COMIC CHANGES: Warner Bros announced a reorganization of its DC Comics unit, changing the division's name to DC Entertainment Inc. and naming movie executive Diane Nelson president. Nelson who manages the studio's "Harry Potter" movie franchise, will be charged with creating the same opportunities for DC characters across film, television, video games and consumer products. The move is seen as a response to Walt Disney Co.'s purchase of the Marvel brand.
JURY AWARD: A Louisville, Ky., jury awarded Ventas Inc. more than $101 million in damages in its case against Long Beach real estate investment trust HCP Inc., which it accused of interfering with the acquisition of another REIT. Chicago-based Ventas accused HCP of driving up the price it had to pay for Sunrise Senior Living in Ontario, Canada, by making a competing bid. Ventas already had an agreement to buy Sunrise for $1.8 billion when HCP submitted a bid. Ventas eventually convinced a court to rule the bid invalid.
LIVING WAGE: The Los Angeles City Council approved a $3.25-per-hour wage rate increase that airport contractors who don't provide health insurance must pay workers as of Jan. 1. Contractors at Los Angeles International Airport, Ontario International Airport and Van Nuys Airport that don't offer insurance will have to pay workers $14.80 an hour. About 5,000 airport workers are covered by the living wage ordinance, but how many of them would be affected by the increase was not disclosed.
CHAPTER 11: L.A. real estate developer Bob Bisno, who last year failed in an attempt to build a large redevelopment project on 109 acres in Baldwin Park, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Bisno owes his largest 20 unsecured creditors more than $250 million, according to a filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Bisno Development Co. has suffered a series of setbacks, including slow sales at luxury condominiums constructed in Santa Ana.
BANKRUPTCY FILING: A downtown L.A. high-rise being built by struggling commercial real estate developer Meruelo Maddux Properties Inc. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Meruelo Maddux-845 S. Flower Street LLC controls the development at 705 W. Ninth St., a 36-story luxury rental residential building that was expected to be completed by the end of the year. Meruelo Maddux Properties filed for Chapter 11 in March and remains in reorganization. The project was excluded from its original bankruptcy filing.
FUNDING BOOST: Culver City online video game maker Riot Games closed an $8 million follow-on round of financing with three current funders: including two private equity firms and an online services company in Shenzhen, China. The company's first game, "League of Legends," is set to launch simultaneously in North America and China in October. The company uses a "games-as-service" revenue model popular in Asia, in which players play its games for free but pay for certain add-on virtual products, such as additional abilities or character costumes. The latest funding brings the total to $20 million.
CFO LEAVING: Skechers USA Inc. said Chief Financial Officer Fred Schneider has resigned to pursue other interests. Chief Operating Officer David Weinberg, who was CFO between 1994 and 2006, will take over Schneider's duties and continue as chief operating officer, the Manhattan Beach footwear maker said. To enable an orderly transition, Schneider will stay with the company through February.
CFO ARRIVING: KB Home said it appointed Raymond Silcock chief financial officer. He also will hold the title of executive vice president. Silcock, 58, most recently served as senior vice president and chief financial officer for UST Inc., a consumer products company. Previously, he was executive vice president and chief financial officer of Swift & Co., a privately held company with $10 billion in annual sales. Chief Accounting Officer William Hollinger has been overseeing the company's financial operations since the company's previous CFO retired last year.
RESTATEMENT: Online horse racing and horse betting operator YouBet.com Inc. has named Susan Bracey interim chief financial officer, effective immediately, and said it plans to restate the first two quarters of its 2009 fiscal year. Bracey, who was CFO and executive vice president of Ticketmaster for eight years, fills a position that has been open since the departure of Jim Burk in March. The restatement, which reduces previously reported net income for the six months ended June 30 by $346,000, will correct an error in the Burbank company's calculation of accruals under its YouBet Advantage player incentive program.
SUIT FILED: DirecTV Group Inc. said it is suing a Michigan man and has asked a court to stop him from redistributing its programming. The El Segundo satellite TV provider's complaint alleges John Metzler, the owner and operator of Phoenix Communications and Pine River Cable, set up fraudulent accounts in three Michigan communities, and resold and rebroadcast DirecTV programming to his commercial and residential subscribers.
EARNINGS: Korn Ferry International reported a fiscal first quarter net loss of $14.3 million, compared with net income of $15.9 million a year ago. Revenue dropped 43 percent to $123 million. AeroVironment Inc. reported a fiscal first quarter net loss of $3.6 million, compared with net income of $4.8 million a year ago. Revenue fell 29 percent to $37.9 million. Cherokee Inc. reported second quarter net income of $2.9 million, down 29 percent from a year ago. Revenue fell 23 percent to $8.1 million.
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