Studio Space: Columbia Pictures has leased a 50,000-square-foot space at 8794 National Blvd. in Culver City. The lease deal runs for approximately eight months. Built in 1975, the building is Class B flex, meaning it can accommodate multiple purposes including office, light manufacturing, and/or warehouse space. It sits on 2 acres of land in Culver City. Columbia is sub-leasing the space from Turning Point school for film production.
Biofuels Acquisition: Beverly Hills-based Pure Biofuels has issued a binding letter of intent to acquire Interpacific Oil SAC's biodiesel production business for $6.3 million $700,000 in cash and $5.6 million in Pure Biofuels stock. Biodiesel is a renewable energy source derived from vegetable oil that can be used in unmodified diesel engines. Interpacific is Peru's largest and longest running biodiesel processor, producing 7.2 million gallons per year. In 2002, the company began producing commercial quantities. Pure Biofuels flagship project is a biodiesel refinery near Lima, Peru called Callao Port. It is scheduled to begin operations during the fourth quarter of 2007 and will process biodiesel from crude palm oil feedstock.
Division Sold: SOA Software, a provider of professional services and enterprise software, recently sold its professional services business to India-based Zensar Technologies for $24.9 million in cash. The two companies also formed a strategic relationship through which they will cooperate to deliver and support SOA solutions to joint customers. Zensar is a global provider of enterprise information technology solutions. It has a customer base spanning 18 countries.
Company Acquired: Genius Products LLC, a home-entertainment distribution company owned by the Weinstein Co. Holdings LLP and Genius Products Inc., purchased Castalian Music from EMI North America. Castalian is a TV marketing service for the entertainment industry. Genius expects the acquisition to add in excess of $20 million in gross revenue to Genius Products LLC for fiscal year 2007. Martin Tudor, CEO of the Tudor Group, has been hired to leverage Genius Products content with Castalian's distribution channels.
Surgery Advancements: Axis Three, a Pacific Palisades-based provider of surgical simulation tools for the medical industry recently launched a new simulation platform for plastic and reconstructive surgeons. Testing on the new product, the XS-300 Surgical Simulation Platform, will begin testing soon in US and European practices. The company has also secured additional funding and has added two new executives to its management team.
Sheriff Contract: The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department awarded a three-year fleet management and maintenance contract valued at approximately $47 million to Pennsylvania-based Penske Truck Leasing Co. LP. The company is a joint venture of Penske Corp. and General Electric. According to the agreement, Penske will provide vehicle maintenance and body shop repair work for more than 4,600 units including motorcycles, police cars, buses and other equipment. Penske is hiring about 110 local employees to support the contract, the majority of which will come from the Sheriff Department's existing services provider.
Tool Acquisition: Pearlman Industries Inc., a Commerce-based supplier of diamond cutting products owned by St. Louis-based Harbour Group, recently acquired Dallas-based Dimensional Tools Inc. Dimensional Tools is a distributor of products to the stone fabrication market with offices in Dallas and Phoenix. Dimensional also has a fleet servicing customers in the field. It provides a broad array of instruments and does on-site delivery.
International Money Transfer: Cerritos-based RIA Envia Inc., a global money transfer company, and a subsidiary of Euronet Worldwide Inc., signed a strategic agreement with Banco Nacional de Mexico SA, also known as Banamex, a unit of Citigroup. Through the terms of the agreement, RIA money transfers can be sent to Mexico through the Banamex network. RIA was acquired by Euronet Worldwide in April 2007. It offers services in 95 countries and processes approximately $4.5 billion in money transfers annually. Banamex is a financial institution in Mexico with 1,500 bank branches.
Record Raised: More than $100,000 was raised in one day by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Community Foundation at its "Hollywood's Women of Distinction" Awards. It is the most money that the non-profit organization raised at a single event. The money will go toward advancing local educational, cultural and economic programs.
True Handbags: True Religion Apparel Inc. signed a licensing agreement with Jacobs & Leslie Hsu Designs LLC, a designer and distributor of high-end handbags and small leather goods. Jacobs & Leslie, a company that has designed for brands including Calvin Klein, Tahari and Ugg Australia, will manufacture and sell True Religion branded handbags worldwide. The new bags will launch in August 2007 at the Project Show in Las Vegas. They will be shipping to retailers in spring 2008. Leslie Hsu also designs her own handbag collections, including Tibi and Kulson, often toted by celebrities.
Oil Acquisition: BreitBurn Energy Partners LP, an independent limited partnership formed in 2006 by a subsidiary of Provident Energy Trust to acquire, exploit and develop oil and gas properties, recently signed a definitive agreement to acquire oil properties along the Sunniland Trend in Florida for approximately $100 million. The seller, Calumet Florida LLC is a Delaware limited liability company owned by Vulcan Resource Florida Inc. BreitBurn is acquiring five separate properties with total estimated reserves of 9.5 million barrels of oil equivalent.
Hotel Purchased: The 150-suite Residence Inn at the Los Angeles International Airport was purchased by Equity Inns, a Memphis, Tenn.-based hotel REIT. The purchase was part of a portfolio including hotel properties in San Diego and Dallas. All five of the properties were previously owned by Huntington Hotels and the sale totaled $114.2 million, including $56.5 million in debt. The hotels including the L.A. site will continue to be managed by Huntington.
Land Purchased: Barker Pacific Group, a firm that manages, acquires and develops commercial real estate purchased 11 acres of land in two parcels under the 101 Continental Blvd. in El Segundo for an undisclosed price. The company already owned a 15-story building on site. It plans to invest $30 million in the property to renovate it to modern day Class A standards. The building is 330,266 square feet and is currently 32 percent vacant. Richard Keating of Keating Khang Architecture will design the renovations to the property.
Business Park Bought: The City of Palmdale will buy the 120-acre Fairway Business Park on Avenue O between Seventh Street West and Division Street for $27.8 million from developer A.C. Warnack. The money for the property will come from property tax revenue generated by redevelopment. The payoff is expected by 2026. The value of the site has been negotiated for three years and was in litigation for two of those years. In 1998 an agreement was made that the city would acquire the property in late 2003 for fair market value. At that time, a city-commissioned appraisal valued the property at $2.2 million, while A.C. Warnack had it appraised at $23 million.
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