Stories for June 2011

Thursday, June 30

CalAmp's Profit Beats Expectations

Shares of CalAmp Corp. soared in aftermarket trading Thursday after the wireless products provider said it moved from a loss to a better-than-expected profit in its fiscal first quarter.

National Bank of California Appoints CEO

National Bank of California said that its board had appointed Henry Homsher as chief executive and president, and Peter Koos as chief operating officer.

Hanmi Financial Cancels Stock Offer

Shares of Hanmi Financial Corp. jumped Thursday after the Koreatown bank holding company canceled a $75 million secondary offering, saying its shares were undervalued.

Wednesday, June 29

L.A.’s Leonard Green to Buy BJ’s Wholesale Club

West L.A.’s Leonard Green & Partners LP has partnered with one of the world’s largest private equity firms to buy East Coast membership warehouse store BJ’s Wholesale Club Inc. for $2.82 billion.

Populous to Design Convention Center’s West Hall Replacement

Kansas City architectural firm Populous, a specialist in convention and sports facilities, has been selected to design the proposed replacement building for the Los Angeles Convention Center’s West Hall.

Myspace Sold to Irvine Company

News Corp. has sold beleaguered social network Myspace Inc. to an Irvine advertising network Specific Media Inc. for $35 million.

KB Home Loss Widens, Construction Slows

Shares of KB Home plunged more than 15 percent Wednesday after the Los Angeles homebuilder said its fiscal second quarter loss more than doubled on slower construction and more than $30 million in charges.

Kennedy-Wilson Makes $51 Million Private Placement

Kennedy-Wilson Holdings Inc. has entered into an agreement with two large institutional investors for a private placement of its common stock.

Medtronic Defends Bone-Growth Drug Studies

Surgeons who conducted clinical trials funded by Medtronic Inc. to test one of the company’s spine-surgery drugs didn't report serious complications that arose in those trials in their research papers, according to reports.

Tuesday, June 28

CKE Cuts Expenses to Narrow Loss

CKE Restaurants Inc.'s fiscal first quarter net loss narrowed slightly as the restaurant operator reduced expenses and saw rising same-store sales at its Hardee’s restaurants.

National Technical Systems Closes $14 Million Financing

National Technical Systems Inc. has raised $14 million in a private placement, proceeds of which will be used for acquisitions.

U.S. TelePacific Makes Texas Acquisition

U.S. TelePacific Corp. has agreed to buy Tel West Network Services Corp. for an undisclosed amount.

Ixia to Acquire Wi-Fi Network Tester VeriWave

Ixia has signed a definitive agreement to acquire VeriWave Inc., a performance testing company for wireless local-area networks and Wi-Fi enabled smart devices, for an undisclosed amount.

Monday, June 27

Woori to Buy Hanmi Stock in Private Placement

After abandoning a merger with Woori Finance Holdings Co. Ltd. earlier this month, Hanmi Financial Corp. announced that a Woori unit will buy a 4.9 percent stake in the Koreatown bank holding company.

UTi Worldwide Sells Notes

UTi Worldwide has sold $150 million in senior notes in a private offering, and expanded its credit facilities.

Former Hanmi Bank Chief Named to L.A. Harbor Commission

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has named local economist and former local bank executive Sung Won Sohn to the Los Angeles Harbor Commission.

Los Angeles Dodgers File for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Just three days before the next payroll comes due, the Los Angeles Dodgers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday, with owner Frank McCourt blaming Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig for blocking a plan to improve the team’s finances.

Boingo Partnership Adds In-Flight Internet Access

Boingo Wireless Inc., which provides Internet hotspots at airports and other public locations around the world, announced a partnership with a company that provides wireless access on airplanes.

Benjamin Reznik: Down to Earth

Noted land-use attorney covers a lot of ground at Jeffer Mangels and a frequent traveler to exotic locations.

Benjamin Reznik gets a lot out of land use as a partner at Jeffer Mangels.

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Getting in Gear

Century City businesses back bikes and other modes of transit to cut down on traffic.

Business-backed Century City association is pushing alternative transit options to get traffic moving.

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Fee Freeze Plan Gets Cold Shoulder From Vernon

Businesses still fear tax and rate hikes in state’s breakup proposal.

State plan to freeze Vernon levies leaves businesses cold.

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Content Control Makes Headlines

Ebyline software helps clients manage news freelancers.

Ebyline is making news with its software that helps news outlets control the cost of buying and selling content.

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IHOP Aims High With Middle East

Arab region on the menu for several L.A. chains.

DineEquity has added Mideast expansion to IHOP’s menu, hold the sausage and bacon.

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Better Fit

Free-trade pact tailor made for L.A. apparel firms?

A U.S.-South Korea pact may sow more business, especially for L.A. clothing makers.

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Angel Investors Talk Up Video Tech

Vokle’s ‘virtual auditorium’ a funding favorite.

Santa Monica startup Vokle’s video streaming technology has drawn steady angel investment.

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REIT Likes the Sound of House of Blues’ Home

REAL ESTATE: Kilroy makes an offer for Hollywood’s Sunset Media Tower.

Sunset Media Tower, where the House of Blues has its offices, could be the newest addition to Kilroy Realty Corp.’s large L.A. real estate portfolio, according to sources with knowledge of the talks.

Downtown L.A. Firm Looks to Get Politically Active

ADVERTISING & PR: New unit at Englander Knabe formed to pursue campaign work.

Downtown L.A. public policy advocacy firm Englander Knabe & Allen has launched a subsidiary to focus on political campaigns in California.

Keeping the Subway on Track

OP-ED: L.A. business interests need to put the brakes on Beverly Hills activists’ efforts to delay the Purple Line.

Christopher Hill calls on L.A. businesses to help drive the Purple Line subway through Beverly Hills.

Competition Not Regulation Keeps Trash Costs Low

OP-ED

Ron Saldana doesn’t want L.A.’s waste collection system thrown out and replaced with more regulation.

Billionaire Developer Acquires Westwood Property

Palazzo removed from portfolio targeted by lender lawsuit.

Developer Alan Casden has acquired the Westwood Palazzo mixed-use property and removed it from a legal problem.

Downtown Firm Picks New Office – in Downtown

Nossaman moves HQ closer to ‘today’s center’ near Staples.

L.A.’s Nossaman takes bigger downtown digs to accommodate its growing legal practice.

Auction To Put Up Duke’s

Son of John Wayne unboxes memorabilia from late movie star.

Son of the late actor John Wayne sees the western and war star’s items generating a lot of action.

More Than Meets the Eye?

DirecTV looks to land more hotel clients with germ-resistant remote.

Satellite operator DirecTV thinks its germ-resistant remote control will help it check into more hotels.

Toying With Award

Teen’s tiny skateboards earn him national entrepreneurial honor.

Dillon Morgan rolled to the Young Entrepreneur of the Year honor on the back of his toy skateboards.

Real Estate Executives, Start Your Engines

PAGE 3

Jim Howard lives in the fast lane. Or at least he did for a few minutes last month when he and three friends jumped into race cars at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Veterinary Hospital Chain Yanked by Shareholder

Shares in VCA tumble following sell-off by Baillie Gifford.

Bullish analysts foresee an eventual end for veterinary chain VCA’s dog days.

Cable Channel Parent Puts Focus on Debt Deals

Crown Media takes steps to reduce interest payments by refinancing.

Crown Media hopes two debt deals will improve the cable channel parent’s big picture.

Rethinking the Conventional in L.A.

COMMENT

Charles Crumpley worries the L.A. City Council may fumble the good NFL stadium deal that’s been handed off to it.

Calendar & Events

Calendar

News of the Week

News of the Week

Regional Reports

Regional Report

Glendale’s Boons Become Busts as Businesses Depart

Neighbors snap up companies despite city’s low taxes and rents.

Glendale continues to bleed businesses despite the city’s tax advantages and low asking rents.

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Friday, June 24

Wesco Shareholders Approve Acquisition By Berkshire

Wesco Financial Corp. shareholders on Friday approved a deal to have majority shareholder Berkshire Hathaway Inc. acquire the remaining 20 percent of the Pasadena company.

Three L.A. Companies Added to Russell Indexes, Several Dropped

Several local stocks, including newly public Air Lease Inc. and Boingo Wireless Inc., were affected by Friday’s annual update to the Russell Indexes as investors began shifting their positions.

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies closed down slightly for the week as investors continued to worry about the domestic and international economy.

Colony Financial Acquires Distressed Debt from Chicago Bank

Chicago bank holding company MB Financial Inc. said it is selling 631 performing, sub-performing and non-performing loans to a unit of Santa Monica real estate investment trust Colony Financial Inc.

Thursday, June 23

Lions Gate Sells Canadian Distribution Company

Alliance Films has agreed to purchase Canadian film distributor Maple Pictures from Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. for $38.5 million.

Burg Buys Out Partner at Evolution Entertainment

Mark Burg has bought out his partner’s 50-percent stake in L.A. production and management company Evolution Entertainment. He has also hired agent-turned-producer Michael J. Menchel as chief executive.

Buffett’s Final Offer: $385 Per Share for Wesco

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. slightly reduced its per-share offer price for the remaining shares of Wesco Financial Corp. in advance of Friday's special shareholder meeting on the $545 million deal.

Wednesday, June 22

Report: Gores Brothers May Make Bid for EMI

Los Angeles billionaire investors Alec and Tom Gores, who last month lost an auction to acquire Warner Music Group Co., could make a bid for British recording company EMI Group, according to a news report.

OriginOil Plans to Up-List Shares to Major Exchange

Alternative energy developer OriginOil Inc. said that it plans to move trading on its shares from the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board to a major U.S. exchange in the next several months.

Port of Los Angeles Executive to Head International Trade Group

Geraldine Knatz, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, has been elected president of the International Association of Ports and Harbors.

U.S. Digital Gaming Names Jon Richmond as Chief Executive

U.S. Digital Gaming Inc. has hired former Fox and Walt Disney Co. senior executive Jon Richmond as its chief executive.

Report: Owners of Hulu Get Unsolicited Bid

Web-video site Hulu LLC has received an unsolicited acquisition bid and its board is considering the offer, according to media reports.

Tuesday, June 21

AeroVironment Shares Jump As Electric-Car Batteries Boost Quarter

Shares of AeroVironment Inc. jumped more than 20 percent Wednesday, a day after the company reported fiscal fourth-quarter results that beat market estimates, helped by its higher sales in its division that makes electric-car chargers and battery testers.

Crown Media Plans Private Placement

Crown Media Holdings Inc. said that it plan to begin private placement offering of $300 million of senior notes, which in part will be used to pay off less favorable debt. The offering is expected to close by mid-July.

Monday, June 20

Hanmi Financial Launches Secondary Offering

Shares of Hanmi Financial Corp. fell 16 percent on Monday after the bank holding company said it had commenced a public offering of about $75 million worth of common stock to help boost the bank's capital levels and pay for growth initiatives.

Maurice Marciano Plans to Retire from Guess in 2012.

Guess Inc. co-founder and Chairman Maurice Marciano plans to retire from the company when his employment agreement expires on Jan. 28, 2012. He will continue to serve as non-executive chairman of board.

DineEquity Signs Franchise Deal for IHOPs in Middle East

DineEquity Inc.'s wholly owned franchising subsidiary has struck a deal to open 40 IHOP restaurants in nine Middle Eastern countries.

Air Lease Corp. Makes Large Purchase from Boeing

Boeing Co. said that Air Lease Corp. will purchase up to 33 jetliners, as the year-old commercial aircraft leasing company continues to ramp up its fleet.

Ducommun to Sell Notes to Fund LaBarge Acquisition

Ducommun Inc. plans to sell $200 million in unsecured senior notes to help pay for its pending acquisition of electronics maker LaBarge Inc.

Koreatown Institution’s Capital Idea Falls Apart

BANKING & FINANCE: Hanmi had hoped to sell a stake to South Korean company.

When Hanmi Bank announced last week that it had ended its tentative agreement to sell a majority stake to a South Korean financial conglomerate, the move threw its future – and that of the local Korean-American banking industry – into uncertain territory.

TV Shopping Pitch Works Out for Fitness Trainer

HEALTH CARE & BIOTECH: Valerie Waters’ ValSlide device makes a strong debut on QVC.

Celebrity fitness trainer Valerie Waters said she went into her recent QVC shopping network debut with eyes wide open, fingers crossed and more than double her usual inventory of ValSlides.

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Curbing Business?

Merchants in San Pedro and Wilmington look to ax parking meters.

San Pedro and Wilmington merchants are hoping to drive off parking meters after business plunged in the wake of a 2009 rate hike.

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Manhattan Beach Wants Volleyball Back in Rotation

Marketing firm and Olympics group are tapped to revive open.

Manhattan Beach has courted USA Volleyball and a marketing firm to help revive the city’s pro open.

Drink Maker Takes a Can-Do Attitude to Magazine

Red Bull turns to print to pump up the company’s brand.

Energy drink maker Red Bull is pouring its efforts into a new magazine to promote the brand.

Wide Legs Put Squeeze on Premium Denim Maker

Skinny focus of Joe’s Jeans proves a poor fit as fashion shifts.

The popularity of rivals’ wide-leg denim lines have thinned out profits for skinny-focused Joe’s Jeans.

Sailing on Downtown’s Waters

PAGE 3

When Joel Miller vacationed across the pond several years ago, he returned with the most unlikely of souvenirs: a paper boat race.

Beefing Up The Menu

Beverly Hills firm adds 10 Fatburgers to its investment portfolio.

Criterion Capital is giving investors something to chew on with its pickup of 10 Fatburgers.

Blowing The Lid Off Innovation

Company’s bottle caps help patients know when to take pills.

A Thousand Oaks company has captured time on a bottle with its caps that track when to take pills.

Adding The Right Touch?

Self-ordering eatery Stacked puts its focus on food not games.

Self-ordering eatery Stacked thinks it will be better served focusing on food and not games.

News of the Week

News of the Week

Money Machine

Special Report: BANKING & FINANCE QUARTERLY

OneWest investors are reaping billions from the bones of IndyMac thanks to unusually generous terms from the FDIC, which is on the hook to help cover many of the busted thrift’s loans.

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Dental Website Looks to Link Uninsured With Deals

Brighter hopes to shine up crowded industry tainted by fraud.

Jake Winebaum’s company named Brighter hopes to link the uninsured with dental deals.

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Oil Company No Longer Digs Tax Talk in California

BreitBurn opts to boost business outside state with Wyoming deal.

BreitBurn’s chief says California lawmakers’ thirst for oil taxes spurred him to expand operations out of state.

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Trade Group’s HQ Plan Draws Static

Some station owners rip move-in with media giant.

A proposal to headquarter a trade group in a media conglomerate’s office has generated bad buzz with some independent station owners.

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Painful Breakup In Development

Will partners’ split cost Casden properties?

Six local properties including Westwood’s Palazzo are at the center of bad breakup between billionaire Alan Casden and a partner.

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Prepaid Card King Draws a Big Rival

American Express a threat to Green Dot’s top spot.

Analysts expect American Express to swipe more than a little business from prepaid debit card leader Green Dot.

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Video Game Maker Shoots for the Console Player

But can Magic Pixel thrive in new mobile climate?

Video game maker Magic Pixel is aiming for console players despite the growing mobile device niche.

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Port of Long Beach Sets Sail for New Headquarters

REAL ESTATE: Officials are mulling purchase or lease of 1 World Trade Center.

Officials at the Port of Long Beach are close to finalizing negotiations with Legacy Partners Inc. to make a new home at that city’s largest office tower, 1 World Trade Center.

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OneWest Won’t Be a Home for Mortgages Only

Special Report: BANKING & FINANCE QUARTERLY

OneWest homes in on a business model that downplays mortgage loans.

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Don’t Screen Out Human Touch

COMMENT

The notion that more restaurants may put touch screens on tabletops is causing heartburn for Charles Crumpley.

Two-of-a-Kind in L.A. Mayor’s Race?

OP-ED: Austin Beutner and Rick Caruso would bring similar business credentials to a mayoral run.

Joel Fox thinks L.A. voters will have to make a close call if businessmen Austin Beutner and Rick Caruso run for mayor.

Obama’s Jobs Panel Needs Some Work

OP-ED

President Obama’s choices for his jobs panel just don’t work for Bill Gunderson.

Regional Reports

Regional Report

Calendar & Events

Calendar

Friday, June 17

Venture Backers Invest $23.5 Million in BeachMint

BeachMint, a Santa Monica operator of celebrity-endorsed e-commerce sites, has raised $23.5 million in a new funding round.

The Week’s Big Movers

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

Lions Gate to Shift Asia-Pacific Operations

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. will expand its Asia-Pacific regional operations in Hong Kong and reduce its presence in Australia.

Thursday, June 16

KB Home Makes Settlement in Failed Nevada Land Deal

KB Homes and two other homebuilders involved in a failed residential project in suburban Las Vegas have agreed to pay lenders more than $250 million to settle lawsuits, with the Los Angeles company responsible for most of the settlement.

Kennedy Wilson Adds to L.A. Office Investments

Real estate investment company Kennedy Wilson has paid more than $143 million to acquire a large stake in a portfolio comprised of five Los Angeles-area office buildings.

Wednesday, June 15

Regulatory Delays Lead Woori to End Bid for Hanmi Bank

The parent of Hanmi Bank late Wednesday said that it had terminated a more than year-old agreement that would have enabled South Korea’s Woori Finance Holdings, Co. Ltd. to take a majority stake in the Koreatown bank.

BreitBurn’s Largest Shareholder Sells of Half of Stake

The largest shareholder of Los Angeles oil and gas developer BreitBurn Energy Partners L.P. is selling off about half its stake in the company with a public offering of 7 million BreitBurn partnership units.

Korn/Ferry’s Profit Rises on Growing Fee Revenue, Margins

Korn/Ferry International shares rose on Wednesday after the staffing company reported quarterly profits, boosted by higher fee revenue and improved margins, that beat both Wall Street’s and its own forecasts.

Tuesday, June 14

Gores Group to Acquire Assets of Bankrupt Fastener Company

The Gores Group LLC is acquiring substantially all of the assets of Scovill Fasteners, a bankrupt maker of closure products for apparel and industrial uses.

Capstone Turbine Narrows Loss

Capstone Turbine Corp. shares fell more than 8 percent in after-hours trading on Tuesday, even though the company reported a narrower fiscal year loss on higher revenue and lower charges.

Federated Sports + Gaming Acquires Heartland Poker Tour

Federated Sports + Gaming has acquired Heartland Poker Tour, which bills itself as the leading “grassroots” poker tour and one of the largest independent producers of poker content on television.

BreitBurn Energy Makes Wyoming Oil Field Acquisition

BreitBurn Energy Partners L.P. has signed a definitive agreement to acquire oil properties in Niobrara County, Wyo. for $58.1 million.

Survey: L.A. Employer Hiring Plans Looking Up

Local employers are slightly more bullish about their hiring plans, despite fresh fears of another slowdown, according to a quarterly survey by temporary employment giant Manpower Inc.

Monday, June 13

OpenGate Capital Buys Recycled Boxboard Companies

OpenGate Capital is buying two U.S. subsidiaries of Canada’s Cascades Inc. that make recycled boxboard used to make containers for cereal, frozen food and other consumer products.

Analysts Give Boingo a Bounce Up

Shares of Boingo Wireless Inc. soared 32 percent on Monday after equity analysts from four underwriters of the company’s initial public offering initiated coverage that recommended buying the stock

Wedbush Acquires High-Frequency Trading Service Firm

Wedbush Inc. has acquired Lime Brokerage LLC, considered one of the nation’s largest providers of services to high-frequency trading firms.

Aecom Makes Acquisition in India

Aecom Technology Corp. has added to its presence in Asia with the acquisition of Spectral Services Consultants, a building services consultancy based in Noida, India.

Edmunds.com to Offer ‘Daily Deals’

Automotive information service Edmunds.com has jumped on the online daily deal bandwagon, announcing Monday that it will begin providing exclusive offers from automakers, car dealers and service providers.

Looking for Attention

Advertising think tank tracks facial motion in market research study.

Media lab uses facial-motion technology to see if people pay more attention to Internet ads than TV commercials.

Keeping a Secret for Downtown Surprise

PAGE 3

Downtown L.A. booster Hal Bastian got a surprise one recent afternoon when he went in for his daily exercise at the Los Angeles Athletic Club.

Boingo Shares Plummet Amid Competitive Pressure

New entrants to Wi-Fi market may drive down prices.

Boingo Wireless’ stock has slid dramatically in its first month as a public company, likely due to competitive pressures.

K-Swiss Stumbles Over Rising Costs For Labor, Gas

Losses mounting, but back-to-school sales may bring a turnaround.

Shoemaker K-Swiss Inc. is facing an uphill climb as mounting losses drive down its stock price.

Businesses Report New Worries, Thanks to Recession

Less concern for quality-of-life issues, more for regulations, taxes.

Before the recession, L.A. executives were most concerned about quality-of-life issues. Now they’re concerned about taxes and regulations.

Regional Reports

Regional Report

Calendar & Events

Calendar

Time Is Now for State Budget Workout

OP-ED

Gary L. Toebben writes that it’s time for a state budget workout.

Losing Sleep

Insomniac wants Electric Daisy back in L.A.

The big Electric Daisy rave has left Los Angeles after its disastrous show at the Coliseum last year. But the L.A. company that stages the event hopes to return.

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Developer Cited For Big Hazards

But Barry Shy says city had signed off on work.

Major downtown developer Barry Shy has been cited for significant building and safety violations at one of his apartment towers. But he claims everything’s in order.

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Easing the Squeeze on Market Vendors

Inspection fees reduced after complaints.

In response to vigorous complaints about overcharging, the county will cut its rate for health inspections at farmers markets.

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Port Wants $1.57 Million Back From Trucking Firms

Six carriers hit by port for not making required trips.

The Port of Los Angeles wants $1.57 million of its money returned from six trucking companies, claiming subsidized trucks didn’t make the required number of trips to the port.

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Legislators Telling Hoteliers Which Sheets to Use

Industry bristles at misdemeanor fines for bedding choices.

Talk about government getting in your bed: Proposed legislation would make it a misdemeanor for hotels to use flat sheets instead of fitted ones.

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Rising Value of Stock Awards Lifts Exec Pay

Special Report: Executive Compensation

Steven Udvar-Hazy of Air Lease Corp. has unseated Ray Irani of Occidental Petroleum as the highest paid executive of a Los Angeles public company.

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Gensler Goes for Gusto in Move to Downtown Digs

Architecture firm makes statement in leaving Santa Monica.

Architecture firm Gensler is moving into new digs downtown, and the wow factor needs to be sky high.

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Nintendo Does a Favor for Activision and THQ

TECHNOLOGY: Wii U gives local companies a new console for their titles.

Los Angeles video game publishers Activision Blizzard Inc. and THQ Inc. have a new console to develop titles for.

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Pacific Connection

Forever 21 and media companies in L.A. invest in new Korean TV channels.

Forever 21 and ethnic L.A. radio and television stations are getting into the picture on new cable channels in South Korea.

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Zurich Signs 10-Year Lease for Downtown Offices

REAL ESTATE: Company moves from Brand Avenue in Glendale to Figueroa.

Zurich North America is about to be the newest insurance company joining an industry hot spot in downtown Los Angles.

Good News on the Sheet Beat

COMMENT

Charles Crumpley wonders why state lawmakers are making lawbreakers out of hotels that use flat sheets.

Villaraigosa’s 30/10 – Show Me the Money

OP-ED: Accelerating transit projects may sound great, but it remains unclear how government will pay for it.

Tim Cavanaugh believes that there’s not enough money for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s 30/10 transit plan.

Regional Credit Union Megamerger in the Works

BANKING & FINANCE: Kinecta plans to join forces with NuVision for economies of scale.

Kinecta Federal Credit Union of Manhattan Beach filed an application with regulators last week for a proposed megamerger with Huntington Beach’s NuVision Federal Credit Union.

Ethnic Agency Makes Leap in Health Net Account

ADVERTISING & PR: Roberto Orci cites Acento experience in the general market as key.

Ethnic ad agencies often find they can’t get business outside of their narrow specialty, but Hispanic agency Acento Advertising made the leap last week when it won the account for Woodland Hills managed care company Health Net Inc.

Double-Dip Housing Plunge? Not Now in L.A.

HOME SALES: Area home prices hold steady in May, besting other regions.

Los Angeles appears to be resisting the “double-dip” in prices.

Leveraging Free Rent For Credit

With banks wary, one executive comes up with novel solution.

Finding banks balky, Mark Wilbur of Employers Group came up with a novel way to self-finance the tenant improvements at his new digs.

Bar Owner Gets Taste Of Reality

Champs Sports Pub got a ‘rescue,’ but no one is saying ‘Cheers’

Reality didn’t meet the expectations of a Burbank bar owner when he let a Spike TV show give his place a makeover.

Friday, June 10

Attorney Sentenced in Saban Tax Case

Los Angeles tax attorney Matthew Krane was sentenced to 32 months in prison Friday for taking a $36 million kickback federal prosecutors say he received in return for steering media mogul Haim Saban into an illegal tax shelter.

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies closed down for the week as investors reacted to indications that the economy is slowing.

Revenue Declines Hurt Cherokee’s First Quarter

Shares of Cherokee Inc. lost more than 6 percent Friday, a day after the company reported higher first quarter profit due to a favorable tax ruling, but said revenue was down.

Sizzler USA Acquired by Management Group

Sizzler USA has been acquired in a management buyout that will return the casual restaurant chain headquarters to Culver City, where it was founded in 1958.

Report: Live Nation Ponders Return to Private

Live Nation Entertainment Inc. Chief Executive Irving Azoff and the company's biggest shareholder are considering taking the concert giant private only 18 months after Live Nation merged with Ticketmaster, according to a media report

Thursday, June 9

3D Tech Company RealD Moves to Profit

RealD Inc. swung to a profit in its fiscal fourth quarter, mainly due to lower exhibitor incentive expenses. Results were better than analysts expected, but shares fell more than 6 percent in after-hours trading.

Disney to Launch Retail Stores for Baby Products

Walt Disney Co. plans to open two stand-alone stores offering branded baby goods, with the first Disney Baby store set to open at the Americana at Brand mall in Glendale next year.

Disney to Expand in North Carolina

Walt Disney Co. has purchased land in North Carolina to build a 150,000-square-foot data center, according to a local media report there.

Wednesday, June 8

Air Lease Issues $120 Million in Unsecured Notes

Air Lease Corp. said that it has issued $120 Million in senior unsecured notes in a private placement to institutional investors as the commercial aircraft leasing company continues to raise money to expand its fleet.

Tender Offer Launched for California Pizza Kitchen

Golden Gate Capital has commenced its tender offer for all the outstanding shares of Los Angeles casual dining chain California Pizza Kitchen.

No Bounce in Boingo’s Earnings

Shares of Boingo Wireless Inc. took another dive on Wednesday, a day after the Wi-Fi hotspot provider reported a larger net loss in its first quarterly report since going public.

Tuesday, June 7

Michael Jackson Concert Insurers Seek to Nullify Policy

A unit of Lloyds of London, which insured Michael Jackson's cancelled comeback concerts in London two years ago, has filed suit to nullify a $17.5 million policy taken out by promoters Anschutz Entertainment Group Live.

Variety Group Acquires Entertainment Research Firm

Variety Group, parent of industry trade publication Variety, on Tuesday said that it has acquired TVtracker, an L.A. entertainment research firm.

Soon-Shiong Invests in Irvine Health Care Software Developer

Net.Orange Inc. a developer of health care management software, has received a "significant" round of growth capital from the private equity firm of Los Angeles billionaire Patrick Soon Shiong.

Monday, June 6

Report: Disney Plans Studio Jobs Cuts

Walt Disney Co. plans to cut about 5 percent of employees at its studio division, roughly 200 jobs, as the company realigns distribution and relies more on production from recent acquisitions.

Kilroy Realty Acquires Two Office Properties

Kilroy Realty Corp. has acquired two office properties in San Diego and Bellevue, Wash. for nearly $250 million.

K-Fed CEO to Retire

Kaiser Federal Financial Group Inc. announced Chief Executive Kay M. Hoveland would be retiring, effective July 1.

California Pizza Kitchen to Expand into Taiwan

California Pizza Kitchen Inc. has signed an agreement with a new franchise partner to open restaurants in Taiwan.

India Moves to Buy 10 Long Beach-built C-17s from Boeing

India’s cabinet on Monday approved a proposal to buy 10 C-17 military aircraft for more than $4 billion, a boost for Boeing’s manufacturing plant in Long Beach.

Macerich Acquires Stake in Two General Growth Malls

Macerich Co. and General Growth Properties Inc. announced a deal in which Macerich will acquire General Growth's stake in two Phoenix-area malls and General Growth will get six anchor stores in four states from Macerich.

Fuel Cell Battery Maker in Legal Battle

Contractor brought in to power up port’s electric trucks is embroiled in lawsuit with two former execs.

Underpowered Electric Trucks Spin Wheels at L.A. Port

Balqon won contract in no-bid process.

The Port of Los Angeles spent millions and got underpowered electric trucks that sit idle after failing to handle heavy loads.

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Covering Capitalism’s Ups, Downs

COMMENT

You don’t have to look far to see the ups and downs of L.A.’s see-saw business world, writes Charles Crumpley. All you have to do is scan this issue.

Venture Capital to Trigger Wave of Hiring at OpenX

Software company finds success with Groupon as a reference.

Online ad services firm OpenX says its latest funding round will fuel a hiring spree.

Pulling Celebs Into The Web

Eqal creates sites that help stars build their online presence.

The maker of fake video diary “Lonelygirl15” now books celeb clients to create their online presence.

Downtown L.A. Heavyweight to Lighten Its Load

Incoming management to slash Meruelo Maddux portfolio.

Meruelo Maddux will look to lighten its downtown L.A. footprint as new management steps in.

Real Estate Firms Getting Involved In Foreign Affairs

Kennedy Wilson of Beverly Hills buys unit of Irish bank.

Beverly Hills’ Kennedy Wilson is banking on Europe with its pickup of an Irish investment firm.

State Senator Sees Zombie Liens as a Grave Issue

SB 863 would limit bills from old workers’ comp cases.

State senator’s bill looks to shoot down “zombie liens” from long-settled workers’ comp cases.

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Self-Serve Frozen Yogurt Chain Piles on the Stores

RETAIL & APPAREL: Menchie’s hopes to have 230 shops worldwide by early 2012.

Who said the frozen yogurt craze is melting away?

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Reading the Market

Discount One Dollar Bookstores help landlords fill some Borders shops before permanent replacements move in.

Landlords are happy to book just about anything into shops left empty by the bankrupt Borders chain.

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Electric Car Maker Switching to L.A.

Electric car maker’s jolting move to Los Angeles will come at a cost to city taxpayers.

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Weight Loss May Feed Broadcaster

L.A.-produced diet show to bulk up Univision’s exports.

Univision hopes its new weight-loss show leads to a steady feed of exported programming to Latin America.

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Plastic Surgeon Operates – With Hunting Spear

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Dr. Aaron Rollins hears the call of the wild. A Beverly Hills plastic surgeon by trade, this 37-year-old lives for the kill.

Next Stage?

Studio owner bets on TV, film resurgence.

Occidental hopes to make some noise in TV and film production with its new sound stage.

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Medical Debt Buyer Draws Some Healthy Interest

Investors like Key Health’s record and growth potential.

Medical debt purchaser Key Health has locked up investor funds with its strong track record.

Captive Audience

On Camera looks to stoke fan excitement after show tapings.

On Camera’s website looks to maintain the link between audience members and the programs they’ve seen.

Newegg Takes Its IPO Plan Out of the Frying Pan

Online retailer withdraws registration to evaluate other options.

Online retailer Newegg’s public plan fails to hatch despite recent enthusiasm for web-based IPOs.

Furniture Firm Cushioned Blow From the Recession

Owner cut staff and refocused on making Dezine’s profitable items.

Dan Vandenbark hopes to sustain his “green” furniture business despite reducing his workload.

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Vernon Business Has the Most at Stake in Reforming the City

OP-ED

Vernon businesses have a vested interest in improving city government because they don’t want their city disbanded, writes Eric R. Gustafson.

Taking the Bars Off West L.A. Park

OP-ED: Region needs to reclaim open space shuttered following the killing of a homeless man 15 years ago.

Joel Epstein goes on offense to de-fence a small park in West Los Angeles.

L.A. Institutions Shed Red With First Quarter Gains

BANKING & FINANCE: Problem loan levels fell as assets and net income increased.

The past few years have been unexpectedly tough for the local credit union industry, but experts say it may finally be finding its footing.

Calendar & Events

Calendar

News of the Week

News of the Week

Regional Reports

Regional Report

Newport Beach Company Heeds Hollywood’s Call

REAL ESTATE: Redwood pays $40 million for four residential buildings.

Redwood Properties Inc., a Newport Beach real estate investment company, has bought a portfolio of four Hollywood apartment buildings for $40 million in an off-market deal.

Hoping to Make A Splash

Speedo plunges into poolside machines to distribute products.

Swimsuit maker Speedo has dived into offering its products in poolside vending machines.

Friday, June 3

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies fell for the week as investors reacted negatively to disappointing jobs and manufacturing reports.

Charges Clip UTI’s First Quarter

UTi Worldwide Inc.’s adjusted first-quarter profit met Wall Street profit expectations, although charges reduced its net income.

Thursday, June 2

Tutor Perini Makes MidWest Acquisitions

Tutor Perini Corp. announced a major expansion into the civil construction market in the Midwestern United States with the acquisition of two transportation-related construction firms in Wisconsin and Indiana.

Relativity Media Spins-Off Film Financing to Partner

Relativity Media and strategic partner Elliott Management Corp. on Thursday said they will spin off their Beverly 2 co-finance vehicle with Universal to a new affiliated fund managed by Elliott.

UberMedia Gets $5.6 Million Investment

UberMedia, a developer of Twitter applications for mobile devices, on Thursday said that it completed a $5.6 million round of funding led by a unit of German investment firm Burda Digital.

Wednesday, June 1

Report: Gores Group Eyes Borders

Private equity firm Gores Group is in discussions to purchase more than half of Borders Group Inc.'s remaining stores out of bankruptcy, according to a news report.

Former State Treasurer Matt Fong Dies in Pasadena

Matt Fong, a business consultant and former state treasurer, died of cancer at his home in Pasadena on Wednesday. He was 57.

Remodeled Hotel Bel-Air to Reopen in October

Owners of the Hotel Bel-Air announced that the historic hotel will re-open in October after 24 months of extensive refurbishment and redesign.

Kennedy Wilson Acquires Bank of Ireland Real Estate Investment Unit

Kennedy Wilson Holdings Co. has acquired Bank of Ireland Real Estate Investment Management, which manages commercial real estate on behalf of the Irish bank’s clients.

Englander PR Firm Acquires Former Port Official Alex Cherin's firm

In an attempt to capture port-related business, L.A. lobbying firm Englander Knabe & Allen has purchased the practice of Long Beach lobbyist and former port official Alex Cherin.

Gores Group Invests in Gardena Apparel Company

The Gores Group has made an investment in Big Strike Inc., a Gardena company that designs and manufactures women’s apparel.

DineEquity Sells Restaurants to Largest Applebee’s Franchisee

DineEquity Inc. reached an agreement to sell 66 company-operated Applebee's restaurants in New England to Apple American Group LLC for net proceeds of $49 million.