Stories for July 2010

Friday, July 30

The Week's Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies closed up 2 points for the week ended July 30

Disney Sells Miramax for $660 Million

Walt Disney Co. agreed to sell its Miramax Films to an investor group led by construction magnate Ron Tutor for about $660 million, ending a 17-year association with the studio and a six-month bidding process.

K-Swiss Buys Form Athletics

Shoe manufacturer K-Swiss announced it has purchased Laguna Beach-based Form Athletics, an apparel company that caters to Mixed Martial Arts enthusiasts.

Preferred Bank Shares Tumble

The stock of Preferred Bank drooped 13 percent Friday morning after the bank reported a quarterly loss.

Thursday, July 29

American Apparel Auditor Resigns

Shares of garment manufacturer American Apparel fell 14 percent after the company reported that Deloitte & Touche had resigned as the company’s accounting firm.

Anworth Profit Falls

Shares of Anworth Mortgage Asset Corp. lost nearly 7 percent of their value Thursday after the company disclosed lower earnings during the second quarter.

Riverside County Aggressively Courts Foreign Cos.


County seeks employers from Korea to Croatia.

Another Toyota Recall Targets Avalons


Toyota Motor Corp. announced another large recall of autos in the U.S. on Thursday, this time for a steering problem in 373,000 Avalon sedans.

Term Limits Reform Qualifies for 2012 Ballot

A rare partnership between the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor has qualified an initiative on term limits for the February 2012 ballot.

Profit Soars at Avery Dennison

Office supply manufacturer Avery Dennison announced higher than expected net income for the second quarter, prompting management to raise its forecast for 2010.

Wednesday, July 28

Tetra Tech Reports Lower Profit

Pasadena engineering firm Tetra Tech on Wednesday announced significantly lower net income despite higher revenue in the company’s third-quarter.

Ryland Trims Loss

Ryland Group, a homebuilder based in Calabasas, trimmed its losses in the second quarter despite a significant reduction in the number of new home orders.

California Pizza Kitchen Shares Jump on Buy-Out Report

California Pizza Kitchen shares jumped as much as 20 percent after the New York Post reported a private equity firm was in negotiations to buy the restaurant chain.

East West Bank Slumps Despite Good Earnings

The stock of East West Bancorp Inc. slid in early trading Wednesday even though the Pasadena holding company late Tuesday reported earnings that beat expectations.

L.A. County Residents Living Longer, But Disparities Persist

Los Angeles County residents are living longer than ever, but economic and racial disparities persist, with some minorities and low-income residents dying younger than wealthier neighbors.

Tuesday, July 27

Wilshire Loss Beats Forecasts

Wilshire Bancorp Inc. swung to a loss in the second quarter, although the results weren't as bad as expected.

Nara Reports Wider Loss

Nara Bancorp Inc. reported a wider second quarter loss due to ongoing difficulties in the banking industry.

Hanmi Reports Loss

Hanmi Financial Corp. reported a hefty second quarter loss amid an aggressive effort to deal with its problem assets.

Farmers Cuts Rates

Los Angeles-based Farmers Group has agreed to cut rates and issue rebates totaling $100 million to its auto insurance policyholders.

Jacobs Profit Falls

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. reported a third-quarter drop in net income due to lower revenue and a litigation charge.

Oxy Profit Soars

Occidental Petroleum Corp. reported a 56 percent increase in net income in the second quarter due to higher oil and natural gas prices and a boost in production.

Monday, July 26

Lions Gate to Distribute ‘Apocalypse’

Lions Gate Entertainment on Monday announced a home entertainment distribution deal with Francis Ford Coppola’s Zoetrope Studio.

City Planner Candidate Vows to Make Process Transparent

Michael LoGrande is the nominee to become the new Los Angeles City planning director, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced Monday.

Bell City Council Considers Cutting $100,000 Salaries


The embattled Bell City Council will meet Monday night to consider cutting council member pay, which is now considered significantly higher than that of other cities of the same size.

J2 Buys U.K. Phone Service Company

J2 Global Communications, a telephone networking and message management company in Hollywood, has acquired Alban Telecom Ltd. an enhanced voice services provider in the United Kingdom.

OSI Lands Contract for Security Scanners

Security equipment manufacturer OSI Systems in Hawthorne has won an $18 million order to provide cargo, vehicle and people scanning systems to the U.S. government.

ESPN Takes a Leap With Summer X Games Deals

SPORTS BUSINESS: Channel boosts partner sponsors with flexible sales approach.

ESPN Summer X Games pulled off a new trick this year. By changing the way they sell sponsorships, organizers have brought the number of national sponsors to at least 15, up from 10 last year.

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Damage Control

L.A. PR firm enlists ex- Army officer for crisis management.

Century City firm Sitrick Brincko musters a former military officer to handle crisis management.

Area Mall Thinks Big Picture to Increase Business

Century City center serves up film nights to boost food court traffic.

Westfield Century City adds free movie nights to the menu to boost business at its food court.

‘Grim’ Turn in L.A. Sign Battle

Billboard foes cry foul in victim tribute.

Foes of digital billboards refuse to sign off on their worth even though they may help solve some crimes.

City’s Refrigerator Loans Draw Heat

CRA wants to outfit shops for fruits, vegetables.

An L.A. city loan program to pay for refrigeration units at some grocery stores has left critics cold.

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Studio IPO Plan Getting Rewrite

Screen may go black for Film Department.

West Hollywood movie studio has had trouble bringing its planned IPO into focus.

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Lawyer Gets Down to Business in Entertainment Industry


Ellen Schned once seemed on the path to a political career.

TRI-CITIES: Industry Strength Lifts Burbank Media District


the Tri-Cities submarkets are in a race to outrun the down economy, entertainment heavy Burbank is definitely in the lead.

Running With the Elephants


Sarah Robarts long dreamed of doing a long run in Kenya, where she was raised.

News of the Week

News of the Week

Pet Project Unleashed Nationwide

Zoom Room founders look to franchise dog-training centers.

Zoom Room founders could face a ruff time taking their dog-training centers national.

Supplement Maker Seeks Healthy Boost in China

HEALTH CARE & BIOTECH: Herbalife adapted marketing model to gain country’s OK.

Herbalife Ltd. built its business through a network of multilevel marketers: independent distributors who peddle its diet and nutritional products to friends and neighbors, often recruiting them to sell the products themselves.

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DOWNTOWN: Strapped Landlords Lacking Financial Flexibility


The downtown L.A. market continued its downward spiral during the second quarter as several more downsizing law firms gave up office space.

Hooking Up

Local operators of dating sites seek to reverse recessionary losses with niche, overseas markets.

Local dating site operators are looking to boost their prospects by wooing niche and overseas markets.

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Damaged Basement, Busted Partnership


Ex-partner alleges underhanded tactics in bar battle

L.A. COUNTY: Tenants Strike Deals


These days, it seems every piece of good news in the L.A. real estate market is attended by some bad.

Shy Tripped Up by Mortgage Fraud Allegations


Bank’s 2007 mortgage fraud suit resulted in out-of-court settlement

Cornering Downtown


Barry Shy’s aggressive DIY style has brought him a lot of enemies, legal bills – but some big downtown L.A. properties.

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Channeling TV Hit’s Charm

Local shop owners credit ‘Pawn Stars’ for boosting business.

Local hock shop owners have taken a shine to cable TV hit “Pawn Stars.

Finding the Right R/x for California’s Health Insurance


Ron Goldstein calls for state officials to work with the private sector when establishing a health insurance exchange.

Calendar & Events


L.A. to Broad: ‘Stick ’Em Up’


Charles Crumpley finds it hard to stomach the unappetizing political process that Eli Broad is going through to build his art museum downtown.


CO Architects, an L.A. firm specializing in medical school and research laboratory design, has named Kent Brown director of science and technology.

Laboring Over Carwashes

OP-ED: L.A. Unified board’s support for organizing workers teaches a lot about the school district’s priorities.

Harold L. Katz believes the LAUSD board should focus on student performance, not labor issues.

SAN FERNANDO VALLEY: Free Fall Slows as Tenants Land Deals


Though the San Fernando Valley office market’s free fall slowed in the second quarter, the vacancy rate inched up one-tenth of a point to 19 percent, while the market gave back 28,000 square feet.

WESTSIDE: Cramped Quarters Prompt Expansion into Vacancies


A year or two ago, Westside businesses were in serious belt-tightening mode, looking to scale back office space in order to save a few bucks.

WILSHIRE CORRIDOR: Spinal Market Tapped Out by Recession


Some 200,000 square feet of space was freed up on the market that stretches like a commercial spine along Wilshire Boulevard from downtown Los Angeles to Beverly Hills.

SAN GABRIEL VALLEY: Cheap Prices Tempt Industrial Buyers


The San Gabriel Valley’s industrial market clocked in another solid quarter as owner-users and other buyers opened their wallets.

HOLLYWOOD: Glamour Fades After Pent-up Demand Fizzles


Vacancies rose nearly three points to 14.6 percent during the April-June period.

SANTA CLARITA: Large Deals Aren’t Moving to Suburbia


With the second highest vacancy rate in Los Angeles County and little activity in the second quarter, things don’t seem to be getting much better in the Santa Clarita Valley office market.

SOUTH BAY/MID-CITIES: Port-Reliant Businesses Like Slips in Rates


Tenants taking advantage of low asking rents to lock down long-term leases at bargain-basement prices drove the quarter’s activity in the South Bay and Mid-Cities industrial markets.

Jeff Modisett: Public Profile

A relationship with the Bayh family of Indiana led Jeff Modisett to a career in politics that included prosecuting Mike Tyson for rape.

Lawyer Jeff Modisett’s political aspirations put him on the path to a courtroom showdown with Mike Tyson.

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Controlling the Board

After a rough start, Carolyne Johnson steadied her late father’s business of repairing circuit boards

Carolyne Johnson found it a tough go plugging in as the boss at her late father’s El Segundo electronics business.

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Regional Report

The USC Marshall School of Business Center for International Business Education and Research has been awarded a $1.58 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

Lawyer Launches Lean Outfit in Downtown L.A.

LAW: Ex-partner at Milbank Tweed plans selective approach to clients.

Gregory Evans got some notice in the legal world earlier this month when he quit his job as a prominent partner in the downtown L.A. office of New York-based Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy LLP to start his own practice.

Jeans Maker Takes Steps To Relaunch Shoe Line

RETAIL & APPAREL: True Religion forms deal with Titan for new women’s footwear.

True Religion’s women’s shoe line never found its footing.

Air New Zealand Looking to Flatten Customers

TRADE & TRANSPORT: ‘Sky couch’ in economy class will let passengers lie down.

Air New Zealand is jetting big time into the competition for passenger comfort – and increased revenue – on international long-haul flights to LAX.

Friday, July 23

DineEquity Cuts Debt by Selling Restaurants

DineEquity Inc. said that in order to reduce debt it will sell 63 company-operated Applebee’s restaurants to its largest franchisee for $32 million.

This Week's Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies closed up for the week as investors reacted to reassuring news about the economy and some good earnings reports.

Amgen Names Ronald Sugar to Board

Thousand Oaks biotech giant Amgen Inc. has named former Northrop Grumman Corp chief executive Ronald Sugar to its board.

Abraxane Approved in Japan

Abraxis BioScience Inc. said that its partner Taiho Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. had received regulatory approval to sell its breast cancer drug Abraxane in Japan.

Cheesecake Factory Increases Profit

Cheesecake Factory Inc.'s second-quarter net income grew 16 percent as sales improved at its restaurants despite a still-slow economy. Adjusted profit exceeded Wall Street forecasts, but revenue was slightly lower than expected.

City National Beats Expectations

City National Corp. reported better-than-expected net income in the second quarter, boosted by higher revenue growth and credit quality.

Thursday, July 22

VCA Antech Misses Expectations

Shares of VCA Antech Inc. fell in after-hours trading Thursday after the veterinary services provider reported lower-than-expected second quarter net income and cut its full-year outlook.

Study Documents Runaway Production

California has lost about 36,000 jobs related to film and television production over the last 13 years, according to a new study from the Milken Institute.

Los Angeles Wins Major Convention

The NAACP has scheduled its 2011 national conference in Los Angeles, city officials announced.

MGA Wins Bratz Appeal

An appeals court has ruled that Mattel Inc. was wrongly awarded ownership of the Bratz line.

Green Dot IPO Raises $164 Million

Shares of Green Dot Corp. began trading on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday morning after the company’s initial public offering, jumping significantly from their $36 starting price.

Reliance Steel Moves To Profit

Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. said stronger demand for its steel products enabled it to swing from a loss to a profit in the second quarter.

Wednesday, July 21

99 Cents Only Stores Sued Over Price Increase


The Commerce discount chain has been hit with two class-action lawsuits alleging unfair and deceptive business practices and misleading advertising after it raised the top price of goods to 99.99 cents from 99 cents.

Target to Feature Disney Channel Fashions

The Walt Disney Co. and Target Co. have announced a new apparel line aimed at "tween" girls and based on the fashion look of characters on the Disney Channel’s live-action shows.

Hollywood Preps for Teamsters Walkout


A labor drama playing out behind closed doors could lead to an Aug. 1 strike by thousands of transportation workers, which could shut down most television and film productions in Los Angeles and possibly elsewhere.

Forecast Sees Brighter Local Economy

L.A.’s economy has started to recover from the recession and the rebound should pick up steam for the rest of this year and into next year, according to a forecast by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp.

Tuesday, July 20

LAX Installs OSI Security Scanners


Federal and city officials unveiled the addition of two full-body scanners at Los Angeles International Airport as part of a plan to install the high-tech screeners at every terminal there over the next few months.

Thomas Properties Cool to Shareholder Offer

Thomas Properties Group Inc. on Tuesday gave a polite brush-off to a large shareholder that wants to take the company private.

Inman Gets State Board Appointment

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has appointed Fran Inman, senior vice president at Majestic Realty Corp., to the California Transportation Commission.

Northrop Picks Falls Church Site for New Headquarters


Northrop Grumman Corp. reportedly is buying a 14-story office building in Northern Virginia for its new corporate headquarters.

Report: Countrywide VIP Loans Went to Fannie Employees


Countrywide Financial Corp.'s controversial "VIP" mortgage program apparently made 153 loans to employees of Fannie Mae, the giant, federally backed financial institution that helped fuel Countrywide's growth.

Anthem Blue Cross's President Steps Down


The president of Anthem Blue Cross has resigned after 2 1/2 years at the helm of California's largest for-profit insurer.

Pasadena Banks to Merge

California General Bank NA and Professional Business Bank, both commercial banks in Pasadena, have announced a definitive merger agreement.

Lions Gate Dilutes Icahn’s Stake

In an apparent response to Carl Icahn's latest hostile takeover attempt, Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. swapped $100 million worth of convertible debt into common shares, slightly diluting the percentage of his stake.

New Licensing Deal for True Religion

True Religion Apparel Inc. has signed an agreement to launch a branded line of women’s shoes.

Monday, July 19

Interlink Names CEO

Interlink Electronics Inc. has appointed Steven N. Bronson, a veteran Wall Street investor, as its chief executive and chairman.

Green Dot Increases Size of IPO

Shares of prepaid debit card provider Green Dot Corp. are expected to hit the markets this week in a larger-than-expected initial public offering.

On Assignment Makes U.K. Acquisition

Professional staffing provider On Assignment Inc. has acquired Sharpstream, a provider of search services for executive and middle managers in the life sciences industry, for $5.5 million.

Disney Battles Time Warner Cable with New Website

Walt Disney Co. has started a website slamming Time Warner Cable Inc. over the company's tactics in renegotiating a TV contract.

Massage Therapists Push Hard for Certification

REGULATION WATCH: State-created non-profit simplifies licensing.

Thousands of massage therapists in Los Angeles and across the state are rushing to get a certification that will make it easier for them to practice in multiple cities.

Keeping California Under Water

OP-ED: Consumers get soaked as state agencies try to balance conservation with revenue generation.

Tim DeRoche thinks water policies in California are all wet.

Creative Impulse Spurred Texan to Architecture Career


For Jack Price, a new principal in the Santa Monica office of architecture firm KTGY Group, his career was born from compromise.

Late Computer Pioneer’s Malibu Home on Block

CHIEF DWELLING: Intel founder Max Palevsky’s estate goes on sale for $55 million.

Listings and sales of executive homes.

Trading in Positive Signs


Don’t fret the trade deficit, write Charles Crumpley.

Giving Food Trucks a Seat at the Table


Councilman Tom LaBonge says he isn’t out to put the brakes on L.A.’s food trucks.

Surrounded by Beauties? Just a Change of Pace


Call it the perfect gig for a single man.

After the Pain, Comes the Gain


L.A. public companies in a variety of industries have bounced back from a brutal 2009.

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L.A. Equity Firms Prove Popular Draw Again

BANKING & FINANCE: Seven area funds attract $3.9 billion in the first half of 2010.

Private equity fundraising is down nationwide, but L.A. firms have still managed to raise some hefty sums this year.

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AIDS Group Rips Rival for Taking Walk

Feud over fundraisers heads to court.

An L.A. AIDS group has stepped up efforts to protect its fundraising walk from a rival’s event.

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So Many Chargers, So Few Electric Cars

Will hundreds of power stations really juice sales?

Electric car backers are rolling out charging stations in hopes of sparking future vehicle sales.

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Ahmed Enany: Booster Shot

Q&A: Ahmed Enany overcame his early dislike of L.A. and now enjoys working for the local biotech community and living downtown.

Egyptian immigrant Ahmed Enany has put down deep roots in L.A. and its tech industry as chief executive of the Southern California Biomedical Council.

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Slipped Discs

Fading popularity of DVD forces vendor and producer to take other business models out for a spin.

The continuing fade of the DVD could have left a hole in the center of DVD-dependent businesses, but they are figuring how to adapt.

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See Worthy Lifeguard Stations

Non-profit’s project brings touch of color to county shoreline.

Portraits of Hope shores up L.A. lifeguard stations with colorful panels.

Making Room for Outer Space

Downtown area Science Center wants space shuttle as tenant.

California Science Center offers a permanent parking spot to NASA shuttle.

Russian Relaunch

Rocket firm hopes to take off after bankruptcy

Long Beach gets a lift from a satellite launching business’s decision to stay anchored at port.

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Does It Mean ZIP?

Ad firm chooses Pasadena as home to be near tech firms.

1st Movement tries something unusual: headquartering an ad firm outside of the Westside.

News of the Week

News of the Week

L.A. Makes Room for Economic Impact Office

Unit to review city proposals for their effects on business.

City of L.A. bows to business and creates Office of Economic Analysis to review proposed regulations and legislation.

Big Apple Firm’s Renovation Work Bears Fruit

REAL ESTATE: LeFraks line up PR firm ID, Live Nation as Hollywood tenants.

The LeFrak Organization Inc., a prominent New York family real estate business, made a splash three years ago when it scooped up a handful of high-profile L.A. assets.

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Seeing Brighter Future

Implantable contact lens maker Staar clears up regulation, legal and debt issues to boost share price.

Surging stock reflects a new outlook at Monrovia implantable lens maker Staar Surgical.

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Herbalife Leads Lean, Mean Pack of Profitability


Lean and mean approach pays off for Herbalife and others at the top of the list of most profitable companies.

Regional Report

Regional Report



Calendar & Events


Big Picture Changes for Battery Maker in Azusa

TECHNOLOGY: Contour hires staff, expands office on back of 3-D TV business.

Contour Energy Systems Inc. started in 2007 with a card table in an otherwise empty office in Azusa. But now the Caltech spinoff is ready to start production of its “next-generation” battery.

Area Company Has Right Stuff for Pen Contract

MANUFACTURING: El Segundo’s Cereplast to supply resin for biodegradable product.

An El Segundo maker of bio-based plastics has agreed to supply its resin to the manufacturer of one of the world’s first biodegradable pens.

Food Truck Serves a Side Of North Korean Invasion

ADVERTISING & PR: THQ touts ‘Homefront’ title with mobile promotion.

A food truck called the Pyongyang Express is prowling the streets of Los Angeles, selling cheap food and promoting the idea that North Korea wants to “build a better America.”

Sunday, July 18

Offices at the Top Are Going Empty in L.A.


Penthouse floors are vacant in some of the best office buildings in Los Angeles County, a sign of the troubled economic times and the gulf between asking prices and what tenants are willing to pay.

Does the U.S. Need More Boeing C-17s?


With federal lawmakers preparing to launch another battle over the federal defense budget, Boeing's C-17 is again being targeted as an example of "pork barrel" waste on Capitol Hill.

Friday, July 16

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies closed down slightly for the week after the overall markets reacted to some poor earnings reports and a pessimistic consumer survey.

RealD Raises $200M in IPO

RealD jumped in their market debut Friday, even after the 3-D movie technology company priced its initial public offering above expectations.

Udvar-Hazy Launches New Jet Leasing Firm


The Los Angeles billionaire and co-founder of International Lease Finance Corp. said his new Air Lease Corp. has $3.3 billion in financing and plans to buy a fleet of more than 100 commercial planes.

Jobless Rate Remains Above 12 Percent

The Los Angeles County economy continued to struggle in June as 15,000 payroll jobs were lost and the unemployment rate remained at 12.2 percent.

Higher Mattel Quarter Still Disappoints

Toymaker Mattel Inc. reported a smaller-than-expected second quarter profit despite strong sales.

Judge Sides with Businesses in Permit Flap

A state superior court judge has ruled that local air quality regulators could resume issuing air pollution reduction permits for hundreds of construction projects that had been stalled by a lawsuit from environmentalists.

Garment & Citizen to Close

The downtown community newspaper Los Angeles Garment & Citizen is closing its doors after next week’s issue, a victim of declining ad revenue that accelerated during the recession.

Thursday, July 15

Judge Throws Out Verdict Against Dole


A judge has thrown out a multimillion-dollar award granted by an L.A. jury to six Nicaraguan men in a lawsuit against food giant Dole, finding that fraud by American and Nicaraguan attorneys had tainted the trial.

Costs Cut Joe's Jeans’ Profit

Joe's Jeans Inc.'s second quarter net income fell 60 percent as the cost of opening stores and expanding its product line offset strong revenue growth.

U.K. Company Acquires USC Spinout

Language Weaver, a Los Angeles translation software developer that originated at USC, is being acquired by a United Kingdom company for $42.5 million cash.

Penthouse Owner Bids Higher Than Hefner for Playboy


FriendFinder Networks Inc., the owner of Penthouse magazine, said it will offer $210 million to acquire Playboy Enterprises Inc., challenging a bid from Hugh Hefner to take the company private.

Amgen Names CFO

Amgen Inc. has named Jonathan M. Peacock as its chief financial officer, effective Sept. 1.

Wednesday, July 14

The McCourts: 'Til Debt Do Us Part


The Dodgers' pennant run will not be half as entertaining as the owners' divorce trial.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Gets Another Reprieve


Struggling movie studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. has gotten another agreement from its creditors to delay taking action for its failure to make payments on its debt as it seeks a financial savior.

Grandpoint To Acquire First Commerce

Grandpoint Capital Inc., parent of the new Grandpoint Bank, announced plans to merge with the parent of Encino's First Commerce Bank.

City to Better Analyze Economic Impact

Local business leaders are praising a Los Angeles City Council action to create a new city office that would analyze the economic impacts of proposed city ordinances and regulations.

Summer Internship Program Gets Boost

L.A.’s summer internship youth program received a big boost today with the announcement of a $25 million grant of federal stimulus dollars to hire 10,000 teenagers and young adults for summer internships.

AECOM Acquires Tishman Construction

Aecom Technology Corp. has acquired New York's Tishman Construction Corp. in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $245 million.

FDIC Sues Four Former IndyMac Executives


Federal regulators are accusing four former executives of Pasadena's defunct IndyMac Bank of granting loans to developers and home builders who were unlikely to repay the debts.

Colony Wins Second FDIC Loan Sale

A Colony Capital joint venture won the auction for a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. portfolio of distressed commercial real estate loans, paying $440 million. It’s the second such investment Colony has made this year.

Morphlabs Completes Second Financing Round

Morphlabs Inc., which offers “cloud computing” software and services over the Internet, has closed a $5.5 million Series B financing round.

Tuesday, July 13

Northrop Looks to Split Ship Unit, Close a Shipyard


Northrop Grumman plans to close down a Louisiana shipyard and may shed its entire division that makes warships as the Navy shifts its shipbuilding priorities.

Broad Offers to Pay $7.7M for Downtown Museum Site


Philanthropist Eli Broad now says he is willing to pay $7.7 million for a 99-year lease for the land where his $100 million contemporary art museum would rise.

New CEO for Activision Publishing

Activision Blizzard Inc. has appointed Eric Hirshberg, a Los Angeles marketing and advertising industry executive, as chief executive of its Activision Publishing unit.

Port Activity Significantly Increases

The Port of Los Angeles said that it imported and exported more container units last month than any June in its history. The Port of Long Beach reported similar gains.

Hollywood Supergraphics Ban Moves Forward

The Los Angeles City Council has taken the first step towards banning controversial building-covering supergraphic signs in Hollywood.

Studio City Store Owners Display Anger Over Sign Law


Studio City merchants say a code enforcement crackdown on signs in their windows will badly hurt businesses.

RealD Signs Licensing Agreement

RealD, which is expected to go public this week, has signed an agreement with a large eyewear maker to create a RealD-branded line of 3D glasses that will include prescription 3D lenses.

CKE Acquisition Completed

CKE Restaurants, which operates the Carl's Jr. and Hardee's fast food chains, said its acquisition by a private equity firm has been completed.

Monday, July 12

Ronald Tutor: No Miramax for Bergstein


Ron Tutor, who is buying Miramax Films in partnership with Colony Capital and others, said there won't be a role at the new theatrical distribution company for his former longtime partner David Bergstein, with whom Tutor had been investing in movies and movie companies for many years.

Molina Makes Acquisition

Molina Healthcare Inc. plans to enter Wisconsin’s Medicaid market with its acquisition of Abri Health Plan for $16 million.

L.A. Streetcar Plan Misses Funding

A proposal to provide a streetcar service in downtown Los Angeles sustained a setback as proponents lost their bid for $25 million in federal urban rail funds.

Hefner Wants to Take Playboy Private

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner has offered to take his media company private in a deal valuing it at $185 million. But he may have competition from rival men’s magazine publisher Penthouse.

San Pedro to Benefit from Northrop Contract

Northrop Grumman won a large U.S. Air Force contract to provide mission planning software, with the work to be done at its San Pedro facility.

Clerks at L.A., Long Beach Ports Drop Picket Lines


Clerical workers who struck the nation's busiest port complex for 11 days returned to work late Monday after arbitrators' rulings said their union was negotiating in bad faith with shipping companies.

The One That Didn’t Get Away


Bob Simpson has a fishing story with a warm and fuzzy ending.

Area Hospital to Check Out of Non-Profit Status

HEALTH CARE & BIOTECH: New owner of Mission Community plans for-profit facility.

The harsh economics of operating a small non-profit hospital convinced the board of Panorama City’s Mission Community Hospital more than two years ago that it was time to seek an investor with deeper pockets.

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Software Maker Calls for Growth

Help lines boost CyberDefender business.

Security software firm CyberDefender has dialed up more business with its PC-problem call centers.

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News of the Week

News of the Week

Jeans Maker Looks to Nordstrom to Get Leg Up

RETAIL & APPAREL: Evy fashions high-end ‘jeggings’ to woo department store customers.

Evy of California scored a success with its Jalate “jeggings” – skin-tight jeans that resemble leggings more than trousers.

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Radio DJ’s New Spin

Tom Leykis turns to low-cost podcasts and ads sold on eBay.

Former L.A. radio host Tom Leykis hopes to rock the industry with his low-cost podcasts.

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Regional Report

Regional Report

Feuding NFL Stadium Plans Now Playing Politics

Downtown L.A. backers visit Sacramento; Industry signs GOP PR vet.

Ed Roski Jr. has hired a high-profile political spokesman as the battle over NFL stadium proposals nears game time.

Calabasas Testing Company Lands Boeing Contract

NTS only to provide equipment; will not conduct trials.

A contract with industry giant Boeing has put wind beneath the wings of Calabasas’ National Technical Systems.

Cleared for Takeoff

Renovated LAX eatery seeks brisker business with construction done.

LAX’s Encounter Restaurant looks to take off now that renovation has wrapped.

Playing Defense Online

Internet security vet launches new firm in already crowded field.

An online security specialist hopes his own business is a safe bet.

Thanks for Waiting to Be Seated

Beverly Center signs restaurant tenant to fill spot vacated in 2006.

Beverly Center serves up dining tenant Capital Grille in a space vacated by Hard Rock Cafe nearly four years ago.

Computer Maker Plugs Products to Dodgers Fans

SPORTS BUSINESS: Taiwan’s Micro Star is especially seeking Latino connection.

A leading Taiwanese computer manufacturer is making its first pitch to the U.S. market with a surprising sponsorship of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Century City Attorney Moving Behind the Bench

LAW: Ex-partner at Jeffer Mangels named Superior Court judge.

For years, Marc Marmaro had thought about ending his legal career by serving as a judge.

Leaving Money on the Table

OP-ED: City of L.A.’s dismal collection rate of 53 percent across all departments is inexcusable during a budget crisis.

Daymond Rice rips the city of L.A. for coming up short in its collections activity.



Laying Tracks

L.A. business titans get behind downtown streetcars

Some of L.A.’s biggest businessmen are helping downtown L.A. get a line on streetcars.

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Owner Provides Capital Infusion

Direct approach lifts Pasadena institution.

The owner of Pasadena’s Preferred took the direct approach when recapitalizing the bank.

Frank Mottek: Dialed In

CBS Radio anchor Frank Mottek learned he had a voice for the broadcast industry while leading the Pledge of Allegiance over the PA system at his Florida high school.

High school P.A. duties got Frank Mottek tuned in early to a radio career.

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Car Parts Dealer Motors Way to City of Industry

REAL ESTATE: Phoenix pays $6.59 million for industrial property.

A car parts distributor has purchased a City of Industry industrial building for $6.59 million, a relatively rare deal in a market dominated by Majestic Realty Co.

Advertising Director Revs Up Toyota Minivan Campaign


Donnell Johnson knew he wanted to work in advertising when he was 12, after seeing the first Apple Macintosh commercial during the 1984 Super Bowl.

Calendar & Events


Home Sales Slip With Expiration of Tax Credit

Median price in Los Angeles County stays steady at $350,000.

Sales of L.A. County homes fell in June as a federal tax subsidy for buyers expired.

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Big Advantage for Small Business


Charles Crumpley thinks small businesses add up to big stuff in the American economy.

Pot Farms Branch Out in Los Angeles

Indoor crops thrive thanks to favorable law.

Pot farming is spreading its roots in Los Angeles at the same time city officials are looking to shutter shops.

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New Cruise Ship Sets Sail for Port of Los Angeles

TRADE & TRANSPORT: Carnival Spirit to arrive in wake of exodus of Royal Caribbean vessel.

The Port of Los Angeles will be getting a new cruise ship next year, replacing a bigger one that’s leaving.

Hitting the Road

Hawthorne rental agency boosts business by partnering with resorts to offer Harleys to guests.

Hawthorne’s EagleRider has spread its wings to offer Harley rentals at vacation resorts.

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Sunday, July 11

eHarmony Moveing from Pasadena to Santa Monica


Worldwide on-line dating site eHarmony is moving its corporate headquarters out of Pasadena to Santa Monica.

Questions Arise About Executive’s Pay at Dodgers Charity


The Los Angeles Dodgers paid one of their highest-ranking executives more than $400,000 from the team’s charity in 2007, compensation more in line with someone overseeing a much larger charity.

Tom Barrack Deconstructs 'Twilight'


Tom Barrack is one of the biggest real-estate deal-makers in the world. But recently, it turns out, Barrack has also been doing some soul-searching—thanks to Stephenie Meyer’s popular vampire-novel series, “Twilight.”

Friday, July 9

Labor Dispute Threatens L.A., Long Beach Ports


A labor dispute with the potential to shut down much of the nation's busiest seaport complex may drag for weeks as the maritime clerks union and employers argue about a little-known agreement reached during the depth of the global recession.

Icahn, Lions Gate Reach Tentative Truce


Billionaire investor Carl Icahn and the Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. film studio have agreed to temporarily halt their fighting and work together on acquisitions.

The Week’s Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies closed up for the week ended July 9 as investors expressed optimism about quarterly earnings reports that will starting coming out next week.

Shareholder Suggests Thomas Go Private

One of Thomas Property Group Inc.’s largest shareholders says the Los Angeles company’s shares are undervalued and wants its board to consider taking the company private with his backing.

Green Dot Commences IPO

Green Dot Corp, a Monrovia company that issues reloadable prepaid debit cards, commenced an initial public offering that could raise at least $123 million for officers and other company insiders.

Thursday, July 8

In Court, Burkle Objects to Barnes & Noble 'Poison Pill'


Testifying at a civil trial, billionaire investor Ronald Burkle said the poison-pill plan that Barnes & Noble Inc. enacted to stop him from taking a larger share in the company has imposed draconian restrictions on his ability to wage a potential proxy fight against the Riggio family, which controls the bookseller.

Solar Project Gets Approval

State regulators have approved a Mojave Desert solar power contract for Southern California Edison.

Report: Disney Agrees to Sell Miramax to Tutor for $675M


L.A. billionaire Ronald Tutor and his partners Morgan Creek, Colony Capital and David Bergstein have reached agreement to buy Miramax from Walt Disney Co., according to online reports.

Big Five Lowers Expectations

Big 5 Sporting Goods Corp cut its second quarter profit outlook, blaming slower-than-expected sales of seasonal summer products.

Pictage Makes Acquisition

Pictage, a Torrance company that operates an online service for professional photographers, has acquired niche software developer ShootQ.

Wednesday, July 7

SoCal Gas to Stay in Downtown L.A.


The gas utility will remain in its signature downtown Los Angeles building for the next 15 years. Real estate industry analysts had been watching to see whether it would bail out on struggling landlord MPG Office Trust.

Lowe Enterprises Forms Strategic Partnership

Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America has acquired a nearly 50 percent stake in the investment management arm of West Los Angeles developer Lowe Enterprises Inc.

Disney Loses 'Millionaire' Royalty Case

A Riverside jury said that Walt Disney Co. should pay a United Kingdom company more $269 million in a royalty dispute over the iconic TV game show, "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire."

Tetra Tech Makes Acquisition

Tetra Tech Inc. has reached an agreement to buy the U.S.-based international development consulting business practice of PA Consulting Group., a London company.

NTS Gets Boeing Contract

A division of National Technical Systems was selected by Boeing Co. to provide automated test equipment for the Chicago aerospace giant’s Boeing 777 aircraft.

Tuesday, July 6

Netflix Signs Streaming Deal with Relativity Media


Netflix and Relativity Media have signed a five-year-plus agreement through which Relativity's movies will be distributed via Netflix's Internet streaming service instead of traditional runs on pay-cable channels, which start four-to-seven months after a DVD release.

Jacobs Launches Consulting Company

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. has launched a new company called LeighFisher Inc. to better tap the management and strategy consultancy market.

In West Los Angeles, a Rail Line Stirs a Revival


A light-rail line is finally coming to Los Angeles' affluent and traffic-choked Westside after years of local resistance, and at least some urban-style development is likely to follow.

Stadco Sold to New York Equity Firm

Omninet Capital LLC. has sold a longtime holding called Stadco, a Los Angeles manufacturer of components for the commercial aerospace and defense markets.

Tweetup Makes Acquisition

Tweetup, the Twitter advertising startup from Pasadena’s Idealab, has acquired Twidroid, which develops a Twitter application for the growing Android phone market.

Northrop Gets Training Contract

The U.S. Department of State has given Northrop Grumman Corp. a $150 million five-year contract to continue providing training staff for peacekeeping operations and humanitarian assistance in Africa.

Bergstein, Tutor Nears Miramax Purchase from Disney


David Bergstein and his backer Ronald Tutor are closing in on a deal to buy Miramax this week, according to news reports.

Monday, July 5

Port Shippers, Clerks Still at Odds over Contract


Talks between shippers and striking shipping clerks at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are still at an impasse after weekend talks.

Calendar & Events


Landlord Makes Convincing Case To Get Law Firm

REAL ESTATE: Office furniture seals the deal for space in weak L.A. submarket.

Newly formed law firm Fitzpatrick & Hunt Tucker Collier Pagano Aubert LLP has signed a 10-year lease for 17,500 square feet of downtown L.A. office space, according to a source with knowledge of the transaction.



Studio City Firm Welcomes Social Site to Portfolio

TECHNOLOGY: Criterion sees overseas growth potential in Bebo acquisition.

Can a Studio City financial advisory firm turn AOL Inc.’s social networking fiasco into a success story?

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Ali Kasikci: Room to Relax

Q&A: Intensity helped Ali Kasikci rise to the top of the hotel industry, and now bike rides with his cardiologist help him cope with the stress.

Ali Kasikci has no reservations about the hospitality career that led him to Montage Beverly Hills.

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Hire Gear

American Apparel scrambles to restaff while adding products

American Apparel is busy recruiting factory workers as it plans to launch more clothing lines.

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Flush With Inspiration

Local inventor credits mother-in-law with handle for toilet seat.

A local inventor hopes to bowl over consumers with his toilet seat handle.

Toying With The King

Downtown L.A.’s PPW cues up Elvis-styled Mr. Potato Head.

PPW Toys looks to rock the image of Mr. Potato Head with its Elvis Presley model.

In a Safer Place

Public Storage looks to launch an expansion plan and boost rental fees as the economy stabilizes.

Public Storages’ expansion plans have investors locking up company shares.

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Regional Report

Regional Report

Consumer Product Makers Under Chemical Attack

REGULATION WATCH: State listing proposal to face industry lobby campaign.

Lobbyists for consumer product manufacturers are scrambling to prevent the state from listing chemicals in their products as potentially harmful.

Ex-Graphic Design Firm Takes Wing in Hollywood

ADVERTISING & PR: Bird grows into full-fledged agency on back of Cisco contract.

Bird Design, which specialized in graphics, has become an advertising agency. The firm is now known as Bird.

Exec Capitalizes on Connections to Start Bank

BANKING & FINANCE: OC institution turns into Grandpoint in downtown L.A.

When Don Griffith, a veteran of the local banking scene, set out to start a de novo bank two years ago, he didn’t anticipate the near meltdown of the financial services industry.

San Pedro Startup Has Slick Product in the Running

MANUFACTURING: Company claims filter cuts need for oil changes by 90 percent.

How about a car or truck that needs an oil change once a year or less? Alex Weil says he can make it happen.

CEO Puts East West’s Name on Map

How small Pasadena bank suddenly became SoCal titan.

East West’s profile has headed north with recent acquisitions that made it Southern California’s largest commercial bank.

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Olvera Vendors Look to Shelve Rent Hikes

City of L.A. turns to mediator to end stalemate on increases.

L.A. has called in a mediator as Olvera Street vendors refuse to buy the city’s reasons for steep rent hikes.

Ready to Roll

Rock and classic cars will hit Long Beach streets as the city has lured away Hot August Nights from a Nevada city.

Long Beach wants weeklong classic car and rock event Hot August Nights to rev up the city’s summers.

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News of the Week

News of the Week

Vintner’s Glass Is Half-Full

Good reviews, low prices boost sales for Woodland Hills’ TGIC.

Woodland Hills wine importer TGIC uncorked early success with its accent on South American wines.

Two Views: AB 32 Has Helped State Get Jump on Creating Green Jobs

OP-ED: Powering the Future

Gary Gero stands by California’s greenhouse gas reduction law as a job creator, while Wayne Lusvardi believes the state’s energy policy must be market-based.

Rock ’n’ Roll Maven Cues Up Blast From the Past

CHIEF DWELLING: Roberts puts 1956 Brentwood ranch on market for $56 million.

Listings and sales of executive homes.

Two Views: Energy Market, Not Ideology Should Guide California Policy

OP-ED: Powering the Future

Gary Gero stands by California’s greenhouse gas reduction law as a job creator, while Wayne Lusvardi believes the state’s energy policy must be market-based.

Take Our ‘Solvent Developers’ – Please


Bud Ovrom, general manager of the city of L.A.’s Department of Building and Safety, was a veritable quip machine when he addressed a packed house at the Hollywood Economic Development Summit on June 24.

LABJ Garners National, Local Kudos

Honors include Best Newspaper award from business paper alliance.

The Business Journal editorial staff won a bevy of top awards from national and local journalism groups.

Lawyer Makes Case for Higher Education in California


George Kieffer, the high-profile partner in the West L.A. office of Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP, has practiced law in a variety of fields over the course of his professional career.

Biz Groups Stand Guard Over Tax Breaks

California business groups have geared up to battle a labor-backed campaign to roll back employer tax breaks.

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Shot in the Arm for L.A. Charities?

Abraxis payout likely fuel for Soon-Shiong philanthropy.

The sale of Abraxis leaves L.A.’s wealthiest man, Patrick Soon-Shiong, with more money for his pursuit of philanthropy.

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A Lesson for School Board


Charles Crumpley wishes the L.A. school board worried more about educating students and controlling its budget than helping unions.

Saturday, July 3

Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen Buys Malibu Home


Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul Allen has bought a contemporary oceanfront home in Malibu, Calif., through a corporation, for more than $25 million.

Friday, July 2

Talks to Resume in Port Clerk Strike


Negotiators for striking clerical workers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are set to restart contract talks with shippers and terminal operators.

Shareholder Sues Abraxis Over Sale

Abraxis BioScience Inc. has been sued by a shareholder who claims the company’s sale to Celgene Corp. for $2.9 billion is a bad deal for minority shareholders.

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies closed down for the week after a disappointing jobs report and concerns about the global economy.

Wilshire Bank Expects Loss

Shares of Wilshire Bancorp Inc. fell more than 11 percent Friday after the Koreatown bank suspended its dividend and warned of a surprise second quarter loss.

Northrop Wins Tanker Conversion Contract


Northrop Grumman Corp. has been awarded a $33-million Pentagon contract to transform its unmanned, long-range spy plane into a roving robotic aerial refueling tanker.

Lions Gate Tries Another Poison Pill

Earlier thwarted by Canadian courts, Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. has adopted another shareholder rights plan as part of its effort to block a hostile takeover by billionaire investor Carl Icahn.

Disney Acquires iPhone App Maker

Walt Disney has acquired Tapulous, the Palo Alto maker of popular iPhone play-along games.

Thursday, July 1

LAX Janitors Avert Strike with Last-Minute Contract


The union representing about 130 janitors at LAX Airport reached a last-minute labor contract, averting the threat of a strike during the busy Fourth of July holiday weekend.

Colony Financial Among SF Bank Buyers

Los Angeles real estate and investment firm Colony Financial Inc. led a group of investors in a buy-out of First Republic Bank in San Francisco.

Shareholders Approve CKE Sale

CKE Restaurants Inc. said that its stockholders have approved the company’s acquisition by affiliates of New York private equity firm Apollo Management.