Stories for March 2015

Tuesday, March 31

Two LA Venture Capitalists Help Launch Think Tank

Los Angeles venture capitalists Dana Settle, co-founder of Greycroft Partners, and Joseph Sanberg, co-founder of Aspiration.com and Pt Capital, are helping to launch a public policy and advocacy think tank named the Economic Innovation Group.

Briefs: UTi Tumbles, Ducommun Delays Earnings (Again)

Uti Shares Tumble on Earnings Shares of Long Beach freight-forwarding and logistics firm Uti Worldwide Inc. sank Tuesday after the company released fourth-quarter and full-year earnings that showed flagging revenue and a huge net loss.

CBRE Buys Johnson Controls Unit for $1.48 Billion

Downtown L.A. commercial real estate giant CBRE Group Inc. has purchased the Global Workplace Solutions unit of Milwaukee’s Johnson Controls Inc. for $1.475 billion.

Tetra Tech Lands $1 Billion Water Contract

Tetra Tech Inc. in Pasadena has won a federal government contract that could potentially bring it up to $1 billion in international water-management projects.

Wilshire Bank Opens First Georgia Branch

Koreatown’s Wilshire Bancorp Inc. announced Tuesday that it has opened its first full-service bank branch in Georgia, located in the city of LaGrange. The bank, Los Angeles County’s ninth-largest, primarily caters to the Korean-American community.

Westin Pasadena Hotel Sells High

In what Bruce Baltin of hospitality consulting firm PFK Consulting USA said was one of the biggest hotel deals in Los Angeles County this year, Carey Watermark Investors Inc., a New York real estate investment trust, bought the Westin Pasadena for $143 million, or about $408,000 a room, last week.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 200 points in Tuesday trading to close at 17,776. The S&P 500 fell 18 points to 2,068. The Nasdaq fell 47 points to 4,901. The LABJ Stock Index fell three points to 226.

Now it’s June for Iran Nuke Deadline

Tuesday was the deadline for ending marathon talks on how to control Iran’s nuclear program, but now officials from six nations are extending that deadline to June, the Associated Press reports.

Weighing In on Raising Wages

Los Angeles County is now weighing in on the minimum wage hike debate as the L.A. County Board of Supervisors is considering commissioning a study on Tuesday to look at the local impacts of raising the minimum wage, City News Service reports.

Uber, Wingz Take Off

Ride-sharing services Uber and Wingz are now cleared for pick up at the John Wayne Airport in Orange County after receiving permits on Monday, making it one of the first large Southern California airports to do so, the Los Angeles Times reports.

‘Going Clear’ Documentary Debated

An HBO documentary about the Church of Scientology is sparking debate and ruffling feathers among followers, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Staying Put

Capitol Group Investment, one of the largest office tenants downtown, is set to call Bunker Hill home for another 15 years, its landlord Brookfield Property Partners has announced. The Los Angeles Times reports that the company has renewed its lease at Bank of America Plaza, taking up 323,000 square feet.

Snapchat Snaps Up Real Estate

It has only taken two years for the popular messaging app Snapchat to build up from a Venice bungalow to what will soon become 40,000 square feet in some buildings located at Venice and Abbot Kinney boulevards, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Big Buy

In a continuing consolidation of the cable industry, Charter Communications has agreed to cough up $10.4 billion to buy rival operator Bright House Networks, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Not Wanting to Play Ball in Indiana

NCAA President Mark Emmert may not want to play ball with Indiana, saying the state's new "religious freedom" law goes against “the core values” of inclusion and diversity, CNBC reports.

Breakfast with Your Burger?

McMuffins aren’t just for breakfast anymore, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Rapper Jay-Z Leads the Way

Rapper Jay-Z is leading a tidal wave of top musicians to his new streaming music service, Tidal, to ensure they get paid their piece of the pie, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 98 points in Tuesday morning trading to 17,878. The S&P 500 was down 9 points to 2,077. The Nasdaq was down 22 points to 4,925. The LABJ stock index was down one point to 228.

Monday, March 30

Brazil Loses Latest Round of Fight for Giant Emerald

Three businessmen claiming to own the 840-pound “Bahia Emerald” caught a break in Los Angeles Superior Court Monday after a judge rejected a request from Brazil to dismiss the five-year-long legal battle and ultimately grant the country ownership.

New Music Service Focuses on Social Media

A Los Angeles startup called urRadio is aiming to bridge the gap between social media platforms and streaming music services.

BreitBurn Secures $1 Billion Investment, Cuts Shareholder Distribution

BreitBurn Energy Partners, the debt-strapped Los Angeles oil partnership, has obtained $1 billion in financing from EIG Global Energy Partners of Washington D.C., the company announced late Sunday.

Inglewood Hires Security Firm to Assess Stadium Risks

The proposal to build an NFL stadium in Inglewood isn’t a done deal, but that’s not stopping that city from hiring a security firm to assess a stadium’s safety risks.

Chatsworth Microelectronics Assembly Firm Merges

Natel Engineering Co. announced on Monday it would merge with OnCore Manufacturing LLC to create one of the largest microelectronic assembly firms in the United States.

DreamWorks Scores at Box Office

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. scored big over the weekend with its latest release “Home” bringing in $54 million in domestic box office revenue.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 264 points to close at 17,976. The S&P 500 rose 25 points to 2,086. The Nasdaq rose 56 points to 4,947. The LABJ Stock Index rose two points to 229.

No Room at the Death-Row Inn

The state’s death row is facing a housing shortage, leading Gov. Jerry Brown to make an appeal to the state legislature for $3.2 million to fund nearly 100 more cells at San Quentin, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Netanyahu Lashes Out

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu again warned of the dangers of a possible nuclear agreement with Iran during talks in Switzerland just ahead of a deadline, Yahoo reports.

New Provost at USC

There is a new second-in command at USC. The university has named neuroscientist Michael Quick as its new provost, choosing to look in-house and hire its executive vice provost after a national search, the Los Angeles Times reports.

U.C. Berkeley Now Caught Up in PUC Scandal

The California Public Utilities Commission scandal has now spread to U.C. Berkeley as the school is being criticized for its role in a retirement dinner for Michael Peevey, the former head of the PUC now under investigation by the Department of Justice, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Carly Fiorina a Possible Go

Hewlett-Packard’s former chief executive Carly Fiorina says she is more than 90 percent likely to run for president on the Republican ticket, the Associated Press reports.

Airlines to Pay Up

When it comes time for the families of the victims of last week’s Germanwings plane crash in the French Alps to get paid by insurers, the amount they receive will depend on where they’re from, the New York Times reports.

Bearing Arms

In an effort to curb the possibility of civil war in Yemen, Arab leaders plan to band together to create a joint military force, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Acquires Auspex Pharmaceuticals

Israeli drug maker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. is buying La Jolla-based Auspex Pharmaceuticals Inc. in a deal valued at about $3.2 billion, increasing Teva’s presence among treatments for central nervous system disorders, the Wall Street Journal reports.

United Health Group to Buy Catamaran

Minneapolis-based health insurer UnitedHealth Group has agreed to plop down about $12.8 billion to buy pharmacy benefit manager Catamaran Corp. of Schaumburg, Ill., CNBC reports.

Volvo Heading Stateside

Volvo Car Corp. is planning to make a safe bet on the U.S. by building a $500 million plant stateside, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Funny Man

After only three appearances, South African Trevor Noah has been tapped to be the new host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” when Jon Stewart steps down later this year, the New York Times reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 267 points in Monday morning trading to 17,980. The S&P 500 rose 20 points to 2,081. The Nasdaq rose 38 points to 4,929. The LABJ stock index rose two points to 229.

Investment Firm Looks North to Tap Into Tech

EXPANSION: Bel Air opens outpost in San Francisco to help connect to startups.

From its office on Avenue of the Stars, Bel Air Investment Advisors has built a reputation as wealth manager to the stars. But today’s young A-listers are often found in Bay Area tech incubators, not Hollywood hot spots.

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Empowered Patent System Will Work in L.A.’s Favor

Patent protections help ensure an innovative future for California, according to Scott Dunbar.

Closing Transit Gap

Carsharing, bikesharing services taking steps to solve L.A.’s ‘first, last mile’ transit challenge.

Sharing services help Los Angeles make up ground on the “first and last mile” challenge, writes Ruben Gonzalez.

Fracking Challenge Shows Cracks

Aubry Stone wants to break up junk-science claims about fracking.

Bigger Better

Burtek merges three firms to pursue aerospace work

Burtek Holdings hopes sales take off by combining suppliers and design companies into one entity.

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Now Tech Firms Are Being Recruited To Cheaper Locales

Developer Stockdale Capital Partners plugs Scottsdale, Ariz., as a support center for Silicon Beach firms.

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High on Dry

LANDSCAPING: Sales of drought-resistant plants blossom at nurseries with help from government subsidies to cut back on grass.

Drought-resistant plants become hot items at nurseries, boosted by government subsidies to trim lawn space.

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Medium-Sized Businesses Face Big Obamacare Bill

INSURANCE: Analysts warn failing to properly document this year will bring fines.

Analysts fear Obamacare filing requirements for 2015 could do a number on unprepared employers next year.

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Pasadena Hotel Deal Checks In With Hefty Price

ACQUISITION: New York buyer pays $143 million for Westin property.

In what Bruce Baltin of downtown L.A.’s CBRE Group Inc.’s hospitality consulting firm PFK Consulting USA said was one of the biggest hotel deals in Los Angeles County this year, Carey Watermark Investors Inc., a New York real estate investment trust, bought the Westin Pasadena for $143 million, or about $408,000 a room, last week.

Conventions

Upcoming conventions

Calendar

Calendar of events

LAX Freight to Take Off With Middle East Airline

SHIPPING: Qatar Airways’ cargo expected to include oil-rich residents’ art.

Fruit, pharmaceuticals, priceless art. That’s just some of the cargo that will soon be moving between Southern California and Qatar on Saturday when Qatar Airways starts air freight service between Los Angeles International Airport and the airport in the Qatari capital of Doha.

Obamacare Exchange Falls Short on Commissions

INSURANCE: Brokers say they still await payment for aiding small businesses.

Insurance agents have been Covered California’s foot soldiers, helping individuals and businesses navigate the chaos of the insurance exchange’s early days.

New Late-Night Host Has Trouble Securing Fame

TV: James Corden bailed out by billboard when proving his bona fides to CBS guard.

The new late-night TV talk-show host on CBS knew he faced a challenge being recognized by the American public – though maybe not by those at his own studio.

Online Postage Provider Hopes New Deal Delivers

INTERNET: Stamps.com acquires competitor Endicia to expand customer base.

Online postage provider Stamps.com addresses new client markets with acquisition of Endicia.

Union Looks to Fold In Garment Maker’s Workers

CLOTHING: Former CEO Dov Charney backs labor effort at American Apparel.

Immigrants’ rights group works with American Apparel employees in labor drive.

Vet Publicist Owns Up to Mistake of Selling Firm

PR: Michael Levine talks brief retirement, returning to 30-plus-year career.

Industry vet Michael Levine has reworked his retirement plan after returning to the helm of his namesake firm.

University Aims to Make Waves in Silicon Beach

TECHNOLOGY: Venture by Arizona State seeks to link to new class of entrepreneurs.

Alumnus helps Arizona State University teach L.A. tech entrepreneurs how to launch a business.

Latest Offer for Mall Operator Proves Tough Sell

DEVELOPMENT: Shares slide as Macerich investors question chance of deal.

Wall Street isn’t sold on rival mall operator’s latest offer for deal-averse Macerich.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Tetra Tech Inc., a Pasadena engineering services company, has been awarded a five-year, $62 million contract by the U.S. Agency for International Development to support the provincial government system in Afghanistan.

Passing Propane Torch

When Julie Johnson entered the propane business founded by her father 30 years ago, she stood out as one of the few women in a male-dominated industry. And it was her father who had to mentor her so she could take over one day, making sure the men in the industry respected her.

Coffee Maker Heats Up Machine War

Touch looks to crack Keurig’s dominance with speed, quality.

Touch looks to push rival Keurig’s buttons with a brewing machine built for speedy, tasty cups of joe.

Street Race Comes With Built-In Buzz

FIA Formula E event to run electric cars around Long Beach.

New Long Beach race looks to electrify fans with battery-powered cars.

Furniture Brand Hopes It Has Legs

Shabby Chic founder couches revival plan in terms of caution.

Furniture brand Shabby Chic Couture hopes a cautious approach to growth will cushion any setbacks.

L.A.’s Oldest Firm Losing Appeal for Lawyers?

LAW: O’Melveny & Myers hit with departures as revenue slides.

O’Melveny & Myers loses lawyers to the hire power of rival firms stoked by a rebounding economy.

Friday, March 27

More Cargo, Passengers at LAX

February was another strong month for air cargo at Los Angeles International Airport, as importers and exporters took to the skies to avoid West Coast ports that, until late last month, were tied up by a labor dispute.

Briefs: Medbox Climbs, LMU Names New President, Kirk Douglas Donates

Medbox Climbs Medbox Inc. shares jumped 17 percent on Friday to $1.65 after the West Hollywood marijuana dispensing firm filed its first annual report and first regulatory filing since restating previous years’ financials.

L.A. Launch List: March 27

The Los Angeles Business Journal brings you a weekly roundup of L.A. launches.

PE Roundup: Private Equity Deals Announced This Week

Century City’s OpenGate Capital announced Monday that it has completed the sale of Kotkamills Oy, a Finnish specialty paper and wood products company, to Finnish private equity firm MB Funds.

Stamps.com, Motorcar Parts of America Among Week’s Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies fell slightly for the week. The weighted LABJ index fell around 3 percent to close at 227, with losers outpacing gainers 101 to 52. Five companies closed the week unchanged.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 34 points in Friday trading to close at 17,713. The S&P 500 rose five points to 2,061. The Nasdaq rose 28 points to 4,891. The LABJ stock index rose one point to 227.

Dov Charney Demands Pay

The embattled American Apparel founder and former chief executive wants $40 million in damages, not to mention his art collection, following his firing last year, Bloomberg reports.

Unfit to Work

The Germanwings co-pilot whom authorities believe planned to down a plane that crashed into the French Alps, killing 150 people on board, had torn up a sick note from his doctor declaring him unfit to work, Bloomberg reports.

Saying Goodbye

Democratic Senate minority leader Harry Reid won’t seek reelection in 2016, the Los Angeles Times reports. The 75-year-old had said he’d run again, but now says a recent injury that impaired his vision has caused him to change his mind.

Metro Wants to Lower Rents

If working-class Angelenos can’t afford to live near transit lines, they’re less likely to use public transit. That’s the thinking behind the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Agency’s decision to set aside land near transit lines for affordable housing, KPCC reports.

Encore for Gustavo

The Dude is staying put: The Los Angeles Philharmonic has extended star conductor Gustavo Dudamel’s contract by three years, which will keep the Venezuelan wunderkind in Los Angeles into 2022, the Los Angeles Times reports.

High Fashion

Get ready, big spenders. A flagship Nordstrom store and a fashion wing with up to 100 stores are set to open in mid-October at Del Amo Fashion Center, part of a $200 million upgrade to the South Bay mall, the Daily Breeze reports.

Pay Day

Money talks for Google’s new chief financial officer, Ruth Porat, who will be $70 million richer for defecting from the same job at investment bank Morgan Stanley, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Apple CEO to Give It All Away

Tim Cook says he will join the ranks of the rich who don’t plan to die with it by giving away his estimated $785 million fortune to charity after making sure his 10-year-old nephew's college tuition is paid for, CNBC reports.

Buying at the Beach

Fresh and Easy may be closing around 50 of its grocery stores, but the company’s chief executive isn’t letting the news get him down as he has forked over $6.35 million for an oceanfront house in Redondo Beach, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 13 points in Friday morning trading to 17,691. The S&P 500 rose three points to 2,059. The Nasdaq rose 19 points to 4,882. The LABJ stock index rose one point to 227.

Thursday, March 26

POLL: Is your business all square with Obamacare?

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. Our latest poll is available on the bottom right column of our home page.

Local Woman Wins $28 Million From Kaiser

A jury awarded a Chatsworth woman $28 million on Thursday after agreeing that Kaiser Permanente’s Woodland Hills facility bungled the treatment for what turned out to be a cancerous tumor, according to the woman’s law firm.

Briefs: Kite Pharma Sinks on Q4 Loss, Arts District Site Sells for $130 Million

Kite Pharma’s Shares Fall After Q4 Loss Despite detailing a year full of landmark deals in its 2014 earnings report, Santa Monica biotech firm Kite Pharma Inc.’s shares fell 7.26 percent to $57.75 on Thursday.

SEC Probing Charney Firing

Nine months after American Apparel fired former chief executive and founder Dov Charney, the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the circumstances behind the ouster, according to a company filing.

Sportsmen's Lodge Project is Approved

After a contentious, five-hour Wednesday evening hearing, developer Richard Weintraub won the right to demolish the historic Sportsmen’s Lodge event center in Studio City and replace it with a 97,800-square-foot, mixed-use development.

Technicolor Will Close Burbank Office

Technicolor USA Inc. is closing a digital media services facility in Burbank that it opened just last year with expectations that it would employ some 250 workers.

Santa Monica Startups Land Major Financing

Two Santa Monica tech companies announced today that they’ve secured eight-figure capital raises from leading venture capital firms.

Security Software Firm Loads Up on Marina Office Space

TeleSign, a maker of identity verification software, is more than doubling its space in Marina del Rey by moving into a bigger headquarters.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 40 points in Thursday trading to close at 17,678. The S&P 500 fell five points to 2,056. The Nasdaq fell 13 points to 4,863. The LABJ stock index was flat at 226.

Toppling “McMansions”

“McMansions” may soon be no more now that the Los Angeles City Council has voted to temporarily restrict them in 20 local neighborhoods, saying they are changing the character of some areas, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

SEC Probes American Apparel CEO’s Ouster

The SEC has launched an investigation into the way American Apparel handled the firing of its controversial founder Dov Charney, Bloomberg reports.

Co-Pilot Planned to Crash German Plane

The co-pilot of the Germanwings plane that crashed into the French Alps on Tuesday, killing all 150 people on board, appears to have downed the plane deliberately, according to French authorities, Reuters reports.

Verengo Solar Co-Founders Resign

Verengo Solar’s co-founders, Randy Bishop and Ken Button, are leaving their posts at the Torrance solar panel company to pursue other interests, the company has announced. See the Los Angeles Business Journal’s coverage here.

Herbalife Counterpunches

Don’t count Herbalife out. The Los Angeles nutritional supplement company is taking aim at its critics with a downtown rally and its first TV ad campaign in more than a decade, the Los Angeles Times reports.

EPA Emissions Split High Court

The Supreme Court is split over the Obama administration’s effort to impose strict emissions standards for coal-fired power plants, but the court could block a new rule. The standards would forbid plants from releasing mercury, arsenic and other hazardous pollutants into the air but would result in high prices, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Restoring the L.A. River

All dreams come with a cost as city officials are finding out as the price of restoring the L.A. River could now cost the city as much as $1.2 billion, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Tenants Now Run to Red Building

“If you build it, they will eventually come” could be the motto of the Pacific Design Center’s red building which, until recently, had been unoccupied since it was built in 2013, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Utility Execs Benefit from Public Dollars

Taxpayer dollars that were supposed to be used for pipeline safety were used instead to line the pockets of executives at the Pacific Gas and Electric Co. in the months before a deadly pipeline explosion in 2010, according to lawmakers, the Los Angeles Times reports.

PayPal Must Pay Up

PayPal Inc. has been ordered by federal officials to pay $7.7 million for allegedly allowing transactions that violated U.S. sanctions, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Life After Death

Even Paul Walker’s death could not stop the production of ‘Furious 7’ as Peter Jackson’s Weta Digital reportedly stepped in to help digitally recreate the actor in order for Universal Pictures to finish the film, the Hollywood Reporter reports.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 77 points in Thursday morning trading to 17,643. The S&P 500 fell eight points to 2,053. The Nasdaq fell 29 points to 4,848. The LABJ stock index fell one point to 225.

Verengo Co-Founders Exit Leadership Posts; Marketing Exec New CEO

The co-founders of Torrance solar panel installer Verengo Solar are leaving their leadership posts as a tech marketing executive has been named as the new chief executive, the company announced Wednesday.

Wednesday, March 25

Pasadena Firm Launches New Influencer Marketing Platform

Pasadena advertising firm Ayzenberg Group has boosted its digital offerings with a new platform that connects digital marketers and brands with social media celebrities known as influencers.

American Apparel Inks Credit Deal, Reports Rough Q4 Earnings

The final quarter of 2014 was a dismal one financially and legally for downtown clothing maker American Apparel Inc.

Garcetti Plugs Seismic Retrofit Bill

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti appeared in Van Nuys on Wednesday to urge passage of an Assembly bill providing tax credits for landlords who retrofit apartments and condo complexes deemed especially vulnerable to collapse in earthquakes.

Pot Delivery Firm Crowdfunds for Legal Defense

Hollywood startup Nestdrop has launched a fundraising campaign. But unlike most fledgling technology firms, the app-based provider of alcohol and medical marijuana delivery services isn’t trying to fund a new project or expansion plans: It’s soliciting cash to pay its legal fees.

Delay Expected for Comcast, Time Warner Cable Deal

Comcast Corp.’s planned $45 billion purchase of Time Warner Cable Inc. has run into a snag in the form of a lengthy regulatory review that is expected to delay the deal.

Graybar Buys in Packed Pomona

A newly constructed logistics facility in Pomona sold last month for $22.9 million. St. Louis manufacturer Graybar Electric Co. Inc., one of the largest U.S. distributors of electronic parts, bought the property at 2205 Mount Vernon Ave. from Gardena’s Overton Moore Properties.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 293 points in Wednesday trading to close at 17,719. The S&P 500 fell 30 points to 2,061. The Nasdaq fell 118 points to 4,877. The LABJ stock index fell four points to 226.

Kraft and Heinz Merging to Form Food Giant

Maxwell House Coffee, Heinz Ketchup and Jell-O will soon be in the same family as Kraft Foods Group Inc. and H.J. Heinz Co. have announced they will merge, forming the world’s fifth largest food and beverage company, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Elon Musk’s Hyperloop Heads Downtown

The company behind Tesla billionaire Elon Musk’s high-speed transport fantasy that would whisk passengers in vacuum tubes from Los Angeles to San Francisco in half an hour in vacuum tubes is taking up residence in the downtown arts district, proving Hyperloop isn’t all hype, the Los Angeles Times reports.

USC Gets $50 Million Donation

USC will soon be $50 million richer, thanks to a donation to be announced on Wednesday from Silicon Valley venture capitalist and longtime USC benefactor Mark Stevens to be used for a brain research institute. See the Los Angeles Business Journal’s coverage here.

LAUSD Teachers Skip Meetings

Teachers balked at losing an hour’s pay as they boycotted Tuesday faculty meetings to demand better working conditions and an 8.5 percent pay raise, the Daily Breeze reports.

Lexmark to Buy Kofax

Kentucky print maker maker Lexmark International has announced it will buy Irvine-based software developer Kofax Ltd. for about $1 billion, the Los Angeles Times reports.

American Among Dead in German Plane Crash

At least one American was among those presumed to have perished on board the Germanwings flight that crashed Tuesday in the French Alps, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Compromise on Net Neutrality?

There may be a glimmer of hope in Congress as both sides of the aisle could come together to form a bipartisan deal on net neutrality, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Oil Prices Headed Up, but Maybe Later

Oil magnate T. Boone Pickens now predicts oil prices could hit $100 a barrel by the end of next year, revising his previous forecast that oil would reach that level as early as later this year, CNBC reports.

All About Breakfast

Biscuits or tacos? If you head to Taco Bell for breakfast starting on Thursday, you won’t have to make that choice as the fast food eatery is adding biscuit tacos to its menu, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 36 points in Wednesday morning trading to 17,975. The S&P 500 rose one point to 2,092. The Nasdaq fell 22 points to 4,972. The LABJ stock index fell one point to 229.

USC Receives $50 Million Donation from Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist for Brain Research Center

Silicon Valley venture capitalist and longtime USC benefactor Mark Stevens has donated another $50 million to the university for a brain research institute, USC officials were set to announce Wednesday.

Tuesday, March 24

Trust Invests in Low-Income Housing

A private New York real estate investment trust that invests exclusively in affordable housing announced on Tuesday that it is putting $20 million into California low-income housing, including issuing a mortgage for a Van Nuys senior housing complex.

Tommy Store Sets WeHo Record

The 11,000-square-foot Tommy Hilfiger store at the intersection of Robertson and Beverly boulevards in West Hollywood traded last month for a record price.

Stamps.com to Acquire Endicia for $215 Million

El Segundo postage seller Stamps.com announced on Tuesday it plans to acquire Endicia, a subsidiary of Atlanta’s Newell Rubbermaid Inc., for $215 million in cash.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 105 points in Tuesday trading to close at 18,011. The S&P 500 fell 13 points to 2,092. The Nasdaq fell 16 points to 4,995. The LABJ stock index fell two points to 230.

Union Drive On at American Apparel

Organized labor has never had a presence at downtown Los Angeles clothing maker American Apparel Inc., but a new union push could be the next thorny issue for the company.

ParkMe Expands to Venice and Hollywood

Santa Monica’s ParkMe, which provides real-time parking information through its app, has expanded its service to Venice and Hollywood.

Olympus’ Profits from Superbug a Problem for Lawmaker

In a bizarre twist, hospitals are actually buying more of the medical scopes linked to the recent superbug outbreak, and that’s not OK with Freshman Congressman Ted Lieu, who says device-maker Olympus Corp. shouldn’t be profiting from its flawed devices, the Los Angeles Times reports.

MTA’s 110 Freeway Project Now Paying a Toll

Toll lanes along the 110 Freeway have become so popular (that is, crowded) that Metro officials are now experimenting with carpool-only restrictions during morning rush hour, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Just Say No to E-Cigarettes, Health Officials Say

California health officials want to stomp out the fast-growing market for e-cigarettes and are launching an information campaign to do so, though an industry group calls the campaign propaganda, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reports.

$3 Million Worth of Marijuana Seized

Talk about bad luck: Three Mexican men trying to smuggle $3 million worth of pot into Southern California by boat were arrested after being spotted near the Channel Islands by an off-duty Department of Fish and Wildlife officer, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Room Rates on the Rise at Coachella

With Coachella less than two weeks away, fans of the music festival may get more than they bargained for this year as hotel room rates rise through the roof, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Home Sales Climb

In the market for a house? Join the club. New-home sales rose to their highest level in seven years last month, increasing 7.8 percent from a month earlier, according to the Commerce Department, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Morgan Stanley CFO Heads to Google

Ruth Porat, one of the most powerful women on Wall Street, is leaving the Big Apple for Silicon Valley, ditching Morgan Stanley to take over as chief financial officer at Google, the New York Times reports.

Contract Extended for CBS News President

David Rhodes will remain the network’s news chief through 2019, the Hollywood Reporter reports.

Four Ejected from Dodgers-Diamondbacks Game

A beanball war that started when L.A.’s Chris Anderson hit Arizona’s Mark Trumbo in the first inning of a spring training game Monday ultimately led to three more plunkings and the ejection of three D-Backs players, plus Arizona manager Chip Hale, CBS Sports reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 21 points in Tuesday morning trading to 18,137. The S&P 500 was up two points to 2,106. The Nasdaq was up 18 points to 5,029. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 227.

Monday, March 23

OpenX Upgrades Ad Fraud Detection Capabilities

OpenX, a Pasadena automated online ad exchange, has launched a new platform designed to improve the quality of its inventory and help eliminate ad fraud.

Haggen Opening, Fresh & Easy Downsizing

Haggen Food & Pharmacy Grocery store will open a location in Palmdale on Tuesday, the first of 25 Haggen stores that will open in the Los Angeles area by the end of this summer.

Supreme Court Will Hear DirecTV Arbitration Appeal

The U.S. Supreme Court has announced it will hear DirecTV’s appeal regarding the company’s assertion that customer disagreements should be resolved through private arbitration rather than in court.

Mani Bros. Buy In Playa

A pair of three-story office buildings in Playa Vista sold this month in an off-market deal for $48.5 million.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 12 points in Monday trading to close at 18,116. The S&P 500 fell four points to 2,104. The Nasdaq fell 15 points to 5,011. The LABJ stock index fell one point to 232.

Stan Kroenke to Woo NFL Owners with Inglewood Stadium

St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke is betting on Inglewood as he touts plans for a futuristic $1.86-billion stadium at Hollywood Park during this week’s NFL owners meetings in Arizona, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Traffic Woes on the Way at California Incline

A $20-million facelift at the California Incline is about to dramatically improve the road but cause a traffic nightmare for locals, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Cali Beats Lone Star State in Job Growth

Looking for a job? More Americans may want to head west as California is now leading other states in job growth, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Supreme Court to Weigh In on Clean Air

The battle between cleaner air and higher costs will be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court this week when lawyers for the coal and power industries speak out against a new rule under the Clean Air Act that would restrict coal and power plants from releasing hazardous pollutants into the air, the Los Angeles Times reports.

More Room for Fish at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

A whale room, a kelp canopy, a new pavilion and an eye-catching entryway are among the attractions expected to be added to the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium as part of a $25 million expansion project scheduled to be launched next month, the Daily Breeze reports.

Texas Republican Ted Cruz Ready to Run

A tweet from Ted has officially launched the presidential bid for Lone Star State Senator Ted Cruz, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Tenet Healthcare to Buy United Surgical

Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare Corp. is nearing a $2.5 billion possible deal to buy United Surgical Partners International Inc., the Wall Street Journal reports.

RadioShack Hits Chopping Block

A bankruptcy auction is kicking off on Monday, leaving the fate of electronic retailer RadioShack Corp. hanging in the balance, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Frontier Airlines Raises Fees

The price of flying the friendly skies will soon climb higher for passengers of Frontier Airlines as the air carrier is raising its fees for checked bags by $5, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Rest Easy, Chicken Fries Are Back

Burger King fans no longer have to suffer without chicken fries as the fast food chain announced they are back on the menu, CNBC reports.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 39 points in Monday morning trading to 18,166. The S&P 500 rose four points to 2,112. The Nasdaq fell five points to 5,021. The LABJ stock index was flat at 233.

Marketer Pictures Film Campaign With Instagram

INTERNET: TheAmplify casts online influencers in ‘Insurgent’ video promotion.

Culver City social media marketing firm theAmplify, which launched in January 2014, has broadened its range of creative offerings to include green-screen video production for campaigns on Instagram featuring popular influencers.

Hitting Road, Minding Health

Stay Fit Housing helps business people work out their travel plans.

Stay Fit Housing makes room for healthy services to pursue business travelers.

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Playa Vista Deal Shores Up Investor’s Portfolio

ACQUISITION: Off-market purchase by Mani Brothers valued at $48.5 million.

A pair of three-story office buildings in Playa Vista sold this month in an off-market deal for $48.5 million.

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Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Williams Data Management, a Vernon data security and storage business, has acquired Shred Masters Inc., an Ontario document destruction company.

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New Blueprint

DEVELOPMENT: Executive architect firm House & Robertson sees more work from small design firms handling big projects.

Executive architects such as House & Robertson help projects pencil out for design firms.

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Doctors’ Orders: Invest in This Firm

HEALTH CARE: Summation says it has R/x to pick medical startups.

Summation Health Ventures can turn to its investors’ doctors when choosing which startups to nurse.

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SPECIAL REPORT: Sizing Up L.A.

Six local bank executives address regulatory, economic issues that have spurred institutions to seek deals to combine their strengths.

Bidders are going big for small and midsize institutions as bankers team up.

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Taking Stock

Onestop Internet tracks shops’ items online, in stores

Onestop looks to link up shops’ online and brick-and-mortar sales and inventory.

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SPECIAL REPORT: Civic Life May Suffer With Loss of Local Firms

Royal Bank of Canada’s deal for City National is another example of L.A. losing a headquarters.

Boutique Eyes New Business With Mink Lashes

BEAUTY: Blinkbar looks to pricey extensions to help bolster expansion plan.

Mink stole. Mink coat. Mink lashes?

Report: More Class-Action Suits Coming Together

LITIGATION: Cybersecurity seen as concern contributing to expansion of sector.

Businesses across the United States spent more than $2 billion last year defending themselves against a slew of class-action lawsuits, and most companies anticipate this year will bring even heftier legal bills, according to a report published this month.

Business, Labor Reports Not on Same Wage Page

POLITICS: Groups’ studies look at impact of different proposed pay increases.

When local business and labor groups came out with their respective studies on the impacts of hiking L.A.’s minimum wage last week, the fact that they came to different conclusions – business opposing and labor supporting – was not surprising.

Former FBI Agent Now Hunts for Cooked Books

ACCOUNTING: War stories of Ernie Cooper added plus for VLS’ forensic clients.

Ernie Cooper taps into his FBI past to make a case for VLS’ forensic services.

Overseas Investors Establish Industrial Beachhead

REAL ESTATE: $402 million in local properties purchased as part of $8.1 billion deal.

Local industrial properties show their strength with foreign buyers as part of $8.1 billion deal.

Florida Governor Fails to Make Big Splash at Ports

SHIPPING: Analyst sees Los Angeles, Long Beach losing business as unlikely.

Florida governor makes few waves with his plan to poach L.A.-Long Beach port cargo.

Firm’s Legal Presence in San Diego Proves Brief

LAW: Covington & Burling shutters outpost to house SoCal efforts in Los Angeles.

Washington, D.C.’s Covington & Burling shutters its San Diego office in a move to court L.A. business.

Strong Quarter Bulks Up Shares of Market Chain

RETAIL: Smart & Final credits strategy to attract typical grocery shoppers.

Investors buy shares of Smart & Final in bulk after a strong quarter from the market chain.

Can’t Get a Brake On Chinese Bike

Adam Xavier thought riding a motorcycle in Los Angeles was scary, until he took a trip to China last summer.

Lawyer Makes Case for Rehab

Darren Kavinoky looks to help DUI, drug defendants beyond legal system.

Defense lawyer Darren Kavinoky has launched an offensive to treat the substance abuse issues of his clients.

Hit Show Spins Hip-Hop Gold

TV: Fox channels ratings for ‘Empire’ into musical ventures.

Fox is singing all the way to the bank as its highly watched hip-hop drama “Empire” churns out hit songs and music revenue.

Card Clubs Bet On Online Bill

GAMBLING: Casinos expect legal Internet poker to boost draw.

Local card clubs wager that they will draw more players if California OKs online poker.

Time to Talk Up PR Industry

Jean Gonsoulin wants to get the word out on how the PR industry benefits Los Angeles.

Conventions

Upcoming conventions

Calendar

Calendar of events

Friday, March 20

Owner Seeks ‘Reasonable Development’ for Historic Norms Building

The owner of the landmark Norms restaurant on La Cienega Boulevard, which was declared a cultural landmark this week by the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission, said it will work with the city to try to preserve the building while moving forward with “some reasonable development project.”

Amgen, Vitesse Among Week’s Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies rose for the week. The weighted LABJ index rose nine points, or about four percent, to close at 233, with gainers outpacing losers 100 to 50.

VCA Buys Vet Lab for $21 Million

VCA Inc. announced Friday that its lab division, Antech Diagnostics Inc., has agreed to buy the assets of Abaxis Veterinary Reference Laboratory from medical products company Abaxis Inc. of Union City for $21 million in cash.

KB Home Rises on Earnings

KB Homes saw its stock rise 8.4 percent Friday after reporting first quarter results that beat analysts’ expectations and an increase in both orders and delivered homes.

PE Roundup: Private Equity Deals Announced This Week

Westwood’s Leonard Green & Partners announced Monday that it has agreed to acquire health club chain Life Time Fitness in Chanhassen, Minn., alongside affiliates of other private equity firms.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 169 points in Friday trading to close at 18,128. The S&P 500 rose 19 points to 2,108. The Nasdaq rose 34 points to 5,026. The LABJ stock index rose two points to 233.

L.A. Unemployment Drops Amid Broad Job Gains

Los Angeles County’s unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent in February as the county added 25,000 jobs across almost every industry, according to state figures released Friday.

Simon Property Presents Final Offer

Simon Property Group Inc. is hoping money talks in its quest to conquer Santa Monica-based Macerich Co., the Wall Street Journal reports.

California Winemakers Sued

If you think red wine is good for your health, you better think again, according to a class action lawsuit being filed against California winemakers, CBS News reports.

Farmworkers Strike

Thousands of Mexican farmworkers are on strike in coastal fields near the border seeking higher salaries, government benefits and overtime pay from some American companies that export tons of produce to the United States, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Napolitano Sorry About That “Crap”

The University of California President Janet Napolitano now says she’s sorry for calling a student protest against tuition hikes “crap,” the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Tesla Will be Hands-Off by Summer

Elon Musk announced that self-driving Teslas will hit the United States by this summer, the New York Times reports.

Bakery Workers Protest Alleged $2 an Hour Pay

The promise of a sweet life has turned sour for some bakery workers from the Philippines who claim they are being exploited by the owners of two bakeries in Beverly Hills and Torrance, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The White House Calls on Hollywood Mentors

President Obama is calling on Hollywood to help pave the way for the artistic youth of today, the Hollywood Reporter reports.

Goodbye Kitty

Hello Kitty is saying goodbye to Torrance. Sanrio Inc., the Japanese parent company of Hello Kitty, is moving its headquarters to El Segundo, the Daily Breeze reports.

Graco Ordered to Pay Up

Graco has agreed to pay a $3 million fine for being slow to report complaints about difficulties its customers have had opening car seat buckles, the New York Times reports.

Can This Be Spring?

This may be the first day of spring, but winter just won’t let go on the East Coast, the Associated Press reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 164 points in Friday morning trading to 18,125. The S&P 500 was up 18 points to 2,107. The Nasdaq rose 35 points to 5,027. The LABJ stock index rose one point to 232.

Thursday, March 19

Norms Passes Major Hurdle

The landmark Norms restaurant on La Cienega, had been declared a cultural monument Thursday, temporarily protecting it from being demolished.

City Study Backs Wage Hike; Biz, Labor Release Dueling Studies

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated from an earlier version. Hiking L.A.’s minimum wage would bring more benefits than costs to both Los Angeles and the region, according to a long-awaited and controversial study released Thursday afternoon.

Amgen Loses Bid to Halt Biosimilar

A federal judge on Thursday denied Amgen Inc.’s bid to stop the sale of a biosimilar form of Neupogen, the company’s infection-fighting blockbuster drug for cancer patients.

Good News for Guess

Shares of Guess Inc. have been steadily declining for more than a year and expectations for the company are low enough that even a lackluster earnings report was enough to send Guess’ stock soaring Thursday.

Markets Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 117 points in Thursday trading to close at 17,959. The S&P 500 fell 10 points to 2,089. The Nasdaq rose 10 points to 4,992. The LABJ stock index was flat at 231.

Fast-food Ban Hasn’t Paid Off, Study Finds

Having it your way doesn’t pay when it comes to obesity, a new study finds. A ban on new, fast-food restaurants in South Los Angeles, which was put in place seven years ago to curb obesity, has failed, according to a Rand Corp. report released on Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Janet Napolitano Tired of “Crap”

Don’t mess with Janet Napolitano. Some college students, protesting tuition hikes, learned this the hard way when the University of California president quipped to a fellow regent on a hot mic, “we don’t’ have to listen to this crap” during a meeting this week in San Francisco, KPIX reports.

Lawmakers to Offer $1 Billion Drought Relief Bill

How do you spell relief? Try M-O-N-E-Y. That is what Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers plan to propose on Thursday in the form of $1 billion to help fight California’s drought, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Cheating Scandal Inflames L.A. County Fire Dept. Officials

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire at the Los Angeles County Fire Department as some of its employees now face punishment or firing as a result of cheating when it comes to hiring workers, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Television Producer Arrested in Sister’s Murder

Jill Blackstone, a television producer known for working on shows including “The Sally Jessy Raphael Show” and the “Rosie O’Donnell Show,” was arrested for suspicion of first-degree murder in the death of her sister, the Los Angeles Times reports.

LAX Workers Sue In-Flight Food Company

Workers at Los Angeles International airport are suing the airplane food company, Flying Food Group Pacific, saying they don’t make enough to make ends meet, the Daily Breeze reports.

Fullerton Being Sued for Right to Vote

Two civil rights groups, the local ACLU and Asian-Americans Advancing Justice, are suing the city of Fullerton for allegedly violating the voting rights of Asian-Americans, KPCC reports.

Pickens Sees $70-Oil by Year’s End

Oil has been on a slippery slope, but according to oil entrepreneur T. Boone Pickens, prices will shoot up to $70 a barrel by the end of the year, CNBC reports.

Target to Pay Up

Paydays will be sweeter for Target workers come April when their pay is expected to go up to at least $9 an hour, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 48 points in Thursday morning trading to 18,029. The S&P 500 fell four points to 2,095. The Nasdaq rose 14 points to 4,996. The LABJ stock index rose one point to 231.

Wednesday, March 18

Sidecar Brings Delivery Service to L.A.

San Francisco ride-sharing company Sidecar is bringing its business delivery service to Los Angeles.

Poll: Should online poker be made legal in California?

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. Our latest poll is available on the bottom right column of our home page.

Sexy Ads, Debt Talks Hit American Apparel

Risqué advertising and a crushing debt load have been ongoing problems for downtown Los Angeles clothing maker American Apparel Inc., and there was news on both fronts Wednesday.

Herbalife’s Shares Rise After Lawsuit Dismissed

Shares of Herbalife Ltd., the downtown Los Angeles nutritional supplement company, rose Wednesday after a judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by shareholders alleging they lost money because the business was an illegal pyramid scheme.

Microsemi to Acquire Vitesse for $389 Million

Semiconductor manufacturer Microsemi Corp. has made an offer to acquire Vitesse Semiconductor Corp.in a deal valued at $389 million, the companies announced Wednesday.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 227 points in Wednesday trading to close at 18,076. The S&P 500 rose 25 points to 2,099. The Nasdaq rose 45 points to 4,983. The LABJ stock index rose three points to 231.

More Water Restrictions Coming

Golden State? Maybe more like light brown. California water regulators have ordered water agencies statewide to restrict how often customers can water lawns, the Sacramento Bee reports. Expect neighborhoods to look a lot less green when the new rules take effect in about 45 days.

San Bernardino Defaults on $10 Million in Payments

Bankrupt San Bernardino has been paying state pension fund Calpers, but the city has skipped out on about $10 million in payments on private pension bonds since 2012 and hasn’t negotiated with bondholders in months, Reuters reports.

Herbalife Wins Lawsuit Dismissal

Herbalife is still battling with hedge fund manager William Ackman, but the company came out on top in a related fight Tuesday: A judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by an Herbalife shareholder who claimed he lost money because of Ackman’s accusation that Herbalife is a pyramid scheme, Bloomberg reports.

Unhealthy Prognosis for Blue Shield of California

The tax man is coming for Blue Shield of California. The health insurer has long been exempted from state taxes as a non-profit, but state officials pulled that exemption last year (no word on why) and now want the company to pay back taxes too, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Lions Gate Seals the Deal

Pomp, circumstance and Daniel Radcliffe were all on hand Wednesday morning in Changsha, China, when Santa Monica’s Lions Gate Entertainment and China’s Hunan TV inked a $1.5 billion co-production and co-production deal, Variety reports.

American Express Offers New Loyalty Program

American Express rewards points, even if you pay with Visa? That’s one of the perks Amex is offering under a new customer loyalty program called Plenti, the New York Times reports.

No More Promises from the Fed

The financial markets could get injected with a dose of uncertainty after Wednesday’s scheduled meeting of the Federal Reserve, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Netanyahu Wins in Israel

Bibi’s back: With nearly all votes counted, Benjamin Netanyahu has won a fourth term as Israel’s prime minister, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 63 points in Wednesday morning trading to 17,787. The S&P 500 was down five points to 2,069. The Nasdaq was down six points to 4,932. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 227.

Tuesday, March 17

Therapists Arrested for Insurance Fraud Case

Two Playa del Rey therapists were arrested Tuesday for health insurance fraud after allegedly billing Anthem Blue Cross for services amounting to $3.5 million that they never provided, according to the California Department of Insurance.

Ride-Sharing Service Relocates to Los Angeles

BeMyDD, an online and phone service that lets customers request designated drivers to take them home, has moved its headquarters to Los Angeles from Cleveland.

L.A., Long Beach Cargo Crash in February

Congestion at the docks dragged down cargo volume at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles for a second consecutive month in February, according to figures released Tuesday.

Kite Purchases Dutch Firm, Opening European Beachhead

Santa Monica biopharmaceutical firm Kite Pharma Inc. has acquired a Dutch biotech company in a deal valued at more than $21 million, using the private firm to establish its European headquarters in Amsterdam.

Qatar Airways to Start LAX Cargo Flights

Qatar Airways will begin transporting freight through Los Angeles International Airport next month with two weekly flights to and from the Middle Eastern country, executives said Tuesday.

Santa Monica Multifamily Market Heats Up

The Santa Monica multifamily market remains hot.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 128 points in Tuesday trading to close at 17,849. The S&P 500 fell seven points to 2,074. The Nasdaq rose eight points to 4,937. The LABJ stock index fell one point to 227.

Apollo Poised to Buy Digital First Media

Private equity group Apollo Global Management is “in advanced talks” to acquire Digital First Media, owner of the Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press Telegram and Daily Breeze, for around $400 million, Reuters reports.

Macerich Rejects Simon Property’s Offer

Santa Monica mall owner and operator Macerich Co. turned down a takeover bid from rival Simon Property Group, saying it was undervalued, the New York Times reports.

Former CEO Returns as Mattel Consultant

Bryan Stockton, who resigned as chief executive of Mattel in January, will return as a consultant, making $125,000 a month for the next year, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Florida Aims to Lure Business from L.A. Ports

Florida Gov. Rick Scott plans to travel to California next month with a trade delegation to try to entice companies to Florida’s ports, KPCC reports.

China Film Studio Partners with U.S. Company

China’s Huayi Bros. Studio says it will produce at least 18 films with an unnamed U.S. partner by the end of next year, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Minimum Wage Rise Not Behind Seattle Restaurant Closures

Factors other than Seattle’s minimum wage increase to $11 an hour from $9.32 were behind a series of restaurant closures, the Los Angeles Times reports, and even as some have closed, others have opened.

Exide Closure Leaves Residue of Contamination

While the Exide battery recycling plant in Vernon will soon close, it may take years before all of the lead and arsenic contamination is removed from the area, KPCC reports.

Lyft Now Profitable in Los Angeles

Logan Green, chief executive of ride-sharing service Lyft Inc., says it has become profitable in larger U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago, and it will continue to expand to other parts of the country, Bloomberg reports.

Paramount Names New Motion Picture Group Head

Paramount Pictures named Marc Evans president of its motion picture group, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 162 points in Tuesday morning trading to 17,814. The S&P 500 was down 14 points to 2,067. The Nasdaq was down 18 points to 4,912. The LABJ Stock Index was down one point to 227.

Monday, March 16

PCM Buys En Pointe’s IT Business

El Segundo’s PCM Inc., makers of the PC Mall and MacMall technology product catalogs, has acquired some assets from En Pointe Technologies Sales Inc., an information technology firm that specializes in Microsoft products.

Leonard Green, TPG Agree to Buy Fitness Chain

West Los Angeles private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners and fellow private equity shop TPG in Fort Worth, Texas, announced Monday that they have agreed to acquire publicly traded health club chain Life Time Fitness Inc. in Chanhassen, Minn. in a deal valued at about $4 billion.

Report: Buyout Firm ‘Uncertain’ About American Apparel Bid

Buyout talks between New York private equity firm Irving Place Capital and Downtown Los Angeles apparel maker American Apparel Inc. have hit a snag, according to a Bloomberg story citing a handful of unnamed sources with knowledge of the discussions.

Former Northrup Grumman CEO Gives Caltech $10 Million

Kent Kresa, a former president and chief executive at Northrop Grumman Corp., is donating an unrestricted $10 million endowment to the California Institute of Technology’s division of physics, mathematics and astronomy, the school announced Monday.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 228 points in Monday trading to close at 17,977. The S&P 500 rose 28 points to 2,081. The Nasdaq rose 58 points to 4,930. The LABJ stock index rose four points to 228.

Garcetti Hopes to Have Quake Retrofit Laws in Place This Year

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti wants a law in place by the end of this year that will require thousands of earthquake-vulnerable buildings be retrofitted, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Real Estate Heir Robert Durst Arrested

Robert Durst, the real estate heir, has been arrested in New Orleans after Los Angeles officials say they have new evidence linking him to the 2000 slaying of writer Susan Berman, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Santa Monica Takes Steps to Ban Exotic Animals

The Santa Monica City Council is expected to vote next week to ban some exotic reptiles and birds from popular, local destinations after already unanimously approving the proposed ordinance on first reading last month, the Los Angeles Times reports.

U.S. Manufacturing Dips in February

Manufacturing output nationwide took a dip last month for the third month in a row with factory production down by 0.2 percent, according to the Federal Reserve, CNBC reports.

Madison Square Garden CEO Steps Down

The chief executive of Madison Square Garden, Tad Smith, has resigned to head Sotheby’s, the auction house, the Hollywood Reporter reports.

Valeant Raises Offer for Salix

Valeant is looking to raise its bid to about $11 billion to buy Salix after agreeing last month to purchase the company, the New York Times reports.

Snow in Boston Breaks Record

Boston has broken its seasonal snow record after receiving 108.6 inches of snow from December through February of this year, the Associated Press reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 160 points in Monday morning trading to 17,912. The S&P 500 was up 18 points to 2,072. The Nasdaq was up 39 points to 4,910. The LABJ Stock Index was up three points to 227.

Phone Scam Disconnects Incubator

TECHNOLOGY: Be Great founder hit with $150 million judgment.

Things not ending well for incubator Be Great after founder hit with $150 million judgment in phone scam.

Court Goes Big For Mansions, Curbs Nimbys

State high court might have opened door for more megamansions by limiting environmental objections.

Event Space Takes Wing For Designers

MotoArt raises bar with new side business at furniture factory.

Furniture maker MotoArt Studios has made room to host events at its funky facility.

Soda Maker Throws Mixer Into Mix

Zevia sees tonic water as means to extend reach of brand.

Soda company Zevia looks to get business bubbling with its branded tonic water.

Will Dub App Speak To Movie Fans?

MyLingo lets audience listen to foreign audio track via smartphones.

MyLingo cues up foreign-language audio tracks for movies listened to through an audience member’s phone.

Offering Different Look at Haiti

Bryn Mooser’s love for Haiti runs deep.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Evolve Media, an online publisher in Ladera Heights, has acquired West L.A.’s Total Beauty, a beauty and style website for women that averages 3.5 million views a month.

Deal for Drug Maker Gives Sector Shot in Arm

BIOTECH: Puma’s stock among beneficiaries of Pharmacyclics acquisition.

Acquisition deal gets investors blood pumping for sector.

Developer Puts Together Own Campus by USC

REAL ESTATE: Jade likely to create student housing; fate of popular bar unsure.

Analysts see property near USC easily making the grade as a student housing project.

Long Beach Groups Draw Line on Rail Yard Project

TRANSPORT: Litigation against proposal by BNSF may hurt Union Pacific plan.

Long Beach-area opposition could wreck two railroads’ plans for yards near the ports.

Princess Diana’s Brother Wants to Make History

FILM: Charles Spencer spins bloody pitch for movie of ancestor King Charles I.

Princess Diana’s brother is looking to break into the movie business.

Medical Imaging Business Pictures Future in Qatar

DIAGNOSTIC: RadNet picks Arab country for company’s first overseas expansion.

Radnet Inc. has operated medical imaging centers in California, Florida and New Jersey. Now, it’s going to Qatar.

Money Manager Hopes New China Office Pays Off

INVESTMENT: Industrial park in Suzhou tapped for Wilshire Associates outpost.

A lot of Chinese money has come to Los Angeles in recent years. Now, a big local money-management firm is heading east, seeing opportunities in China.

News of the Week

Last week’s major news from labusinessjournal.com and other sources

The PGA will hold this year’s Grand Slam of Golf tournament at Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes after signing a deal with the course this week.

Calendar

Calendar of events

Conventions

Upcoming conventions

Wage Hike a Step Forward

Raising the minimum wage will help make Los Angeles an easier place to live, says Clifford P. Goldstein.

SPECIAL REPORT: John C. Cushman III: Building Momentum

Drive for dealmaking a badge of honor for exec known for long hours, support of Scouting.

Real estate executive John Cushman’s diligence has earned him his due as a downtown L.A. dealmaker.

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Port Venture Looks to Make Inroads on Chassis

SHIPPING: System aims to reduce expense, time of finding, using trailers.

For months, truckers at the local ports had trouble finding enough of the trailers used to haul cargo around the harbor.

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Wage Hikes May Hit Tipping Point

DINING: State bill would cap pay for gratuity-receiving employees.

State bill would let restaurants skip out on paying increased minimum wages to tipped workers.

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Apartment Buyers Find Rooms in Santa Monica

ACQUISITIONS: Pair of multifamily pickups put power of market on display.

The Santa Monica multifamily market remains hot.

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Still in Play

Former Dodgers owner talks plans for stadium parking lots, other local ventures

Former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt talks about running the L.A. Marathon (as the boss) and fielding more projects here.

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Tourism Drive

Malls put money on drawing Chinese visitors.

Some L.A. malls work to make sure they are on the map as stops for Chinese bus tours.

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Going Distance

health care: Telehealth firms hope to go far by allowing doctors to treat patients remotely using smart devices.

Opus Telehealth leverages smart devices to connect patients with long-distance treatment.

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Friday, March 13

Herbalife, Macerich Among Week’s Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies fell for the week.

Carolyn Ramsay and David Ryu Top District 4 Primary

The Los Angeles City Clerk’s office confirmed that Carolyn Ramsay and David Ryu – two business-backed candidates – received the most votes in the March 3 primary to fill the seat representing L.A. City Council District 4.

L.A. Launch List: March 13

The Los Angeles Business Journal brings you a weekly roundup of L.A. launches.

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Wet Seal Slips Through B. Riley’s Grasp

West L.A. investment bank B. Riley Financial Inc. missed out on a chance to snap up Foothill Ranch teen retailer Wet Seal Inc. in a bankruptcy auction.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 146 points in Friday trading to close at 17,749. The S&P 500 fell 13 points to 2,053. The Nasdaq fell 22 points to 4,872. The LABJ stock index fell one point to 224.

Ackman Acknowledges Feds Investigating Contractor

Hedge fund manager William Ackman confirmed Friday that a consulting firm working on his campaign against Los Angeles supplement seller Herbalife Ltd. has been subpoenaed by federal authorities and that the FBI has spoken to some of the firm's employees, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Steelworkers Reach Tentative Deal with Refineries

The United Steelworkers union and plant operators have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract that could end the biggest refinery strike in the nation in 35 years, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Three Plead Not Guilty in “Pay-to-Stay” Schools Case

The owners and operators of three schools in Koreatown and another in Alhambra, all accused of using the schools to allow immigrants to stay in the United States as students without actually attending classes, have pleaded not guilty to federal charges, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Chicago Company Buys Del Taco Chain

Lake Forest fast-food chain Del Taco is being purchased by Levy Acquisition Corp., a Chicago restaurant company, for around $500 million, the Los Angeles Times reports.

‘Survivor’ Producer Sentenced for Wife’s Murder

Bruce Beresford-Redman, a former "Survivor" producer, has been sentenced to 12 years in a prison in Mexico in connection with the death of his wife, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Backers of Carson NFL Stadium Hold Petition Drive

Supporters of a proposed NFL stadium in Carson have kicked off a signature-gathering drive, asking local voters to sign a petition to fast-track the approval of stadium plans, the Daily Breeze reports.

Metrolink May Be Next Stop for Outgoing Metro Chief

Art Leahy, the outgoing chief executive of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority, is expected to be named the chief executive of Metrolink on Friday, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Public Schools See Windfall from Lottery

An unclaimed $1 million lottery prize will be handed over to California’s public schools as the winner failed to claim the money by a deadline Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Heat Wave Expected for Sunday’s L.A. Marathon

Organizers of the L.A. Marathon have moved up the Sunday race's start time by 30 minutes to 6:55 a.m. to try to beat the heat, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 130 points in Friday morning trading to 17,766. The S&P 500 was down 12 points to 2,054. The Nasdaq was down 19 points to 4,875. The LABJ Stock Index was down one point to 224.

Thursday, March 12

Report: Feds Investigate Ackman Hires

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and federal prosecutors are examining people hired by hedge fund manager William Ackman about potential manipulation of Herbalife Ltd. stock, according to the Wall Street Journal.

DreamWorks Glendale Campus on Market Again

The Glendale campus of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. has been put on the market just two weeks after being sold for $185 million to the investment arm of SunTrust Banks Inc., an Atlanta bank holding company.

Anderson Forecast Has Good News for Job Growth

California should expect continued job growth and reduced unemployment figures over the next three years, according to the UCLA Anderson Forecast released on Thursday.

Briefs: Metro Names New CEO, General Finance Corp. Postpones Stock Offering

Washington to Lead L.A. Metro Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who also serves as chairman of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, on Thursday announced the Metro board has appointed Phillip Washington to be the transit agency’s next chief executive.

Disney Announces ‘Frozen 2’

The Walt Disney Co. has announced a sequel to “Frozen,” the film which reinvigorated its animation business.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 260 points in Thursday trading to close at 17,895. The S&P 500 rose 26 points to 2,066. The Nasdaq rose 43 points to 4,893. The LABJ stock index rose four points to 225.

Zealot Shopping Spree Continues

Venice digital media firm Zealot Networks has bought yet another marketing agency to add to its growing roster of creative agencies.

Focus Now on Expanding L.A. Convention Center

Since AEG has dropped its plans to build an NFL stadium, tourism leaders say the focus can now be on expanding the Los Angeles Convention Center and upgrading the facility, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Paramount Announces Layoffs

Paramount Pictures is being hit with layoffs as a result of restructuring at its parent company, Viacom, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Exide Plant Will Close

Exide Technologies will close its plant in Vernon and avoid criminal charges after making a deal with the U.S. Attorney’s office, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Ports Dispute to Have Small Impact on Economy

A new forecast has found that the economic impact of last month’s labor standoff between shipping companies and dock workers at California ports will be small, the Los Angeles Times reports.

U.S. Retail Sales Fall in February

Retail sales fell nationwide last month for the third month in a row probably due to harsh winter weather, CNBC reports.

Jury Rules Against Beverly Hills Unified

A jury has ruled against the Beverly Hills Unified School District and awarded Beverly Hills Unified’s former project manager Karen Christiansen’s business, Strategic Concepts, $13.7 million in damages, the Beverly Hills Courier reports.

Private Bids to Run the Greek Theatre Thrown Out

The Los Angeles Parks and Recreation Commission has rejected two private bids to operate the Greek Theatre, Curbed LA reports.

Avian Flu Found at Farms that Supply Butterball Turkeys

Butterball, one of the largest turkey processors in the nation, has confirmed “a limited number” of turkeys from farms it contracts with have been diagnosed with avian flu, the Wall Street Journal reports.

President Obama’s Visit to Cause Road Closures on Thursday

President Obama will attend a Democratic fundraiser and make an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” causing road closures in Hollywood, and on roads near LAX and Burbank, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 164 points in Thursday morning trading to 17,801. The S&P 500 was up 17 points to 2,057. The Nasdaq was up 24 points to 4,874. The LABJ Stock Index was up three points to 223.

Wednesday, March 11

Snapchat Targets Sports League Partnerships

Venice’s Snapchat Inc. is planning to include live sports broadcasts in its app, beginning with the NCAA Basketball tournament later this month, according to a report.

Feds Sue DirecTV for False Advertising

El Segundo satellite TV giant DirecTV is being sued by the Federal Trade Commission, which charges the firm with deceptively advertising a discounted 12-month programming package.

Three Arrested for Operating Local ‘Pay-to-Stay’ Schools

Three Los Angeles residents were arrested Wednesday after federal officials accused them of operating four schools that helped foreign nationals stay in the United States as students without attending classes.

Coda Energy Names CEO

Monrovia energy storage company Coda Energy on Wednesday named veteran technology executive Paul Detering as the company’s first chief executive following its emergence from bankruptcy in 2013.

Lion Names New American Apparel Board Member

Robert Mintz has resigned from the board of directors of downtown Los Angeles apparel maker American Apparel Inc., according to documents filed Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.ed Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

DreamWorks Will Produce Verizon Mobile Content

The YouTube networks of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. will produce 200 hours of original programming for mobile streaming to customers of Verizon Communications, the companies announced Wednesday.

Amgen Laying Off 300, Closing Onyx

Amgen Inc. plans to lay off 300 workers at its Onyx subsidiary in South San Francisco, and transfer others to its Thousand Oaks headquarters.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 28 points in Wednesday trading to close at 17,635. The S&P 500 fell four points to 2,040. The Nasdaq fell 10 points to 4,850. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 220.

READER POLL: Should employees who earn tips be paid a lower hourly wage than untipped workers?

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. Our latest poll is available on the bottom right column of our home page.

Orange County Register Owners Quit

Aaron Kushner and Eric Spitz, the owners of the Orange County Register, have resigned from their executive roles, the Los Angeles Times reports.

LADWP Fails to Collect More than $245 Million in Payments

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power failed to collect more than $245 million in payments from customers due to errors in a new billing system, the Los Angeles Times reports.

LAUSD to Send Hundreds of Layoff Notices

Los Angeles Unified’s Board of Education has voted to send layoff letters to about 600 teachers this month, citing state budget cuts, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Garcetti Prepares for Another Run

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is quietly launching his 2017 re-election campaign, the Los Angeles Times reports.

‘Blurred Lines’ Ruling Shocks Music Industry

After Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams were ordered by a jury on Tuesday to pay $7.4 Million to Marvin Gaye’s children for infringing on the Marvin Gaye song, “Got to Give It Up,” with the hit song, “Blurred Lines,” insiders are wondering about the future impact on the music industry, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Agencies Say They Failed To Protect Water

The state agencies in charge of protecting California's water from the oil industry's pollution failed at their jobs, a state official has testified to lawmakers, the Los Angeles Times reports.

New Miami Mall Would Surpass Mall of America

A mall bigger than the Mall of America may soon be coming to Miami, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 55 points in Wednesday morning trading to 17,717. The S&P 500 was up three points to 2,047. The Nasdaq was up five points to 4,865. The LABJ Stock Index is flat at 221.

Tuesday, March 10

MamaBear Acquires KidNotice

Santa Monica’s MamaBear, developer of a secure communication app for families, has acquired Valley Village app maker KidNotice for an undisclosed sum.

Job Cuts at Rocketdyne

GenCorp Inc. is making a 10 percent reduction in the staff of its Aerojet Rocketdyne division, which includes its Chatsworth rocket-engine development and manufacturing facility.

Prime Pulls Plug on Hospital Acquisition

Prime Healthcare Services has withdrawn its $843 million bid for Daughters of Charity’s ailing hospitals, including two in L.A. County, in the face of stringent conditions imposed by state Attorney General Kamala Harris.

Mercury Agrees to $1 Million Fine to Settle Underwriting Practices Case

Mercury Insurance has agreed to pay a $1 million penalty to settle a long-running case involving its underwriting practices, state Insurance Commissioner David Jones announced Tuesday.

Palos Verdes Links to Host PGA Grand Slam

The PGA of America will be bringing golf’s major champions to Los Angeles this year.

Double-Chin Drug Maker Makes Stock Offering

Kythera Biopharmaceuticals Inc. announced on Tuesday a $125 million secondary offering as it anticipates FDA approval of its lead drug candidate, a drug that reduces double chins.

Lions Gate’s Codeblack Goes Global

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.’s Codeblack Films has struck a key output deal to advance its mission to provide the global black community with quality African-American entertainment content.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 333 points in Tuesday trading to close at 17,663. The S&P 500 fell 35 points to 2,044. The Nasdaq fell 83 points to 4,860. The LABJ stock index fell three points to 221.

Local Employers Ramp Up Hiring

Los Angeles employers plan to hire during the second quarter at a solid pace, according to the quarterly survey of local employers being released on Tuesday by Manpower Inc. The report finds 23 percent of employers plan to hire more staff. See the Los Angeles Business Journal’s coverage here.

AEG Takes a Knee, Ends Pursuit of NFL Stadium

AEG is abandoning its plans to build Farmers Field football stadium downtown and has ended talks with the NFL, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Luxury Apartments Planned Near the Beverly Center

Developer Rick Caruso plans to build a $155 million luxury apartment building near the Beverly Center at the intersection of La Cienega and San Vicente boulevards, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Disneyland Will Close Innoventions Hall

Disneyland has announced it will close its Innoventions exhibit hall by the end of this month, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Prescription Drug Spending Up

The amount of money consumers spent on prescription drugs rose more than 12 percent nationwide last year, thanks in part to new Hepatitis C treatments and higher costs for cancer and diabetes medicine, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Industry Wants Congress to Support Copyright Law

Industry groups CreativeFuture and Copyright Alliance say more than 1,200 of their members will send letters to Congress in support of copyright law which is currently under review, the Hollywood Reporter reports.

Big Boy Cleared to Change Stations

Kurt “Big Boy” Alexander will be able to join the new KRRL-FM (92.3) after a Los Angeles Superior Court judge lifted a temporary restraining order that had prevented his hiring, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 220 points in Tuesday morning trading to 17,774. The S&P 500 was down 24 points to 2,055. The Nasdaq was down 69 points to 4,874. The LABJ Stock Index was down three points to 221.

Monday, March 9

Simon Property Bids $16 Billion for Macerich

Indianapolis mall operator Simon Property Group has offered to buy Santa Monica’s Macerich Co. for $14.4 billion.

Director Sentenced in Midnight Rider Trial

The director of the film “Midnight Rider” pleaded guilty on Monday to involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespassing in last year’s death of a camera assistant on the Georgia set of the Gregg Allman biopic.

California Resources Chooses Chatsworth for Headquarters

California Resources Corp., the recent spinoff from Occidental Petroleum Corp., is moving its headquarters to Chatsworth from Westwood, the company announced Monday.

FDA Panel Approves Kythera Chin Fat Drug

A Food and Drug Administration panel on Monday recommended approval of Kythera Biopharmaceuticals Inc.’s novel treatment for chin fat.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 139 points in Monday trading to close at 17,996. The S&P 500 rose eight points to 2,079. The Nasdaq rose 15 points to 4,942. The LABJ stock index rose two points to 224.

Snapchat Chief Courts Saudi Investor

Snapchat Inc.’s quest for more funding took co-founder and Chief Executive Evan Spiegel to Saudi Arabia recently.

AEG Fights for NFL Stadium

AEG, the former frontrunner in the race to return an NFL team to Los Angeles, now lags behind rival proposals in Inglewood and Carson, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Chassis Missing Link at the Ports

Congestion at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach is being worsened by drivers having to search for the right chassis, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

UC Irvine Reverses Flag Ban

An executive cabinet overseeing UC Irvine's student government has vetoed a decision to ban the display of the American flag and other flags, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Apple to Debut Apple Watch

Apple is expected to debut its new smart watch at a press event on Monday, CNBC reports.

Credit Reporting Agencies Agree to Overhaul

The three biggest credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, will soon make a change in the way errors are handled and unpaid medical bills are listed under an agreement announced Monday with New York state, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Haggen to Open Stores in Southern California

Haggen, a Bellingham, Washington -based supermarket chain, will soon open 83 California locations, taking over former Albertsons or Vons stores, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports.

EPA Testing Air in South Bay Homes near Dumping Sites

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has begun testing the air inside dozens of South Bay homes near two of the worst chemical dumping sites in the nation, the Los Angeles Times reports.

General Motors Agrees on $5 Billion Share Buyback

General Motors will begin buying back $5 billion worth of stock in order to avoid a proxy fight with investor Harry Wilson who has agreed to drop his bid to join the company’s board of directors, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 106 points in Monday morning trading to 17,964. The S&P 500 was up seven points to 2,078. The Nasdaq was up three points to 4,930. The LABJ Stock Index was up one point to 223.

Survey: L.A. Employers to Ramp Up Hiring Plans in Second Quarter

LA employers plan to hire at a solid pace during the second quarter, according to a survey to be released Tuesday by Manpower Inc.

Medbox Shares Go Higher as Founder Deals Stake

MARIJUANA: Mehdizadeh sells control of dispensing firm for $10 million.

Founder and temporary pot billionaire P. Vincent Mehdizadeh sells a controlling stake in Medbox.

Making Play

VIDEO GAMES: South Korean developer Com2uS sets up office in El Segundo to score customers for its titles in United States.

South Korean developer Com2uS has launched an L.A. outpost to score a U.S. fan base for its titles.

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Public Broadcaster Flips To Veteran of Youth TV

ENTERTAINMENT: New chief Michael Riley talks KCET’s big picture.

Talk about tough challenges. Michael Riley, the new president of public broadcaster KCET (Channel 28), is tasked with turning around the financially ailing and ratings-troubled L.A. TV station.

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Family Feud Could Sink Fishery

FOOD: Sibling fight over business pushes State Fish into Chapter 11.

Siblings’ angling over fishing business after father’s death has capsized State Fish Co.

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Shopping Site Looks to Bottle Up Prescriptions

INTERNET: GoodRx teams with 4D to reach corporate customers, health plans.

GoodRx hopes to fill patients’ prescription needs with its comparison-shopping website.

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Piling It On

OhCal Foods rides acquisition to No. 1 in Subway franchising

Acquisition delivers the Subway franchise crown to OhCal Foods – and potentially a lot more bread.

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Downtown Has Right R/x for Pharmacy Chain

LEASE: CVS signs up as sole tenant in shop across from Whole Foods.

CVS Health Corp. is looking to cash in on the foot traffic expected from the much anticipated arrival later this year of downtown’s first Whole Foods market.

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Public Pensions Piling Up

Politicians must heed the public and pull back on pensions, warns Adrian Moore.

Miss(ing) Manners

Common courtesy from companies in regards to communication often goes MIA during job hunts.

Victoria Thomas laments how uncommon courtesy has become during job hunts.

Tech Pop 2.0 Bubbling Up?

As talk of a possible pop in a tech bubble intensifies, Charles Crumpley frets about the fate of Silicon Beach.

Conventions

Upcoming conventions

Calendar

Calendar of events

News of the Week

Last week’s major news from labusinessjournal.com and other sources

Music and movie mogul David Geffen has donated $100 million to New York’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

Firm Seeks Bigger Share of Unfair Practices Business

EXPANSION: Partner with Carothers DiSante makes no secret of interest in sector.

When Dan Forman joined labor and employment law firm Carothers DiSante & Freudenberger nearly six years ago, about 40 percent of his workload was composed of cases involving the misappropriation of trade secrets and allegations of unfair business practices.

Business Groups Rack Up Victories at Ballot Box

POLITICS: L.A. Chamber’s endorsements for measures, candidates go 13-2.

Local business groups fared pretty well by backing the winners in last week’s municipal elections.

Digital Media Firm Gets Creative With Pickups

MARKETING: Zealot says two acquisitions will boost content-creation business.

Venice digital media company Zealot Networks has been on a shopping spree this year.

Security Company to Set Up USC as Safety School

EDUCATION: Armorway developed patents through project at university.

A Santa Monica tech company focused on security and birthed at USC has now locked up the school as a customer.

Tablet Maker On Board With Ridesharing Service

TECHNOLOGY: Fuhu puts Nabi devices in Uber cars to rev up awareness, sales.

Fuhu aims to drive sales of its Nabi tablet through a new partnership with ridesharing service Uber.

Philly Transplant High on L.A.’s Pot Businesses

MARIJUANA: Founder of Kind Financial sees green in banks’ shyness in sector.

Kind Financial looks to become buds with pot businesses as banks remain wary of the industry.

PacWest Pays Premium for Bank’s Cheap Deposits

BANKING: Analysts see PacWest’s bid for Square 1 as play for low-interest cash.

Analysts see PacWest securing its loan business through its move to acquire Square 1.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

National Technical Systems Inc., a Calabasas company that provides testing and engineering services for the aerospace, defense and transportation industries, has acquired Trace Laboratories, a Baltimore company that provides product and technology testing services.

Needing Break From Vacation

For years, Nicole Pollard Bayme has taken vacation advice from a close friend. But a recent trip to Nicaragua was enough to make her reconsider.

Horse-Race Vets Dial In on Phones

YouBet.com co-founders roll dice on offering bettors mobile gambling platform.

B Spot puts its money on bringing together horse-race betting with mobile gaming.

Alterations Shop Sows Big Goal

Stitch sees silver lining in becoming national chain for tailoring services.

Alterations shop Stitch tailors its business for nationwide expansion.

Law Firm Wins Staff on Appeal

Latham & Watkins shows it means business by scooping up most of O’Melveny & Myers’ entertainment unit.

Jeans Deal Comes Apart at Seams

APPAREL: Failure to integrate Hudson wears hole in Joe’s stock.

Joe’s Jeans has sown discord and stock drama with its slow integration of Hudson Clothing’s operations.

Friday, March 6

Local Unemployment Rate Drops, More Jobs in County

Los Angeles County’s jobless rate dipped below 8 percent in January for the first time in nearly six years, according to state figures released Friday.

PE Roundup: Private Equity Deals Announced This Week

Platinum Equity of Beverly Hills announced Tuesday that it has completed the sale of Neovia Logistics, an Irving, Texas, industrial logistics firm, to affiliates of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in New York and New York investment firm Rhône Capital

City Attorney Charges Price Waterhouse Coopers with Fraud

City Attorney Mike Feuer has accused accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers of fraud, claiming the company lied about its capabilities in order to secure a $70 million contract with the Department of Water and Power.

Kythera, Medbox Among Week’s Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies fell for the week.

FDA Approves Biosimilar, Amgen's Rival

Amgen Inc. will face new competition after Novartis AG secured the first-ever FDA approval to sell a “biosimilar” drug – provided it can overcome a legal challenge by the Thousand Oaks company.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 279 points in Friday trading to close at 17,857. The S&P 500 fell 30 points to 2,071. The Nasdaq fell 55 points to 4,927. The LABJ stock index fell four points to 222.

L.A. Launch List: March 6

On this week's list: an alcohol delivery app, comic book videos and ad tech.

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Economy Added 295,000 Jobs Last Month

The U.S. economy added 295,000 jobs in February and the unemployment rate fell to 5.5 percent, the New York Times reports.

Group Claims OneWest Bought Support for Bank Deal

An advocacy group that has protested the sale of Pasadena's OneWest Bank to New Jersey lender CIT Group has asked federal regulators for an official investigation, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Apple to replace AT&T in the Dow Jones Industrial Average

Tech titan Apple Inc. will join the Dow Jones Industrial Average later this month, replacing telecom company AT&T;, CNBC reports.

Orange County Airport to Welcome Uber and Lyft

John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana could become the first large Southern California airport to allow Uber, Lyft and other smartphone app-based ride services to operate on airport grounds, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Immigration Officials Try to Turn 'Birth Tourists' into Witnesses

Some of the pregnant Chinese women caught in raids this week at so-called maternity hotels might remain here long enough to give birth to their children on U.S. soil, Reuters reports.

Harrison Ford Hospitalized After Plane Crash

Actor Harrison Ford is recovering from injuries he sustained after crash landing a vintage private plane at Penmar Golf Course in Venice, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Long Beach Might Have Lost Chance at Formula 1 Return

The organization that puts on Formula One auto races was interested in returning to Long Beach after a 32-year absence, but representatives say they're looking for other Southern California venues, the Long Beach Press Telegram reports.

Girl Scouts Peddle Different Thin Mints in L.A., Orange Counties

As it turns out, Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies are different depending on where you buy them, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 192 points in Friday morning trading to 17,945. The S&P 500 was down 20 points to 2,081. The Nasdaq was down 39 points to 4,944. The LABJ Stock Index was down one point to 225.

Thursday, March 5

Demand Media Posts Wider Loss, Names CFO

Struggling Santa Monica Web publisher Demand Media reported revenue of $43 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31, beating Wall Street expectations by about $5 million. Income was another matter, as its net loss widened.

Rocket Lab Closes Series B Round

Rocket Lab USA has closed a Series B round to complete the development of its Electron launch vehicle aimed at delivering small satellites into space.

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American Apparel Workers, Supported by Charney, Allege Intimidation Tactics

Hermandad Mexicana, Santa Ana non-profit that advicates for immigrants’ rights, with the help of ousted company founder Dov Charney, said it has helped factory workers at downtown L.A.’s American Apparel Inc. organize a coalition to appeal to management about changes workers say have taken place at the company.

Arrowhead to Buy a Cancer Treatment Portfolio from Novartis

Pasadena biotechnology company Arrowhead Research Corp. announced today that it had struck a deal to acquire the RNAi research and development portfolio of drug maker Novartis in a deal valued at about $35 million.

CBRE in Talks to Buy Johnson Controls’ Global Workplace Solutions

Los Angeles-based CBRE Group Inc., one of the largest commercial real estate services firms, is in talks to possibly buy Johnson Controls’ Global Workplace Solutions, according to unnamed sources cited by Reuters and the Wall Street Journal.

American Realty Buys Santa Fe Springs Distribution Center

American Realty Advisors, a Glendale company with more than $6 billion in assets under management, has purchased a 175,000-square-foot warehouse in Santa Fe Springs for $21.6 million.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 39 points in Thursday trading to close at 18,136. The S&P 500 rose three points to 2,101. The Nasdaq rose 16 points to 4,983. The LABJ stock index was flat at 226.

AEG to Expand Marriott Complex at L.A. Live

AEG plans to spend $500 million to add 755 rooms to the J.W. Marriott, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Jobless Claims at Highest Level in Nine Months

The number of Americans who have filed for unemployment benefits was, as of last week, at its highest level in more than nine months, Bloomberg reports.

Fewer Jobs Cut in February But Layoffs Still High

Employers cut fewer jobs last month than in January, CNBC reports.

Port Workers Sue for Unpaid Health Claims

Dockworkers along the West Coast are suing ocean carriers and terminal operators for more than $100 million for what they say are unreimbursed health claims, the Long Beach Press Telegram reports.

Lower Gas Prices Help Costco Profits Surge

Costco Wholesale Corp. reported a 29 percent rise in earnings, which was better than expected, in the February quarter, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Etsy Files for IPO

Etsy, the online crafts marketplace, is filing for an initial public offering, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Elephants Will No Longer Be Showcased at Ringling Brothers’ Circus

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus will phase out its popular elephant acts, citing public concern about how the animals are treated, the Associated Press reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 53 points in Thursday morning trading to 18,151. The S&P 500 was up five points to 2,103. The Nasdaq was up 23 points to 4,990. The LABJ Stock Index was up one point to 227.

Evolve Media Acquires Total Beauty

Online publisher Evolve Media has acquired West L.A.’s Total Beauty to boost online beauty content for its women’s lifestyle vertical TotallyHer.

Wednesday, March 4

Rootstock Partners, iFinance Merge

Rootstock Partners and iFinance Consulting Group have merged to offer outsourced financial services to early-stage startups. The new entity will be called Full Stack Finance.

Garcetti Names Film Liaison; Announces Steps to Expedite Filming

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Wednesday named Kevin James as film liaison and announced several steps to expedite filming permits within the city.

Poll: If you have a family business, have you planned for succession?

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. Our latest poll is available on the bottom right column of our home page.

Lizada Capital to Become Largest Medbox Shareholder

Cannabis investment firm Lizada Capital signed a $15 million deal Wednesday that will make it Medbox’s largest shareholder.

Geffen Gives $100 Million to New York Institution

Entertainment titan David Geffen has donated $100 million to New York’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

Mt. Wilson Broadcast Landmark on the Market

One of America’s most historic and iconic broadcasting landmarks is for sale.

Briefs: Wilshire Associates Opens China Office, Aecom CEO Named Chairman, New Boss at Marlborough School

Wilshire Associates Opens Office in China Santa Monica investment firm Wilshire Associates has opened an office in Suzhou, China.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 106 points in Wednesday trading to close at 18,097. The S&P 500 fell nine points to 2,099. The Nasdaq fell 13 points to 4967. The LABJ Stock Index fell one point to 226.

Hermosa Beach Votes Against Oil Drilling Proposal

Residents of Hermosa Beach voted on Tuesday, by a more than three-to-one margin, to reject Measure O which would have allowed E&B; Natural Resources Management Corp. to install 34 oil and gas wells in the city, the Daily Breeze reports.

Private Sector Added More Than 200,000 Jobs Last Month

The U.S. private sector added 212,000 jobs in February, according to an ADP report, but the numbers were lower than economists’ expectations, CNBC reports.

Long Beach’s City Council Delays Decision on JetBlue Customs Facility

The Long Beach City Council voted on Tuesday to delay action on allowing JetBlue to have a federal customs facility at Long Beach Airport, the Long Beach Press Telegram reports.

Officials to Close a Dozen Oil Wells in Central Valley

After concerns by federal officials of groundwater contamination, California regulators say they will close 12 Central Valley oil wells that are used to dispose of chemical-laden water as a result of oil and gas production, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Citigroup Reaches 10-Year Deal with MasterCard

Citigroup has entered a 10-year deal with MasterCard to push most of its consumer business toward the company, Bloomberg reports.

Target Will Cut Jobs and Revamp Food Business

Target has announced it will cut several thousand jobs over the next two years in an effort to save $2 billion, the New York Times reports.

McDonald’s Will Halt Selling Chicken Raised with Antibiotics

McDonald’s plans to no longer sell chicken in its U.S. restaurants if the chickens had been raised with antibiotics in an effort to address concerns regarding antibiotic-resistant “super bugs,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

NBC News in Talks with Former News Chief

Former NBC News president Andrew Lack may soon return to a top job at NBC News after a shakeup in the network’s executive ranks following the Brian Williams crisis, Variety reports.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 133 points in Wednesday morning trading to 18,070. The S&P 500 was down 15 points to 2,093. The Nasdaq was down 28 points to 4,952. The LABJ Stock Index was down one point to 225.

Tuesday, March 3

Engineer in Metrolink Derailment Dies

The engineer of the Metrolink commuter train that collided last week with a vehicle on the tracks died early Tuesday.

Fuhu and Uber Partner for In-Drive Entertainment

El Segundo tablet-maker Fuhu Inc. announced Thursday it will provide its child-friendly Nabi tablets to certain Uber vehicles in a partnership with the ride-sharing giant.

CEO Announcement Boosts Staar Surgical Shares

Caren Mason, who was elected to implantable lens maker Staar Surgical Co.’s board last June, was named Tuesday as chief executive, replacing Barry Caldwell who retired March 1.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 85 points in Tuesday trading to close at 18,203. The S&P 500 fell 10 points to 2,108. The Nasdaq fell 28 points to 4,980. The LABJ Stock Index fell one point to 227.

Freeplay Countersues Machinima and CDS for Copyright Violations

Freeplay Music, a New York firm that manages an online music catalog, has countersued Machinima of West Hollywood and Collective Digital Studios of Beverly Hills, accusing both YouTube networks of multiple copyright infringements.

Hermosa Beach Votes on Oil Drilling

Residents in Hermosa Beach votes today on whether to approve a contract with the energy company, E&B; Natural Resources Management, the New York Times reports.

More Than 130 Californians on Forbes' List of Billionaires

California is home to 131 of a record 1,826 billionaires around the world, the Los Angeles Times reports.

ASCAP Record: More Than $1 Billion in Revenue

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, or ASCAP, exceeded $1 billion in revenue last year, the first time any music licensing organization hit that level, the New York Times reports.

New Owner, Upgrades at Bear Mountain and Snow Summit

Mammoth Resorts is considering upgrading Bear Mountain and Snow Summit after completing a deal for $38 million to buy the two resorts, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Los Angeles Lags in Downtown Job Growth

For the first time in several decades cities across the country are seeing job growth in their downtown areas.

China Beats U.S. in February Box Office Revenue

China overtook the United States as the worldwide box office leader in February, the Hollywood Reporter reports, based on the strength of a slew of domestic films in the Lunar New Year holiday season.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 147 points in Tuesday morning trading to 18,142. The S&P 500 was down 18 points to 2,099. The Nasdaq was down 48 points to 4,960. The LABJ Stock Index was down two points to 225.

Monday, March 2

Tinder Launches Paid Premium Service

Tinder is hoping its latest move will turn its billions of swipes into cash.

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Media Buildings in Burbank Now on Market

Three high-profile Burbank buildings with tenants that include Cartoon Network, Turner Broadcasting and MTV Networks have been put on the market for $90 million by their Beverly Hills owner.

Appeals Court Siding With Wal-Mart in Burbank

A state appeals court panel has issued a tentative opinion in favor of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s effort to build a superstore in Burbank.

Reliance CEO Hannah to Step Down

Metal processing firm Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. of downtown Los Angeles announced Monday that Chief Executive David Hannah will step down in May as part of a succession plan. He will be replaced by President and Chief Operating Officer Gregg Mollins.

Venice Office Acquired, ‘Creative’ Rehab Coming

Boulevard Partners and Arris Investments have plunked down $11.5 million for a 25,000-square-foot mixed-use building on Lincoln Boulevard at Rose Avenue in Venice.

Herbalife Chief’s Compensation Slashed

If Herbalife Ltd. Chief Executive Michael Johnson sounded upbeat on the company’s recent earnings call, it likely had nothing to do with his 2014 compensation.

PacWest Continues Buyout Binge, Grabs Tech Lender Square 1

Century City’s PacWest Bancorp announced Monday that it has agreed to buy Square 1 Financial Inc. in Durham, N.C., which specializes in lending to venture capital-backed companies, in an all-stock deal valued at about $849 million.

Markets Up

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 156 points in Monday trading to close at 18,289. The S&P 500 rose 13 points to 2,117. The Nasdaq rose 45 points to 5,008. The LABJ Stock Index rose two points to 227.

Vantage Media Rebrands to Katch

Ad tech firm Vantage Media has rebranded to Katch to focus on engaging in-market shoppers through its real-time bidding platform.

PacWest Bancorp to Buy Square 1 for $849 million

Century City’s PacWest Bancorp has announced it will acquire Square 1 Financial for around $849 million in an all-stock deal, Reuters reports.

Costco Strikes Credit Card Deal with Amex Competitor

Citi will be the new exclusive issuer of Costco’s credit cards, the New York Times reports.

Hewlett-Packard to Buy Aruba Networks for $2.7 Billion

Computer giant Hewlett-Packard Co. has agreed to purchase Sunnyvale’s Aruba Networks, a wireless-networking company, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Wells Fargo Caps Subprime Auto Loans

Wells Fargo has announced it will, for the first time, put a ceiling on car loans it offers subprime borrowers, the New York Times reports.

California GOP Formally Welcomes Gay Group

The California Republican party has voted overwhelmingly to grant a charter to the Log Cabin Republicans' California chapter, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Manufacturing Grows at the Slowest Pace in a Year

Domestic manufacturing last month grew at its slowest pace in a year, Bloomberg reports.

U.S. Consumers Spent Less in January

U.S. consumer spending fell in January for a second straight month, CNBC reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 122 points in Monday morning trading to 18,255. The S&P 500 was up nine points to 2,114. The Nasdaq was up 37 points to 5,001. The LABJ Stock Index was up one point to 226.

Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Michael Pinsker

Foreign-born business owners talk about how they sowed success by putting down roots in Los Angeles.

Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Tobi Skovron

Foreign-born business owners talk about how they sowed success by putting down roots in Los Angeles.

Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Kati Suominen

Foreign-born business owners talk about how they sowed success by putting down roots in Los Angeles.

Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Richard Koffler

Foreign-born business owners talk about how they sowed success by putting down roots in Los Angeles.

News of the Week

Last week’s major news from labusinessjournal.com and other sources

BALLOT REFERENDUM: California’s statewide plastic bag ban is on hold after opponents, along with plastic bag manufacturers, qualified a referendum for the November 2016 ballot.

Legal Clashes Put Trucking Firm on Rocky Road

SHIPPING: Green Fleet filed for bankruptcy in wake of driver classification cases.

Green Fleet Systems of Rancho Dominguez, a trucking company serving the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, has filed for bankruptcy on the heels of legal battles with its drivers and the Teamsters union.

Attorney Stops Trademarks From Going to Pot

MARIJUANA: David Welch fears small brands at risk as big companies move in.

Protecting a marijuana brownie brand isn’t as simple as patenting a pair of gym shoes.

Exchange-Traded Fund Garners Mutual Respect

INVESTMENT: DoubleLine puts money on booming popularity of new product.

Jeffrey Gundlach has become the latest money manager to plant his flag on the booming exchange-traded fund landscape.

Capt. Kirk Wants Workers To Live Long and Prosper

ENTERTAINMENT: New book by William Shatner praises older entrepreneurs.

Sci-fi legend William Shatner’s new book looks to take on the real issue of mid-life unemployment.

Chinese Investor Puts Money on Film Blockbusters

MOVIES: Sylvester Stallone projects could benefit from billionaire’s backing.

Rambo could be heading to China under a film financing deal being negotiated by Sylvester Stallone.

Staples Center Runs Up Score With Suites, Seats

SPORTS: Venue plays up incentives to hit $100 million in VIP sales for first time.

Staples Center scores record $100 million in sales for the venue’s suites and premier seating.

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Situation Looking Up for Buyers of Mountaintop

REAL ESTATE: Court ruling may clear way for megamansions at site.

Court ruling has co-owners high on the development prospects for their billion-dollar mountaintop property.

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Restaurateur Looks to Add Consulting to Plate

DINING: Umami founder Adam Fleischman channels physics into new venture.

Umami Burger founder Adam Fleischman serves up a consulting business with a side of ‘continuum physics.’

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New Age Hits For Toymakers

MANUFACTURING: Jakks, Mattel to grow up for gamers.

Toymakers Jakks and Mattel aim to tap video games to gain a virtual edge with aging customers.

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Call, Response

HEALTH CARE: Simplifeye is sounding out voice-activated, hands-free system to assist dental, medical professionals.

Simplifeye hopes its voice-activated, hands-free assistant platform speaks to medical professionals.

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Business Group Walks on Wage

POLITICS: Organization bucks peers’ unity against pay hike.

Los Angeles Business Council works against other business groups with its support of a minimum-wage hike.

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Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Moving Up in World

Foreign-born business owners discuss L.A.'s appeal, challenges

Foreign-born business owners talk about how they sowed success by putting down roots in Los Angeles.

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Wage Hikes Don’t Add Up

Michael Saltsman questions the math behind calls for minimum-wage hikes.

Drug Developer Checks Into El Segundo Facility

LEASE: Kite Pharma looks to expand manufacturing capability with new site.

Santa Monica biotech firm Kite Pharma Inc. has signed a lease for a commercial manufacturing facility in El Segundo near Los Angeles International Airport.

Conventions

Upcoming conventions

Calendar

Calendar of events

Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Josef Holm

Foreign-born business owners talk about how they sowed success by putting down roots in Los Angeles.

Musical Lessons On March

Oksana’s instructors hit road to bring music home to students.

Oksana School of Music looks to drive business with teachers who make house calls.

Far, Far Away Now Means Santa Monica

Director of ‘Star Wars’ at home with far-flung production of sequel.

JJ Abrams tapped technology to guide the global postproduction of his “Star Wars” sequel from Santa Monica.

Lawyer Books Side Job as Author

Rumors started swirling that Michael Kun must have died after he published his first novel in 1990.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

DataPop, a Culver City ad tech firm, has been acquired by Criteo, a Paris marketing analytics firm.

Investors Line Up for Firm’s Online Ad Exchange

INTERNET: Strong quarter maintains winning streak for Rubicon Project.

Online ad exchange operator Rubicon Project clicks with Wall Street after strong quarter.

Internet Companies Get to Work on Freelancers

ONLINE: Businesses see opportunities in tailoring services to growing sector.

Businesses have turned servicing the growing freelance workforce into a full-time job.

Designer Plays With Office Layout

Todd van der Kruik tapped video games for Arcade Legend carpet.

Carpet maker Bentley Mills pieced together the design for its Arcade Legend tiles from video games.

Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Gunjan Bagla

Foreign-born business owners talk about how they sowed success by putting down roots in Los Angeles.

Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Winter Wong

Foreign-born business owners talk about how they sowed success by putting down roots in Los Angeles.

Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Andrew Stalbow

Foreign-born business owners talk about how they sowed success by putting down roots in Los Angeles.