Stories for August 2010
Tuesday, August 31
Morgan Creek founder James Robinson -- who had been prepared to put up as much as $100 million toward Ron Tutor's $660 million purchase of Miramax -- has pulled out over terms of his role in the company.
Skechers USA Inc. has signed a licensing deal that will allow a manufacturer to use the Skechers logo on luggage and travel accessories.
There are many lessons in the high-price McCourt divorce being argued this week.
Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. shares jumped Tuesday after Carl Icahn raised his bid for the film studio.
Billionaire investor Ron Burkle has declared that he has no plan to acquire control of Barnes & Noble, the nation’s largest bookstore chain.
Monday, August 30
Motorcar Parts of America, a Torrance company that sells refurbished car alternators and starters, has invested $1.9 million in Fenwick Automotive Products, a manufacturer of steering, brake and clutch components.
A union representing employees at two Hyatt hotels announced today that workers have voted to authorize a strike.
Judge to decide Dodgers ownership.
Cherokee, the apparel and home décor licensing company in Van Nuys, has announced Henry Stupp will be its new chief executive officer and member of the board.
3M announced it will buy Cogent Inc., the Pasadena maker of security identification systems founded by Los Angeles billionaire Ming Hsieh, for nearly $950 million.
Charles Crumpley finds understanding of a proposed oil tax doesn’t run very deep.
Special Report: DEVELOPERS
During his three decades in residential development, Tony Salazar has worked on some of the city’s most cutting-edge projects.
Beverly Hills producer of movie premieres cuts costs by sharing expenses with other event managers.
Chad Hudson wants to thinks of his firm as a team player when it comes to staging Hollywood events.
ADVERTISING & PR: Garage looks to get Chelsea Paris in step with L.A. celebrities.
What does an agency do when it signs a startup shoe designer?
Calendar of Events
Special Report: DEVELOPERS
Randy Johnson calls Playa Vista – the Marina del Rey-adjacent community he has played a large role in developing – his home.
Special Report: DEVELOPERS
Emile Haddad has spent nearly three decades in real estate development. As an executive at Lennar Corp., the Laguna Hills resident developed several suburban subdivisions.
Special Report: DEVELOPERS
Neil Shekhter is living the American dream, and he achieved it in no small part by driving cabs.
West L.A.-based architect Herb Nadel says the abuse he received in the U.S. Coast Guard made him fearless and able to cope with anything.
Architect Herb Nadel says the anti-Semitism he suffered in the Coast Guard prepared him to cope with anything.
Special Report: DEVELOPERS
Percy Vaz, who calls Thousand Oaks home, has been in development for 32 years.
TECHNOLOGY: Newegg gives no reason for departure of Liu; interim CEO named.
The sudden unexplained departure of its chief executive is the latest sign of tumultuous times at online electronics retailer Newegg Inc.
MANUFACTURING: Local businesses could qualify for loans as high as $250,000.
The Los Angeles City Council is expected to decide in October whether to approve a novel program that would assist manufacturers and industrial employers with redevelopment funds.
REGULATION WATCH: Local firm says levy results in double taxation on some clients.
Los Angeles city officials are considering cutting or even eliminating business taxes on mutual funds.
BANKING & FINANCE: California United scoops up California Oaks in $17.3 million deal.
The banking industry may not be back to full strength, but bank M&A is becoming a booming business.
Analysts see KB stock boost as a sign the market has hit bottom.
The stock of KB Home and other home builders went up last week even as the residential market hit a new low.
A Santa Monica museum’s invitation to food trucks has some local eateries circling their wagons.
Some neighboring eateries want to table a Santa Monica museum’s idea for a food truck court.
Hollywood boutique likes the fit of $300 tailored men’s shirts.
A Hollywood boutique hopes to push the right buttons with its tailored shirt service for men.
Special Report: DEVELOPERS
Billionaire developer Alan Casden keeps a framed relic in his office that symbolizes the difficulty of developing in Los Angeles, but also his tenacity.
Local firms reap work translating mortgage documents for lenders.
A law requiring mortgage terms to be printed in the language of the borrower has translation businesses talking.
Beverly Hills to toast famous ZIP code with Sept. 2 shindig.
Beverly Hills is hailing its most famous ZIP code with a by-the-numbers party on 9-02-10.
Internet businesses aim to channel more ad revenue.
Companies that produce Internet TV shows are getting ready for prime time.
OP-ED: A measure to expand collection of sales tax from online transactions would spur retailers to avoid the state.
Loren Bendele wants to pull the plug on a California tax proposal targeting out-of-state online retailers.
For a select few chefs, winning a TV cooking competition is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. For Richard Ruskell, it’s becoming a regular thing.
Property in West L.A. goes for $111 million.
A judge has OK’d the $111 million sale of Ezri Namvar’s prime West L.A. property.
Special Report: DEVELOPERS
Newport Beach resident Timothy O’Brien has been a developer for 24 years.
CHIEF DWELLING: Two sales show that prices at some sites are making a comeback.
Listings and sales of executive homes.
Special Report: DEVELOPERS
James Frost is a native Angeleno who attended USC. He’s turned his love for the city into a successful 20-year development career.
REAL ESTATE: Decron provides $17 million for apartment project.
Decron Properties Corp. owns about 50 commercial and residential developments, mostly in Los Angeles County, totaling some 6 million square feet.
For DJ Grimes, keeping abreast of the latest advertising trends is crucial – so he can avoid them.
Special Report: DEVELOPERS
Steve Ruffner remembers that day in early 2008 all too well.
Special Report: DEVELOPERS
Isac Cohanzad has developed hundreds of units during his nearly four-decade career.
Special Report: DEVELOPERS
John Huskey has been a trailblazer, working on affordable housing since 1969, and developing more than 12,000 affordable and market-rate residential units.
Special Report: DEVELOPERS
When Thomas L. Safran interned with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 1969, he was working toward a master’s in political science and urban studies at the University of Chicago.
Skechers digs in its heels as critics stomp on Shape-ups.
Skechers looks to find its footing after criticism of the shoemaker’s high-selling Shape-ups line.
Friday, August 27
The Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies closed up slightly for the week after the overall markets reacted positively to remarks by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.
Time Warner Cable Inc.’s negotiations to renew rights to ESPN may be held up on a demand by the sports channel’s owner.
A federal judge has upheld all elements of the Port of Los Angeles’ clean air program, including a controversial provision that bans independent truck drivers and requires them to be employees of companies that have obtained concessions.
Peerless Systems Corp., a digital document technology company in El Segundo, announced a tender offer for $45 million of its stock.
Thursday, August 26
Business and civic leader Bruce Ackerman, who for the last two decades championed the economic revival of the San Fernando Valley, died Thursday after a struggle with cancer.
Shares of Wesco Financial Corp. surged after Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. announced plans to buy the 19.9 percent of the Pasadena company it does not already own.
Aecom Technology Corp., the engineering and construction firm in downtown Los Angeles, announced it will build a water treatment system for the Town of Davie, Fla.
OSI Systems, a maker of security scanners and other industrial electronic equipment, announced it has landed a $5 million contract for a train inspection scanner.
Wednesday, August 25
California regulators have approved rate hikes on individual Anthem Blue Cross health insurance policies after public outrage and government scrutiny halted a larger increase.
Barnes & Noble Inc. urged investors to reject Ron Burkle’s board nominees, accusing the billionaire and his proposed slate of participating in “some of the most spectacular technology and corporate failures in history.”
MarketShare Partners, which makes software used to optimize advertising, marketing, and promotions spending by companies, has acquired a company whose technology will help it analyze large volumes of data more quickly.
Guess Inc. saw better-than-expected profit in its second quarter, but provided a cautious outlook for the current quarter that sent the stock down in after-hours trading.
Semtech Corp. reported a second quarter that beat Wall Street expectations, driven by strong revenue growth for its semiconductors that are used in power-management devices and automated test equipment.
The assessed values of properties in Los Angeles County dropped for the second year in a row, falling about $19 billion to just over $1 trillion.
California United Bank of Encino has reached an agreement to acquire California Oaks State Bank of Thousand Oaks for $17.3 million.
Threadbox, a Palo Alto developer of workgroup email messaging software, confirmed that it had sold most of its assets to Beverly Hills social networking site MySpace.
Cereplast Inc. has signed a multi-million dollar agreement with an Italian company that will make products using Cereplast's bioplastic resins. It is Cereplast’s first such deal in that region.
Tuesday, August 24
It was a deal like no other in Montgomery County. The plan crafted by County Executive Isiah Leggett to bring the entertainment company Live Nation to Silver Spring, pitched as a way to help its struggling downtown, included $8 million in state and local aid.
Robeks Corp. has signed a multi-year master franchise agreement with Clarence Corp. to open 500 smoothie cafes in Japan and 12 other Asian countries.
American Apparel Inc. said it received a delisting warning from the NYSE Amex exchange and added that it is still unsure when it will file its quarterly report with regulators.
The government says former Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo personally approved mortgages for favored borrowers that violated the company's policies and lending standards.
Monday, August 23
In its single biggest repayment of bailout loans so far, American International Group Inc. it is paying back nearly $4 billion in taxpayer aid with proceeds from a recent debt sale by its International Lease Finance Corp. unit.
Eli Broad has chosen a downtown Los Angeles site to build a museum for his contemporary art collection after local officials agreed to lease him 2.5 acres of county-owned land.
Next month's opening of the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools will be auspicious for a reason other than its both storied and infamous history as the former Ambassador Hotel, where the Democratic presidential contender was assassinated in 1968. It will mark the inauguration of the nation's most expensive public school ever.
A Los Angeles man accused of leaking Walt Disney Co.’s earnings information obtained by his employee girlfriend has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and wire fraud in a Manhattan federal court.
The Defense Department has awarded Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. and Northrop Grumman Corp. contracts on separate Air Force and Navy projects.
OP-ED: Philanthropist’s millions would be better spent on building a theater than a downtown L.A. museum.
Rob Carpenter wonders if Eli Broad and L.A. would be better served with a theater than a museum.
Martin Vallejo urges Gov. Schwarzenegger to decline a bill barring debit card surcharges by merchants.
Village Lighthouse in Hollywood hopes for OK on same-sex weddings.
Hollywood’s Village Lighthouse is married to the idea of gay wedding cards despite recent court rulings.
REAL ESTATE: Wayne Ratkovich blames economy for holding up restaurants.
Real estate developer Wayne Ratkovich still has big plans for his 5900 Wilshire Blvd. office tower on Miracle Mile. But his efforts to lease space to a fine-dining restaurant and build a pavilion for another eatery have been delayed by the downturn.
After working for years in municipal governments, economic development consultant Larry Kosmont now helps companies find business-friendly cities.
Economic development guru Larry Kosmont learned the ins and outs of government in city hall jobs.
Dr. Angela Adelman recently got her brother an unusual gift: Michael Jackson’s wedding jacket.
L.A. Convention Center hosts event to tout all things hemp.
L.A. Convention Center goes to pot – literally – when it hosts Hemp Con.
Wedbush analyst sees online program lifting his industry reputation.
Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter has scored a hit with his online show on video games.
Grandpoint has acquired four institutions since mid-June.
Grandpoint Capital continues its bank-buying binge with two Arizona pickups.
You could say John Miller’s path to Pepperdine University, where he was recently promoted to vice chancellor, was a matter of divine inspiration. As an undergraduate at UCLA, Miller studied economics.
SPORTS BUSINESS: Raceway looks to replace loss of Nascar event in 2011.
Could Indy cars once again be making pit stops at Auto Club Speedway?
LAW: New hire A.J. Thomas brings focus on entertainment industry.
When Chicago law firm Jenner & Block LLP opened an office in downtown Los Angeles last year, part of the reason was to strengthen its connections to the entertainment industry.
TRADE & TRANSPORT: Oakland-based Matson could add 234,000 more container units.
There are increasing indications that Southern California is holding on to its position as the leading gateway for Asian trade, despite fears that the region was losing its edge.
City and county rules trip up launch of Magnolia cupcakes.
New York cupcake bakery Magnolia was treated to a tough time when trying to launch an L.A. store.
RETAIL & APPAREL: Former L’Ermitage exec launches Beverly Hills consultancy.
During the nearly 20 years that Jack Naderkhani served as general manager of luxury hotel L’Ermitage in Beverly Hills, he made a lot of friends from far-flung places.
Family-run food company Passport looked outside for a CEO to lead the business after founder’s passing.
Passport Food Group had famine then feast after bringing in outside CEOs to run the business.
HEALTHCARE & BIOTECH: Prospect in West L.A. partners with buyout firm Leonard Green.
Hospitals that treat large populations of patients insured by cheaper, managed care plans are expected to do well under national health care reform.
Hollywood slowdown leaves movie cars parked
Hollywood’s production slowdown drove the merger of two movie-car businesses.
Maybe it’s not time for Dov Charney to step aside at American Apparel, Charles Crumpley writes.
Extraction levy may ‘devastate’ L.A. industry.
State oil companies fear a proposed extraction tax will suck them dry.
High-end N.Y. houses target L.A.’s knockoff makers.
It’s a tale of two cities as L.A. fashion businesses resist a New York push for tougher copyright standards for designs.
Evite revamps layout, ads to win back users.
Online invitation company Evite hopes to welcome back users with its revamped site.
Friday, August 20
Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Los Angeles Police Department said that a joint operation seized $6.2 million in counterfeit True Religion jeans.
Nara Bancorp Inc. said that it completed a bulk sale of problem loans, receiving discounted cash proceeds of $38.8 million. The sale prompted one Wall Street analyst to upgrade shares of the struggling Koreatown bank.
The Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies closed down slightly for the week as investors reacted to news that growth in the domestic economy continues to slow.
L.A. County’s unemployment rate edged up two tenths of a point in July as the county was hit by the triple whammy of seasonal job losses in education, the winding down of the federal census and cutbacks in state and local government.
Thursday, August 19
Jamie McCourt's attorneys said they have located a document showing she has an equal stake in the ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers and that the revelation will dramatically alter a bitter struggle for the team amid McCourt's divorce proceedings.
Billionaire real estate developer Donald Bren testified Thursday in the child support case brought by his two adult children that he was shocked both times when his then-lover got pregnant.
Barnes & Noble Inc. nominated two outside directors and said its chairman and top shareholder Leonard Riggio would stand for reelection as the bookseller faces a proxy battle with billionaire Ron Burkle.
1-800-Dentist, a Los Angeles provider of marketing services to dentists, has raised an undisclosed sum of growth financing from Cue Ball Capital and Bain Capital Ventures.
Far East National Bank will receive a $235 million capital infusion from its Taiwan parent company, Bank SinoPac.
Wednesday, August 18
Kennedy Wilson has raised $125 million for its KW Property Fund III from a diverse group of investors, including university endowments, public funds and foundations.
Hot Topic Inc. said that its second-quarter loss had nearly doubled as its teen and young adult customers spent less at its stores amid the weak economic recovery.
Los Angeles hospitality entrepreneur Sam Nazarian plans to renovate the Ritz Plaza Hotel in Miami Beach as he shops New York for property and reworks debt on a Las Vegas casino.
L.A.’s brick-and-mortar restaurants may soon be getting a boost from city officials in their ongoing battle with gourmet food trucks.
The Defense Department's Missile Defense Agency has awarded Tetra Tech Inc. a $270 million contract for advisory services related to development of a ballistic missile defense system for the United States.
Tuesday, August 17
Costco Wholesale Corp. will open a store in Warner Center that will create 300 permanent jobs, Los Angeles city officials announced.
Apex Digital Inc., a Walnut maker and distributor of inexpensive TVs, DVD players and other electronics products, said it has filed for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Media mogul Haim Saban is getting into the apparel and accessories business with the acquisition of Paul Frank Industries in Costa Mesa.
In the hopes of boosting small business lending, City National Bank said that it will pay half of the standard fees associated with federally-backed small business loans.
American Apparel Inc. admitted that slumping sales and continued fallout from an immigration raid had taken its toll. The retailer expects another quarterly loss and warned that it was again close to breaching a loan covenant.
MGA Entertainment Inc. in a court filing has accused rival toymaker Mattel Inc. of fraudulently entering private showrooms so it could steal trade secrets and confidential information.
Two brothers who own four Los Angeles car washes were each sentenced to a year in prison and ordered to pay $1.25 million in unpaid wages to 54 workers, in what the City Attorney's Office called a "landmark" plea deal.
David Ellison’s film company Skydance Productions has raised $350 million in financing, Ellison is the son of Oracle founder Larry Ellison.
Monday, August 16
Hudson Pacific Properties Inc. has acquired a Torrance office building near the Del Amo Fashion Center for $27.5 million in cash.
Property developer and pioneering venture capital investor Edmund Shea Jr., who co-founded building giant Shea Homes, has died at age 80.
Hulu, the rapidly growing Los Angeles hub for online television and movies, aims to go public through an offering that could value the company at more than $2 billion, according to people briefed on the matter.
Prospect Medical Holdings Inc. has agreed to be bought by Leonard Green & Partners, a private equity firm, and members of its own management team in a deal valued at $205 million.
Bio-plastics maker Cereplast Inc. reported a slightly larger second quarter loss due to higher costs and lower revenue associated with opening an Indiana plant. The El Segundo company also announced a new chief financial officer.
.. it's rents, as Beverly Hills clamps down on med space
Beverly Hills doctors are starting to get sick of the city’s proposed restrictions on medical office space.
Partners Trust offers its real estate agents stock in the Brentwood-based business to boost loyalty.
Brentwood’s Partners Trust is going for brokers with an equity plan to hold on to real estate agents.
Some large local firms find social media unfriendly.
Some of L.A.’s biggest firms aren’t on speaking terms with the Internet’s social media tools.
Classmates hopes nostalgia makes grade with users.
United Online hopes to enroll users in a revamped Classmates site that emphasizes nostalgia.
OP-ED: President Obama’s reform efforts should be focused on securing U.S. borders and easing naturalization.
Latino Business Chamber of Greater L.A. officials offer Obama guidance on his reform efforts.
CHIEF DWELLINGS: Former residence of Nancy Daly Riordan can be had for $47 million.
Listings and sales of executive homes.
The Beverly Hills City Council apparently fails to appreciate all those wrinkled people visiting plastic surgeons in the Golden Triangle, Charles Crumpley writes.
OP-ED: City’s sky-high salaries for public workers offers lessons in importance of government transparency.
Michael Levine rings up the damage from Bell’s recent salary scandal.
L.A. councilman looks to dial down the noise of celebrity-tour buses.
An L.A. city councilman sounds off on noisy bus tours of celebrity homes.
Long Beach’s Pine Avenue merchants blame rival tourism spot and business district for loss of foot traffic.
A lack of crowds has merchants on Long Beach’s historic Pine Avenue fearing the end of the road.
MANUFACTURING: Possible orders for 16 planes could keep jet in production into 2013.
Reports that the Indian air force will order six Boeing C-17 Globemaster III aircraft in addition to 10 it already requested could extend the Long Beach-based production of the large transport airplane by at least a year.
Local car dealer thinks McLaren will make inroads with buyers.
A new Beverly Hills auto dealer believes $250,000 price tags on McLaren cars won’t drive away customers.
Jay Sanderson went from being a vocal detractor to taking the reins at non-profit Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.
Jay Sanderson channeled change when he went from TV network exec to CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.
TV ‘Cupcake’ win feeds lines at Sweet Arleen’s in Westlake Village.
Winning cable TV’s “Cupcake Wars” was a sweet treat for a Westlake Village bakery owner.
Restaurateur Chris Muradyan, 27, thought it would be neat for his new Mexican restaurant and bar to offer an over-the-top item.
Council would need to OK screens for sides of towers.
Builders want to cover two towers at the Wilshire Grand site with enormous electronic signs
BANKING & FINANCE: Attorneys claim customers understood risk of lending practices.
A year after Angelo Mozilo was charged with fraud and insider trading, he is now trying to get the charges thrown out.
REGULATION WATCH: State panel recommends 30 percent spike in premiums.
A fight is brewing in Sacramento over whether employer premiums for workers’ compensation coverage should climb by as much as 30 percent.
TECHNOLOGY: New MySpace to sport plain, two-column look (think Facebook).
Is a redesign enough to help MySpace catch up with competitors?
ADVERTISING & PR: Emak Worldwide blames $2.5 million verdict for voluntary filing.
Emak Worldwide recently filed for bankruptcy due to a $2.5 million verdict against the company in the ad agency’s long-running battle with its former chief executive for control of the business.
REAL ESTATE: Signal Hill property scooped up for townhouse development.
A 2.25-acre site in Signal Hill that is entitled for 54 townhomes has been sold by a local family in the tiny jurisdiction to City Ventures, a homebuilding company based in Santa Ana.
Ron Shinkman thinks today’s political and business leaders should hit the books to learn about personal conduct.
L.A. institutions have fallen as fast as banks.
Familiar bank problems of bad loans and fast expansion also have taken down a surprising number of L.A. County credit unions.
Sunday, August 15
Tribune Co. Chairman Sam Zell is demanding his share of repayment in the media company's bankruptcy if lower-priority creditors, emboldened by a recently released examiner’s report, get anything.
Friday, August 13
Listenership for top 40 station KIIS-FM jumped to its highest level of the year in July, helping the Clear Channel Communications Inc. station hold onto the top spot in Los Angeles radio rankings for the seventh month in a row.
The struggling AVP beach volleyball tour abruptly canceled the remainder of its season and closed Friday on the eve of its premier event, citing “financial hardship.”
The Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies closed down slightly for the week as mixed economic and earnings reports confused investors.
Yucaipa Cos.’ Ron Burkle lost a bid to invalidate Barnes & Noble Inc.’s poison pill anti-takeover defense in his effort to gain more shares and install candidates on the bookseller’s board.
July was the busiest month of the year so far at both the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach as retailers stocked up early for the holiday shopping season, according to figures released by the ports.
Oprah Winfrey agreed to host or star in a show on her new Los Angeles-based cable network OWN. Discovery Communications Inc., her partner in the venture, boosted its funding by 89 percent after costs to start the channel rose more than anticipated.
Thanks to a recovering auto industry, aluminum wheel maker Superior Industries International Inc. said it moved from a loss to a profit in the second quarter. Shares gained 9 percent Friday on the news.
Activist investor Ron Burkle has fired the first shot in a proxy battle for the future of Barnes & Noble Inc., the country's largest bookstore chain.
Thursday, August 12
L.A. County hotels continued to see an increase in occupancy and revenue per available room in May, but the average daily room rate declined.
In its first financial report since going public last month, Green Dot Corp. reported higher revenue and profit in the second quarter, with adjusted results that were better than Wall Street expected.
A bill that would ban merchants from imposing fees on debit card purchases cleared the Legislature and has been sent to the governor’s desk.
Crown Media Holdings Inc. said lower ratings and ad sales at its Hallmark cable channels led to a larger loss in the second quarter.
Kilroy Realty Corp. said that its operating partnership has closed a half-billion dollar unsecured revolving credit facility.
As chairman and chief executive of OneUnited Bank, Kevin L. Cohee promoted his bank, now at the center of a House ethics case against Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), as a uniquely responsible investor in impoverished minority communities and urged prospective clients to live modestly. But the 52-year-old Cohee took a somewhat different view in his own life.
Demand Media, which filed for an IPO on Friday, said in its 187-page filing–only that while the company’s revenue last year was close to $200 million, its bottom line was deep in the red. That certainly doesn’t sound like the profitable company that Chief Executive Richard Rosenblatt has repeatedly described.
A fake nursing school in Los Angeles has been shut down and has agreed to pay its cheated students a total of $500,000 in restitution.
Barnes & Noble plans to settle a lawsuit filed by investor Ron Burkle so it can avoid a costly proxy fight and concentrate on selling off the company, according to a news reports.
Wednesday, August 11
Shares of Arden Group Inc. fell 8 percent on Wednesday after the company reported a decline in second-quarter net income due to lower sales at its upscale grocery stores.
Activist investor Carl Icahn has extended until Oct. 22 the deadline for shareholders of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. to accept his buyout offer.
CVB Financial Corp., the Ontario parent of Citizens Business Bank, said it received a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission, seeking information about how the company handles troubled loans.
Mercury Air Centers is paying $600,000 to settle a 2008 federal lawsuit accusing an employee at its Burbank airport operation berated fellow workers with sexual and racial comments.
MannKind Corp. has entered into two agreements to sell up to 36.4 million of its common shares to raise cash and pay down debt. Company founder and Chief Executive Al Mann will buy some of the shares.
PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust has filed a shelf registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission that would enable it to raise up to $500 million in capital as needed.
Managed care provider Molina Healthcare Inc. has priced a more than 4 million share secondary offering at $27 each.
Tuesday, August 10
Skechers USA Inc refuted a recent study that suggests its popular toning footwear brand Shape-Ups does not have the beneficial health effects that have been its selling point till now.
American Apparel Inc has told securities regulators that it needs more time to report second quarter results and final results for the first quarter due to the resignation of its auditor.
Walt Disney Co.’s net income soared 40 percent in its fiscal third quarter, largely from gains from ESPN and its studio unit’s hit animated film "Toy Story 3”.
Aspyra, a Westlake Village healthcare information technology company, has been acquired by investment firm Orion Healthcare Ventures LLC, a Boston venture capital firm.
A contract to equip the Los Angeles Department of Transportation's parking enforcement vehicles with global positioning systems wasted at least $855,000 in taxpayer money, according to an investigation being unveiled today.
Element Power U.S. has filed an application to build a major renewable energy project in the West Antelope Valley. The combination wind and solar energy project could power up to 70,000 single-family homes.
Rentech Inc. said it slipped to loss in its fiscal third quarter, as revenue from its clean synthetic fuel products fell because of lower prices.
Netflix Inc. has reached a multi-year agreement to stream movies from Paramount, Lions Gate and MGM online starting Sept. 1. It's a major move as Netflix looks to cater to people who want to watch movies instantly.
Monday, August 9
Wyle Inc., the El Segundo-based aerospace services and engineering company, plans to purchase a U.S. military contractor for $235 million.
Tetra Tech Inc. has acquired a Canadian scientific and engineering services firm, its second purchase in the country in as many years.
Video game maker THQ Inc. reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss, but warned of weaker results for the current quarter because no major new titles are set for release.
Boutique film and TV studio Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. moved from a profit to a loss in its fiscal first-quarter due to slower ticket sales and higher marketing costs.
L.A. investment bank Houlihan Lokey has acquired a small advisory firm in New York that specializes in the valuation of illiquid investments.
Emak Worldwide Inc., which has been fighting a group of dissident shareholders, said that its parent company and administrative subsidiary has filed for Chapter 11 reorganization.
Southwest Water Co. said that its stockholders have approved the company’s $427 million acquisition by a group of institutional investors.
Macerich Co. said its funds from operations rose 29 percent in the second quarter, boosted partly by higher occupancy.
Madeline Janis defends her work on behalf of labor interests at the city of L.A.’s CRA.
The founders of online study site Cramster added more college subjects to reach a wider user base.
Pasadena-based Cramster hopes to make the grade with more users by adding academic topics.
Will industry pull plug on consoles?
Video game makers look to score with a free-to-play model that charges money for extra content.
SPORTS BUSINESS: MC Hammer and partners look to sign MMA fighters.
Stan Burrell, better known as old school rapper MC Hammer, is making a comeback as a mixed-martial arts sports manager – and he’s leaving the baggy pants behind.
Charles Crumpley says Occidental’s Ray Irani is an industry star, so does he deserve star payment?
OP-ED: Razing the freeway would be the best path to easing traffic between Long Beach and San Gabriel Valley.
Richard Risemberg thinks the Long Beach (710) Freeway only serves to drive up traffic, so he offers a solution.
Figures seen as possible sign of strength after June decline.
L.A. County saw home sales inch up in July but prices remained flat.
Occidental’s new COO put on path to CEO job.
Stephen Chazen appears to be in line as Occidental’s next CEO after the oil giant tapped him chief operating officer.
The 1960s were a time of upheaval in American society, but for Dr. James Cruz, there was inspiration to be found in political turmoil.
Purchase of specialized rival drives up company’s share price.
Carson’s U.S. Auto Parts hopes to rev up sales with its acquisition of a Chicago rival.
BDO study reports 2009 compensation tied to stock performance.
New study reports L.A.’s public companies took steps to tie chief execs’ pay to stock performance.
Chain reports 10th straight losing quarter despite cost-cutting moves.
Sport Chalet’s losing streak continues after a 10th straight negative quarter.
Zen Birthing Suite in Mar Vista a posh option for natural childbirth.
Operators see Zen Birthing Suite in Mar Vista as a natural choice for childbirth.
Store for all things Potter sees a shelf life beyond the movies.
The owner of a Harry Potter-themed shop believes in the supernatural staying power of the book series.
Events & happenings in Los Angeles County.
RETAIL & APPAREL: New owner, manager to open Palihouse in September as Redbury.
Sam Nazarian is set to open the delayed hotel formerly known as Palihouse Hollywood in September, and details are beginning to emerge about the L.A. entrepreneur’s hotel venture.
L.A.’s Drybar blends salon and saloon for blow-dry-only service.
Owners of Brentwood’s Drybar say the shampoo-and-blow-dry-only salon concept isn’t just hot air.
Sit-down restaurant to vie with food trucks on Miracle Mile.
Burger eatery the Counter hopes a battle with Miracle Mile food trucks won’t be on the menu.
TRADE & TRANSPORT: Panel expected to clear way to replace Gerald Desmond.
The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners is expected this week to approve the final environmental impact report for a structure to replace the ailing Gerald Desmond Bridge, which connects Long Beach and San Pedro.
Crowded Hollywood club scene turns bearish
Some veteran Hollywood hot spot operators are feeling the heat from increased competition.
LAW: Video-recording is a full-time job for Sheppard Mullin exec.
When downtown L.A. firm Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP hired a full-time videographer, the internal reaction was about what you’d expect.
Hungarian native Emil Farkas’ martial arts training made him ‘Sensei to the Stars’ and he’s started a second career as a writer.
Beverly Hills Karate Academy’s Emil Farkas leveraged his martial arts know-how into a show biz career.
REAL ESTATE: MV Transportation signs $5.5 million deal for Carson industrial space.
MV Transportation Inc., a Bay Area passenger transportation services company, was awarded a contract of up to $86 million to service Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority buses in late June.
Some grocery checkout lines got an infusion of Hollywood glamour last week. Rosario Dawson and other celebrities joined local business leaders, including Earthwise Bag Co. Chief Executive Stan Joffe, to bag groceries at two L.A. supermarkets to promote statewide efforts to ban plastic bags.
Surcharge on hotel rooms would replace money raided by City Hall.
City of L.A. hotels want to make room for a surcharge to fund tourism campaigns.
Friday, August 6
Demand Media Inc., a growing Santa Monica media company that creates Internet content tailored to advertisers, filed on Friday for an initial public offering.
The index closed nearly flat for the week ended August 6 as impressive gains from industrial and consumer goods firms balanced the losses among Internet and financial firms.
Engineering services company Aecom Technology Corp. has made two acquisitions in Virginia and the United Kingdom with a combined price tag of early $700 million.
New businesses in the city of Los Angeles will not have to pay business taxes for their first three years of operation under an ordinance passed by the Los Angeles City Council.
Shares of construction firm Tutor Perini rose 9 percent following the announcement of second-quarter results and a favorable forecast from a securities analyst.
Vernon-based frozen food maker Overhill Farms Inc. underwhelmed investors with a quarterly earnings 64 percent lower than the same period last year.
Thursday, August 5
San Dimas-based American States Water Co. on Thursday reported a drop in second quarter earnings as its petition for a rate hike for its major water utility hit a regulatory snag.
Banks have nearly doubled their Small Business Administration lending in the Los Angeles area since last year, the SBA announced.
Worse-than-expected financial performance and a downgrade from an analyst sent shares of Woodland Hills-based United Online down.
Footwear maker K-Swiss on Thursday reported a bigger loss in the second quarter and predicted lower revenues for the rest of the year.
A 67 percent increase in profits drove up shares of Torrance-based computer seller PC Mall in early trading Thursday.
Lynne M. Doll, president of the Rogers Group, died Tuesday of a stroke at Glendale Adventist Medical Center.
Wednesday, August 4
After months of delays, Film Department Holdings Inc., a small West Hollywood movie studio, has called off its initial public offering.
Same-store sales at Hot Topic, a seller of trendy teen apparel and accessories, dropped for the fifteenth consecutive month Wednesday.
Despite a second quarter earnings loss, Manhattan Bancorp saw its shares rise sharply Wednesday as the bank holding company reported a growing deposit base.
Months after massive recall, auto manufacturer returns to making money.
The New York Post reported Wednesday that buyout negotiations for California Pizza Kitchen ended without a deal, sending the company’s stock downward.
Enova Systems, a manufacturer of electric motor drives, has received a large-scale production order from truck maker Smith Newton.
Tuesday, August 3
Herbalife, the Los Angeles-based health supplement company, reported its best quarter in its history, causing the company’s stock price to rise 12 percent.
Los Angeles City Chief Zoning Administrator Michael LoGrande has signed a memorandum to streamline how businesses renew Condition Use Permits.
Calabasas company admits no wrongdoing.
Shares of Guidance Software rose Tuesday based on the company’s report that quarterly revenue had reached $22.7 million, up 38 percent from the same period last year.
Shares of specialty retailer Sports Chalet fell early Tuesday in reaction to the company’s announcement of another money-losing quarter.
Monday, August 2
Sidney Harman, the founder of Harman International Industries Inc., agreed to buy Newsweek magazine from Washington Post Co.
Unhappy over hefty pay packages for Occidental’s Chief Executive Ray Irani, two funds want to unseat company board members, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Certified Federal Credit Union, a small Commerce institution serving grocery industry employees, was closed over the weekend by federal regulators.
Keith Richman, a three-term Republican state assemblyman who fought for pension reform and was a leader in the San Fernando Valley secession movement, has died.
Two-sport athlete becomes powerful real estate broker.
Occidental Petroleum named a new chief operating officer and chief finance officer Monday.
Shares of LTC Properties, a real estate investment trust focusing on medical facilities, traded a little higher Monday after the company announced increased earnings for the second quarter.
REAL ESTATE: Supplier of food packaging pays $15.3 million for property.
In what is believed to be the biggest industrial real estate sale in the San Gabriel Valley this year, a large industrial building in City of Industry has traded hands for $15.3 million.
Blog founder hopes to translate downtown L.A.-focused website into an ad-supported weekly print newspaper.
A downtown L.A. blogger hopes his locally focused website translates into a weekly print edition.
L.A. jewelry business turned to bankruptcy to deal with creditor, and low-cost lines to cope with sales slowdown.
Low-cost products and bankruptcy helped restore the luster to downtown L.A.’s Centerstone Diamonds.
CHIEF DWELLING: Ron Tutor cuts price on Hidden Hills property to $15.5 million.
Listings and sales of executive homes.
Bikini wax inspires local anesthesiologist to launch cream line.
Santa Monica anesthesiologist Edna Ma devised a cream to get at the roots of bikini wax pain.
TECHNOLOGY: BlueGlass L.A. topics included fundraising and boosting traffic.
BlueGlass L.A., a conference designed to promote use of social networking tools for marketing, recently brought together some of the biggest names from the local tech community in an environment where they could have a little fun.
L.A.’s private sector targets high-altitude public pension payouts.
Private-sector businesses are banding together to put a lid on swelling public-sector pensions.
Picket threats cancel two events in Century City.
Hotel union escalates battle with Hyatt chain, hurting L.A. and its tourist economy.
Jobs bill would loosen leash on loans to small businesses.
A federal jobs bill may work in favor of local credit unions by lifting the cap on business loans.
A dumped city contractor claims its rival is cleaning up illegally in the street-sweeping business.
Carol Schatz is known as a woman who can fight. And she was recognized with a resolution from the Los Angeles City Council on July 23 on her 20th anniversary of fighting on behalf of downtown interests, mainly businesses.
For L.A. native Corey Field, working in music as a composer and then an executive only proved to be a tune-up for a legal career and an interest in copyright law.
Francisco Franco, 20, runs trucking company as a family affair.
Twenty-year-old Francisco Franco has his Carson trucking company running in high gear.
West L.A.’s CB Richard Ellis sees stock soar more than 18 percent.
The stock of CB Richard Ellis soars after the West L.A. company doubles its earnings.
ADVERTISING & PR: Davis Elen kicks off promotion for San Diego Chargers.
Davis Elen Advertising has an out-of-the-box way to make Los Angeles a pro football kind of town again: Make the San Diego Chargers the favorite team for local fans.
Dentist in Brentwood makes clay veneers for patients’ ‘trial smiles.’
Dentist Jon Marashi fashions clay veneers by hand to let patients check out their future smiles.
OP-ED: City Councilman Tom LaBonge’s regulation proposals could put the skids on a blossoming industry.
Matthew Geller fears proposed city of L.A. regulations may drive food trucks out of business.
Charles Crumpley fears what local vendors have in store when it comes to customer service.
News and notes from communities around Los Angeles County
Second-generation PR exec splits time between his Century City firm and Colorado ranch, where he indulges his love of the cowboy lifestyle.
Rogers Group CEO Ron Rogers holds the reins at his Century City PR firm and at his Colorado ranch.
MANUFACTURING: Company assigned 400 workers for telecommunications project.
Boeing Co.’s completion of the “critical design review” phase of its latest satellite project means it’s ready to start building the orbiter at its El Segundo plant.
REGULATION WATCH: Businesses slow down switch to alternative fuel trucks.
Dozens of small local waste-hauling companies are concerned about revisions to a local air quality rule requiring them to speed up replacement of their old diesel trucks with new alternative fuel trucks.
BANKING & FINANCE: Trio of banks in Koreatown sell off loans at a loss to help portfolios.
With signs of recovery emerging in the banking sector, a growing number of local banks are undertaking aggressive efforts to clean up their spotty loan portfolios by disposing of problem assets.