Stories for August 2014
Friday, August 29
Standard & Poor’s downgraded American Apparel Inc.’s credit rating on Friday, saying a restructuring of the downtown L.A. clothier appeared inevitable. The rating agency lowered American Apparel’s corporate credit rating to CCC- from CCC. It also dropped the rating on the company's $200 million in senior secured notes to CC from CCC-.
Bank of America Corp. has asked for a federal judge to overturn a jury verdict that found it liable for thousands of bad mortgages sold by its Countrywide unit, leading to a $1.3 billion judgment.
The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of the largest public companies rose for the week.
In what could be a revival of an old fight, local Internet companies are pushing L.A. city officials to extend the low business tax rate the city carved out for them four years ago.
L.A. pop artist Georgia Jane can thank her grandfather for helping kick-start her professional music career – one that has turned out to be groundbreaking and, so far, unique.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 19 points in Friday’s trading to 17, 098 The S&P 500 rose 7 points to 2,003. The Nasdaq rose 23 points to 4,580. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 207.
Snapchat’s summer rollout of new features isn’t over yet. The photo and video mobile messenger announced it is adding a new section called “Live” where users can see real-time updates from events throughout the world.
The Dollar Shave Club is lathering up a profitable year. Co-founder and Chief Executive Michael Dubin said the razor subscription service is on track to exceed $60 million in 2014 sales, three times what the company sold last year.
The Los Angeles Business Journal brings you a weekly roundup of L.A. launches.
The federal government will resume oil and gas leasing in California following a report released Thursday by a nonpartisan scientific commission that said there was little evidence that fracking and similar extraction techniques are dangerous, the Los Angeles Times reports.
A bill that would ban single-use plastic bags was approved by the California Assembly on Thursday after failing to advance earlier in the week, USA Today reports. If approved in the Senate by Sunday, it will be the first legislation of its kind in the U.S.
Lion Capital, which holds warrants to buy 12 percent of American Apparel’s stock, has told the company it is exercising its right to fill one of the two vacant board seats it controls, nominating food executive Robert Mintz, the Wall Street Journal reports. Mintz, most recently chief executive of rib and barbecue supplier Rupari Food Services, attended middle school and high school in Montreal with ousted American Apparel founder Dov Charney.
A bill to help workers recover back wages by allowing them to put liens on their employers’ property failed Thursday in the California Senate when numerous Democrats withheld their votes, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Total deal value of media industry mergers and acquisitions jumped to $148 billion in the first half of the year, compared with $48 billion in the same period a year earlier, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Valley Industry & Commerce Association, a San Fernando Valley business group, delayed voting Thursday on Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s soon-to-be-unveiled plan to hike the city’s minimum wage to $13.25 an hour by 2017, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Management shifts at Turner Broadcasting continue with the departure of Michael Wright, president of Programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies, the Los Angeles Times reports.
For the third time this year, an immediate and indefinite moratorium has been placed on all porn filming after another performer may have tested positive for HIV, the Los Angeles Times reports.
New York regulators are threatening to disrupt Comcast’s acquisition of Time Warner Cable unless the companies agree to costly concessions, Bloomberg reports. New York regulators have additional power due to a state law passed this year that requires cable mergers to benefit the public.
Google has been working for two years to build flying robots that can deliver products across a city in minutes in a secret endeavor called Project Wing, an Atlantic exclusive reveals.
A bill that would prohibit California agencies from helping the federal government collect residents’ phone and Internet data without warrants was given final legislative approval Thursday by the state Senate, and will now go to Gov. Jerry Brown for consideration, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The cut of each box office dollar that studios take varies country to country, from as little as 25 cents in China to about 50 cents in the U.S., which is why international box office totals can result in very different amounts of revenue for Hollywood studios, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 11 points to 17,068 in Friday morning trading. The S&P 500 was up 2 points points to 1, 999. The Nasdaq was up 9 points to 4,566.
Thursday, August 28
JustFab, the online fashion retailer that offers a monthly subscription for customized shopping, has raised $85 million as it looks toward filing for an initial public offering of its stock.
Collective Digital Studio, a digital media management company, is relaunching the tween-friendly YouTube channel Fred.
The value of the taxable property in city of Los Angeles rose by 6 percent over last year’s figure, according to the 2014 Annual Report released on Wednesday by the Los Angeles County Office of the Assessor. The assessed values are the foundation of the property tax system and are used to divvy up tax revenue.
Amgen Inc. announced on Thursday that it will seek U.S. government approval to sell pipeline drug evolocumab that has significantly reduced cholesterol for patients in clinical trials.
Every week the Los Angeles Business Journal asks readers their views on a variety of business and economic issues. A running tally is available on the site and later will be published in the Commentary section of our print edition.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 42 points in Thursday’s trading to 17,080. The S&P 500 fell three points to 1,997. The Nasdaq fell 12 points to 4,558. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 207.
New Clippers owner Steve Ballmer gave Doc Rivers a five-year contract on Wednesday valued at more than $50 million, which ensures the coach will be with the Clippers through the 2018-19 season, according to Yahoo Sports.
The U.S. economy's second-quarter rebound was better than expected, the Wall Street Journal reports. Gross domestic product grew at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.2 percent in the second quarter, rather than the 4 percent previously estimated by the Commerce Department, the agency said Thursday.
Ride-sharing companies reached agreement with state lawmakers on how much insurance and what kind of coverage the new transportation services should carry, the Los Angeles Times reports. The bill, which is expected to pass the Legislature this week, bans the use of a driver's personal insurance when the driver is using the car for commercial purposes, but lowers the amount of insurance that was required in earlier proposals that Uber and Lyft strongly opposed.
Robert F. Maguire III, a prominent developer who helped shape L.A.'s skyline in the 1980s and '90s, plans to build an unconventional office at Playa Vista, which has been a draw for creative firms such as YouTube, the Los Angeles Times says. Work on the $67 million building would begin before any agreements with tenants have been reached.
Following the corruption charges of Los Angeles County Assessor John Noguez, the Assembly approved a bill that would require tax agents to register with the state, the Los Angeles Times reports.
A bill that would phase out rebates for the wealthy who buy plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles passed the Assembly on Wednesday, along with a bill that would increase the number of carpool-lane permits for solo drivers using plug-in hybrid cars, and a third bill that would prohibit landlords from stopping renters from installing electric car chargers as long as the tenant pays for the installation, the Los Angeles Times says.
JPMorgan Chase and at least four other U.S. banks were struck by hackers who infiltrated their networks and took data in a series of coordinated attacks this month, according to the New York Times.
Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer announced a $700,000 settlement Wednesday between the city and Glendale Adventist Medical Center, the Daily News reports. Investigators found the hospital discharged homeless patients, then drove to Skid Row and dropped them off.
California lawmakers voted Wednesday to require that law enforcement agencies obtain warrants to use drones for surveillance and are expected to soon pass legislation that allows removal of firearms from people declared to be a threat or mentally unstable, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Two former ICM interns have submitted a motion for class certification in a lawsuit, saying they weren't paid to perform work normally assigned to agents or their assistants, including "script coverage," the process of reading scripts and summarizing them, and "coverage reports," or condensing information in scripts for use in casting and client meetings, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
For nearly four years, Ildiko Tabori, who is profiled in the Los Angeles Times, has been an in-house psychologist at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood, helping comedians work through the pressure of finding gigs, the rowdy drunks in the audience, and the vulnerability of opening up on stage and wondering whether or not people liked it.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 52 points to 17,070 in Thursday morning trading. The S&P 500 was down 5 points to 1, 996. The Nasdaq was down 13 points to 4,557.
Yekra, a digital film distributor in the Arts District, is launching an embeddable “theater” that allows websites to customize and curate their own digital marquee of movies and video content.
Wednesday, August 27
Honesty just might be the best policy – at least it is for the Honest Co. and its eco-friendly, non-toxic baby products. The Santa Monica company announced Tuesday it raised $70 million in Series C funding as it prepares to file an IPO.
Google is waiting in the hangars for a piece of L.A real estate, according to a Wall Street Journal report that says the company wants to expand its corporate offices in Los Angeles.
Gov. Jerry Brown reached an agreement on a bill on Wednesday that would more than triple funding for California's film and TV tax-credit program.
Hurricane Marie sent 10- to 15-foot waves into the Port of Long Beach on Wednesday, causing the port to suspend some vessel operations for the day to keep longshore workers out of danger.
Guess Inc. reported Monday that weakness in the North American market contributed to a drag on second quarter earnings.
Port of Long Beach officials on Wednesday announced plans to spend a larger percentage of their contracting dollars on goods and services provided by small business.
Amgen Inc. announced on Wednesday that the Food and Drug Administration has granted priority review to ivabradine, an oral drug for the treatment of chronic heart failure.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 15 points in Wednesday’s trading to 17, 122. The S&P 500 was flat at 2, 000. The Nasdaq fell one point to 4,570. The LABJ Stock Index rose one point to 207.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will soon unveil a proposal to raise the city's minimum wage to $13.50 an hour by 2017, increasing the current $9 minimum by $1.50 every year for three years, said Gary Toebben, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, in the Los Angeles Times. The plan, which will likely be unveiled on Labor Day, concerns some business leaders who fear that a $4.50 increase in L.A.'s minimum hourly wage will hurt the economy and lead to job loss if business move elsewhere for cheaper labor.
Time Warner Cable said service was largely restored early Wednesday following an outage of Internet and on-demand service in all of its markets, days after federal regulators fined the company $1.1 million over failing to file network outage reports in a timely manner, the Wall Street Journal reported. Time Warner Cable agreed in February to be acquired by Comcast for $45.2 billion, a deal undergoing extensive regulatory review as other TV and Internet providers criticize the potential merger.
Los Angeles Unified School Superintendent John Deasy has ordered a contract to buy iPads and digital curriculum be re-bid, after an internal report last week criticized the way that Deasy selected Apple and Pearson, the Daily News reported.
Los Angeles County supervisors approved a far-reaching land use plan for the Santa Monica Mountains on Tuesday, despite the objections of vineyard owners, the Los Angeles Times reported. The plan, which consolidates land use authority with the county and sets rules for future development in the coastal area near Malibu – limiting future development in the coastal area and banning new vineyards – had support from a broad coalition of environmentalists, equestrians and homeowners.
State agencies gave their employees unearned leave credits worth almost $6.4 million over five years, and the flub will continue to cost taxpayer dollars until the government fixes the errors, according to a new state audit, the Sacramento Bee reported.
Kroger-owned grocery chain Food 4 Less has tentatively agreed on a new contract with the United Food and Commercial Workers union, averting a potentially crippling strike, the Los Angeles Times said.
New statistics prepared by the Motorcycle Industry Council show the median age of California motorcycle owners was 45 in 2012, having risen from 33 in 1990, 38 in 1998 and 41 in 2009. It’s a trend that concerns some motorcycle industry professionals, who have said they’re afraid their core audience is rapidly aging out of the sport, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Companies with fewer board members reap considerably greater rewards for their investors, and foster deeper debates and more nimble decision-making, according to a new study by GMI Ratings prepared for the Wall Street Journal.
Hello Kitty, the Sanrio character birthed in Japan in1974, will be celebrated in Los Angeles this fall, with a full-blown retrospective of Kitty-inspired art, merchandise and fashion at the Japanese American National Museum, which opens in mid-October, followed by the first ever Hello Kitty Con at the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Los Angeles Times said.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 9 points to 17,116 in Wednesday morning trading. The S&P 500 was flat at 2, 000. The Nasdaq was flat at 4,571.
Tuesday, August 26
The Honest Co., co-founded by actress Jessica Alba and L.A. entrepreneur Brian Lee, has raised $70 million as it prepares to file for an IPO.
Early-stage VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has invested in Snapchat, giving the photo and video messenger app a valuation just shy of $10 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Southern California’s tech scene is getting federally funded. The National Science Foundation has awarded a three-year $3.75 million grant to establish an innovation hub, or “node,” in Southern California.
Brentwood Associates, a Los Angeles private equity firm, said Tuesday it had acquired Marshall Retail Group, a Las Vegas owner and operator of stores in casinos and airports.
Richard Jacobsen, former president of Jacobsen Pilot Service Inc., died Friday at the age of 82, the Port of Long Beach announced.
The Pasadena building housing the world headquarters of Disney Stores USA has been acquired by Swig Co., a San Francisco real estate investment firm, it was announced Tuesday.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 30 points in Tuesday’s trading to 17, 107. The S&P 500 rose 2 points to 2, 000. The Nasdaq rose 13 points to 4,571. The LABJ Stock Index rose one point to 206.
Evolve Media, the digital publisher behind men and women’s lifestyle sites CraveOnline and TotallyHer, has hired Moat to audit its metrics for display and video ads.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti asked the Federal Communications Commission to examine the stalemate between Time Warner Cable and other pay-TV operators that has prevented two-thirds of the Los Angeles area from watching most Dodgers games this season, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law on Monday that requires smartphones sold in California to include smarter antitheft technology, the New York Times reported.
Apple on Monday that would provide iPads to all students in the district, after disclosures that the superintendent and his top deputy had especially close ties to executives of Apple, maker of the iPad, and Pearson, the company that is providing the curriculum on the devices, the Los Angeles Times said.
Shares of Santa Monica’s Kite Pharma surged nearly 30 percent in after-hours trading Monday after the clinical-stage biotech company announced the publication of clinical results demonstrating the potential of its drug to treat aggressive non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the Business Journal reported.
The leader of the state Senate has sidelined a bill that would have delayed a key aspect of California’s landmark emissions law, AB 32. As a result, gasoline and diesel fuel prices may increase in January, the Sacramento Bee reported. Read previous coverage of the bill in the Business Journal.
The growth of Malibu wine country, which recently became a federally recognized American Viticultural Area, is threatened by proposed rules in a coastal resource protection plan that would ban new vineyards in a large part of the Santa Monica Mountains, the Los Angeles Times reported.
A federal judge has overturned part of a California gun control law on Monday by ruling the state can't require gun buyers to wait 10 days to pick up their newly purchased weapon if they already own a gun or have a license to possess a handgun, the Orange County Register reported.
Burger King Worldwide agreed on Tuesday to buy the Canadian restaurant chain Tim Hortons for about $11.4 billion, creating one of the biggest fast-food operations in the world, according to the New York Times. Burger King will move its headquarters to Canada as part of a so-called inversion, but the move is expected to save the company only a little in taxes.
UC San Diego, UC Riverside, UC Berkeley and UCLA dominated the top spots in the annual “socially conscious” rankings of national universities released Monday by Washington Monthly magazine, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Hurricane Marie is expected to rouse waves that reach 8 to 15 feet along the Los Angeles and Orange County coastline this week, prompting lifeguards to warn beachgoers of potentially dangerous conditions, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 48 points to 17,125 in Tuesday morning trading. The S&P 500 was up four points to 2, 002. The Nasdaq was up five points to 4,562.
ZipRecruiter, a hiring platform for small- and medium-sized businesses, has secured $63 million in Series A funding, the first raise for the Santa Monica company since launching in 2010.
Monday, August 25
Shares of Santa Monica’s Kite Pharma surged nearly 30 percent in after-hours trading Monday after the clinical-stage biotech company announced the publication of clinical results demonstrating the potential of its KTE-C19 drug to treat aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
In a transaction with potential local implications, Amazon announced Monday it will buy live-streaming video game site Twitch for $970 million in cash.
Walt Disney Co. has filed three patents to use unmanned aircraft in entertainment productions at its theme parks.
Hawthorne’s OSI Systems reported net income of $22.1 million ($1.07 a share) for the fourth quarter ended June 30, compared to net income of $11.8 million (58 cents) in the same period a year earlier. Revenue for the maker of medical diagnostic equipment and security scanners rose 14 percent, to $260 million. The results analysts’ projections of earnings of $1.17 a share on revenue of $246 million.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 76 points in Monday’s trading to 17, 077. The S&P 500 rose 10 points to 1,998. The Nasdaq rose 19 points to 4,557. The LABJ Stock Index rose one point to 205.
The magnitude 6.0 earthquake that hit near Napa on Sunday was the strongest the San Francisco Bay Area has experienced in a quarter century. The United States Geological Survey estimates that economic losses could be up to $1 billion, the New York Times reported.
Texas Enterprise Fund, which offers cash incentives, along with similar programs in that state have often stolen jobs from California. The Golden State is using similar tactics to fight back, the Los Angeles Times reported, with a $750-million plan this year to attract and retain businesses.
Los Angeles schools Superintendent John Deasy and his chief deputy developed a special relationship with executives from the company that won a $1 billion contract to provide every student in the Los Angeles Unified School District with an iPad, records show, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Uber, Lyft and their Silicon Valley allies have hired seven lobbying and public relations firms for a rear-guard action to kill a bill that would increase the amount of insurance coverage required by the state and prohibit drivers from using personal policies instead of commercial ones, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Richard Attenborough, who directed the 1982 Oscar best picture “Gandhi” and starred in Steven Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park” as park creator John Hammond, died Sunday at age 90, Variety said.
SAG-Aftra members voted overwhelmingly to ratify the 2014 TV/Theatrical Contracts, covering theatrical, primetime, and basic cable television production, the union has announced. This marks SAG-Aftra’s first TV/Theatrical negotiation as a merged union, the Hollywood Reporter said.
California High-Speed Rail Authority is considering an alternative route to get high-speed rail from Palmdale to Burbank, the Los Angeles Times reported. The route, recommended by Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, would rely on extensive tunneling to cross the rugged Angeles National Forest.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International and William Ackman are seeking a judge's help to speed up their $53 billion hostile takeover bid for Irvine’s Allergan, which makes Botox, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Thousands of FYF attendees complained on social media over the weekend during the 11th annual outdoor music festival, hosted for the first time at the Los Angeles Sports Arena and Exposition Park, about lines that for many required a two-hour wait, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.
Marvel Studios and Disney’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” reclaimed the top spot at the North American box office this weekend as it became the top grossing film of the season, bringing its total global earnings to $489 million, the Hollywood Reporter said.
In 2007, Long Beach mortuary owner Ken McKensie created a "Men of Mortuaries" calendar that showcased shirtless morticians with shovels. His new book, "Over Our Dead Bodies: Undertakers Lift The Lid" is a collection of funny stories from funeral directors across the country, the Los Angeles Times said.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 94 points to 17,095 in Monday morning trading. The S&P 500 was up 11 points to 1,999. The Nasdaq was up 27 points to 4,566.
Things got a little uncomfortable at the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce last week.
TECHNOLOGY: Shares of International Rectifier rise as suitor pursues coating.
German suitor sparks to International Rectifier’s high-voltage product for semiconductor chips.
internet: YouTube producer channels small-screen vets, sponsor.
Content & Co. looks to channel TV veterans and corporate sponsorship into a successful YouTube show.
RETAIL: Everwish pitches pop-up shops as chance for designers to meet customers.
Everwish Events believes now’s the time for a business orchestrating temporary pop-up shops.
ARCHITECTURE: Late Richard Neutra’s former office to serve as museum for L.A.-synonymous style.
Richard Neutra’s son has designs on turning his and his late architect father’s former office into a museum.
Recycler says Industry trashing paper business.
Used-cardboard recycler 8 Net claims it’s being boxed out by the City of Industry.
Renee Magana’s new firm brings service to home or office.
Dr. Renee Magana’s Homemd has checked in with treatment at a patient’s home or office.
WATER: Government memo bolsters Cadiz’s plan for project along railroad.
Cadiz makes a splash on Wall Street after possibly moving closer to construction of a desert aquifer pipeline.
Low interest rates and Chinese investors have helped put L.A. dealerships on the road to a record year.
LAW: Dealmaker gives play by play of fast-break NBA team sale.
Attorney Bob Baradaran worked like mad for days to shepherd Shelly Sterling’s sale of the Clippers to Steve Ballmer.
Transaction: Broadway Trade Center bought by pair of New York investors.
The historic Broadway Trade Center building in downtown Los Angeles was sold last week to a pair of New York investors.
As reported in last week’s issue, Kris Sanchez, the 23-year-old behind UberFacts, has turned his millions of Twitter followers into a potentially million-dollar business. So the Business Journal asks:
How Twitter-literate are you?
A sale offers the best prognosis for the future of Daughters of Charity hospitals, according to CEO Robert Issai.
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Last week’s major news from labusinessjournal.com and other sources
Bain Capital has bought a 50 percent stake in Toms, a Venice shoe company that became famous for its pledge to donate one pair of shoes every time a customer spends money on a pair.
TV: DirecTV sees original programming as a way to keep satellite subscribers.
DirecTV Inc. of El Segundo is continuing to ramp up its original programming as the satellite giant tries to keep subscribers.
MEDIA: Shift into high-end weekly publication possible for Women’s Wear Daily.
New owner Jay Penske may retailor Women’s Wear Daily into a high-end weekly as he did with show-biz trade Variety.
News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County
Share Repurchase: Entravision Communications Corp., a Santa Monica Spanish-language media company, has approved a $10 million stock repurchase program.
Quest Nutrition’s new products offer buyers taste of protein.
Quest Nutrition hopes for healthy returns from its new milk protein-based chips.
Friday, August 22
KFWB-AM (980) is ending its newstalk format a week earlier than planned.
Bob Deyan, who grew his San Fernando Valley business into one of the largest independent audiobooks producers, died on Tuesday in Santa Monica from complications of ALS. He was 56.
IPC The Hospitalist Co. Inc. announced on Friday that it has acquired two doctors groups in Florida.
The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of the area’s largest public companies rose for the week.
If you’re a fan of AMC’s “Mad Men,” then you’ve probably seen actor Jon Hamm lounging in sleek midcentury modern office furniture while sipping a stiff drink as his iconic character, Don Draper.
It started with a phone call Friday night at the opening of Memorial Day weekend.
Moonshark, a mobile entertainment publisher, has been acquired by Bowling Green, Ky., mobile game studio Hitcents.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 38 points in Friday’s trading to 17, 001. The S&P 500 fell 4 points to 1,988. The Nasdaq rose 6 points to 4,539. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 204.
The Los Angeles Business Journal brings you a weekly roundup of L.A. launches.
Drought-induced groundwater loss has caused the ground to rise, especially in the snow-starved mountains of California, the Los Angeles Times reported.
California homeowners and pension funds will receive $800 million from Bank of America, the state’s share of the settlement over toxic mortgages, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Moonshark, a small mobile game publishing startup in Los Angeles backed by Creative Artists Agency has been acquired by Moonshark, a Kentucky software company with a focus on celebrity-driven apps, the Los Angeles Times said.
Emergency room visits not requiring hospitalization have fallen at Los Angeles County’s public hospitals between January and March, after six consecutive years where such visits increased, the Los Angeles Times reported.
NASA has seeded $1.5 billion to Hawthorne’s SpaceX, Chicago’s Boeing and Irvine’s Sierra Nevada Corp., and is expected to spend another $785 million on at least one of the companies over the next year as part of a heavily subsidized competition meant to end U.S. dependency on the Russian space agency, the Daily Breeze reported.
Los Angeles Unified School District’s $1 billion initiative to provide an iPad to every Los Angeles student, teacher and administrator was plagued with inadequate planning, a lack of transparency and a flawed bidding process, according to a draft district report obtained by the Los Angeles Times.
Despite promises by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to speed up the process, some customers are waiting months to get their home solar panels up and running, the Los Angeles Times reported.
While growers of almonds, one of the California’s most lucrative crops, enjoy record high production and skyrocketing sales despite the drought, wild salmon are competing with the crop for water and suffering as a result, NPR reported.
The Forum in Inglewood is gearing up to host the 2014 MTV awards, the first awards event there since the arena reopened this year after a makeover by its new owner, Madison Square Garden, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Getty Museum Director Timothy Potts hired Jeffrey Spier as its new senior curator of antiquities at the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades and Davide Gasparotto, as senior curator of paintings based at the Getty Center in Brentwood, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The U.S. Copyright Office has confirmed that a selfie taken by a monkey or any other animal – doesn’t fall under copyright rules, CNBC reports. The office this week gave examples not eligible for protection, such as "a photograph taken by a monkey" and "a mural painted by an elephant." The ruling relates to a legal tussle between a British wildlife photographer and Wikimedia.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 26 points in Friday morning’s trading to 17,013. The S&P 500 was down 4 points to 1,988. The Nasdaq was up 1 point to 4, 533.
Thursday, August 21
Every week the Los Angeles Business Journal asks readers their views on a variety of business and economic issues. A running tally is available on the site and later will be published in the Commentary section of our print edition.
Mayor Eric Garcetti has appointed the city’s first chief data officer as part of his initiative to boost Los Angeles with tech-driven policies.
One important lesson from the workshop dealt with ways to customize content for targeted customers. However, it left some wondering where to draw the line between maximizing social media marketing and protecting customer information.
El Segundo tablet maker Fuhu earned the number one slot on the 2014 Inc. 5000, an annual list of the fastest-growing privately held companies released by Inc. Magazine.
Levine Leichtman Capital Partners, a private equity firm in Los Angeles, announced Thursday it has bought the Hot Dog on a Stick chain.
Ten cities in L.A. County were named as finalists for the most business-friendly city award, the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. made the announcement on Thursday.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 73 points in Thursday’s trading to close at 17,040. The S&P 500 rose 6 points to close at 1,993. The Nasdaq rose 6 points to close at 4,532. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 204.
Bank of America and the Justice Department have reached a $16.7 billion settlement, ending federal investigations into the bank’s sale of toxic mortgage securities during the subprime housing boom, the Justice Department announced this morning. It is the single largest government settlement by a company in American history, the New York Times reported.
Renters in Los Angeles and Orange counties allocate more of their income towards housing than anywhere else in the country, according to new figures due out today from real estate website Zillow, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Kennedy Wilson and the LeFrak Organization, two of the country’s largest developers, plan to build a $150-million high-rise apartment complex at Hollywood Boulevard and La Brea Avenue, on a corner that has had a church since 1959, the Los Angeles Times Reported.
The board of the California Public Employees' Retirement System voted to approve nearly 100 different types of supplemental pay to count toward pension calculations for state and local government employees, much to the chagrin of Gov. Jerry Brown, the Sacramento Bee reported.
A Superior Court judge called for Target Corp. to stop work on a half-constructed shopping center in Hollywood, arguing that the structure, which is slated to be 74 feet tall, is in a location where such projects cannot exceed 35 feet, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Lawmakers on Wednesday approved legislation that would bar elected water board members throughout California from accepting campaign contributions of more than $250 from donors with business pending before their boards, a response to controversy over the activities of suspended Sen. Ronald S. Calderon and former Assemblyman Tom Calderon, the Los Angeles Times said.
United Parcel Service said Wednesday that a data breach at 51 of its UPS Stores may have compromised data on approximately 105,000 customer transactions between January and August, according to the Wall Street Journal. The data breach affected 1percent of stores in 24 states, including California.
Audits of California's Sacramento prison and the Patton State Hospital in San Bernardino detail $230, 000 in improper payments and financial problems, according to reports released Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times said.
Businessman Su Bin, a Chinese national involved in a computer hacking scheme to steal trade secrets about the Long Beach-assembled Boeing C-17 military cargo plane and other aircraft, has been indicted by a federal grand jury, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Friday, according to Bloomberg.
United Teachers Los Angeles, the teachers union, has used the bungled rollout of an online student tracking system as a rallying cry, calling for smaller class sizes, higher staffing levels and raises for teachers amid contentious contract negotiations with the L.A. Unified School District, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Disney Interactive announced Star Wars: Commander, a free-to-play game for mobile devices today, one of many byproducts of The Walt Disney Company’s acquisition of Lucasfilm, the “Star Wars” studio, in October, the New York Times reported.
Neel Kashkari, Republican candidate for Governor of California, is offering a $25,000 scholarship to the California college student who can create the best 30-second ad for his campaign, the Sacramento Bee reported.
A 72-year-old woman is suing Woodland Hills’ Blush Salon, alleging she was served a cookie that was laced with THC from a hospitality tray, the Daily News reported.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 73 points in Thursday morning’s trading to 17,052. The S&P 500 was up5 points to 1,992. The Nasdaq was up one point to 4, 529.
Wednesday, August 20
Tablet and children’s app developer Fuhu has topped the Inc. 5000 list, an annual ranking of the fastest-growing private companies in the country, for the second year in a row.
El Segundo semiconductor company International Rectifier Corp. announced Wednesday it will be acquired by a German chip maker for $40 per share in a $3 billion all-cash deal. Layoffs are expected.
Toms, the Venice shoe company known for its “One for One” policy of donating a pair of shoes to charity for each pair it sells, sold 50 percent of its equity to Bain Capital in a deal announced Wednesday.
Daily Journal Corp , the downtown Los Angeles publisher of newspapers covering the legal world, announced Wednesday it will continue to be listed on the Nasdaq.
The state’s worker safety agency has issued citations imposing more than $77,000 in penalties against Menzies Aviation after an investigation uncovered safety violations involved in the death of a worker at Los Angeles International Airport.
Downtown stock brokerage Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles has responded to a financial industry group’s allegations of problems in its market access operations over the past several years.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 60 points in Wednesday’s trading to close at 16,979. The S&P 500 gained 5 points to close at 1,987. The Nasdaq lost 1 point to close at 4,526. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 204.
Snapchat, the app that sends impermanent messages, finally may be on its way to securing permanent dollars by incorporating ads and content, according to reports.
Facebook is coming to Los Angeles to teach small businesses how to optimize their presence on its social network.
Microsoft’s former chief executive Steve Ballmer resigned from the company’s board on Tuesday to focus on new responsibilities, including his ownership of the L.A. Clippers, the New York Times reported.
The Los Angeles City Council signed off on zoning that allows for up to 30 million square feet of commercial space in Warner Center and unlimited building heights, the Los Angeles Times said.
Burbank’s Disney closed Tuesday up 12 cents to $90.09 a share, the first time in 15 years that the stock ended a trading day above $90 a share, according to The Los Angeles Times.
Small businesses franchises, backed by the Service Employees International Union, are fighting in the legislature for more protection against the large corporations that dictate how they run their businesses, The Los Angeles Times reported.
The leaders of Los Angeles Unified School District rallied in front of Manual Arts Senior High School on Tuesday to champion softer disciplinary tactics that focus on keeping students out of the criminal justice system, The Daily News reported.
The NFL is asking popular music acts Coldplay, Katy Perry and Rihanna, under consideration to perform during the next Super Bowl, to pay the league for the opportunity to appear during one of the most-widely viewed televised events, the Wall Street Journal said.
El Segundo’s Fuhu unveiled 20-inch and 24-inch tablets on Tuesday, which are aimed at family game playing, The Los Angeles Times reported.
Venice’s Snapchat has held talks with advertisers and media companies about a service called Snapchat Discovery, which would show content and ads to users and is set to launch in November, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office is investigating Irwindale’s workforce training program LA Works, which lost most of its funding when the county found nearly $1 million in overbilling, The Pasadena Star News reported.
After two months of declines, new home construction in the U.S. jumped 15.7 percent from June to July, reaching an eight-month high, The Los Angeles Times reported.
At an environmental summit at Lake Tahoe on Tuesday, Gov. Jerry Brown said the drought prompted bipartisan approval of the $7.5-billion proposal for a California water bond, which will be placed on the November ballot, The Los Angeles Times reported.
California approved almost $1 million for potentially ineligible drug rehabilitation providers, including for services supposedly rendered to dead people, according to a new state audit, which also found a pattern of income patient data and questionable billing, according to The Sacramento Bee.
Chevrolet is adding a “Valet Mode” to the 2015 Corvette allowing owners to record video, audio and driving data in order to catch any shenanigans that occur after dropping the sports car off at a parking lot, the Los Angeles Times said.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 26 points in Wednesday morning’s trading to 16,946. The S&P 500 was up 2 points to 1,983. The Nasdaq was down 2 points to 4, 526.
Tuesday, August 19
The Music Foundry, a music technology pre-accelerator, is looking to fill a trial class this fall to address a startup need within the music space. But its bigger task may be fighting an abiding skepticism about music tech investments.
The state Legislature has approved a bill to increase penalties for stealing used kitchen grease from restaurants.
Ed Little, a longtime Culver City business owner and former West Basin Municipal Water District board member, has passed away. He was 87.
Northrop Grumman’s aerospace division in Redondo Beach announced Tuesday it has been awarded a contract from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to create a model of an experimental space plane.
Film distributor Millennium Entertainment has been sold in a management buyout, according to a report in Deadline Hollywood.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 81 points in Tuesday’s trading to close at 16,920. The S&P 500 gained 10 points to close at 1,982. The Nasdaq gained 19 points to close at 4,528. The LABJ Stock Index gained a point to close at 204.
Hovelstay.com, which promises eclectic lodging options at very low prices, has secured $1.2 million in Series A funding.
Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies, commonly known as SpaceX, is raising money that would value the company at nearly $10 billion, according to reports.
Steve Ballmer, the new Los Angeles Clippers owner, greeted fans in a manner befitting the boisterous reputation he gained as a Microsoft executive with a chest-bumping introduction and a declaration of “Hard core, baby!” at Staples Center, the Los Angeles Daily News reported.
El Segundo’s DirecTV and Dish Network of Colorado have formed a partnership named D2 Media Sales with plans to leverage voter data and sell targeted ads to political campaigns, the Los Angeles Times said. Check out the Business Journal’s previous article about the partnership.
A USC professor argues that loopholes in the American tax code result in rates that make U.S. corporations more competitive than their overseas rivals, not less, the New York Times reports.
Chinese government actions to impose restrictions and prohibitions on U.S. tech firms have American businesses worried about protectionism while China says the country is simply enforcing its own antitrust laws, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Labor representatives and hospital workers protested the potential sale of St. Vincent Medical Center near downtown Los Angeles to hospital operator Prime Healthcare Services as Prime Healthcare may buy six hospitals from Daughters of Charity Health System, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Construction is in full swing at Village at Westfield Topanga, a $350 million retail development along Topanga Canyon Boulevard, the Los Angeles Daily News said.
The Los Angeles City Council is having difficulty figuring out how to pay for sidewalk repairs due to a conflict between state laws calling for property owners to foot the bill and the city’s past practice of paying for fixes, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Google’s moves to allow web users to make purchases or obtain key information about businesses without having to click away from search engine results may create problems for advertisers who pay the search engine company for ads designed to entice users to their own sites, the Wall Street Journal reported.
DreamWorks Animation’s “How to Train Your Dragon 2” is a hit in China after a modest performance at North American box offices. Its $26 million opening weekend is the best ever box office performance for an animated movie in that country, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Radio and television announcer Don Pardo, best known for his voice work on “Saturday Night Live,” died at the age 96. Pardo was a reporter for NBC who covered World War II and the Kennedy assassination, Variety said.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 70 points in Tuesday morning’s trading to 16,909. The S&P 500 was up 7 points to 1,979. The Nasdaq was up 8 points to 4,516.
Monday, August 18
Atlas Capital Group is leading a group of real estate investment firms poised to acquire Los Angeles real estate management firm Evoq Properties Inc. for some $357 million.
Sport Chalet Inc. shareholders have approved a $70 million acquisition of the La Canada Flintridge retailer by a Connecticut sporting goods company, the companies announced Monday.
American Apparel reported on Monday that it narrowed its loss for the second quarter although it was still deeper than expected.
Daily Journal Corp. swung to a loss in the nine months ended June 30 despite an increase in revenue, the company announced Monday.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 176 points in Monday’s trading to close at 16,839. The S&P 500 gained 17 points to close at 1,972. The Nasdaq gained 43 points to close at 4,508. The LABJ Stock Index gained a point to close at 203.
Northbound traffic on the Harbor Freeway was shut down Monday morning as the Los Angeles Police Department investigated a shooting that resulted in the wounding of a police officer and the death of a suspect. Another suspect was found in a dumpster, the Los Angeles Times said.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has filed a complaint against L.A.’s Wedbush Securities that alleges the firm failed to have sufficient controls to prevent manipulative trades, Reuters said.
Fazal Merchant, formerly an executive for DirecTV and Barclays Capital, will serve as DreamWorks Animation’s new chief financial officer, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Discount chain Dollar General Corp. offered some $9 billion to buy Family Dollar Stores Inc., topping the bid made about three months ago by Dollar Tree Inc., the Wall Street Journal said.
Small businesses are having a harder time accessing credit than consumers or larger companies, according to the Wall Street Journal. Bank loans to small firms is below pre-recession levels.
Demand is rising for streaming television devices as viewers crave on-demand programming, the Los Angeles Times reported. Streaming devices are often an inexpensive option compared to the cost of a smart TV.
Landlords and tenants alike are asking Los Angeles officials to grant an amnesty to allow residences that have been illegally converted into apartments to become legal, the Los Angeles Times said.
A pair of craft breweries are poised to open next year in San Pedro as the growing microbrewery trend takes further hold around the harbor area, the Daily Breeze said.
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” triumphed at the box office for the second straight weekend, bringing its total global earnings to $185 million, The Wrap said.
Long Beach funeral home director Ken McKenzie has authored “Over Our Dead Bodies: Undertakers Lift the Lid,” a collection of anecdotes from undertakers from across the country, the Long Beach Press-Telegram said.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 157 points to 16,820 in Monday morning trading. The S&P 500 was up 16 points to 1,971. The Nasdaq was up 40 points to 4,505.
China’s largest commercial developer has purchased the former Robinsons-May site in Beverly Hills, one of the most prominent retail locations in the L.A. area.
Mike Margolis drove down to San Diego with his family earlier this month to cheer on his oldest son, 18-year-old James Wu, who was participating in an unusual event: an international robo-sub competition.
TECHNOLOGY: Approach by Cinematique lets viewers stockpile touted products.
Cinematique hopes to make the scene with interactive videos that tout products.
State insurance commissioner’s proposed ridesharing regulations would steer consumers wrong.
Ernie Csiszar rips the state insurance commissioner for trying to put the brakes on ridesharing services.
The recent burst water pipe on Sunset Boulevard that flooded UCLA was just the latest and biggest infrastructure failure in the city. So the Business Journal asks:
Are you concerned about L.A.’s infrastructure?
David Rattray sees “Deeper Learning” as a smarter way to prepare L.A.’s future workforce.
BIOTECH: Investors snap up Amgen despite test failure, recall of Aranesp syringes.
Amgen shares enjoy a healthy spike despite a drug test failure and product recall.
REAL ESTATE: Shares of Marcus & Millichap spike after strong second quarter.
Marcus & Millichap’s hiring of veteran workers proves a positive experience for the company’s stock.
INSURANCE: CEO at parent of companies says rapid growth helped spur review.
Two insurance companies owned by Malibu billionaire Don Hankey are under review by ratings agency A.M. Best Co., which said it is concerned that the insurers might not have enough reserves to keep pace with their growth.
RADIO: KFWB turns to sports programming to score listeners.
Former news-focused station KFWB looks to dial up more listeners by switching to an all-sports format.
ACQUISITION: Suitor to pay $270 million for L.A.’s second-highest building.
Aon Center, the second-tallest building in Los Angeles – and the state – is close to being sold for about $270 million.
Byrd Hairdo hopes to get surfers on board with pomade line.
Pro surfer Chase Wilson has taken the plunge on water-resistant hair-styling products.
AUTOMOTIVE: Shares rise as Motorcar Parts exceeds analysts’ expectations.
Strength of aftermarket sector and a new product line accelerates shares of Motorcar Parts of America.
TRUCKING: Industry fears diesel, gasoline prices will spike Jan. 1.
Truckers help drive state lawmakers into revisiting program that would raise fuel prices next year.
INVESTMENT: VentureOut looks to back LGBT entrepreneurs but some investors may question breadth of opportunity.
VentureOut sees an untapped niche in LGBT entrepreneurs.
23-year-old spins tweeted facts into big bucks
UberFacts’ Kris Sanchez has turned his 7 million Twitter followers into a true gold mine.
LENDING: Longer deals take hold at Koreatown institutions.
Some Koreatown banks have broken with a long tradition of short contracts for CEOs.
Pelican Products looks to secure new market with sturdy approach.
Security case maker Pelican Products has a brand new bag: luggage.
Chamber highlights towering skyline to tout neighborhood.
Century City Chamber of Commerce is high on its new double-skyline logo.
News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County
Avalon Laboratories Holding Corp., a Rancho Dominguez maker of catheters and medical tubing products, has been acquired by Nordson Corp., a Westlake, Ohio, parent company of a range of businesses with offices in more than 30 countries.
BEVERAGES: Reed’s stock reverses course on basis of strong second quarter.
Investors see soft-drink maker Reed’s glass as half-full after strong second quarter.
The best weapon in the war on poverty is job training, Hasan Ikhrata writes.
Friday, August 15
L.A.’s unemployment rate held steady at 8.1 percent for July even as the county lost 58,000 jobs in July as schools let out for the summer, according to state figures released Friday.
The company operating Albertsons supermarkets in Southern California and elsewhere reported Friday that customers’ credit and debit card information may have been compromised by a data breach.
Officials for the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach released data for July’s cargo volumes on Friday.
Superior Industries International Inc. announced on Friday that preliminary results indicate the company’s slate of candidates will be elected to the board of directors.
A bill requiring mandatory condom usage on adult film sets in California died Thursday in the Senate Appropriations Committee, but backers plan to re-introduce it next year.
The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of the area’s largest public companies rose for the week.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 51 points in Friday’s trading to close at 16,663. The S&P 500 was flat at 1,955. The Nasdaq rose 12 points to close at 4,465. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 202.
Coca-Cola Co. will spend $2.15 billion to get nearly 17 percent of energy drink company Monster Beverage in Corona as the soft drink giant attempts to find new business amid decreasing soda sales, the New York Times reported.
Medi-Cal, the state's Medicaid program for low-income Californians, has seen its numbers increase as a result of the Affordable Care Act, but patients are having a hard time finding doctors who can afford to provide care in a time of diminished reimbursements, the Los Angeles Times said.
Pricy compounded medicines, such as a $1,600 balm to treat diaper rash, are leading health insurance firms and pharmacy benefit managers to take a critical look at made-to-order treatments, according to the New York Times.
Apple is investing $700 million on synthetic sapphire, more durable and more costly than glass, as a new material for iPhone screens, the Wall Street Journal said.
Retail titan Wal-Mart Stores is having trouble increasing sales volumes in the United States, and that has observers worried about consumers' ability to contribute to economic growth, according to Bloomberg.
Wall Street figures more or less accept that regulators officials will have their say to change the way derivatives trades are handled in the event of bank failure, but members of the financial community are trying to preserve their existing rights, the New York Times said.
L.A.’s “Oh Ranger! Wi-Fi” program offers free Internet access at five city parks and a beach site. Toyota Motors is sponsoring the program, the Los Angeles Daily News reported.
Fox television veteran David Madden has been promoted to the post of president of entertainment for Fox Broadcasting, placing him in control of prime-time programming for Fox network. Also, Joe Earley has been named chief operating officer for Fox Television Group, which includes Fox Broadcasting and 20th Century Fox Television Studio, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” stands a chance of remaining atop the box office this weekend when “The Expendables 3,” “The Giver” and “Let's Be Cops” join the late summer competition for audiences' attention, the Hollywood Reporter said.
The famed Colossus roller coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain will close on Saturday, ending a 36-run at the Valencia amusement park. Six Flags hasn't revealed a reason for the closure or plans for a replacement, the Los Angeles Times said.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 51 points in Friday morning's trading to 16,663. The S&P 500 was down 9 points to 1,946. The Nasdaq was down 10 points at 4,443.
Thursday, August 14
The California Public Utilities Commission announced Thursday that it has fined utility giant Southern California Edison $24.5 million for violations involving two 2011 incidents that left three people dead and more than 400,000 without power for as long as eight days.
California lawmakers on Thursday advanced a bill to combat runaway production by expanding the state's film and TV tax credit.
Exide Technologies announced layoffs of 64 employees at the Vernon battery recycling facility that has been blamed for lead and arsenic emissions.
Great American Group lost money in the quarter ended June 30, but it indicated Thursday that it could swing to a profit now that it’s combined with West L.A. investment bank and brokerage B. Riley & Co.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 62 points in Thursday’s trading to 16,714. The S&P 500 rose 8 points to 1,955. The Nasdaq rose 19 points to 4,453. The LABJ Stock Index rose 2 points to 201.
Culver City’s MiTú, a Latino YouTube network, has partnered with Mexican media giant Televisa to create original content for the Web in both Spanish and English.
The November ballot will include a $7.5 billion water bond measure that would finance new water storage, water recycling and groundwater cleanup, the Associated Press said.
American Apparel’s leadership changes continued with the appointment of Google and You Tube executive Laura Lee. Lee will be the company’s second female board member as the clothing manufacturer tries to distance itself from sexual harassment allegations surrounding former chief Dov Charney, Fortune reported.
California officials have yet to acquire much of the real estate needed to build a 29-mile stretch of the California High Speed Rail project that passes through Fresno, slowing the construction of the $68-billion endeavor, the Los Angeles Times said.
The historic Hotel Constance in downtown Pasadena is getting a $60 million renovation after functioning as a senior housing complex for decades, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Los Angeles investment firm CGI Strategies has purchased the historic Villa Carlotta apartment building in Hollywood for $12.5 million, according to the Los Angeles Times.
A federal trial involving a bank account maintained by a Hamas spokesman at Arab Bank’s branch in Beirut is arousing worries within the financial community that doing business in troubled parts of the world may be too risky, depending on whether the bank in this case is found to be liable for any wrongdoing, the New York Times said.
A few investors, including mutual funds, are buying bonds backed by mortgages on the brink of foreclosure in an attempt to win short-term returns that may materialize if foreclosures go smoothly, the New York Times said.
Transportation Security Administration officials at Los Angeles International airport have dozens of lost tablets, phones and laptops among the thousands of items left behind at security checkpoints that official want to return to their owners, the Daily Breeze reports.
The sole Post Office in El Segundo is set to reopen Monday after flooding caused a six-month closure, the Daily Breeze said.
Southern California’s real estate market cooled off in July as sales fell 12.4 percent, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The third film in the “Expendables” action franchise was thought to be a contender for the weekend’s top spot, but an online leak of the film may hinder its earnings, The Wrap said.
A new comprehensive study indicates that consuming too little sodium can pose health risks, challenging widely-held views on what constitutes a healthful level of salt intake, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 31 points in early Thursday trading to 16,683. The S&P 500 was up 5 points to 1,952. The Nasdaq was up 11 points to 4,445.
Wednesday, August 13
Thousand Oaks pharmaceuticals firm Amgen announced a double dose of bad news Wednesday in the form of a trial setback and a recall.
Every week the Los Angeles Business Journal asks readers their views on a variety of business and economic issues. A running tally is available on the site and later will be published in the Commentary section of our print edition.
Second Sight, a Sylmar company founded by billionaire Alfred Mann to develop an artificial retina for blind patients, filed paperwork for an initial public offering on Tuesday.
Walt Disney Co. is selling off 23 of its Radio Disney stations and laying off about 200 employees as it moves to digital distribution of its radio content, according to media reports on Wednesday.
Workers’ compensation insurance rates should go up 11 percent next year from current levels, an insurance industry body said Wednesday despite objections from business and labor interests.
Wash Multifamily Laundry Systems of El Segundo has acquired American Meter & Appliance in a deal that will allow the company to expand in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Wash Multifamily, which is privately held, announced the deal on Wednesday. Terms were not disclosed. Both companies provide design services and laundry equipment to apartment complexes and college campuses. As a result of its acquisition, Wash Multifamily will be able to expand to Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska. The company plans to establish branch offices in Seattle and Anchorage.
Raytheon Co.’s sprawling El Segundo operation has been awarded an $11 million U.S. Marine Corps contract to develop laser weapons for military vehicles.
Century City private equity firm Ares Management reported strong second-quarter growth in profits and managed assets on Wednesday.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 91 points in Wednesday’s trading to close at 16,652. The S&P 500 gained 13 points to close at 1,947. The Nasdaq gained 45 points to close at 4,434. The LABJ Stock Index gained a point to close at 199.
The City Council is scheduled to consider a plan today from Councilman Paul Koretz that would result in the city attempting to unravel interest rate swaps including pre-recession loan agreements that resulted in the city paying above-market interest rates on debt, according to the Los Angeles Times.
American Apparel disclosed a preliminary $15 million loss for the second quarter and will delay the filing of its full earnings report in the wake of this summer’s leadership struggle between its board and controversial founder Dov Charney, Bloomberg reported.
Banks are asking the Federal Reserve to wait up to seven years before enforcing a provision of the Dodd-Frank law requiring them to sell stakes in private equity and venture capital funds, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Large employers expect health plans to be 5 percent more expensive in 2015 as the financial burdens of treating high-cost patients, certain diseases and providing specialized medications push costs upward. Many employers will try to contain costs by offering high-deductible plans, the Los Angeles Times said.
The Police Commission appointed Charlie Beck to a second five-year term to lead the Los Angeles Police Department. Challenges for his second term include how the department will respond to recently reported inaccuracies of official crime stats and frustration among officers over discipline and pay matters, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Although President Barack Obama has criticized inversion deals involving U.S. firms merging with foreign companies to seek lower tax rates, many of his key donors have been personally involved in the practice, Bloomberg reported.
Online video companies, like Flipagram in West Hollywood, are among the online video startups attracted to the L.A. area, the Los Angeles Times said. Flipagram markets an app that lets users edit videos by combining photos with music.
Social media companies and other firms doing business online generate huge amounts of data from their users and customers. Now, researchers are struggling with the ethical dilemma of whether that information should be private, the New York Times said.
Companies selling packaged food products are investing in clear packaging on the basis that consumers may be more likely to trust a products they can see while it’s still on the shelf, the Wall Street Journal said.
Variety and the Hollywood Reporter take a look back at the life of Hollywood icon Lauren Bacall, who died Tuesday at the age of 89.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 66 points in Wednesday’s early trading to 16,627. The S&P 500 was up 11 points to 1,945. The Nasdaq was up 37 points to 4,426.
Tuesday, August 12
Los Angeles mobile rental marketplace RadPad has raised $2 million in capital led by SG VC in Santa Barbara, bringing its total amount raised to $3.5 million.
Los Angeles International Airport had strong passenger growth during the first half of the year, according to numbers released Tuesday by the city agency that runs LAX.
More than a year after selling its landmark Sherman Oaks office building, Sunkist Growers Inc. announced Tuesday it will begin moving to its new home in Santa Clarita in September.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 9 points in Tuesday’s trading to 16,561. The S&P 500 fell 3 points to 1,934. The Nasdaq fell 12 points to 4,389. The LABJ Stock Index fell a point to 198.
The sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer has closed, the National Basketball Association announced Tuesday.
Online electronics seller Newegg.com Inc. announced Tuesday that its e-commerce website is now accessible to shoppers in India, Ireland, Singapore, New Zealand, Poland and the Netherlands.
A consultant hired by developers proposing major new construction in Hollywood said he could not evidence of an active earthquake fault in the area, contrary to findings from the California Geological Survey, according to the Los Angeles Times.
California lawmakers approved a tax credit deal that would give Northrop Grumman potential savings of close to half of a billion dollars if the aerospace firm is selected to build the Air Force's next bomber, much of which is to be assembled in Palmdale, the Los Angeles Times said.
Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislators have a preliminary agreement to put a $7.2 billion water bond on the November ballot, Bloomberg said.
group of five people have filed a complaint against Hollywood financier Wade Bradley, who raises money from wealthy backers to fund independent films. The complaint, to be reviewed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, seeks a return of $1.6 million, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Tesla Motors Inc. may get tax breaks and and freedom from some of the burdens imposed by the California Environmental Quality Act as part of deal being negotiated between the electric car maker and Gov. Jerry Brown as the company decides whether to build a battery plant in the Golden State or elsewhere, the Los Angeles Times said.
LAX has installed 14 new charging stations in Parking Lot C to give the airport a total of 52 places in its parking lots where electric vehicle owners can get juice, the Daily Breeze said.
State officials plan to test soil near some 144 homes within a two-square mile area for signs of lead contamination near Exide Technologies' battery plant in Vernon, which is temporarily closed, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The Los Angeles Police Department's civilian inspector general said he will check out crime data from multiple years to look for inaccuracies following a report that the department misclassified serious crimes as minor offenses, the Los Angeles Times said.
Advisers to the World Health Organization gave their approval to the use of experimental drugs to treat ebola patients in West Africa, according to Bloomberg, as San Diego's MAPP Pharmaceutical Inc. is working with others to increase its production of its experimental medicine.
The Wrap, Variety and Hollywood Reporter are among the many publications offering a memorial to the life and career of comedian and actor Robin Williams, who died Monday of a suspected suicide at the age of 63.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 32 points in Tuesday morning's trading to 16,538. The S&P 500 was down 6 points to 1,931. The Nasdaq was down 18 points to 4,384.
Monday, August 11
Petitioners demanding the cancellation of a 1,000-foot Slip ‘N Slide-like attraction in downtown Los Angeles have collected more than 2,500 online signatures.
George Nicholaw, longtime general manager at news radio station KNX-AM (1070), has died. He was 86.
Westwood pharmaceuticals firm Puma Biotechnology on Monday reported a deeper net loss during the second quarter as the firm substantially increased its research and development expenses amid efforts to bring its breast cancer drug to market.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 16 points in Monday’s trading to close at 16,570. The S&P 500 gained 5 points to close at 1,937. The Nasdaq gained 30 points to close at 4,401. The LABJ Stock Index gained a point to close at 199.
Santa Monica real estate agent recommendation service Agent Ace has raised $6 million in Series A financing from March Capital Partners, also of Santa Monica, and Carmel’s Triangle Peak Partners.
Former Los Angeles deputy mayor Austin Beutner was named publisher and chief executive of the Los Angeles Times Media Group, the Times announced Monday.
Santa Monica digital media company Demand Media announced Monday that it bought online art gallery Saatchi Art for $17 million in cash and stock. Demand also hired Saatchi Chief Executive Sean Moriarty for the same position at Demand.
Santa Monica startup airline Surf Air has announced big expansion plans, including the addition of as 15 new planes to its fleet and as many as 13 new destinations.
California lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown are considering the state’s first-ever law to regulate the pumping of water from underground aquifers, the San Jose Mercury News said.
Valencia pharmaceuticals concern MannKind has a $925 million global agreement with Paris’ Sanofi to sell and market Afrezza, the inhalable insulin drug that received FDA approval less than two months ago, Bloomberg said.
American Apparel’s restructuring in the wake of this summer’s leadership struggle leaves unanswered questions over whether the Los Angeles company should continue its Made in America strategy, the Los Angeles Times said.
The Los Angeles Country Club has foregone its bid to build a 166-foot high fence after the owners of the former Robinsons-May site in Beverly Hills agreed not to hold course operators liable for any damage caused by stray golf balls, the Los Angeles Business Journal reports. The deal came before a Chinese developer purchased the former department store site.
Los Angeles may not be as safe as the numbers indicate. A Los Angeles Times inquiry revealed the LAPD counted nearly 1,200 crimes that were improperly listed as minor ones during a one-year period that ended last September.
Former conservative radio host and mayoral candidate Kevin James, who once decried the state of the city’s infrastructure, is now defending L.A.’s street agency as head of the Board of Public Works, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The Association of Digital Artists, Professionals and Technicians, or ADAPT, is unique among Hollywood trade groups in its opposition to film subsidies. The group instead lobbies for tariffs to be imposed on studios that outsource visual effects work, the Los Angeles Daily News reported.
The Southern California Air Quality Management District has contracted engineering firm Siemens to build a one-mile caternary system on Alameda Street near the port complex that would use electricity to power trucks similar to the way a trolley system works, the Long Beach Press-Telegram said. Construction is expected to begin next year and the system would be the first of its kind in this country.
Airline passengers can easily pay twice as much as others who buy tickets for similar seats on the same airline flight. Sometimes people can pay eight times as much as other passengers, according to a study reported in the Los Angeles Times.
Studio City Music, also known as Benning Violins, is the place where 14-year-old Nathan Benning became part of a four-generation family tradition of crafting concert worthy violins, the Los Angeles Daily News said.
A developer’s proposal to build a separate entrance, or “poor doors,” at a planned residential complex on Beverly Boulevard in West Hollywood has raised objections in the community, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the nation’s largest pension system, is attempting to simplify its investment strategy and reduce the risk of major losses by backing off from commodities, actively-managed stocks and hedge funds, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Amazon and Walt Disney Co. are in a fight over DVD and Blu-Ray sales, with the Internet retailer refusing to allow pre-orders of multiple titles. Amazon has similarly battled Warner Bros. and Hachette Book Group and may be motivated to play hardball on distribution terms as it faces a major quarterly loss, The Wrap said.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 50 points in early trading Monday to 16,604. The S&P 500 was up 10 points to 1,942. The Nasdaq was up 35 points to 4,405.
BEAUTY: Inspiration for Hue for Every Man line came from celebrity barber.
Downtown L.A.’s Hue for Every Man last week launched a line of luxury grooming products specifically targeted to men of color.
Lawyers look to line pockets with Proposition 46, which would raise caps on medical injury damages.
Dr. Sion Roy warns that lifting caps on medical injury compensation will only benefit lawyers.
CU Wallet is trying to crack the market for mobile payment systems with a digital wallet that can be incorporated into credit union mobile apps. So the Business Journal asks:
Do you use a ‘mobile wallet’?
Why split the state into six small ones, Charles Crumpley asks, when it’s so much fun as a big dysfunctional mess?
ACQUISITION: Rockefeller pays $210 million for three buildings in Beverly Hills.
A portfolio of three prominent Beverly Hills office buildings – UTA Plaza and its neighbor the Ice House – was sold late last month for $210 million, or about $910 a square foot, according to a real estate source with knowledge of the deal.
Upcoming calendar of local events.
Last week’s major news from labusinessjournal.com and other sources
21st Century Fox has officially quit its pursuit of Time Warner Inc. 21st Century Fox chief Rupert Murdoch issued a statement declaring that Time Warner’s stock had risen too high for a purchase to be worthwhile for 21st Century Fox’s shareholders.
ENTERTAINMENT: Tix’s shares also receive boost as legal troubles fade.
Spike in Las Vegas tourism has Wall Street betting on ticket company Tix Corp.
INVESTMENT: Creo eyes IPO for bundled businesses while Trinity serves up deals.
Creo Capital and Trinity Capital look to feast on investor appetite for food businesses.
APPAREL: Cherokee’s expansion plan proves good fit on Wall Street.
Brand licensor Cherokee’s expansion plan grows on investors despite a dip in dividends.
News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County
Email Marketing: J2 Global Inc., a Hollywood online media and Internet communication company, has acquired Contactology Inc., a Durham, N.C., provider of email marketing services.
J. Robert Scott looks to furnish tablets with style for $2,910.
J. Robert Scott looks to tap stylish users of iPads for its $2,910 table for tablets.
From soap opera extra to crew director, Steven Barber has had every job in the “biz” over the past 25 years.
Documentary turns to Kickstarter for story of Chicago guitarist.
Michelle Kath Sinclair hopes to drum up money from Kickstarter for a documentary on her late guitarist father.
BIOTECH: Unfazed Alan Auerbach leads Puma’s hunt for cancer cure.
Puma’s Alan Auerbach is nursing a billion-dollar fortune after positive cancer drug trials boosted company stock.
Magee’s merchant touts family’s history at farmers market.
Customers still shell out for peanut butter from Magee’s House of Nuts at the Original Farmers Market.
ADVERTISING: Process gaining in popularity with clients as price decreases.
Agencies increasingly like the look of CGI for ads as the price of the technology comes down.
REAL ESTATE: Retail box sells for record $100 million.
Core value of Apple’s Third Street Promenade shop produces record $100 million deal.
HEALTH CARE: SignatureMD says concierge rival ties up docs.
SignatureMD accuses MDVIP of sewing up the concierge service market with its doctor contracts.
Foes fear labor’s lien proposal will topple businesses
Business groups battle labor-backed proposal allowing liens against companies accused in wage cases.
LENDING: Celtic Capital spins off from bank parent PacWest in order to maintain focus on high-risk asset-based loans.
Principals at newly spun-off Celtic Capital see the risky asset-based loan business as a safe bet.
RETAIL: Barnes & Noble stores hit road with Google in challenge to Amazon.
Barnes & Noble books same-day delivery service from Google has started in L.A. to take on Amazon.
Graham Christie sees Los Angeles making inroads with public transportation services.
Friday, August 8
Former Maker Studios branding exec Fran Solomita is heading a new YouTube ad agency, Mozaic Branding, which hopes to connect brands with new media talent.
The Los Angeles Country Club has withdrawn its application for a 166-foot fence to keep errant golf balls from straying onto a proposed development next door.
The Los Angeles Business Journal brings to you a weekly round-up of the city's latest tech launches.
China’s largest commercial developer has purchased the former Robinsons-May site in Beverly Hills, one of the most prominent retail locations in the Los Angeles area.
TrueCar, the Santa Monica company that runs an online car buying platform, reported increased revenue although its net loss deepened.
Local business owners and statewide business organizations are stepping up opposition to a state bill that would allow workers to file liens against their employers over claims of unpaid wages.
The global appeal of Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade and the cachet associated with Cupertino tech giant Apple Inc. has made for another jaw-dropping real estate deal.
The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of the largest public companies rose for the week. The weighted LABJ Stock Index climbed about a point to 198. Gainers outpaced losers by 81 to 76, with seven companies unchanged.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 186 points in Friday’s trading to close at 16,554. The S&P 500 rose 22 points to close at 1,932. The Nasdaq rose 36 points to close at 4,371. The LABJ Stock Index rose 2 points to close at 198.
American F-18s dropped 500-pound bombs on artillery positions operated by Islamic militants in northern Iraq in an attack intended to stop the radical al Qaida offshoot Isis from reaching the Kurdish city of Erbil. The Wall Street Journal and New York Times have coverage.
California’s recovery has taken the form of rapid job growth within low-paying occupations and improving prospects for those on the upper end of the pay scale, but a vanishing of mid-range jobs is hindering economic prospects for many, the Los Angeles Times said.
The World Health Organization determined the ebola outbreak that has killed nearly 1,000 people in West Africa is serious enough to qualify as a global emergency, but WHO stopped short of calling for trade or travel bans, the New York Times reported.
Former SpaceX employees have filed a lawsuit against the Hawthorne private spaceflight firm for allegedly failing to comply with state law requiring companies to provide a warning notice of mass layoffs, the Daily Breeze reported. SpaceX laid off 200 to 400 factory employees in July.
Wal-Mart has opened primary care facilities in South Carolina and Texas as the nation’s largest retailer attempts to create a medical business line in rural communities where health services have been scarce, the New York Times reported.
Rose Bowl operators have turned to live performances by such prominent performers as Jay-Z and Beyonce to help pay for the stadium’s $152 million renovation, but Pasadena residents are stuck with increased traffic and noise near the venue, according to Southern California Public Radio.
Poor record-keeping practices are among the deficiencies that resulted in state agencies failing to collect $194 million owed by companies for the payment of environmental cleanups, the Los Angeles Times reports.
California is at particular risk for a potential shock to the financial system when homeowners who have taken out home equity loans will be required to begin paying off the principal balances on their loans, the Los Angeles Times said.
Sony Online Entertainment, the division that produces video games for PC users, is taking advantage of online platforms to get feedback from gaming enthusiasts early in the development process, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Standard Pacific Homes of Irvine is trying to lure customers by offering optional “pet suites,” a special room for dog owners to bathe and care for their pet, at a new development in Brea, the Los Angeles Times said.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 66 points in Friday morning trading to 16,434. The S&P 500 was up 8 points to 1,917. The Nasdaq was up 14 points to 4,349.
Thursday, August 7
Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. plans to introduce Mexican-brewed Montejo Beer to baseball fans at Dodger Stadium before selling the brand across the California and the Southwest.
IPC The Hospitalist Company Inc. announced Thursday that it has acquired GeriCare LLC, a post-acute medical group practice with operations throughout Connecticut.
Air Lease Corp., Boingo Wireless Corp., Demand Media and Marcus & Millichap Inc. were among firms reporting earnings.
The Dow Jones industrial average lost 75 points in Thurday’s trading to close at 16,368. The S&P 500 lost 11 points to close at 1,910. The Nasdaq lost 20 points to close at 4,335. The LABJ Stock Index lost 2 points to close at 196.
Bank of America will pay almost $17 billion to end federal investigations into its selling of mortgage securities prior to the recession, the New York Times said.
The story of Ponte Vista, a San Pedro development that broke ground in May after years of delay, protests and moves to reduce the project’s scope, explains why housing is so expensive here, the Los Angeles Times said. Also, the Daily Breeze looks at proposals to further reduce the project’s density.
A pending bill would allow the California Air Resources Board to cap subsidies for wealthy buyers of electric vehicles. The state currently offers $2,500 in aid and most of the benefits went to households with incomes greater than $100,000 per year, according to the Los Angeles Times.
A pilot program would compensate cargo vessel operators for reducing speeds when traveling through the Santa Barbara Channel to the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The program is an attempt to give whales more time to get out of the way of incoming ships, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Hawthorne private space flight firm SpaceX will take advantage of government aid from the Lone Star State to build a new commercial rocket launch facility in south Texas, the Daily Breeze said.
A judge ruled Wednesday that Carson officials waited too long to join the city of Long Beach and others in the lawsuit filed against the city of Los Angeles over the potential environmental impacts of BNSF Railway’s planned Southern California International Gateway, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reported. BNSF wants to build a $500 million rail yard near the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
Delayed retirements and a plethora of new nursing graduates have made it much harder for prospective Southern California nurses to break into their chosen profession, Southern California Public Radio said.
U.S. pay TV companies lost 305,000 subscribers during the second quarter, down from 387,000 such “cord cutters” one year prior. Although cable and satellite providers are not losing customers in droves, that may change if bills continue to rise, Variety said.
‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ has a slight edge in its weekend box office competition with “Guardians of the Galaxy.’ Both flicks have raised hopes of introducing some late energy into this summer’s slumping box office, The Wrap said.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 18 points in Thursday’s early trading to 16,425. The S&P 500 was down 2 points to 1,918. The Nasdaq was up 2 points to 4,357.
L.A. startups Whim and Rain are two of 28 companies that have been chosen to join Silicon Valley accelerator 500 Startups.
Wednesday, August 6
Shenzhen Hazens Real Estate Group Co., one of the largest development companies in China, has purchased the Luxe City Center Hotel and two adjacent parcels for $105 million.
West L.A. private equity firm Vance Street Capital announced Wednesday that it had bought aviation coating company Eirtech Aviation in Shannon, Ireland. Vance plans to combine the new business with two existing portfolio companies to create a major international player in aircraft painting and interior care. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Formosa Group, a West Hollywood post-production company specializing in sound work, announced Wednesday it will expand to the Santa Monica facility previously occupied by Pacific Ocean Post.
CytRx Corp. and Kennedy Wilson Holdings were among firms reporting earnings.
The Dow Jones rose 14 points in Wednesday’s trading to close at 16,443. The S&P 500 was flat at 1,920. The Nasdaq rose 2 points to close at 4,355. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 197.
All Def Digital, a digital media company co-founded by hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, has raised $5 million in a Series A round.
J2 Global, a cloud service and digital media network provider, has acquired email security services provider MXSweep.
Seed&Spark, a crowdfunding and digital distribution platform for independent films, has raised $1 million in seed funding.
A Russian crime organization has obtained some 1.2 billion password and user name combinations from more than 420,000 websites, the New York Times reported.
Los Angeles County supervisors voted to place a $23 parcel tax on the November ballot that, if approved, would fund parks and recreation programs, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The World Health Organization is meeting to discuss the possibility of declaring the ebola outbreak that began in West Africa to be a global health emergency following the possibility that a man who died in Saudi Arabia may have been killed by the disease, the BBC said. An emergency declaration could lead to travel restrictions and other measures to contain the outbreak.
A new treatment for the ebola virus appears to be helping two American aid workers who contracted disease in Africa, but some doctors are worried about unforeseen consequences if the drug is made widely available before it is fully tested, the Los Angeles Times said.
The “Liberty Kids,” a contingent of young, diverse and socially-libertarian Republicans that won control of the Los Angeles County GOP in 2012 are seeking political influence in Southern California and beyond, Reuters said.
Rob Katherman, a former lobbyist and staffer to Los Angeles Councilman Curren Price, was charged with two felonies connected to allegations that he illegally diverted public money to Ronald Smith, a board member for the Torrance-based West Basin Municipal Water District. Katherman’s wife Marilyn was also charged in the case, according to the Los Angeles Times and Daily Breeze.
Los Angeles animal control officials achieved a record last fiscal year by euthanizing fewer dogs and cats at city shelters. Los Angeles is on pace to become the nation’s largest no-kill city by 2017, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.
Sprint Corp. has replaced chief executive Dan Hesse with Marcelo Claure, who founded mobile phone distribution firm Brightstar Corp., as the company switches its strategy from one based on a merger with T-Mobile to one involving Sprint building its own business, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Federal regulators have insisted the country’s 11 largest banks redraft “living wills” that would outline bankruptcy plans in the event of bank failures, the Wall Street Journal said.
Google and Facebook have significantly changed the venture capital model for tech firms, while turning themselves into Internet conglomerates, according to a New York Times analysis. The goal for many startups is more like winning a “lottery” by attracting big money than developing a business.
Members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences reelected Cheryl Boone Isaacs, whose background is in publicity and marketing and who is the Academy’s first black president, to a second term, The Wrap said.
Permits issued for pornographic films have dropped significantly since voters approved a law requiring performers to wear condoms, according to data from a FilmLA study as reported in Variety.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 48 points in Wednesday’s early trading to 16,477. The S&P 500 was up 6 points to 1,926. The Nasdaq was up 15 points to 4,368.
Tuesday, August 5
Retention Science, a customer retention marketing company, has raised $7 million in a Series A round.
Toggle, which makes a device that allows users to view programming from streaming content provider UltraViolet on their television sets, said it closed a seed round of funding last month. It was also among the second class of graduates of Warner Bros.’ Media Camp accelerator.
Warner Bros. Studios unveiled Monday the six startups that completed its 12-week Media Camp accelerator program, which backs tech companies with a special interest in the media entertainment industry.
21st Century Fox on Tuesday formally withdrew its offer to acquire Time Warner Inc., parent of Warner Bros. Entertainment in Burbank.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized several taxidermy mounts of wild animals and other items including a bear skull and impala horns had been scheduled for illegal export from the Los Angeles area, the agency reported Tuesday.
A New Jersey real estate investment trust announced today that it has purchased the Hawthorne headquarters building of Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp., also known as SpaceX, for $46.7 million.
The World Cup soccer games gave a kick to Walt Disney Co. earnings in the second quarter as results outperformed analyst estimates.
Nestle USA announced on Tuesday it is shutting down its Chatsworth plant that manufactures Hot Pockets and will move the operation to an expanding facility in Mt. Sterling, Ky. Up to 360 workers could lose their jobs.
EARNINGS: Activision, AECOM, American Homes 4 Rent, American States Water, Colony Financial, Hudson Pacific Properties, Tutor Perini
Activision Blizzard, AECOM Technology Corp., American Homes 4 Rent, American States Water Co., Colony Financial Inc., Hudson Pacific Properties and Tutor Perini Corp. were among firms reporting earnings.
The Dow Jones industrial average lost 140 points in Tuesday’s trading to close at 16,429. The S&P 500 lost 19 points to close at 1,920. The Nasdaq lost 31 points to close at 4,352. The LABJ Stock Index edged down a point to close at 198.
Los Angeles Councilman Jose Huizar wants a new law requiring developers to build covered walkways instead of simply closing sidewalks while construction is in progress, the Los Angeles Times said.
The owners of some 900 vehicles that were submerged in last week's flooding at UCLA are expected to be able to reclaim their damaged cars today. UCLA has announced a loan assistance program for students and employees whose cars were damaged, according to City News Service.
The millions of Americans who obtained health insurance through the Affordable Care Act appears to be a factor in increased demand for medical services that is bolstering hospital companies' earnings while creating new stresses for insurers and employers, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The experimental, and apparently effective, medication given to two Americans who contracted the deadly ebola virus in Africa is manufactured in Kentucky from tobacco plants for San Diego's Mapp Pharmaceutical Inc., Bloomberg said.
Insurers Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield are preparing an online medical records system called Cal Index that could contain health records for some 9 million Californians, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The increasing ease of obtaining drone technology is a plus for photographers and videographers in search of new angles, the Pasadena Star-News said.
Gannett Co., publisher of USA Today and numerous other publications, plans to spin its print holdings into a new company. The move follows similar developments moves by Tribune Co., Time Warner Inc. and News Corporation, the New York Times said.
Restaurant company P.F. Chang's Bistro Inc. said eight California restaurants were among the 33 in which criminals stole credit card numbers and other data over an eight month period, the Los Angeles Times said.
Federal prosecutors are looking at General Motors' finance unit and others in a civil investigation to learn if investors were fairly apprised of the credit risks related to securities backed by auto loans, the New York Times reported.
Sony is planning a female lead in its “Amazing Spider-Man” franchise and there are talks of an all-female “Ghostbusters” flick in the wake of such female-led movies as “Lucy” and “The Hunger Games,” according to The Wrap.
In early trading Tuesday, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 41 points to 16,528. The S&P 500 was down 6 points to 1,933. The Nasdaq was down 8 points to 4,376.
Monday, August 4
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, which has its main offices in Los Angeles, on Monday announced plans to open its first stores in Japan by the end of the year.
Los Angeles once again received a grade of D for its overall friendliness to small business, according to a report to be released Tuesday.
The Ensign Group of Irvine has purchased Angeles Home Health Care of Los Angeles for an undisclosed amount.
Sport Chalet Inc. shareholders received a deadline extension until midnight Aug. 15 to approve the sale of the sporting goods retailer at the highest price being offered by a Connecticut sporting goods company.
Amgen Inc. announced on Monday positive human trial results for a cancer drug that was the focus of a multibillion dollar acquisition last year.
A new affiliation between Torrance Memorial Medical Center and USC Keck School of Medicine is expected to increase the former’s ability to provide heart surgery services.
A new law firm called Tepper & Takvoryan was formed by a merger between a Beverly Hills firm and another in Glendale.
Anworth Mortgage Asset Corp. and Wesco Aircraft Holdings were among firms reporting earnings.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 76 points in Monday’s trading to close at 16,569. The S&P 500 rose 14 points to close at 1,939. The Nasdaq rose 31 points to close at 4,384. The LABJ Stock Index rose 3 points to close at 199.
Zealot Networks, a digital-first media company and accelerator, launched Monday after securing $25 million in initial funding.
Taboola, a content discovery platform, announced Monday it acquired Perfect Market, a digital publishing software provider.
Demand Media has completed the separation of its domain name service, Rightside Group, through a tax-free dividend that distributed all outstanding shares of Rightside common stock to Demand Media common stock holders.
Sunset Boulevard reopened Monday morning near the UCLA campus after workers repaved the road in the spot where last week’s water main break resulted in water erupting through the pavement and flooding the school, the Los Angeles Times said.
Perfect Market, a Pasadena online advertising startup, has been acquired by New York’s Taboola for an undisclosed amount, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The death of an airline passenger traveling from Sierra Leone to the United Kingdom aroused fears that the deadly disease may have crossed the Atlantic Ocean. The passenger jet that carried the deceased passenger has been quarantined and the cause of death has not been determined, the Daily Mirror said.
Prospective homeowners may have an easier time taking out a mortgage as lenders have begun to accept lower credit scores for those whose loans would be insured by the Federal Housing Administration, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Activist investors are pressuring U.S. firms to pursue “inversions,” or mergers with foreign companies in order to take advantage of lower corporate tax rates in other lands, the Wall Street Journal said.
A 320,000-square foot outlet center called the Outlets at Tejon is scheduled to open Thursday about halfway between Santa Clarita and Bakersfield. Developers expect to capture business from tourists driving up and down the 5 Freeway, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported.
Recent earnings reports from companies listed in the S&P; 500 indicate customers are buying enough products to help firms experience basic revenue growth, the Wall Street Journal said.
Upfront commitments for television programs declined for the first time in five years, The Hollywood Reporter said.
Disney and Marvel raked in $94 million from tickets for “Guardians of the Galaxy,” the action-comedy that debuted as the latest lucrative property for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, according to The Wrap.
The Alhambra Police Department said a giant tortoise found wandering a street on Saturday was returned to its family, the Associated Press reported.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 12 points in Monday morning’s trading to 16,481. The S&P 500 was flat at 1,925. The Nasdaq was down a point to 4,351.
RETAIL: 99 Cents Only seen as possible target for pickup after recent deal in sector.
Consolidation in deep-discount sector could make the 99 Cents Only chain a high-value target.
INVESTMENT: Many cultivate young CEOs before they’re rich.
Money managers look to get a jump on future millions by hooking up with tech entrepreneurs before they’ve raised any funds.
CONSTRUCTION: Shares of KB Home, Ryland Group tumble about 10 percent.
Investors move out of homebuilders’ stocks as new-home starts continue to ebb.
INTERNET: App maker adds institutions to digital billfold.
CU Wallet is banking on a cut in card “swipe fees” to sign up credit unions for its mobile payment system.
DINING: Caffe Primo’s plans for expansion called aggressive.
Duo behind Caffe Primo will brave heat of launching a chain despite being burned by previous ventures.
Isotech uses falcons, hawks to chase birds from client properties.
Isotech looks to feather its nest by offering falcons and hawks to chase off pesky birds at client properties.
New state building code opens window to tinting
Changes to the state building code have brightened the prospects for window-film companies.
Mike Margolis wants to make sure Los Angeles continues to speak to Chinese investors.
Boosting wages, increasing number of affordable homes would help ease pressure on renters.
Boosted wages and more low-income housing could ease high rental rates, according to Paul Ong, Silvia Jimenez and Rosalie Ray.
In a recent report, the White House Council of Economic Advisers is projecting a significant cost to society if climate change is not mitigated, with a 40 percent increase in spending.
Are you concerned about climate change?
Barbie’s had many careers but Charles Crumpley thinks it’s time for Mattel to retire her.
ACQUISITION: Granite shells out $49 million to pick up second L.A. building.
Legacy Media Tower, a 10-story Class A office building in the heart of Burbank’s Media Center District, sold last week for $49 million, or about $335 a square foot, according to real estate sources.
Last week’s major news from labusinessjournal.com and other sources
An L.A. judge has ruled Los Angeles Clippers co-owner Shelly Sterling had the right to sell the NBA team for $2 billion to former Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer.
MOVIES: HollyShorts says submissions, sponsorhsips up in event’s 10th year.
The HollyShorts Film Festival is all about short films – those with a run time of 30 minutes or less.
MEDIA: Tribune launches separate company, splitting broadcasting, publishing.
Los Angeles Times parent Tribune Co. hopes the paper can deliver as part of a new publicly traded entity.
ADVERTISING: Shares of Rubicon Project surge on strong second quarter.
Online ad network Rubicon Project crosses into “buy” territory on strength of quarterly revenue.
News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County
Beyond Meat, an El Segundo maker of synthetic meat products from plants material, has closed a Series D funding round.
Most people find a packed flight to be a disappointment, robbing them of the chance at being next to an empty seat. But Drew Zager sees a silver lining.
Survey says popular floor plan not working for all businesses.
“Creative” office solution might be lacking as some question the value of open-floor plans.
INTERNET: New sector for Snapchat may explain interest from Alibaba Group.
Temporary-message app Snapchat may see a more permanent future in mobile payments.
DEVELOPMENT: Some residents say Arts District’s character at risk from new apartment, loft projects.
Arts District residential projects receive less than neighborly welcome from locals.
Friday, August 1
It’s a match unlike any other that eHarmony has done. The veteran online dating company announced it would launch a new job-matching business called Elevated Careers by eHarmony.
Southern California Edison has signed contracts with solar and geothermal energy producers representing more than 1,500 megawatts of power.
Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. of Los Angeles announced Friday that it had acquired Northern Illinois Steel Supply Co. for an undisclosed price.
The LABJ Stock Index fell nearly 4 percent in the trading week that ended Friday to close at 196. Losers outpaced gainers by 120 to 36 with eight companies unchanged.
Crown Media Holdings and Public Storage were among firms reporting earnings.
The Dow Jones industrial average lost 70 points to close on Friday at 16,493. The S&P 500 lost 6 points to close at 1,925. The Nasdaq lost 17 points to close at 4,353. The LABJ Stock Index lost a point to close at 196.
U.S. employers hired 209,000 people in July, the sixth consecutive month of job growth above the 200,000 figure, the Wall Street Journal said.
Time Warner Cable has lowered its revenue projections as the cable company has thus far been unable to sell SportsNet LA, the only channel for local Los Angeles Dodgers broadcasts, to other carriers, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Californians can expect to health insurance premiums to increase an average of 4.2 percent, according to Covered California’s executive director, the Los Angeles Daily News reported.
Electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla announced plans to increase some 100,000 cars in 2015. The company expects to manufacture about 35,000 cars this year and has begun construction of a battery factory in Reno, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, the wealthiest man in Los Angeles County, will serve as global director of cancer services and bioinformatics at Providence Health & Services, the San Fernando Business Journal reported.
L.A. auditors have sound several problems besetting the Bureau of Street Services, in charge of repairing L.A.’s roads. Troubles include the agency paying too much for supplies, failing to collect fees and neglecting to prioritize the most important streets, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Sales of million-dollar homes are moving at a brisk pace in California, and sales of homes priced at $2 million or more have reached record levels while the market for more modestly priced homes is considerably slower, the Los Angeles Times said.
Catalina Sea Ranch is moving to become the first commercial shellfish producer working in federal waters on the West Coast by growing mussels and scallops near Terminal Island, the Daily Breeze said. Check out the Business Journal’s previous coverage.
Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba is investing serious money in U.S. firms as the company prepares a mammoth IPO expected in September, the New York Times said.
Developer Rich Caruso’s firm unveiled plans to build Miramar Beach Resort and Bungalows on the Santa Barbara beachfront. The Los Angeles Times covers the story.
CBS Films has laid off nine people including executive vice president Maria Faillace as part of a reorganization, The Wrap reported.
The Dow Jones industrial average was down 51 points Friday morning to 16,512. The S&P was down 4 points to 1,926. The Nasdaq was down 22 points to 4,347.