DEPARTURE: Steven Udvar-Hazy stepped down as chief executive and director of American International Group Inc.’s aircraft leasing unit, International Lease Finance Corp. Udvar-Hazy was a founder of Century City-based ILFC, and there’s been speculation that he was leaving so he could better lead a group of investors in buying all or part of the unit from AIG. ILFC President John Plueger is serving as acting CEO.
LEFT: Manhattan Bancorp said Chief Executive Jeffrey Watson left the company, but the South Bay-area business bank company did not provide a reason for his departure. The L.A. holding company for Bank of Manhattan, which opened in 2007, said Harry Chenoweth, a founding bank director, will serve as CEO until a replacement for Watson is found.
HEARINGS: The U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce and one of its subcommittees opened an investigation into Anthem Blue Cross’ impending rate increases in California. President Obama cited the premium hikes, some as high as 39 percent and which affect individual health insurance policyholders who are not part of group coverage, as another reason to pass national health care legislation. Anthem, a unit of Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc., is the state’s largest for-profit insurer. Its offices are in Woodland Hills.
COUNTERSUED: Former TCW bond fund manager Jeffrey Gundlach filed a countersuit against his old employer, charging the L.A. investment company owes him and his team as much as $1.25 billion under a 2007 oral agreement. In a response to TCW’s lawsuit against him, Gundlach claims he was wrongfully dismissed and denies stealing any of the firm’s intellectual property. TCW fired Gundlach in December. Less than two weeks later, Gundlach opened DoubleLine Capital LP and was joined by more than half of his fixed-income team from TCW.
LOGGING OFF: Owen Van Natta stepped down as chief executive of MySpace.com, less than a year after taking over the struggling Beverly Hills-based social networking site. Van Natta sought to rebrand MySpace as an entertainment site rather than just a social network. He was replaced by co-Presidents Mike Jones and Jason Hirschhorn, both of whom will report to Jon Miller, chief executive of digital media for parent company News Corp.
SETTLED: BreitBurn Energy Partners L.P. settled all litigation with Quicksilver Resources Inc., a Texas oil and gas company that had pushed for a larger role in BreitBurn, an L.A. oil and gas company, after accumulating a 40.4 percent stake. As part of the settlement, BreitBurn’s two founders stepped down from the board to make room for Quicksilver appointees, but will retain top management roles. Hal Washburn will continue as BreitBurn chief executive, but former co-CEO Randy Breitenbach’s title will change to president. BreitBurn also agreed to pay Quicksilver $13 million.
EXPLORING OPTIONS: Hanmi Financial Corp., which has been hurt by losses in the commercial real estate market, announced that its board authorized management to explore a broad range of strategic alternatives for its struggling Koreatown bank. The L.A. holding company of Hanmi Bank, which primarily serves Korean-American and other ethnic businesses and individuals, hired Cappello Capital Corp., a Santa Monica firm, as its financial adviser.
HIRED: New York-based Topps Co., the Bazooka bubble gum and sports card company controlled by former Walt Disney Co. CEO Michael Eisner, hired Ryan O’Hara, former president of TV Guide Network and TVGuide.com, as its chief executive. O’Hara abruptly left the TV Guide properties earlier this month after eight years with the L.A. company.
ACQUISITION: Calavo Growers Inc. acquired a majority interest in a Minnesota fresh salsa company that will allow it to expand into the salsa market. The Santa Paula producer of guacamole and other fresh produce products holds a 65 percent interest in a new subsidiary, Calavo Salsa Lisa LLC, which contains the assets of Lisa’s Salsa of St. Paul. Calavo has an option to acquire the remaining 35 percent of the company at any time during the next 81 months. Operations will remain in St. Paul. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
EARNINGS: Walt Disney Co. reported first quarter net income of $844 million, less than 1 percent lower than a year earlier. Revenue rose 1 percent to $9.74 billion. … Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. reported a third quarter net loss of $65.3 million, 33 percent wider than a year earlier. Revenue rose nearly 15 percent to more than $371 million. … Activision Blizzard Inc. reported a fourth quarter net loss of $286 million, 297 percent broader than a year earlier. Revenue fell 5 percent to $1.56 billion. … Aecom Technology Corp. reported first quarter net income of $46 million, 12 percent higher than a year earlier. Revenue rose 2 percent to $1.48 billion. … Motorcar Parts of America Inc. reported third quarter net income of $2.1 million, compared with a net loss of $314,000 a year earlier. Revenue rose 2 percent to $36.5 million. … Mercury General Corp. reported fourth quarter net income of $34.2 million, compared with a net loss of $168 million a year earlier. Revenue rose 36 percent to $677 million. … Macerich Co. reported a fourth quarter net loss of $14.4 million compared with net income of $51 million a year earlier. Funds from operations were down 46 percent to $92.7 million and revenue fell 16 percent to less than $120 million. … Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc. reported fourth quarter net income of $21.7 million, 13 percent higher than a year earlier. Funds from operations rose 15 percent to $54.3 million and revenue fell 8 percent to less than $115 million. … Douglas Emmett Inc. reported a fourth quarter net loss of $8.91 million, 39 percent wider than a year earlier. Funds from operations dropped 17 percent to $46.3 million and revenue fell 10 percent to $139 million.
In the “Chief Dwellings” column in the Feb. 8 issue, two photographs of a property listing were published with an incorrect caption. The home for sale was Gary Safady’s, not Aviv “Vivi” Nevo’s.
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