CLOUDY FORECAST: Los Angeles County will be shedding jobs through 2011, according to a forecast by economists at California State University, Long Beach. About 54,000 jobs will be lost this year, very close to the drop recorded in 2008, and the outlook for 2010 is only slightly better, with a 34,000-job decline. Taking the worst hits will be manufacturing, with the durable goods sector losing 11 percent of its employment base this year. The only bright spot is health care, which the forecast said will continue to add 2 percent to its job base each year.
NEW VENTURE: Producer Jerry Bruckheimer announced creation of Jerry Bruckheimer Games Inc., a video game studio to be based in Santa Monica. Bruckheimer, whose production credits include the ?irates of the Caribbean?films and the ?.S.I.?TV franchise has hired several game industry veterans. President of development will be Jay Cohen of Ubisoft Entertainment, which publishes the popular ?rince of Persia,??om Clancy? Splinter Cell?and ?ssassin? Creed?games. President of production will be Jim Veevaert, who was executive producer on Microsoft Corp.? ?alo 3.?p>
LIVING WAGE: The Los Angeles City Council has directed city staff workers to draft an amendment to L.A.? living wage ordinance. The amendment would raise the wage paid by airport employers who do not offer health benefits. Workers who receive health benefits are paid $10 an hour under the city? living wage law, creating $1.25 an hour spread between workers receiving health insurance and those who don?. Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, a union-allied living wage advocacy group, has called for a 30 percent increase in the living wage for private sector airport workers who do not receive health benefits.
FUNDRAISING: Casino operator MGM Mirage, which is majority-owned by L.A. billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, plans to raise $2.5 billion through stock and bond offerings to pay off some of its more than $14 billion in debt and strengthen its balance sheet. Kerkorian? Tracinda Group, which controls nearly 54 percent of shares, plans to buy approximately 8.1 million more shares in the offering. The private placement will include notes due in 2014 and 2017 and be secured in part by a first-priority lien on the Bellagio Hotel and Casino and the Mirage.
SUIT FILED: Workers at the Hyatt Regency Long Beach Hotel are seeking class-action status for a new lawsuit against the hotel? owners, alleging that management failed to pay overtime, and provide adequate meal and rest breaks. Among allegations in the suit, filed in L.A. Superior Court, is that management at the 528-room hotel set quotas of up to 30 rooms a day for each housekeeper, forcing several to work overtime, and skip meal and rest periods. Representatives from hotel workers union Unite Here Local 11 also announced a campaign to unionize the more than 300 workers at the hotel, owned by Hyatt Global Corp.
ACQUISITION: Calabasas Internet technology company Ixia said it plans to buy Catapult Communications Corp., a Silicon Valley digital telecom test systems supplier, for about $105 million. Ixia, whose products primarily test Internet protocol performance on traditional networks, said acquisition of the Mountain View company will boost its high-speed wireless market. The $9.25-per-share offer is a 14 percent premium over Catapult? closing share price before the May 11 announcement.
STOCK OFFERING: American States Water Co. said it would sell 1 million shares to repay short-term debt. The San Dimas company, which has not yet priced the shares, said it also may sell an additional 150,000 shares to cover any overallotments. The company owns Golden State Water Co., American States Utility Services Inc., and other utilities that serve customers in California and parts of Arizona.
FUNDS RAISED: Real estate investment trust HCP said it completed a $440 million public offering of 20.7 million shares of common stock. The price per share of $21.25 included 2.7 million shares sold to the underwriters upon exercise of an option to purchase additional shares. The Long Beach REIT, which invests in senior housing, life science, medical office and hospital buildings, said it plans to use the proceeds to repay a bridge loan facility and for general corporate purposes.
CASH INFUSION: Power-One Inc. said Silver Lake Sumeru completed a $56 million investment in the Camarillo power conversion technology company. Kyle Ryland and Ajay Shah of Silver Lake Sumeru, a Cupertino fund targeting middle-market technology companies, have joined the Power-One board, the company said. Power-One products allow for more energy-efficient power conversion and power management for computers and other electronic devices.
EARNINGS: Edison International reported first quarter net income of $250 million, 16 percent lower than a year ago. Revenue dropped 10 percent to $2.8 billion. ?Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc. reported first quarter net income of $7.2 million, 78 percent less than a year ago. Revenue rose by 7 percent to nearly $374 million. ?Live Nation Inc. reported a net loss of almost $103 million, 177 percent larger than a year ago. Revenue fell more than 6 percent to $499 million. ?California Pizza Kitchen Inc. reported first quarter net income of $2.6 million, 4 percent better than a year ago. Revenue fell 2 percent to $161 million. ?Cougar Biotechnology Inc. reported a first quarter net loss of $23.3 million. The company, which has no products on the market, reported no revenue. ?Farmer Brothers Co. reported a fiscal third quarter net loss of $1.44 million, 47 percent lower than a year ago. Net sales rose 21 percent to $85.6 million. ?DTS Inc. reported first quarter net income of $190,000, 94 percent lower than a year ago. Revenue rose 13 percent to $17.3 million.
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