FINANCE

FINDING FORESIGHT

Banking and Finance Quarterly

The special Banking and Finance Quarterly report looks at the rise in nonperforming loans — often dubbed troubled assets — at some prominent local banks.

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Unemployment Down in L.A. County as Jobs Grow, Workforce Shrinks

Unemployment in L.A. County ticked down slightly in February to 4.6 percent, the combined effect of a modest gain in jobs and a few thousand workers leaving the labor force.

Songtradr Announces $12 Million Funding Round

West Hollywood-headquartered company Songtradr Inc. announced March 21 it raised $12 million, which the company said totaled its outside funding to $21.5 million.

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Ares Management to Provide Financial Muscle for CoolSys Growth Strategy

Century City-based Ares Management Corp., which has $131 billion in assets under management, said one of its private equity group funds has purchased Brea, Calif.-based CoolSys Inc., a refrigeration and HVAC company, as part of an aggressive “buy and build” strategy to nearly triple the size of the company.

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Clearlake Capital-Backed Gravity Oilfield Buys Water Disposal Company Assets

Gravity Oilfield Services, backed financially by Santa Monica-based private equity Clearlake Capital, purchased certain water disposal pipes and related equipment from MBI Oil & Gas.

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Bank of America to Hire 300 Bankers in Los Angeles Region

Bank of America of the Greater Los Angeles Region plans to hire as many 300 bankers across all of its business lines over the next three years, according to the bank’s top executive in the region.

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B. Riley Financial May be Partially on Hook for $126.5M Merger Breakup Fee

Delaware Chancery Court ruled Thursday that Rent-A-Center Inc., a rent-to-own retail products company in Plano, Texas, could terminate its $1.4 billion agreement to merge with a Florida private equity firm, putting Woodland Hills-based B. Riley Financial Inc. and the private equity firm on the hook to possibly pay a reverse breakup fee of $126.5 million.

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Levine Leichtman Capital Partners Sells Fastsigns

Beverly Hills private equity firm Levine Leichtman Capital Partners has completed the sale of Display Holding Co. Inc. to two Santa Monica-based private equity firms, and management with the Carrollton, Texas-based signage company.

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Brookfield to Buy Majority $4.7B Stake in Downtown-Based Oaktree Capital Management

Downtown-based Oaktree Capital Group has sold a 62 percent stake valued at $4.7 billion in its global asset management firm to Brookfield Asset Management Inc., a Toronto-based alternative asset management company.

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Pritzker Group Leads $10 Million Livly Seed Round

Santa Monica-based Pritzker Group Venture Capital on March 12 led a $10 million seed funding round for Chicago-based property management software developer Livly.

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PUSHING FOR PERFECTION

BUSINESS LEADERS OF THE YEAR

Union Bank’s Bita Ardalan leads by example

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LA Unemployment Rate Held Steady in January

L.A. County’s unemployment rate in January remained at 4.7 percent for the third straight month, despite heavy seasonal job losses, according to state figures released March 8.

Crescent Acquisition Corp. Begins Trading on Nasdaq

West Los Angeles-based Crescent Acquisition Corp., a blank check company formed by alternative asset manager Crescent Capital Group with over $24 billion in assets under management, plans to raise $250 million by offering 25 million units at a price of $10 each.

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Handbag Brand Hammitt Raises $2M

Hammitt Inc., a Hermosa Beach luxury handbag maker, raised $2 million dollars in funding from investors, according to a Feb. 6 securities filing.

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CTBC Bank CEO Joins FDIC Panel on Supervision Modernization

Noor Menai, president and chief executive officer of downtown-based lender CTBC Bank Corp. (USA), was named by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to a community banking advisory panel looking at ways to adopt better technology and data sources used in safety and soundness examinations in the banking system.

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