Stories for June 2012
Friday, June 29
The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies closed up strongly during a week when the overall market also advanced on news of a bailout and stimulus plan in Europe.
KB Home reported quarterly results that beat analyst expectations thanks to increased housing sales and higher home prices.
Shares of ValueClick gained nearly 15 percent after the company announced its second-quarter financial results will come in at the top of expectations.
Thursday, June 28
Shares of Jakks Pacific fell more than 10 percent after the company said it will purchase only about 16 percent of the shares tendered in a stock buy-back offer.
Overhill Farms announced that a judge has denied class action status for a lawsuit by former employees.
Wednesday, June 27
The stock of DreamWorks Animation gained 5 percent following an upgrade by an analyst.
Shares of executive recruiting firm Korn/Ferry International rose after the company announced a new hire who will head up the firm’s hedge fund recruiting practice.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced the formation of a task force of local technology company executives, entrepreneurs and academic leaders to boost the region’s growth industries.
Tuesday, June 26
KB Home has purchased 174 finished home sites from the Irvine Co. in Orange County.
Shares of ValueClick fell 10 percent after an analyst downgraded the stock and said one subsidiary now determines the company’s future.
Shares of Derycz Scientific jumped after the company announced a contract with the federal government’s General Services Administration.
Monday, June 25
Shares of CytRx rose nearly 6 percent after the company announced positive preliminary data in tests on its cancer treatment.
Activision Publishing and Disney Interactive will collaborate to produce and distribute a videogame that ties in with Disney’s “Wreck-It Ralph” movie set for release Nov. 2.
Managed care provider Molina could get shot in the arm from further Medicaid expansion.
When Santa Monica-born Maidie Oliveau was a student at Georgetown University, she and some other California girls wanted to play volleyball competitively. But the Washington, D.C., school didn’t have a team in 1970, so she had to help start one, getting school approval and even overcoming some sartorial complications.
Eco Dog unleashes biodegradable product for pooch poop.
Eco Dog has the scoop on poop with a line of biodegradable waste bags
K-Swiss stock up but remains way below last year’s level.
K-Swiss is stumbling as it takes steps toward producing athletic shoes
Sprinkles signs deal to open 34 shops in five years across region.
Sprinkles Cupcakes plan to open shops in the Middle East may pan out.
Dr. Laura Schlessinger hopes to sells fans on her handmade items.
Talk radio host Dr. Laura Schlessinger hopes her handmade items speak to buyers.
Collector to auction baby grand possibly played by Elvis.
Warren Liu wants his piano to hit the right notes at auction. After all, Elvis might’ve played it.
Shares of Reed’s slide despite pair of business-expanding deals.
Natural soda bottler Reed’s blames recent share decline on investors thirsty for profit-taking.
Pinnacle paid $4.5 million at auction for Federated properties.
New owner places bets on two TV poker leagues.
Hammer uses movie-style method to promote titles.
A trailer that went viral last week features “A Game of Thrones” actor James Cosmo saying his last prayers to a group of congregants huddled inside an ancient church.
Execs rank among lowest and highest paid in nation.
Los Angeles County is home to many of the highest paid bank chief executives in the country, according to a new report. But the area has one of the lowest paid bank leaders, too.
Steve Caplan’s Message hopes to use core ideas to benefit clients.
A new PR agency with a political agenda has opened in Hollywood.
Pelican launches line to transport pharmaceutical products.
Pelican Products Inc., a Torrance company that makes heavy-duty flashlights as well as bomb-proof storage cases for everything from laptops and iPods to guns and oil drilling equipment, is branching out into the medical market.
Omninet affiliate pays $69 million for Freeway Business Center.
In the largest office sale in Long Beach this year, a 490,000-square-foot building was purchased by billionaire Neil Kadisha’s investment vehicle for $69 million in an all-cash transaction.
Charles Crumpley sees Microsoft’s recent moves as the curtain-raiser for the tech-giant’s deeper relationship with Hollywood.
Financial institutions should invest in reassuring the public about their community commitments.
Casey Boggs urges banks to take account of their ties to the communities they serve.
Agents look to overcome out-of-this-world prices while selling seats on Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic.
Agents for Virgin Galactic’s space flights hope to unearth deep-pocketed customers.
Karen Hathaway upholds family tradition by running Los Angeles Athletic Club and helping guide Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.
L.A. boosterism is a family tradition for Laaco CEO Karen Hathaway.
Ciplex axes titles, retools pay and hours to spur staff.
Internet firm Ciplex looks to reshape the industry business model by scrapping hierarchy and titles.
Business rips ‘cap and trade’ as $1 billion tax.
Local businesses enlist in bid to block state’s cap-and-trade emission credits auction.
Redondo Beach tourism ebbs at faded waterfront
Redondo Beach looks to buoy business with a major facelift for city’s pier and waterfront.
Hawaiian island sold as his IPO loan deadline looms.
David Murdock sells Lanai to Larry Ellison – will he use the cash to keep control of Dole?
FastPay adapts apparel industry model for web company clients.
Borrowers’ invoices are the main factor in FastPay’s loans to web companies
Friday, June 22
Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. and joint venture partner OCP S.A plan to acquire all the shares of Team Maroc, a full-service engineering and management consultancy firm in Morocco's capital city.
The Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies closed down slightly for the week, as agreement on a euro stimulus plan in Europe took the edge off a U.S. stock selloff earlier in the week.
International Lease Finance Corp. Chief Executive Henri Courpron has lost his chairman title and is being docked $1 million in annual salary after the company determined he had had an affair with an employee under his supervision.
Thursday, June 21
Oracle Corp. Chief Executive Larry Ellison plans to buy most of the Hawaiian island of Lanai from Los Angeles billionaire David Murdock’s real estate company, according to news reports.
Timothy S. Durham, the former chief executive of National Lampoon Inc., has been found guilty of defrauding investors in an Indiana investment company he partially controlled.
Ryland Group Inc. has signed an agreement to acquire the Charlotte and Raleigh operations and assets of Timberstone Homes in North Carolina.
Wednesday, June 20
Qualstar Corp. said that preliminary results at Wednesday’s special shareholder meeting shows that dissident shareholder BKF Capital Group failed to replace the current board with its own slate of directors.
Ernst & Young LLP has honored Los Angeles developer Rick Caruso and eight other business executives at its annual Entrepreneur of the Year event for Greater Los Angeles.
Shares of THQ Inc. fell more than 4 percent Wednesday after the struggling video game developer said it would delay a planned expansion pack for its "Saints Row: The Third" series and instead incorporate it into the next sequel.
L.A.’s economy will continue its frustratingly slow recovery for the next two years, with the local unemployment rate remaining in double digits through 2015, according to a new forecast from Beacon Economics.
Tuesday, June 19
Sprinkles Cupcakes has signed a franchise agreement to open 34 locations in the Middle East. It will be the trendy Beverly Hills bakery’s first overseas expansion.
HCP Inc. shares fell slightly Tuesday morning after the health care real estate investment trust said it would sell 7.8 million shares of its common stock in a public offering.
Monday, June 18
Jakks Pacific Inc. said that Oaktree Capital Management LP had ended negotiations related to a $250 million potential takeover of the Malibu toymaker.
Loews Hotels & Resorts has closed its purchase of the Renaissance Hotel and Spa at Hollywood & Highland Center. The 632-room facility has been rebranded Loews Hollywood Hotel.
Kennedy Wilson Holdings Inc. and partners had acquired Torrey Pines, a 251-unit apartment community in West Covina.
Local airport mulls putting ‘Burbank’ back on marquee.
Plan could take off to add host city Burbank’s name to Bob Hope Airport moniker.
Current tenants plan renovations along swanky strip.
A flurry of activity has swept across Rodeo Drive, and it’s not the paparazzi. Retailers are sprucing up and even expanding their spaces, and new tenants are moving in.
Smaller special-effects shops have a big role i
Small visual effects firm Level 256 often gets a look from studios seeking a quick touch-up of their comedies.
Katten’s new partners to launch second L.A. outpost.
The Century City office of Chicago’s Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP just landed three new partners – but they won’t be there long.
Row 44 gets $45 million to hire more workers, expand market.
In-flight Internet service provider Row 44 is flying high after a $45 million funding round.
Westfield plans expansion, new HQ.
Developer Westfield homes in on its expanding Century City mall for its new U.S. headquarters.
Pizza places vie to spin artisan pie into dough
Restaurateurs hope to be rolling in dough by serving up artisanal pizza.
Barcelona owner makes inroads with luxury car dealerships.
Alan Semsar didn’t rely on a fixed approach to growing his upscale event-planning business.
Eight companies are seeking the concession to operate duty-free shops at LAX.
Big names line up local backers to aid concession bids.
International chains forge local links to support their bids for LAX’s lucrative duty-free concession.
Vivo bets on customers taking plunge on higher-price service.
Former Yahoo exec hopes to make waves with his pool-cleaning franchise.
Eric Mear’s pop-up product inspired by roommate.
Lessons learned from a noisy college roommate spurred USC grad to create indoor privacy tent.
CytRx also sees good signs in product clinical trials.
What a difference a reverse stock split and some good news have made for cancer drug developer CytRx Corp.
Stamps.com still hopes to benefit from post office cutbacks.
Stamps.com shares have taken a licking as Postal Service backs off plan to shutter offices.
Pair tap CEQA to bury Metro project.
Downtown L.A. property owners court controversy by filing CEQA suits to challenge Metro subway project.
L.A.’s private equity firms are sitting on tens of billions of dollars. Why? They can’t find companies to invest in.
Private-equity firms have piled up billions as they wait for proper pickup opportunities.
Brandon Hance recently faced a critical problem.
SnapLNX product aims to get hold on ties, sleeves, money.
SnapLNX hopes its tie clip/money clip/cuff link accessory takes hold with consumers
Activist shareholder wants Obagi to be open to takeover.
Investors fail to swallow poison-pill provision of skin care company Obagi.
J.H. Snyder plans $120 million, two-building project.
Developer Jerry Snyder is preparing to break ground on Hollywood’s first new office building since the Great Recession.
Almost six years ago, when Richard “Skip” Bronson, 67, began writing about his development war with Donald Trump, he was looking for catharsis rather than a book deal – though he ended up with both.
You may have seen the article in the Los Angeles Times last week about the unusual audition in New York.
Stock of Lions Gate claws back after recent earnings dip.
Investors rush to get their paws on Lions Gate shares despite surprise quarterly loss.
Friday, June 15
Los Angeles businessman Clark Parker has been named to the board of the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the region’s air pollution control agency.
The Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies closed up for the week, as hopeful news on the European debt crisis offset weak U.S. economic data.
Los Angeles County’s jobs picture improved in May as the unemployment rate dipped to 11.4 percent and the county added nearly 12,000 jobs, according to state figures.
Molina Healthcare Inc. said that Craig Bass, the head of its Michigan health plan, has been named president of its struggling Texas unit.
Thursday, June 14
Pacific Commerce Bank said that Scott Andrews had been named chief executive.
Demand Media Inc. said that Chief Financial Officer Charles Hilliard was leaving and would be replaced by Mel Tang, the online media company’s treasurer. The change is effective Aug. 16.
The story of feast and famine at Southern California’s twin port complex continued last month, with the Port of Los Angeles reporting its best May ever and the Port of Long Beach reporting another decline, according to new statistics.
Los Angeles software developer GraphEffect has raised $12 million to expand its business for social marketers.
Wednesday, June 13
Thomas Barrack Jr., founder of Los Angeles private equity firm Colony Capital LLC, has been elected to the board of trustees at University of Southern California.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. said they signed a licensing agreement that will make MGM’s extensive film and TV catalog available on Amazon’s Internet video service.
Tuesday, June 12
Television pilot production in Los Angeles rose this year, but the most economically significant productions – dramas – continued their flight out of the area.
Amgen Inc. has completed its acquisition of Turkish generic drug maker Mustafa Nevzat Pharmaceuticals.
The holding companies of Grandpoint Bank and the National Bank of California said they have signed a definitive merger agreement in which Grandpoint Capital will acquire NCal Bancorp.
National Technical Systems Inc. has acquired Garwood Laboratories, a Pico Rivera product certification laboratory, for an undisclosed amount.
Local companies are expected to step up their hiring during the third quarter, according to a new survey from Manpower Group.
Monday, June 11
Row 44, a provider of in-flight WiFi, has closed a $45 million financing round.
United Online Inc. said that its Memory Lane Inc. subsidiary has acquired Northern California social media company SchoolFeed Inc. for an undisclosed price.
Recent public pain may stop companies from pursuing IPO gain, writes Charles Crumpley.
Deluxe Digital takes over entire building in $60 million deal.
In one of the largest lease deals in Burbank this year, a division of Hollywood postproduction house Deluxe Entertainment Services Group Inc. will expand into an entire 130,000-square-foot building at Burbank Empire Center.
Buzzmedia hopes to expand portal with offline opportunities.
When blog network Buzzmedia bought electronic music website XLR8R a couple of weeks ago, the Hollywood online media company gained access to loyal electronic music fans.
Air Lease hits new heights on back of two new carrier deals.
Air Lease Corp. gets big lift from a pair of deals with Chinese airlines.
United Future pitches interactive screens for storefront windows.
United Future thinks it has a finger on the pulse of retail with touch-screen window displays.
Grubwithus serves up restaurant rendezvous at a discount.
Grubwithus wants a seat at the table as an organizer of networking meetings at restaurants.
Hotelier loses reservations about luxury brand.
Marriott looks to check into the hot Westside market with hip, upscale hotel named Edition.
INTERVIEW: Film industry veteran Scott Ross believes Hollywood needs to get creative to hold on to the visual effects business.
Scott Ross is pushing Hollywood to focus on the big picture and keep visual effects jobs in the U.S.
Girl entrepreneur turns angel drawings into line of dolls.
Angel line of dolls takes wing under the eye of 11-year-old entrepreneur Ally Mollo.
Sport Chalet taps downtown L.A. for first new store since 2008.
Sport Chalet scores its first new location since 2008 with a store at downtown L.A.’s Fig at 7th shopping center.
City’s debt overshadows green subsidy plan.
Some L.A. businesses wonder where the city will find the green to pay for a proposed clean-up program.
SPECIAL REPORT: Executive Compensation
Pair of local non-CEOs bring in the highest executive pay.
SPECIAL REPORT: Executive Compensation
Most CEOs of local companies are taking home more even as shareholders look to rein in pay.
Kevin James believes the city of L.A. should be making a play for more conventions, not tackling the NFL.
Victoria Thomas makes the call in favor of working from home.
Dedicated Media will use loan to develop behavior formulas.
Dedicated Media, a digital ad agency in El Segundo, has secured a $5 million credit line that it will use to develop technology that tracks consumer shopping online.
W4 quick to pull nonperforming ads in order to dodge debt.
W4 gives clients a short leash and is quick to yank nonperforming Internet ads.
Ducommun shares rise and fall in wake of management transition.
Ducommun stock hits some turbulence in wake of management overhaul.
Gores pays $380 million to get hands on Elo’s product lines.
Gores Group puts a hand in touch-screen market with acquisition of Elo.
Spanish network MundoFox to take on Univision, Telemundo.
New broadcaster MundoFox hopes Latino viewers will flip for the Spanish-speaking network.
Catalina Hopes to Catch High-End Wave
Catalina’s largest commercial landlord adding high-end attractions to float the boats of more visitors.
Port town hopes to pull in tourists with marketplace for trinkets.
San Pedro hopes its new arts and crafts marketplace will be a high-profile anchor tenant for the portside town.
Frederick’s puts up brand trademark to secure big credit line.
Frederick’s of Hollywood literally puts its name on the line in deal to secure credit.
News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County
Louis Perry, who built a reputation as one of the top security providers in Southern California and runs his own company, seems to have an innate feel for the business world. And that apparently runs in the family.
Beginning with this issue, the Los Angeles Business Journal will be printed on high-gloss paper.
Friday, June 8
The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies closed up for the week, in line with the S&P 500 having its best week this year.
Shares of Molina Healthcare Inc. on Friday recovered much the previous day’s losses after the Medicaid managed care company said it had won its appeal to continue as a carrier in Ohio, one of its largest markets.
The UCLA Academic Senate has approved a proposal to convert the Anderson School of Management M.B.A. program to a self-supporting institution.
Executives with the parent of the Southern California Edison utility said that the troubled San Onofre nuclear power plant will remain shut down at least through August, leaving the region facing potential power shortages this summer.
Thursday, June 7
Shares of Molina Healthcare Inc. plunged more than 30 percent on Thursday after the Medicaid managed care provider withdrew its full-year earnings forecast because costs in its large Texas market were exceeding premiums. Shares recovered somewhat in after-hours trading after the company announced it had won an appeal to continue as a carrier in Ohio.
UTi Worldwide Inc. reported lower-than-expected earnings in its fiscal first quarter as air-freight volumes declined.
Wednesday, June 6
Supermarket chain Albertsons announced that it will reduce its store workforce by about 2,200 to 2,500 positions across all 247 Albertsons stores in California and Nevada.
Tetra Tech Inc. has acquired Rooney Engineering Inc., a Colorado oil and gas pipeline planning and engineering firm, for an undisclosed amount.
Frederick’s of Hollywood Group Inc. said that it has secured a $24 million loan from Salus Capital Partners LLC in Boston.
Air Lease Corp. has entered into lease agreements to supply China Southern Airlines with 18 jet aircraft over the next three to four years, its largest such deal to date. The company also has ordered 36 jetliners from a major manufacturer.
Tuesday, June 5
The Hilton Los Angeles Airport Hotel has agreed to pay its workers $2.5 million to settle a class action lawsuit over alleged failure to fully pay workers and give them adequate meal and rest breaks.
Brentwood Associates said that it has completed the sales of Filson Holdings Inc., an maker of premium outdoor apparel and accessories, and Array Marketing Group, a maker of retail merchandising systems.
THQ Inc. and partner Zuffa LLC, which owns and operates the Ultimate Fighting Championship franchise, said that they have agreed to transfer the licensing rights to publish videogames based on the mixed martial arts franchise to rival publisher Electronic Arts Inc.
Monday, June 4
The Gores Group said that an affiliate had completed the acquisition of Elo Touch Solutions for $380 million in cash.
Donald Sterling pays $16.2 million for apartment property.
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is expanding his already colossal apartment portfolio.
Another survey says L.A. is not a good place for business, but Charles Crumpley wonders if anyone is listening.
Lori Raya worked her way up from assisting cashiers and collecting shopping carts to become Vons’ first woman president.
Lori Raya made the jump from collegiate hoops player to calling the shots at grocery chain Vons.
Ted Lux questions what drives motorists to use illegal handicapped placards.
Harbor Freight alleges lumber business stole trade secrets.
Harbor Freight Tools hopes to build case against alleged employee-poaching flooring company.
City of L.A. scores $318 million in funding.
State Department of Finance to pay $318 million to projects marooned by loss of CRA funding.
Mattel, MGA make own lines for sick kids.
MGA and Mattel follow up Bratz feud with friction over making bald dolls for sick children.
Largest shareholder seeks vote on Qualstar leadership.
Big shareholder looks to pull plug on new CEO of computer products and services company Qualstar
City faces intrastate challenge from Silicon Valley for outpost.
Local boosters get inventive as they try to lure a patent office to Los Angeles.
Improving early education efforts will benefit future work force and give working parents peace of mind.
Improving preschool education will benefit tomorrow’s work force and today’s parents, according to Celia C. Ayala.
Urinal Maker Rebrands for Foreign Sales
Waterless urinal maker Falcon hopes to make splash overseas by letting foreign partners rebrand its products.
Imagin’Labs looks to turn tech for NASA into construction jobs
Imagin’Labs adapts NASA-used technology for more Earthbound building projects.
Controller from Cyber Rain checks weather while running system.
Cyber Rain’s controllers tap actual weather data to regulate irrigation systems.
Data on open spaces fuels two partnerships for ParkMe.
Two recent partnerships have driven up interest in ParkMe’s street parking guidance app.
Let There Be Dragons hopes tour bus HQ makes industry inroads.
New agency Let There Be Dragons hopes to get business rolling with a tour bus as its headquarters.
Local company steers veteran trucker into competing and winning state driving competition.
Not many people achieve their childhood dream just a week after entering the work force. But that’s exactly what British ex-pat and local resident Ken Scott did.
Thomas Properties sells $50 million in shares to Madison.
Thomas Properties knocking on door of becoming REIT after private stock sale.
Analyst sees extra helping of stores as boost to parent DineEquity.
Parent DineEquity served up some good news as its Applebee’s locations scooped up by franchisee.
Wetzels to launch Blaze Fast-Fire’d concept with two SoCal locations.
Wetzel’s Pretzels co-founders Rick and Elise Wetzel are now rolling their dough into the pizza business.
Ports split on how to pay companies to use cleaner-burning ships.
The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach next month plan to start paying shipping companies to bring cargo to Southern California on cleaner-burning ships, part of an ongoing push by both ports to cut air pollution.
DreamWorks builds sound-recording studio at Glendale campus in move to lower movie production costs.
DreamWorks hopes to make some noise on the cost-saving front with its new on-campus recording studio.
Friday, June 1
Several hundred projects in the city of Los Angeles halted by the death of redevelopment agencies will move forward anyway, apparently giving them a reprieve, at least for now.
The Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies closed down for the week, as a weak national jobs report scared investors on Friday.
Manhattan Bancorp has completed its stock acquisition of Professional Business Bank.