MOVIE MONEY: Director Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks Studios could receive $825 million in film financing to begin producing movies starting this year, according to an Indian company involved in deal talks. Reliance ADA Group, the Indian conglomerate, is in talks with DreamWorks Studios partners Stacey Snider and Spielberg in New York, and the $825 million figure has emerged from those talks as a possible funding slate for DreamWorks Studios. The deal between the two companies, which announced a plan to work together last year, has not been finalized.
BOEING BOOM: In a major boost to its satellite-making operation in El Segundo, Boeing Co. won a contract with a potential value of $1 billion to build satellites for telecommunications giant Intelsat Ltd. The contract to build four communication satellites could help stem L.A.'s mounting unemployment rate. The order would preserve high-paying engineering jobs in Southern California and bolster prospects for hundreds of smaller firms in the region that supply parts for the satellites, analysts said.
CALPERS SUIT: California's giant public pension fund is suing the nation's three top bond credit-rating companies for issuing "wildly inaccurate" rankings on investments that it said may have cost pensioners more than $1 billion. The California Public Employees' Retirement System raised legal questions about the credit firms' gold-plated AAA rankings for investment funds that collapsed in 2007 and 2008.
TOY STORY: A judge ruled that two insurance companies that earlier refused to pay for the defense of MGA Entertainment in its Bratz legal battle with Mattel Inc. are legally bound to do so. A federal jury decided last year that a former Mattel doll designer created the Bratz name and characters for MGA while still working for Mattel. The Van Nuys toymaker is on the hook for more than $160 million, including a $100 million damage award and more than $60 million in court costs. The U.S. district judge in the case, Stephen G. Larson, granted a summary judgment against Crum & Forster and Evanston Insurance Co., saying they had to pay despite certain policy exclusions.
PORT SHORT: Cargo shipments coming through the Port of Long Beach fell 29 percent last month compared with a year ago. June figures show that 413,347 cargo container units, or TEUs, moved through Long Beach terminals, compared with 579,675 TEUs in June 2008. Through the first six months of 2009, imports are down nearly 28 percent and exports are off 29 percent from a year ago. The June figures reverse a trend of increasing activity that began in March.
HIGH FLIER: Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has appointed entrepreneur and nightclub impresario Sam Nazarian to the Board of Airport Commissioners. Nazarian, 33, will replace Christine Essel on the seven-member board. Essel resigned to run for the San Fernando Valley council seat vacated by newly elected City Controller Wendy Greuel. Nazarian, whose parents immigrated to Los Angeles from Iran, made his name as a Hollywood nightclub operator, founding such landmarks as the Hyde and the Foxtail. His company, SBE Entertainment Group, has since diversified into restaurants, hotels and film distribution. He owns the SLS Hotel in West Hollywood.
INDIAN DEAL: Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. received a contract to provide engineering and design work at an Indian Oil Corp. Ltd. refinery. The Pasadena engineering firm said it will perform front-end engineering and design services, and supervise contractors at the refinery in Paradip in the state of Orissa. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the total installed cost of such a unit is estimated at $350 million.
EMISSION HELP: Purchasers of Capstone Turbine Inc.'s low-emission microturbine systems and similar products would be eligible for reimbursement from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. A joint program between the U.S. Treasury and Energy departments will set aside an estimated $3 billion to help pay for the development of about 5,000 biomass, solar, wind, geothermal and fuel cell projects. The government announced earlier this month that microturbine products also would be eligible.
GOOD RESULT: CytRx Corp. shares jumped after the drug developer said its experimental treatment for breast cancer caused a "dramatic destruction" of implanted tumors in an animal model. The L.A. company, which does not yet have a product on the market, said tumors in animals shrank to about one-half their initial volume by the end of 43 days of the treatment.
SHOW TIME: U.S. concert ticket sales this summer were surprisingly strong despite a weaker economy, the head of concert promoter Live Nation Inc. said in a television interview. Chief Executive Michael Rapino said on CNBC that sales were "holding very strong," helped by discounts such as the fee waivers it introduced as a recession-year break for customers. Rapino also said he expects the company's merger with Ticketmaster Entertainment to close by the end of 2009.
CONTRACT NEWS: Aecom Technology Corp. said it won two contracts totaling $60 million to work on multi-use real estate development projects in the Middle East. The bigger contract, for $45 million, calls for design and construction of the Al Raha Beach Development project in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Aecom, an L.A. technical and management consultant, will be the lead design and engineering consultant for construction services on the multi-use, $14 billion project, the company said. The other contract is for $15 million to provide program management for Knowledge Economic City in Saudi Arabia. The $8 billion project will take 10 to 12 years to complete.
EARNINGS: East West Bancorp Inc. reported a second quarter loss of almost $116 million, compared with a loss of almost $26 million a year ago. Net interest income, before provision for loan losses, was more than $88 million. Total deposits grew to a record $8.7 billion, up 14 percent from a year earlier.
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