EMPLOYMENT: A forecast released by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. predicted that Los Angeles will hit an employment peak in 2015, regaining jobs lost during the recession. Los Angeles County’s unemployment rate is expected to fall to an average of 7.7 percent next year, the lowest since 2008. While much higher than the pre-recession unemployment rate of 4.2 percent in 2007, that’s still much lower than the 2010 peak of 12.8 percent.
DEALS: The Santa Monica firm Cornerstone OnDemand, a cloud-based software provider for businesses, has acquired San Francisco’s big data platform Evolv Inc. for $43 million in an all-cash deal…. Global investment firm KKR of New York has acquired a minority stake in Lemonade Restaurant Group, a cafeteria-style restaurant chain based in West Hollywood. Terms of the deal were not disclosed…. Pasadena’s Bluebeam Software Inc., a PDF solutions provider for the architecture, engineering and construction industries, has been acquired by German software firm Nemetschek Group for $100 million…. Live Nation Entertainment Inc., a Beverly Hills concert and artist promoter, is in talks to buy a majority of C3 Presents, the Austin, Texas, promotion company behind festivals such as Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits, a source close to the matter told the New York Times. The 51 percent stake would reportedly cost Live Nation about $125 million.
PENALTIES: Herbalife has been under investigation for months over allegations it operates as an illegal pyramid scheme, but senior executives at the company are confident it will not be shut down by the Federal Trade Commission, Fox Business reported. The company’s optimism is based on its belief that the FTC would have acted more quickly if it believed the company was engaged in an illegal scheme. Herbalife executives still expect penalties, including fines and sanctions, for failing to properly advise distributors about the potential to make money from selling its products.
CHIEF: Jay Wintrob, who ran American International Group’s life and retirement division until leaving last month, will take the helm of downtown Los Angeles investment management firm Oaktree Capital Group, serving as the investment company’s first chief executive. Oaktree was founded by local billionaires Bruce Karsh and Howard Marks. Karsh had been the firm’s top executive, with the titles of president and chief investment officer. He and Marks, now the firm’s chairman, will share the title of co-chairman.
SURFING: Private membership airline Surf Air will expand its service both north and south of Los Angeles – to Carlsbad in November and Oakland in December. The San Diego suburb and the Bay Area city were added based on potential member demand, and the company said more than 100 deposits have been placed for membership in those regions. Surf Air’s all-you-can-fly plan resembles that of a gym membership, with customers paying a one-time initiation fee of $500 followed by monthly dues starting at about $1,750 allowing them to fly as often as they like.
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