Stories for December 2010

Thursday, December 30

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies closed up for the week ended Thursday as investors locked in their year-end portfolios.

First California Makes Prepaid Card Deal

First California Financial Group Inc. said that its bank will acquire the electronic banking division of Palm Desert National Bank for an undisclosed amount.

Rick Caruso's Glendale Land Grab


A Glendale family must sell him its Golden Key Motel near Americana at Brand or face eminent domain.

Hollywood's Bank Eyes a Big Role on Broadway


Al Pacino's success in his latest Broadway role is also a coup for Russell Goldsmith, a banker whose main offices are more than 3,000 miles away.

IHOP Drops Suit Against Same-Named Church


The pancake chain that sued a church for using its nickname without permission appears to have flipped its legal strategy.

Wednesday, December 29

East West Buys Back TARP Stock

East West Bancorp Inc. said that it fully repaid more than $306 million to the U.S. Treasury Department under the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Grandpoint Acquisition Closes

Grandpoint Capital Inc. has completed its merger with another local bank holding company, First Commerce Bancorp, after receiving shareholder and regulatory approvals.

Tuesday, December 28

Allstate Sues Countrywide Over Toxic Investments


Allstate Corp. has filed a federal lawsuit against Countrywide Financial Corp. over $700 million in toxic mortgage-backed securities that the insurer bought beginning in 2005, only to see their value decline rapidly.

AeroVironment Gets Drone Order

AeroVironment Inc. has received a $46.2 million order for drone aircraft and related equipment from the U.S. military.

BeachMint Raises Money

BeachMint has raised $10 million in venture capital to expand its social e-commerce web site business.

MGM Moving Headquarters to Beverly Hills


Less than a week after emerging from a lengthy bankruptcy, MGM has signed a lease for new headquarters office space in Beverly Hills.

FDA Delays Afrezza Decision

Food and Drug Administration regulators have told MannKind Corp. they need another four weeks to decide whether to approve the company’s experimental inhaled insulin treatment for sale.

Glendale Hotel Owner Rejects $6 Million Caruso Offer


Golden Key Hotel owner Ray Patel says he is not interested in the $6 million offer he received from Americana at Brand developer Rick Caruso for the 55-room inn on the edge of the shopping and residential complex.

Monday, December 27

L.A. Has Spent Only 25 Percent of Stimulus Funds

The city had completed only eight of its 108 projects by mid-October.

Zumbox Raises More Money

Zumbox, which is developing an electronic delivery service for bills and marketing material, has raised an additional $9.7 million in equity funding.

Thursday, December 23

Leonard Green to Buy Jo-Ann Stores

Leonard Green & Partners LP has signed a definitive agreement to acquire fabric and craft retailer Jo-Ann Stores for $1.6 billion.

FCC Chairman Proposes Approval of Comcast-NBC Deal


Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski has proposed approving Comcast Corp.'s deal to acquire control of NBC Universal from General Electric Co.

Demand Media To Delay IPO


Demand Media has submitted another amended S-1 to the Securities and Exchange Commission, part of its march to an initial public offering many had expected to take place sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, December 22

Avery Wins Round in 3M Suit

Avery Dennison Corp. said that a judge has rejected 3M Co.'s request for a preliminary injunction to stop Avery from selling a product that makes road signs easier to see at night – a potentially lucrative new line for the company.

On Assignment To Buy European Firm

On Assignment Inc. has entered into a letter of intent to buy a clinical research staffing firm, which operates in Western Europe, for $17 million.

Teledyne Buys Canadian Company

Teledyne Technologies Inc. has signed a $336 million deal to buy Canada's Dalsa Corp., a maker of high performance digital imaging and semiconductor products.

Jacobs Makes Large Swedish Acquisition

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. has reached a definitive agreement to acquire the construction unit of a Stockholm engineering firm in a deal valued as much as $913 million.

L.A.'s Union Station Changes Hands


Los Angeles Union Station owner ProLogis has agreed to sell the complex and other real estate to Fort Worth-based TPG Capital for about $505 million.

Latest 'Call of Duty' Game Racks Up $1 Billion in Sales


Activision Blizzard Inc.'s Call of Duty: Black Ops has earned $1 billion in sales after just 42 days on the market.

Tuesday, December 21

Pasadena Consortium Gets Federal Grant

Calstart, a Pasadena alternative transportation consortium, has won $10.2 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation to develop technologies for fuel-cell powered buses.

Bankrupt Rock and Republic To Sell Brand

VF Corp., whose denim brands include Wrangler and Lee, plans to add the trendy Rock and Republic name to its stable of apparel labels.

MGM Emerges from Bankruptcy

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer has formally emerged from Chapter 11 with former Spyglass Entertainment executives Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum taking over as co-chairmen and chief executives.

Colony Financial Sells Shares

Colony Financial Inc. has sold $55.7 million worth of common stock to institutional investors. Proceeds will be used to repay debt and for general corporate purposes.

HCP Closes $1.47 Billion Equity Offering

Health care real estate investment trust HCP Inc. has completed a $1.47 billion public offering of 46 million shares, proceeds of which will be used to help pay for a recently announced acquisition.

Huntington Park Part of New Enterprise Zone

L.A. County has been awarded a new state enterprise zone for business tax credits.

Report: Hulu Pulls Back on IPO Plans


Online video site Hulu LLC has taken off the table the idea of going public, at least for now, and may consider other financing options, people familiar with the matter said.

Monday, December 20

Colony Buys More Distressed Loans

Colony Capital LLC has again partnered with Cogsville Group to purchase two commercial real estate portfolios of more than 700 loans from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Higher Profit at Electro Rent

Electro Rent Corp. said that it fiscal second-quarter earnings soared 77 percent on business from an acquisition, a new contract and higher rental demand for its equipment.

Boeing Gets Large Mexican Contract

Boeing Co.'s El Segundo satellite systems unit has won a contract, valued at about $1 billion, to provide an upgraded satellite communications system for the Mexican government.

Arrowhead Expands Into Weight Loss

Arrowhead Research Corp. has launched a new nanomedicine company, Ablaris Therapeutics Inc., to commercialize weight-loss technology licensed from Houston’s MD Anderson Cancer Center.

National Technical Systems Makes Acquisition

National Technical Systems Inc. has acquired Mechtronic Solutions Inc., a provider of mechanical engineering and other consulting services to the aerospace and defense market.

Targeted TV Ads Set for Takeoff at DirecTV


DirecTV Group Inc. is planning the biggest rollout yet of "addressable ads," allowing advertisers to reach close to 10 million homes with commercials tailored to each household.

Online Gambling Business Rolls the Dice on New Digs

REAL ESTATE: Horse-racing bill spurs expansion of TVG at Westchester complex.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a bill that will expand online gambling on horse races in California, and L.A.-based TVG Network is expanding its real estate accordingly.

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Reluctant Safari-goer Bags Ted Turner


Beverly Hills lawyer Murray Fischer was a reluctant partner to fulfill his wife’s dream of going on a safari.

Stuffing the Stockings

Fox Entertainment gives 1 million toys to L.A.-area agencies.

Fox Entertainment is helping local social service agencies fill stockings with toys left over from marketing campaigns.

Passing the Century Mark

Beach city businesses join program to help workers live past 100.

Some local beach city businesses are diving into a program that aims to extend the life span of employees past 100.

Long Beach Port Reaches Out to Panama Canal

TRADE & TRANSPORT: Local officials concerned about losing imports to Eastern U.S.

Officials at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have worried that a planned widening of the Panama Canal could undermine its position as the nation’s leading import center.

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Westwood Web Firm Puts Price on Being in the Know

TECHNOLOGY: Factual sells data to businesses including Newsweek and Facebook.

AWestwood company named Factual sees value out there in cyberspace. But to capitalize on it, the company has to organize it first.

Coming Together In 2010

SPECIAL REPORT: Banking & Finance Quarterly

Local merger and acquisition activity bounced back in 2010 with some big deals going down as the year closed.

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Cargo Thieves Shift Into High Gear

L.A. called ‘hot spot’ for container hijacking.

Cargo thieves have shifted into high gear in Los Angeles.

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Spelling Mansion in a Neighborhood of Its Own

CHIEF DWELLINGS: $150 million asking price was the highest in United States in 2010.

Listings and sales of executive homes.

’Tis the Season for Giving


Charles Crumpley plays Santa with a wish list of gifts for local companies and executives.

Unions Push Public Pay Out of Scale


Public sector unions have the pay scale out of whack, according to Lanny Ebenstein.

Rainwater Runoff Fee Evaporates in Los Angeles

REGULATION WATCH: City drops provision regarding a $13-per-gallon levy.

After complaints from business and developer groups, city of L.A. administrators have eliminated a key provision of proposed regulations to control stormwater runoff from new developments.

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News of the Week

News of the Week

East L.A. Institution Looks To Invest in Local Youths

BANKING & FINANCE: Pan American would give stock to kids as part of capital-raising plan.

Many banks have tried to raise capital in the down economy, but few have gone about it in as unusual a way as Pan American Bank.

Big Score At Stake for Students

USC’s Demo Day lets teams pitch projects to video game industry.

USC’s Demo Day helps aspiring video game designers plug themselves to industry execs.

Getting SoCal Off the Ground

OP-ED: Jack Kyser’s forum on reviving the region was a fitting tribute to the life’s work of the late economist.

Frank Mottek writes that the late Jack Kyser sounded a wake-up call to the state at his last economic forum.

Worth a Look

2010 YEAR IN REVIEW: Investors saw healthy gains as stocks in local companies increased across industries.

Local public companies saw share prices rebound across industries as investors returned to markets.

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Investors Holding Breath on Inhaled Insulin

Trading volume up as MannKind awaits FDA decision.

A looming FDA decision on MannKind’s insulin inhaler has investors snatching up or ditching the stock.

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SBE Checking Out New Business

Hotel, nightspot operator launches real estate consultancy.

Nightspot and hotel operator SBE has checked into consultancy with a new real estate services division.

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Calendar & Events


Regional Reports

Regional Report

Free-to-Play Pays Off for Game Firm

Online hit ‘League’ prompts Riot to add 100 workers.

Riot’s free-to-play online game is footing the bill for bringing in 100 additional workers.

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Friday, December 17

Internet Brands Goes Private

Internet Brands Inc. said that its $640 million acquisition by private equity firm Hellman & Friedman LLC has closed.

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies closed up slightly for the week, just before President Obama signed legislation extending tax cuts and jobless benefits.

L.A. Approves Historic Pro-Labor Agreement

The L.A. City Council has approved a five-year, $2 billion project labor agreement that requires contractors on nearly 100 current and future public works projects to hire union workers.

L.A.’s Unemployment Hits Record High

Los Angeles County’s jobs picture was mixed in November. The county added more than 16,000 jobs but the jobless rate shot up to a record 12.9 percent as more residents re-entered the job market to search for work.

Platinum Equity Acquires Schutt Sports

A unit of Platinum Equity LLC has acquired the assets of Schutt Sports Inc., a bankrupt Litchfield, Ill., sports equipment maker, for about $33 million.

BYD, L.A. Housing Authority Plug Into Partnership


The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles has launched a pilot program to use 10 fully electric vehicles from a fast-growing Chinese manufacturer that is locating its new U.S. headquarters in Los Angeles.

Thursday, December 16

Hospital Operator Goes Private

Prospect Medical Holdings Inc.’s $205 million private equity-backed management buyout has closed after being approved by shareholders.

Start-Up Scoops Up Unsold Tickets


A Los Angeles start-up with several high-profile backers is planning to unveil a system Thursday that it says will help find buyers for some of the millions of concert and sports tickets that go unsold every year.

MySpace Renews Google Ad Agreement

Myspace and Google Inc. have signed a multi-year agreement to renew and expand their long-standing search and advertising relationship.

Miramax Signs Deal with Weinsteins

The newly reconfigured Miramax is working with company founders Bob and Harvey Weinstein to create original productions and sequels to some of the former film studio’s best-known properties.

Drawings of NFL Stadium Proposed for Downtown


Developers of a proposed NFL stadium in downtown Los Angeles have unveiled renderings of three possible designs for the sports and convention complex.

Wednesday, December 15

Improved Profit at National Technical Systems

National Technical Systems Inc. saw a slight increase in fiscal third-quarter profit as the technical services company benefited from new defense contracts and added business from acquisitions.

REIT Acquires Office Park Near D.C.

PS Business Parks Inc. has acquired part of multi-tenant office park in Tysons Corner, Va. near Washington D.C. for $140 million.

PacifiCare Warned of Possible Penalties


A California regulator is taking the unprecedented step of ordering PacifiCare Life and Health Insurance to keep $120 million in profits in the state to help pay up to $1 billion in possible fines for mishandling claims of policyholders.

L.A. Schools to Allow Corporate Partnerships

The Los Angeles School Board has approved a policy authorizing the superintendent to enter into corporate sponsorships in an effort to generate revenues for cash-starved athletics, arts and music programs.

DirecTV Reaches Settlement Over Fee Policies

Satellite TV provider DirecTV Inc. has settled a 50-state consumer protection dispute concerning its cancellation fees and other contract terms. But a local consumer group said the deal won’t stop it from proceeding with a class action suit against the company.

Tuesday, December 14

Miramax CEO Lang: 'We're Focusing on the Library'


Movie lovers still rave about "Pulp Fiction" and "My Left Foot" -- but after a year on the auction block, does anybody still care about the studio that produced them?

Hotel's Developers Reach Labor Pacts

Developers of the Wilshire Grand Hotel reconstruction project have reached two labor agreements that are expected to help secure the plan’s approval at a key Thursday hearing.

Pixie Dust Loses Magic at Disney Town


Walt Disney Co. built Celebration, Florida, as an idealized version of a circa-World War II small town. Now, there’s trouble in the 16-year-old paradise set within earshot of the nightly fireworks at Walt Disney World Resort.

Teledyne to Sell Piston Unit

Teledyne Technologies Inc. plans to sell its general aviation piston engine business to China’s AVIC International for $186 million.

Lions Gate Investors Reject Icahn Slate

Shareholders of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. rejected a slate of board candidates nominated by billionaire investor Carl Icahn in favor of management’s choices.

Rentech Loss Widens

Rentech Inc. reported a 25 percent larger fourth-quarter net loss, largely due to higher costs as the company continues to develop its plant-based clean fuels business.

HCP Acquires Rehab, Nursing Facilities

In its largest acquisition in several years, HCP Inc. said it will buy all the real estate assets of HCR ManorCare, which operates more than 300 rehabilitation and nursing facilities, in a deal valued at $6.1 billion.

Monday, December 13

Kyser Memorial Set

A public memorial service for noted L.A. economist Jack Kyser will take place Jan. 12 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel.

Health Net Sets 2011 Expectations

Health Net Inc. said it expects a slight increase in commercial enrollment next year, with full-year profit slightly below Wall Street expectations.

HCP Buys Out Joint Venture Partner

HCP Inc. has signed an agreement to buy out a majority stake in a joint venture that owns 25 senior housing properties in several states.

Icahn Ends Tender Offer

Carl Icahn is letting his tender offer to buy all the outstanding shares of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. expire after failing to block a large shareholder from voting all his shares against Icahn’s board slate tomorrow.

THQ Signs Game Deal

THQ Inc. has entered into a multi-year agreement with Mexican director Guillermo del Toro to create an original trilogy of games evoking the style of his Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth movies.

Report: Amgen, Actelion CEOs Meet; No Offer Made


The chief executive officers of Actelion Ltd. and Amgen Inc. reportedly met last week to discuss Amgen’s interest in the Swiss biotechnology company.

A&P's bankruptcy Opens Door for Burkle


A&P has filed for bankruptcy, a move that could transfer control over the struggling grocer to Los Angeles billionaire Ron Burkle.

Parking Measures Have a Lot at Stake

Beverly Hills, realty firm back rival March initiatives.

Beverly Hills and a local realty firm have geared up to push competing free-parking ballot measures.

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It’s Game Over for Los Angeles’ Old Sports Arena

SPORTS BUSINESS: Master plan for Exposition Park limits options for new use.

Annual losses approaching $1 million are what’s behind the plan to tear down the aging Sports Arena and possibly replace it with a Major League Soccer stadium or some other venue.

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Going All In On Poker

Partners launch web business on bet states will legalize online wagering.

Internet poker business U.S. Digital Gaming is betting big on states legalizing online wagering.

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Clocking Out

Couple’s business helps owners get rid of their stakes in troublesome time-share properties.

Torrance company Timeshare Relief helps owners clock out of troublesome properties.

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He’s Not Playing

Toymaker asks if rival rigged industry awards

MGA feels it’s being toyed with by an industry awards event that snubbed its hot selling doll line.

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Pomona Lab Wants to Lock Up Prison Business

HEALTH CARE & BIOTECH: Foundation Laboratory files suit to stop Health Net from ending contract.

Foundation Laboratory is trying to block Health Net Inc. from taking away its contract with its biggest client – the state prison system – warning that the loss may force it out of business.

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Calendar & Events


Unleashing Premium Pet Food

Local company’s line of grass-fed beef chow comes at a price.

A West Hollywood company is betting that people will pay a premium to pamper their pets with pricey chow.

Generating Some Buzz

Petersen car museum hangs out with sedan from ‘Green Hornet.’

Petersen Automotive Museum’s wall got a super upgrade with the Green Hornet’s sedan literally hanging out to promote the movie.

It’s Just the Fax For E-Business

Sector leader J2 buys biggest rival.

Hollywood’s J2 has made the call to buy its biggest competitor in the e-fax market.

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CEO’s Presidential Passage to India


Deepak Chopra, the chief executive of OSI Systems Inc., was born in northern India, so he often travels there.

News of the Week

News of the Week

Computer Security Firm’s Stock Is Click and Miss

Shares of CyberDefender tumble after holiday sales surge.

Questions about its Nasdaq status and business model have scuttled the share price of computer security company CyberDefender.

Westwood Boutique’s Team Joins National Firm

LAW: Founder says Eisenberg Raizman couldn’t land large cases.

Four years ago, Sheldon Eisenberg decided to leave St. Louis-based Bryan Cave LLP, where he was a partner and leader of the L.A. litigation practice group, to start his own firm.

Stock, Shoe Sales Sag for Maker of Toning Footwear

RETAIL & APPAREL: Skechers’ products took a step back after back-to-school season.

Skechers USA Inc. was riding high this summer when the company’s Shape-up toning shoes were flying off store shelves.

Regional Reports

Regional Reports

Randy Gordon: By the Horns

Texas native taps his career in retail while representing Long Beach businesses as CEO of the area chamber of commerce.

Long Beach Chamber chief Randy Gordon may have found a second calling as an auctioneer.

Agreement on L.A.’s Class Struggle


When it comes to failing schools, Democrats and Republicans finally seem to be reading from the same book, Charles Crumpley writes.

Koreatown Property Fuels Downtown Ambitions

REAL ESTATE: Sonny Astani to use $11.5 million to pay for new high-rise project.

Developer Sonny Astani has sold a Koreatown apartment building for $11.5 million to billionaire real estate investor Donald Sterling – with plans to use the proceeds for a new downtown L.A. project.

Landing the Right Mix

OP-ED: Appointees to L.A.’s area planning commissions have enough resources to make the proper decisions.

Thomas M. Donovan rejects criticism that members of L.A.’s area planning commissions are unqualified.

Will Teamwork Work for L.A.?

Agencies to process permits at same time.

L.A. Deputy Mayor Austin Beutner hopes to speed permit processing by having departments work on projects simultaneously.

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November Ushers in Big Chill for Home Sellers

Sales tumble 21 percent year to year; condo deals also decline.

Home sales tumbled 21 percent in November while buyers also turned a cold shoulder to condos.

Support Gives Out Under Bridge Safety Firm

Matech files for Chapter 7 after financial woes pile up.

Too many cracks in its business force an L.A. maker of bridge safety technology into Chapter 7.

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Clicking With Kids

Game developer puts on thinking cap for instructive ABCMouse.

Developers hope educational site puts preschoolers and kindergartners under its spell.

Sunday, December 12

Well Paid at Oxy


How Occidental Petroleum, a company used to keeping a low profile, found itself in the center of a shareholder revolt

Friday, December 10

Feds Indict Former Vitesse Execs

The U.S. Justice Department has indicted Louis Tomasetta, founder and former chief executive of Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. and Eugene Hovanec, a former executive vice president, on charges of securities fraud.

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies closed up for the week as the markets reacted to news of a lower trade deficit and other encouraging economic signs.

Oxy Realigns Operations

Occidental Petroleum Corp. is selling its operations in Argentina and buying oil and gas fields in Texas, part of a strategy to focus more on its U.S. assets.

Mercury to Cut Auto Rates

Mercury Insurance said that it will cut its auto insurance rates by up to 10 percent for California policyholders after state officials approved the reduction request.

Thursday, December 9

L.A. Sued Over Zoning Code

A neighborhood activist group has filed suit against the city of Los Angeles seeking to block implementation of a zoning code overhaul.

Nara, Center Financial To Merge

In a blockbuster deal for Koreatown’s fiercely competitive banking industry, Nara Bancorp Inc. and Center Financial Corp. announced that they will merge, creating the nation’s largest Korean-American bank.

Disney-ABC in Pact to Stream Shows Over Netflix


Netflix is adding more episodes of TV shows from Disney-ABC Television Group to its growing library of TV content.

Michael Lang Named Miramax CEO

A reconfigured Miramax said that Michael Lang has been appointed chief executive officer, effective immediately.

Icahn Gains Support for Board Candidates

Dissident shareholder Carl Icahn has convinced two proxy advisory firms to back his slate for the board of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. in advance of next week’s annual meeting.

Wednesday, December 8

Northrop-Grumman To Pay $5.2 Million Penalty


Defense contractor Northrop Grumman will pay $5.21 million to settle allegations it misled the Air Force about test results on an apparently faulty paint system for the B-2 stealth bomber, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

Lower Earnings at Cherokee

Cherokee Inc. said its third quarter profit fell on lower royalty fees due to unfavorable exchange rate movements and falling retail prices.

Korn/Ferry’s Quarter Beats Expectations

Korn/Ferry International Inc.’s shares jumped 16 percent Wednesday after the executive search company reported both better-than-expected second-quarter earnings and guidance for the current quarter.

SpaceX Successfully Launches Falcon 9

Space Exploration Technologies Corp. hit a key milestone Wednesday, successfully launching and putting into orbit its commercial Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral.

Tuesday, December 7

AeroVironment Maintains Profit in Quarter

Higher sales at both its unmanned aircraft and energy systems units kept AeroVironment Inc. in the black in its fiscal second quarter, surprising Wall Street analysts who had expected a loss.

Icahn’s Request to Delay Lions Gate Meeting Is Denied


A bid by billionaire Carl Icahn to postpone Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.’s Dec. 14 shareholder meeting was rejected by a Canadian regulatory panel.

Oprah Winfrey Network Seeks Subscription Fees


Oprah Winfrey's new cable network is set to launch in a few weeks. But it still faces a longer-term hurdle: Getting cable and satellite operators to pay for it.

Study: Business Owners More Optimistic

A new Pepperdine University study indicates a disconnect between privately-held business owners, who are optimistic about business prospects over the next 12 months, and potential lenders of capital, who are less so.

McCourt Marital Deal on Dodgers Ruled Invalid


A judge has ruled that a postnuptial marital agreement giving sole ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers to Frank McCourt is not valid - a decision that isn't expected to affect team operations but means the Dodgers could be shared under California community property law.

General Wesley Clark Joins Rentech’s Board

Clean energy company Rentech Inc. said that General Wesley K. Clark, a former NATO supreme allied commander with a background in energy issues, is joining its board of directors.

RealD Prices Stock Offering

RealD Inc. has priced a secondary offering of 7.82 million shares being sold by insiders and other shareholders at a lower-than-current-market-price of $27.75.

Aletheia Founders Spar Amid SEC Inquiry


Aletheia Research and Management, a fast-growing Santa Monica money-management firm, is wrestling with a deep rift between its founders as well as an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Host Will Operate LAX for Another 2 Years


HMS Host International will continue to operate restaurants for another two years at Los Angeles International Airport as officials seek out new concessionaires under a plan approved Monday.

Monday, December 6

Peruvian Suit Against Oxy to Proceed

Indigenous Peruvian plaintiffs on Monday won a key round in their contamination lawsuit against Occidental Petroleum Corp. as a federal appeals court allowed the case to proceed in the United States.

Noted L.A. Economist Jack Kyser Dies at 76

Jack Kyser, the longtime “guru” of the Los Angeles economy, died over the weekend after a long illness.

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Charney Again Adds to Stake

American Apparel Inc. has sold $1.67 million worth of its common shares to its founder and chief executive in a private placement. Proceeds will fund equity grants to managers as part of their compensation package.

Border's Backer Would Finance Bid for Barnes & Noble


Buying out Barnes & Noble would give its much smaller rival, Borders Group, a bigger and firmer stake in the digital world, but some analysts said combining the two largest companies in the shrinking realm of traditional book selling could hurt both - perhaps irreparably.

Resnick Company Buys Central Coast Winery

Fiji Water Co. LLC has acquired its first winery, Paso Robles' Justin Vineyards & Winery, which is known for Bordeaux-style blends and single varietals.

J2 Global Makes Acquisition in Canada

Internet-based communications services company J2 Global Communications Inc. is acquiring a competing Canadian company, Protus IP Solutions Inc., for about $213 million.

DineEquity Sells More Restaurants

DineEquity Inc. is selling 30 of its Applebee's restaurants in the Washington, D.C. area to new franchisee Potomac Family Dining Group.

Startup Uses Web to Get People to Stick to Diets

Symtrimics sets up doctors with iPads to guide weight loss.

An El Segundo start-up hopes to scale the weight-loss world with a web- and iPad-based diet program.

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Eight Over 80 - Stan Lee

Special Report: EIGHT OVER 80

Stan Lee says he’s having too much fun to retire. There aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything he wants to do, and now that he’s 87, he works more now than he did in his 40s and 50s. And he enjoys it more.

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Tuned Into Venice

Online radio station looks to channel vibe of funky neighborhood.

A broadcast veteran wants to dial into Venice’s quirky vibe to boost his online radio venture.

Snapshot of Corporate Charity

L.A. photographer’s book ‘Dignity’ boosted by Morgan Stanley.

An L.A. photographer has framed her book on indigenous peoples as a good investment for her corporate clients.

Sweet Treat for Bakery

Billionaire fans helped Wonderland set up shop at the Grove.

Wonderland Bakery got a sugarcoated trip to a new home at the Grove.

Eight Over 80 - Stefano Riboli and Maddalena Riboli

Special Report: EIGHT OVER 80

From banking and PR to comic books and sports announcing, the Business Journal spotlights eight octogenarians who are just not the retiring type.

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Eight Over 80 - Vin Scully

Special Report: EIGHT OVER 80

From banking and PR to comic books and sports announcing, the Business Journal spotlights eight octogenarians who are just not the retiring type.

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Eight Over 80 - W. Edgar Jessup

Special Report: EIGHT OVER 80

From banking and PR to comic books and sports announcing, the Business Journal spotlights eight octogenarians who are just not the retiring type.

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Eight Over 80 - Bram Goldsmith

Special Report: EIGHT OVER 80

From banking and PR to comic books and sports announcing, the Business Journal spotlights eight octogenarians who are just not the retiring type.

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Attorney Lays Down the Law for Beach House

CHIEF DWELLINGS: Browne Greene’s Santa Monica home can be leased for $100,000 a month.

Listings and sales of executive homes.

Calendar & Events


David Hill: Inside the Box

Fox Sports CEO David Hill thinks not being a big sports fan helps him come up with TV viewing ideas like always having the game time and score on screen.

Fox Sports’ David Hill has scored some big breakthroughs in TV coverage despite not being a big sports fan.

Regional Reports

Regional Report

Santa Monica Firm Looks to Deliver for Pizza Chain

ADVERTISING & PR: Phelps’ new division helped it score the zPizza campaign.

Phelps Group, a Santa Monica PR and ad agency, landed a client thanks to an acquisition last year.

Name Game

Santa Monica’s Premier Partnerships is moving beyond the world of sports with sponsorship deals involving governments and other clients.

Santa Monica’s Premier Partnerships is looking beyond sports to field new sponsorship deals.

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Small Firms Say L.A.’s Oil Tax Drills Too Deep

Small independent operators say a proposed city of L.A. oil extraction tax would drill too deep into revenue.

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Super Humans

Special Report: EIGHT OVER 80

In this annual Special Report, the Business Journal checks in with eight Angelenos, all 80 or over, who are still working – and loving it.

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Koreatown Bank Is Hoping to Broaden Its Net

BANKING & FINANCE: Hanmi gets OK from Woori to speak with other investors.

After struggling to obtain regulatory approval for a substantial cash infusion, Hanmi Financial Corp. is looking elsewhere to continue raising its capital levels.

Musical Accessories Are Tuning Up Sales at Chain

Hot Topic stock gets a boost from plan to close 40 to 50 locations.

Sales of music-related merchandise and cost-cutting moves have some investors singing Hot Topic’s praises.

Reality TV Winner’s Game for Online Challenge

TECHNOLOGY: ‘Apprentice’ Kelly Perdew hopes to diversify with Fastpoint.

‘‘Apprentice” champ Kelly Perdew has a new game plan.

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Atlanta Company Pads Its Presence in Hollywood

REAL ESTATE: Alta project features high-end amenities to draw renters.

The first Los Angeles County project for Atlanta-based developer Wood Partners LLC has been out of the ordinary.

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No Rush to Judgment in Arbitration

Local arbitration firms and trade group look to rein in length, cost of cases.

Longer and costlier hearings are making it harder for the arbitration process to make a case for itself.

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DWP Gets Cold Shoulder on Solar Program

REGULATION WATCH: L.A. council shoots down agency’s plan to reduce rebates.

The City Council has rejected the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power’s plan to scale back rebates to homeowners and small businesses that install solar panels.

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Credit Union Faces Historic Damages

Former executives of L.A.'s WesCorp targeted personally.

Regulators hope to pin a $1 billion bill on the former executives of failed Western Corporate Federal Credit Union.

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Boutique Owner Extends Shelf Life

Lisa Kline stays open by cutting back on stores and staff.

Boutique owner Lisa Kline has carved out a survival story after a dramatic drop in high-end clothing sales and the death of her husband.

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Call for Expanded Review Spells Troubles for Ports


T.L. Garrett suspects the call for additional impact reviews is just a means to stifle port expansion.

Keeping Parking in Its Place

OP-ED: L.A. city plan to lease nine garages to private sector is a bad deal being ramrodded without public input.

Leron Gubler would like to put the brakes on a city of L.A. plan to lease garages to the private sector.

Time to Retire Retirement Age?


Maybe there are good reasons to work in your golden years, Charles Crumpley writes.

News of the Week

News of the Week

Plastic Surgeon Makes Cut as Inventor


Plastic surgeon, author and reality TV star Dr. Robert Kotler can now add “contract manufacturer” to the list of hats he’s worn.

Eight Over 80 - Richard C. King

Special Report: EIGHT OVER 80

From banking and PR to comic books and sports announcing, the Business Journal spotlights eight octogenarians who are just not the retiring type.

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Eight Over 80 - Murray Weissman

Special Report: EIGHT OVER 80

From banking and PR to comic books and sports announcing, the Business Journal spotlights eight octogenarians who are just not the retiring type.

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Friday, December 3

The Week’s Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies closed up for the week ended Dec. 3 as investors saw a weaker dollar as a positive for U.S. exports.

Legendary Political Publicist Joe Cerrell Dies

Joe Cerrell, a prominent political consultant and co-founder of Los Angeles public relations firm Cerrell Associates, died Friday morning in Camarillo from complications of pneumonia. He was 75.

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Green Dot Shareholders Sell Stock

Green Dot Corp. has commenced a larger-than-expected secondary offering of more than 4.29 million common shares, all held by current stockholders.

Reliance Steel Makes Oregon Acquisitions

Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. has acquired the outstanding capital stock of Lampros Steel Inc. and a related interest in Lampros Steel Plate Distribution LLC, both of Portland, Ore.

Thursday, December 2

UTi Worldwide Posts Higher Income

UTi Worldwide Inc. reported better-than-expected third quarter net income, boosted by higher airfreight and ocean freight volumes, but its revenue was slightly below Wall Street expectations.

Judge Confirms MGM Studios' Bankruptcy Plan


Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. has won a judge’s approval to reorganize under the management of Spyglass Entertainment Group Inc. and billionaire Carl Icahn, removing the last hurdle to emerging from court protection.

TCW Sues Gundlach's DoubleLine Funds Trust


A trust created by DoubleLine Capital LP’s Jeffrey Gundlach was sued by TCW Group Inc., which already sued its former investment chief after he brought more than half of its fixed-income professionals to his new firm.

Ixia to Sell Notes

Ixia priced a larger-than-expected $175 million offering of convertible senior notes, proceeds of which will be used for possible future acquisitions, strategic transactions and other corporate purposes.

RealD Offering Commences

RealD Inc. has commenced its previously announced secondary offering of more than 7.8 million shares of its common stock by some existing stockholders.

Wednesday, December 1

Kardashians Cancel Their Branded Prepaid Debit Card


Faddish consumer products have notoriously short lives. And thankfully, after just three weeks on the market, the Kardashian Kard, possibly America's dumbest financial product, has gone the way of the Pet Rock, the Edsel, and acid-washed jeans.

Gores Group to Sell Power Device Firm

The Gores Group LLC is selling its Vincotech Holdings Sàrl to Mitsubishi Electric Corp., three years after it acquired the European power device company.

Iris Makes Acquisition

Medical test kit maker Iris International Inc. said that it had paid $3.2 million to acquire the assets of a company that makes a multipurpose instrument for automating highly repetitive, manual laboratory procedures.

Chargers Refute Rumors of Sale to Anschutz-Magic Group


As Magic Johnson confirmed that he is working with AEG to move an existing NFL team to L.A., San Diego Chargers officials are denying rumors that their team is the target.