Stories for August 2010

Tuesday, August 31

Tutor's Miramax Group Loses 2 Big Investors


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 Signs Luggage Deal

Skechers USA Inc. has signed a licensing deal that will allow a manufacturer to use the Skechers logo on luggage and travel accessories.

What the McCourt Divorce Teaches about Shielding Assets


There are many lessons in the high-price McCourt divorce being argued this week.

Icahn Raises Lions Gate Bid

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. shares jumped Tuesday after Carl Icahn raised his bid for the film studio.

Burkle: No Plan to Take Control of Barnes & Noble


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 Invests in Canadian Distributor

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.

Employees at 2 Hyatt Hotels Authorize Strike

A union representing employees at two Hyatt hotels announced today that workers have voted to authorize a strike.

McCourt Divorce Trial Begins in L.A. Courtroom

Judge to decide Dodgers ownership.

Cherokee Announces New Chief Executive

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 Buys Cogent for $943 Million

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.

Impact of Oil Tax Doesn’t Sink In


Charles Crumpley finds understanding of a proposed oil tax doesn’t run very deep.

Who's Who in Real Estate: Tony Salazar

Special Report: DEVELOPERS

During his three decades in residential development, Tony Salazar has worked on some of the city’s most cutting-edge projects.

Seeing the Big Picture

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.

West Hollywood Agency Taking Shoe Line for Walk

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

Who's Who in Real Estate: Randy Johnson

Special Report: DEVELOPERS

Randy Johnson calls Playa Vista – the Marina del Rey-adjacent community he has played a large role in developing – his home.

Who's Who in Real Estate: Emile Haddad

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.



Who's Who in Real Estate: Neil Shekhter - Soviet Refugee Steers to Success

Special Report: DEVELOPERS

Neil Shekhter is living the American dream, and he achieved it in no small part by driving cabs.

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Herb Nadel: Rough Sailing

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.

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Who's Who in Real Estate: Percy Vaz

Special Report: DEVELOPERS

Percy Vaz, who calls Thousand Oaks home, has been in development for 32 years.

Regional Reports

Regional Report

Chief Exec’s Exit the Latest Shakeup for Online Retailer

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.

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L.A. City Council Mulls Redevelopment Program

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.

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L.A. City Officials May Write Off Mutual Fund Tax

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.

Encino Bank Hits Target in Thousand Oaks Takeover

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.

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Homebuilders’ Stock Bounces Despite Dip in Sales

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.

Off the Table?

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.

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Trick Up Its Sleeves

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.

Who's Who in Real Estate: Alan Casden - Retirement Not in Builder’s Plans

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.

Speaking Borrowers’ Language

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.

News of the Week

News of the Week

90210 Party Already on Calendar

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.

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Video Sites Seek Piece of TV’s Pie

Internet businesses aim to channel more ad revenue.

Companies that produce Internet TV shows are getting ready for prime time.

Checking Out of California?

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.

That’s the Way the Green Tea Cookie Crumbles


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.

Judge Clears Way For Namvar Sale

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.

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Who's Who in Real Estate: Timothy O’Brien

Special Report: DEVELOPERS

Newport Beach resident Timothy O’Brien has been a developer for 24 years.

High-End Condo Market Pulls Off a Double Play

CHIEF DWELLING: Two sales show that prices at some sites are making a comeback.

Listings and sales of executive homes.

Who's Who in Real Estate: James Frost

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.

Miracle Mile Firm at Home With Residential Loan

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.

Punk Rocker Traded In Bass for Career in Advertising


For DJ Grimes, keeping abreast of the latest advertising trends is crucial – so he can avoid them.

Who's Who in Real Estate: Steve Ruffner - Executive All Fired Up

Special Report: DEVELOPERS

Steve Ruffner remembers that day in early 2008 all too well.

Who's Who in Real Estate: Isaac Cohanzad

Special Report: DEVELOPERS

Isac Cohanzad has developed hundreds of units during his nearly four-decade career.

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Who's Who in Real Estate: John M. Huskey

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.

Who's Who in Real Estate: Thomas L. Safran - Developer Can’t Afford to Stop

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.

Shoemaker Steps Up Defense

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.

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Friday, August 27

This Week's Big Movers

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, Disney Talks Focus on ESPN Site

Time Warner Cable Inc.’s negotiations to renew rights to ESPN may be held up on a demand by the sports channel’s owner.

Court Approves Port’s Ban on Indy Truckers

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 to Buy Back Shares

Peerless Systems Corp., a digital document technology company in El Segundo, announced a tender offer for $45 million of its stock.

Thursday, August 26

Valley Business Advocate Bruce Ackerman Dies

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.

Berkshire Hathaway to Buy Wesco Financial

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 Wins $101 Million Wastewater Project

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 Gets $5 Million Rail Contract

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 OKs Anthem Rate Hike After Controversy


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 Accuses Burkle of 'Corporate Failures'


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 Acquire JovianDATA

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’ Profit Up 12 Percent

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’s Quarter Beats Expectations

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.

Property Values in LA County Drop $18 Billion


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 Signs Merger Deal

California United Bank of Encino has reached an agreement to acquire California Oaks State Bank of Thousand Oaks for $17.3 million.

MySpace Completes Acquisition

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 Makes European Deal

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

Rising Cost of Live Nation's Maryland Deal Hits Sour Note


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 Plans Asian Expansion

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.

Stock Exchange Warns American Apparel

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.

SEC: Mozillo Approved Special Countrywide Loans


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

ILFC Repaying Nearly $4 Billion in Federal Loans


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.

Broad Chooses Downtown Site for Museum

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.

LA Unveils $578 Million School, Costliest in Nation


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.

Man in Disney Leak Case Pleads Guilty

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.

Northrop, Jacobs Win Defense Contracts

The Defense Department has awarded Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. and Northrop Grumman Corp. contracts on separate Air Force and Navy projects.

Regional Reports

Regional Report

Making a Play for Broad’s Charity

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.

Debit Card Measure a Swipe at Small Business


Martin Vallejo urges Gov. Schwarzenegger to decline a bill barring debit card surcharges by merchants.

Calendar & Events


Gay Marriage Ruling Leaves L.A. Card Maker Flat

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.

Miracle Mile Landlord Still Hungers for Eateries

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.

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Larry Kosmont: Urban Assist

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.

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Michael Jackson Jacket Makes a Great Gift


Dr. Angela Adelman recently got her brother an unusual gift: Michael Jackson’s wedding jacket.

News of the Week

News of the Week

Put That In Your Pipe

L.A. Convention Center hosts event to tout all things hemp.

L.A. Convention Center goes to pot – literally – when it hosts Hemp Con.

Video Game Show a Hit Investment

Wedbush analyst sees online program lifting his industry reputation.

Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter has scored a hit with his online show on video games.

Local Bank in State of Growth With Arizona Pickups

Grandpoint has acquired four institutions since mid-June.

Grandpoint Capital continues its bank-buying binge with two Arizona pickups.

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Pastor Booked Job in Academia for More Family Time


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.

Fontana Track May Take Indy Cars Out for a Spin

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?

Chicago Law Firm Hears Show Business Calling

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.

Expanded Chinese Business to Buoy Long Beach

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.

L.A. Takes Rise Out of Bakery

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.

Hotel Veteran Checks In With How-To Business Tips

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.

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New Cook in the Kitchen

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.

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Health Care Reform Spurs Provider to Turn Private

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.

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A Lot Left

Hollywood slowdown leaves movie cars parked

Hollywood’s production slowdown drove the merger of two movie-car businesses.

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American Apparel CEO a Good Fit


Maybe it’s not time for Dov Charney to step aside at American Apparel, Charles Crumpley writes.

Oil Drillers Look To Plug Tax Talk

Extraction levy may ‘devastate’ L.A. industry.

State oil companies fear a proposed extraction tax will suck them dry.

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One-Size Copyright Bill Doesn’t Fit All

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.

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Invitation Site in Need of RSVPs

Evite revamps layout, ads to win back users.

Online invitation company Evite hopes to welcome back users with its revamped site.

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Friday, August 20

Raid Bags Counterfeit Designer Denim

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 Unloads Problem Loans

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 Week’s Big Movers

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 Jobless Hits 12.4 Percent

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

Lawyers: Doc Shows Jamie McCourt Also Owns Dodgers


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 Bren: Betrayed When Lover Got Pregnant


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.

As Burkle Prepares, B&N Taps Outside Directors


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 Gets VC Funding

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 Gets Capital Infusion

Far East National Bank will receive a $235 million capital infusion from its Taiwan parent company, Bank SinoPac.

Wednesday, August 18

Kennedy Wilson Fund Raises $125 Million

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.

Larger Loss at Hot Topic

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.

Nazarian Shops New York, Revamps in Miami Beach


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.

Alarcon Proposes Tax Help For Restaurants

L.A.’s brick-and-mortar restaurants may soon be getting a boost from city officials in their ongoing battle with gourmet food trucks.

Tetra Tech Wins Military Contract

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 Coming to Westfield Topanga

Costco Wholesale Corp. will open a store in Warner Center that will create 300 permanent jobs, Los Angeles city officials announced.

Apex Digital Files for Chapter 11

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.

Saban Buys 'Julius the Monkey' Owner

Media mogul Haim Saban is getting into the apparel and accessories business with the acquisition of Paul Frank Industries in Costa Mesa.

City National to Help with Loan Fees

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 Warns of ‘Going Concern’

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 Strikes Back at Mattel

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.

Car-Wash Owners Get Prison Time in Labor Case


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.

Ellison's Skydance Raises $350 Million for Movies


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 Buys South Bay Office Building

Hudson Pacific Properties Inc. has acquired a Torrance office building near the Del Amo Fashion Center for $27.5 million in cash.

Homebuilder Edmund Shea Dies

Property developer and pioneering venture capital investor Edmund Shea Jr., who co-founded building giant Shea Homes, has died at age 80.

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Hulu Is Said to Be Ready for an I.P.O.


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.

L.A. Private Equity Firm to Acquire Prospect

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.

Cereplast Sees Larger Quarterly Loss

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.

What’s Up, Doc?

.. 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.

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Raising the Stakes

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.

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Regional Report

Regional Report

Legal Eagles Fail To Soar Online

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.

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Website Looks to Past for Its Future

Classmates hopes nostalgia makes grade with users.

United Online hopes to enroll users in a revamped Classmates site that emphasizes nostalgia.

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Redrawing Lines on Immigration

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.

News of the Week

News of the Week

Malibu Home Gets a Price Cut – $10 Million Off

CHIEF DWELLINGS: Former residence of Nancy Daly Riordan can be had for $47 million.

Listings and sales of executive homes.

Beverly Hills’ Bad Medicine


The Beverly Hills City Council apparently fails to appreciate all those wrinkled people visiting plastic surgeons in the Golden Triangle, Charles Crumpley writes.

For Whom Bell Tolls

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.

Hitting Too Close to Homes

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.

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Rocky Road

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.

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Boeing’s C-17 Gets a Lift From Indian Air Force

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.

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Luxury on Wheels

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: Critical Change

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.

Taste of Reality for Bakery

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.

Not Exactly Your Bargain Burrito


Restaurateur Chris Muradyan, 27, thought it would be neat for his new Mexican restaurant and bar to offer an over-the-top item.

Downtown L.A. Project Seeks High Sign from City

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

Lawyers for Ex-Countrywide Execs Seek Dismissal

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.

Governor Looks to Squash Increase in Workers’ Comp

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.

Social Site Keeps It Simple In Bid to Win Back Users

TECHNOLOGY: New MySpace to sport plain, two-column look (think Facebook).

Is a redesign enough to help MySpace catch up with competitors?

Firm’s Feud With Ex-CEO Leads to Bankruptcy Court

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.

Calendar & Events


Home Construction Momentum Builds in L.A.

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.

Throwing the Books at Today’s Unethical Businessmen


Ron Shinkman thinks today’s political and business leaders should hit the books to learn about personal conduct.

Credit Unions Come Up Short

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.

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Sunday, August 15

Tribune's Zell Want His Money Back Too


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

KIIS-FM Keeps Top Spot

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.

Beach Volleyball Tour in Doubt

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 Week’s Big Movers

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.

Burkle Loses Bid to Overturn B&N Poison Pill


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.

Port Traffic Rises

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.

Winfrey Agrees to Host Show on Her New Network


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.

Superior Shows Profit in Quarter

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.

Burkle Launches Barnes & Noble Proxy Fight


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

Business Improves at L.A. Hotels

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.

Profit Up at Debit Card Company

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.

Legislature Approves Debit Fee Ban

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.

Lower Ad Sales Hurt Crown’s Quarter

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 Gets $500 Million in Financing

Kilroy Realty Corp. said that its operating partnership has closed a half-billion dollar unsecured revolving credit facility.

OneUnited's Cohee Has Checkered Record


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.

Where Did Demand Media’s Profits Go?


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.

Fake L.A. Nursing School to Pay Cheated Students


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 Expected to Announce Deal with Burkle


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

Profit Falls at Gelson's Parent

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.

Icahn Extends Offer for Lions Gate

Activist investor Carl Icahn has extended until Oct. 22 the deadline for shareholders of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. to accept his buyout offer.

CVB Gets SEC subpoena


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 Settles Burbank Airport Suit


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 Plans Stock Sale

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 Makes Stock Sale Plans

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.

Molina Prices Stock Sale

Managed care provider Molina Healthcare Inc. has priced a more than 4 million share secondary offering at $27 each.

Tuesday, August 10

Skechers Refutes Study Disputing Toning Shoes' Benefits


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 Delays Filings

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.

ESPN, ‘Toy Story’ Boost Disney’s Quarter

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”.

Westlake Village IT Firm Acquired

Aspyra, a Westlake Village healthcare information technology company, has been acquired by investment firm Orion Healthcare Ventures LLC, a Boston venture capital firm.

Controller: LADOT Contract Wasted at Least $855,000


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.

North County Energy Project Proposed

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 Sees Loss in Quarter

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 to Stream Movies From Three Studios


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 to Buy Alabama Defense Contractor


Wyle Inc., the El Segundo-based aerospace services and engineering company, plans to purchase a U.S. military contractor for $235 million.

Tetra Tech Buys Another Canadian Firm

Tetra Tech Inc. has acquired a Canadian scientific and engineering services firm, its second purchase in the country in as many years.

THQ Moves To Loss

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.

Lions Gate Slips To Loss

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.

Houlihan Lokey Makes Acquisition

L.A. investment bank Houlihan Lokey has acquired a small advisory firm in New York that specializes in the valuation of illiquid investments.

Emak Files for Chapter 11

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 Buyout Is Approved

Southwest Water Co. said that its stockholders have approved the company’s $427 million acquisition by a group of institutional investors.

Macerich Reports Improved Quarter

Macerich Co. said its funds from operations rose 29 percent in the second quarter, boosted partly by higher occupancy.

Special Attention Paid to ‘Special Interests’


Madeline Janis defends her work on behalf of labor interests at the city of L.A.’s CRA.

Lessons Learned

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.

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Video Games Go Live on Internet

Will industry pull plug on consoles?

Video game makers look to score with a free-to-play model that charges money for extra content.

Rapper Throws Hat in Ring as Sports Manager

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.

Regional Report

Regional Report

Does Oxy Chief Measure Up?


Charles Crumpley says Occidental’s Ray Irani is an industry star, so does he deserve star payment?

End of the Road for the 710?

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.

L.A. Home Prices Stay Flat as Sales Inch Up in July

Figures seen as possible sign of strength after June decline.

L.A. County saw home sales inch up in July but prices remained flat.

Oil Giant Exec Looks Entitled

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.

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Doctor Dedicates Career to Aiding Low-Income Families


The 1960s were a time of upheaval in American society, but for Dr. James Cruz, there was inspiration to be found in political turmoil.



Accessorizing Looks Good For Auto Parts Investors

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.

L.A.’s Public Companies Paid Heed to CEOs’ Pay

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.

Ball Refuses to Bounce Sport Chalet’s Way

Chain reports 10th straight losing quarter despite cost-cutting moves.

Sport Chalet’s losing streak continues after a 10th straight negative quarter.

Room For Baby

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.

Holding On to Harry’s Magic

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.

Hollywood Hotel Ready to Check Out of Limbo

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.

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Cutting Shear Costs

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.

Seat at the Table for Burger Eatery?

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.

Long Beach Bridge May No Longer Be Up in Air

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.

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Crowded Hollywood club scene turns bearish

Some veteran Hollywood hot spot operators are feeling the heat from increased competition.

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Downtown L.A. Firm Is Ready for Its Close-Up

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.

EMIL FARKAS: Double Trouble

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.

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Transportation Business Moves Into South Bay

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.

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News of the Week

News of the Week

Some Skills Needed for a Brand New Bag


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.

Room For More?

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.

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Friday, August 6

Demand Media Files IPO

Demand Media Inc., a growing Santa Monica media company that creates Internet content tailored to advertisers, filed on Friday for an initial public offering.

This Week's Big Movers

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.

Aecom Makes Two Acquisitions

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.

Council Approves Business 'Tax Holiday'

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.

Analyst Forecast, Earnings Boost Tutor Perini

Shares of construction firm Tutor Perini rose 9 percent following the announcement of second-quarter results and a favorable forecast from a securities analyst.

Overhill Farms Underperforms in Quarter

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

Earnings Slow at American States Water

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.

Loan Portfolio Grows for Local SBA Lenders

Banks have nearly doubled their Small Business Administration lending in the Los Angeles area since last year, the SBA announced.

Lower Earnings, Downgrade Push United Online Lower

Worse-than-expected financial performance and a downgrade from an analyst sent shares of Woodland Hills-based United Online down.

K-Swiss Reports Lower Earnings and Guidance

Footwear maker K-Swiss on Thursday reported a bigger loss in the second quarter and predicted lower revenues for the rest of the year.

Earnings Rise at PC Mall

A 67 percent increase in profits drove up shares of Torrance-based computer seller PC Mall in early trading Thursday.

Obituary: Lynne Doll, 48

Lynne M. Doll, president of the Rogers Group, died Tuesday of a stroke at Glendale Adventist Medical Center.

Wednesday, August 4

Film Department Scraps Public Stock Offering

After months of delays, Film Department Holdings Inc., a small West Hollywood movie studio, has called off its initial public offering.

Hot Topic Same-Store Sales Fall

Same-store sales at Hot Topic, a seller of trendy teen apparel and accessories, dropped for the fifteenth consecutive month Wednesday.

Manhattan Bancorp Shares Gain on Deposit Increase

Despite a second quarter earnings loss, Manhattan Bancorp saw its shares rise sharply Wednesday as the bank holding company reported a growing deposit base.

Toyota Profit Hits $2.2 Billion Despite Recall

Months after massive recall, auto manufacturer returns to making money.

California Pizza Kitchen Takeover Talks Falter

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 Shares Rev Up

Enova Systems, a manufacturer of electric motor drives, has received a large-scale production order from truck maker Smith Newton.

Tuesday, August 3

Herbalife Soars on Higher Earnings, Revenue

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.

L.A. City Streamlines Conditional Use Permit Process

Los Angeles City Chief Zoning Administrator Michael LoGrande has signed a memorandum to streamline how businesses renew Condition Use Permits.

Countrywide Settles Lawsuits for $600 Million

Calabasas company admits no wrongdoing.

Revenue Rises at Guidance Software

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.

Sport Chalet Reports 10th Straight Quarterly Loss

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, husband of South Bay Congresswoman, Buys Newsweek

Sidney Harman, the founder of Harman International Industries Inc., agreed to buy Newsweek magazine from Washington Post Co.

Funds Launch Proxy Fight for Occidental Seats

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.

Feds Close Certified Federal Credit Union

Certified Federal Credit Union, a small Commerce institution serving grocery industry employees, was closed over the weekend by federal regulators.

Former Assemblyman Keith Richman Dies at 56

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.

Real Estate Broker Jon Douglas Dies at 73

Two-sport athlete becomes powerful real estate broker.

Occidental Selects New COO and CFO

Occidental Petroleum named a new chief operating officer and chief finance officer Monday.

LTC Declares Higher Earnings, Lower Debt

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.

Owner-User Snaps Up City of Industry Building

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.

Joining the Fold

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.

News of the Week

News of the Week

Shining Example

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.

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Construction Executive Homes In on Estate Deal

CHIEF DWELLING: Ron Tutor cuts price on Hidden Hills property to $15.5 million.

Listings and sales of executive homes.

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The Pull Was Just Too Much

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.

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Social Networking Firms Get Friendly at Conference

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.

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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.

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Hotel Union Yanking Hyatt Chain

Picket threats cancel two events in Century City.

Hotel union escalates battle with Hyatt chain, hurting L.A. and its tourist economy.

Credit Unions May Get More Work

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.

Street Sweepers In Dust-Up Over City Contracts

A dumped city contractor claims its rival is cleaning up illegally in the street-sweeping business.

Everybody’s Crazy About a Sharp-Dressed Schatz


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.

Calendar & Events


Musical Education Cued Up Future Lawyer’s Career


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.

Youth Takes the Wheel

Francisco Franco, 20, runs trucking company as a family affair.

Twenty-year-old Francisco Franco has his Carson trucking company running in high gear.

Earnings Report Spikes Real Estate Firm’s Shares

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.

L.A. Firm Wants Angelenos to Look South for NFL

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.

Remember To Rinse

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.



Putting Brakes on Food Trucks?

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.

Customer Service by the Numbers


Charles Crumpley fears what local vendors have in store when it comes to customer service.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities around Los Angeles County

Ron Rogers: Saddled Up

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.

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Boeing Satellite Cleared for Liftoff in El Segundo

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.

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Waste Haulers Raise Stink Over Air Board Deadline

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.

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L.A. Institutions Step Up Efforts to Ditch Bad Assets

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.

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