aims to sell 700,000 tickets a year at its new Hollywood home.

Koreatown Institution Pulls Plug on Public Offering

Insiders kill capital raise on fears stock will be diluted.

Concern over dilution scuttled Koreatown’s Hanmi planned $75 million stock offering.

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Discount Seller’s Seats Up in the Air

Investment firm pushes for new Tix Corp. board.

Tix Corp.’s largest shareholder is battling to get new bodies in the discount seller’s board seats.

They’re in It for the Long Haul

Design firm owner rewards his 20-year vets with trucks.

Bill Baldwin has rolled out trucks as gifts to two employees who marked 20 years at his firm.

News of the Week

News of the Week

Calendar & Events

Calendar

Transit Projects Would Drive Job Market

OP-ED

Michael Kelly sees America Fast Forward transit projects putting L.A. on the road to fuller employment.

Reassessing Property Taxes

OP-ED: Stripping commercial, apartment buildings of Proposition 13 protection wouldn’t produce much revenue.

Wayne Lusvardi and Charles B. Warren warn lawmakers that a proposed end run around Proposition 13 will yield little in revenue.

Refinancing Gives Clothing Maker Breathing Room

BCBG hopes to dress up German store chain for possible sale.

A $230 million refinancing will give BCBG more time to refashion a German department store chain.

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Why L.A. May Get More Seoul

COMMENT

Charles Crumpley believes L.A.’s old status as a Pacific Rim capital may soon be reinvigorated.

Skin Treatment Company Fleshes Out L.A. Presence

HEALTH CARE & BIOTECH: Avita also just raised $12 million in funds from foreign investors.

Avita Medical, a British company in the process of moving to the L.A. area, believes it has the next big thing in regenerative skin care: genetically personalized spray that can more completely heal many burns and fade scars than conventional therapies.

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L.A. Tech’s Family Tree

Community’s blossom rooted in Myspace

Myspace in its boom years clicked with a host of future tech execs while boosting the industry’s L.A. profile.

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Friday, July 1

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies rose for the week as the markets rallies ahead of the Independence Day holiday weekend.

MetWest Ventures Gains Control of Reed Conner & Birdwell

West L.A. asset manager MetWest Ventures LLC. has acquired a majority interest in Reed Conner & Birdwell LLC, a value equity investment advisor with $1.6 billion under management.

Contractor Tutor Perini Acquires New York Firm

Tutor Perini Corp. has acquired GreenStar Services Corp., considered one of New York’s largest providers of electrical and mechanical systems, for more than $208 million.

Report: FTC Investigates Twitter’s Treatment of UberMedia

The Federal Trade Commission reportedly is reviewing whether Twitter has engaged in anticompetitive activity against Pasadena-based app developer UberMedia, according to media reports.

American Apparel Elects Board Members

American Apparel Inc.'s board has elected two new directors from Canada, reflecting the influence of recent investments from that country.