SITRICK SELLS: Sitrick and Co., an L.A. public relations firm known for its celebrated and controversial clientele, is expected to be acquired next month by consulting firm Resources Connection Inc. Resources will make an initial payment of $43.3 million in cash and stock for Sitrick and Brincko Associates, a small restructuring firm that is also being purchased as part of the deal. Sitrick is best known for representing clients ensnared in scandal – including the Archdiocese of Los Angeles during a sexual-abuse lawsuit and Paris Hilton after her release from a brief jail stint. But much of the firm’s work is on more humdrum corporate matters, especially bankruptcy issues.

SUIT FILED: People’s Liberation Inc. said it has filed suit against Charlotte Russe Merchandising Inc., the exclusive distributor of its flagship denim line, for breach of contract and other claims after the national retailer said it would stop selling People’s Liberation products. The L.A. designer is seeking more than $60 million in compensatory and punitive damages.

MEDIA SPINOFF: Michael Eisner’s private equity firm Tornante Co. has spun out Vuguru, its Internet content production house, with financial backing from one of Canada’s largest media companies. The partnership agreement between Tornante and Rogers Media Inc., a division of Toronto’s Rogers Communications Inc., turns Vuguru into an independent company. Eisner, former chief executive of Walt Disney Co., launched Vuguru in late 2006 and was a pioneer in producing scripted shows for Web and mobile TV distribution.

GOING GOOGLE: Los Angeles has become the largest city in the nation to outsource its e-mail to a Web-based system run by Internet search giant Google Inc. The City Council voted unanimously to shut down the city’s in-house messaging system and transfer e-mail operations for its 30,000 employees to Google’s nationwide network of servers. The decision is expected to influence other major cities and large corporations considering whether to stay with older e-mail programs, such as Microsoft Corp.’s Outlook, or to embrace Google. Microsoft lobbied the city against the change.

ACQUISITION: Ares Capital Corp. said it will buy Allied Capital Corp., which finances middle-market company buyouts, in an all-stock deal worth $648 million. The deal gives shareholders of Ares Capital, an affiliate of L.A. investment management firm Ares Management LLC, a 65 percent stake of the combined company. The companies expect the deal to close in the first quarter of next year after shareholder approval. Ares Capital invests primarily in first- and second-lien loans and mezzanine debt, sometimes with an equity component. Allied Capital invests in long-term debt and equity capital.


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