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News of the Week

PERMIT ISSUE: Los Angeles has streamlined renewals of Conditional Use Permits. The permits are usually required for businesses such as restaurants, bars, parking lots and health care facilities. Under the new rules, applications to renew CUPs will have fewer requirements and business owners will receive a decision within 75 days. “This is a tremendous win for our restaurants and clubs,” said Leron Gubler of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.

PIZZA TALK: The New York Post has reported that buyout negotiations for California Pizza Kitchen ended without a deal. The Post cited a source who said American Securities Capital, a New York private equity fund, had failed to reach an agreement with the restaurant chain and it was “unlikely” talks would resume. However, it was not clear if California Pizza Kitchen was in negotiations with any other potential buyers. The L.A.-based restaurant chain had announced in April that it planned for a sale.

DEATH: Lynne M. Doll, president of the public relations agency Rogers Group, died Aug. 3 of a stroke. She was 48. Doll was a driving force behind the development of the Rogers Group’s Community Involvement Program, which encourages staff to contribute time, talent and money to organizations. Services will be 2:30 p.m. Aug. 13 at Forest Lawn Glendale.

NO IPO: West Hollywood movie studio Film Department Holdings has called off its initial public offering. The producer of the Jamie Foxx film “Law Abiding Citizen” had hoped to raise $85 million to finance future movies. The company has withdrawn its prospectus and “does not intend to pursue the contemplated public offering at this time,” according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

BOOKSELLER: Barnes & Noble, under pressure from activist shareholder Ron Burkle, has put itself up for sale. The national chain has 720 stores but has faced increasing competition from online rivals. L.A. investor Burkle owns 19 percent of the company.

ELECTRIC TRUCKS: Enova Systems, a manufacturer of electric motor drives in Torrance, has received orders for 120 electric drives from truck maker Smith Newton in Kansas City, Mo. Smith Newton has a $32 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to create an electric truck demonstration program.

THRIFT SHIFT: Federal regulators have closed Certified Federal Credit Union, a small Commerce institution serving grocery industry employees. The thrift had assets of $37.6 million, but had suffered substantial losses in its home mortgage portfolio. Immediately after the July 31 closure, regulators sold Certified’s assets to Vons Employees Federal Credit Union, an El Monte institution with $333 million in assets. Vons said it will retain the Certified name and its one branch in Commerce.

OBIT: Jon Douglas, founder of a major Southern California real estate brokerage, died at 73. Douglas grew up in Santa Monica and became a star athlete at Stanford University, where he played quarterback on the football team and was an All-American tennis player. He represented the United States at three Davis Cups. In 1971, he started Jon Douglas Co. and built it up to 70 offices before selling to Coldwell Banker in 1997.

SETTLEMENT: Countrywide Financial Corp. has agreed to pay $600 million to settle shareholder lawsuits in the largest payout so far from the mortgage meltdown. The plaintiffs in the case, including several pension funds, alleged that Countrywide hid the risks of its business from investors during the housing boom. The Calabasas company, once the nation’s largest mortgage lender, was acquired by Bank of America Corp. in 2008. The agreement will earn about 40 cents per share for Countrywide’s former shareholders.

NEWSWEEK: Sidney Harman, the founder of Harman International Industries and husband of Rep. Jane Harman, D-Torrance, has agreed to buy Newsweek magazine from Washington Post Co. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Harman’s company is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., but he and his wife have a home in Venice.

FILM SALE: Walt Disney Co. has agreed to sell its Miramax Films to an investor group led by construction magnate Ron Tutor and Colony Capital for about $660 million. The divestiture includes more than 700 films, including hits such as “Pulp Fiction” and “Good Will Hunting.” Disney sold Miramax to concentrate on family-oriented entertainment under its Disney, Pixar and Marvel brands.

EARNINGS: Guidance Software in Pasadena reported a loss of $1.2 million for the second quarter, compared with a loss of $5.8 million for the same quarter last year. Revenue increased 38 percent to $22.7 million. … Herbalife reported second quarter earnings of $81.9 million, compared with $48.3 million the prior year. Revenue was up 21 percent to $689 million. … LTC Properties had net income of $7.7 million, compared with $6.8 million the previous year. Revenue increased 5 percent to $18.2 million. … Manhattan Bancorp reported a loss of $1.27 million, compared with a loss of $1.32 million the same period last year. The South Bay bank increased deposits 45 percent to $87 million. … PC Mall reported a 67 percent increase in earnings for the second quarter to $1.36 million, up from $815,000 in the same period last year. Revenue was $317 million, an increase of 21 percent. … K-Swiss reported a second quarter loss of $14.5 million, compared with a loss of $11.5 million last year. Revenue was down 13.3 percent to $47 million. … United Online reported net income of $13 million for the second quarter, compared with $17.7 million in the same quarter. Revenue was down 7 percent to $243 million.

CORRECTION

In the Featured Newsmaker article about Jack Price in the July 19 issue, the name of a bicycling fundraiser was incorrect. The correct name is the Amgen California Coast Classic.

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