Stories for May 2010

Monday, May 31

It's Disney vs. 'Millionaire' Maker in Copyright Trial


After six years of legal maneuvering, “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” creator Celador International gets its day in court with a $270 million lawsuit against Disney, which the production company claims hid millions in profits within a complex accounting scheme.

Regional Report

Regional Report

L.A. Insurance Brokers Get Into Sponsoring Rackets

SPORTS BUSINESS: Farmers supports men’s event, while Mercury backs women’s tournament.

Two local insurance companies have signed on as title sponsors of Southern California tennis tournaments.

Namvar Creditors Block Sale of West L.A. Building

Group seeks to hold off property deal until market improves.

Ezri Namvar’s creditors have held up the sale of a prime building property out of fear they are being low-balled.

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Denim Veteran Slips Into CFO Role at Jeans Maker

RETAIL & APPAREL: Boosting online sales will be the focus for Thimio Sotos.

Thimio Sotos joined premium denim maker J Brand as chief financial officer, and the veteran apparel executive has set his sights on growing the business in the United States and abroad.

U.S., China Team Up Over Troubled Institutions

BANKING & FINANCE: Agencies to cooperate on banks with branches in both countries.

Federal banking regulators announced last week that they have reached an agreement with their Chinese counterparts to improve cooperation between the two countries – a move that could have long-term implications for L.A.’s robust Chinese-American banking community.

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INTERVIEW: Boingo Wireless Chairman Sky Dayton cites communication as a guiding factor in his artistic pursuits and his Internet business career.

A passion for communication guided Sky Dayton’s journey from art to advertising to the Internet.

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Newsmakers & Kudos

BrandDNA Inc., a Hollywood public relations and marketing firm, has named Kelsey Gray Sherman social media specialist and Olivia Tiet account planner.

How Will He Cook His Pizza? Very Carefully


Tony Buzzelli is approaching mandatory retirement next year at Deloitte, where he heads up its southwest region based in Los Angeles.

Calendar & Events

Events of interest to Los Angeles' business community.

Monster Gaffe by Mattel?


Charles Crumpley and his daughter like everything about Mattel’s high school monster line – except the dolls.

Why L.A. Should Boycott Arizona

OP-ED: Political and community leaders must put pressure on the state to ax its unconstitutional immigration law.

Luis Vasquez-Ajmac backs boycotting Arizona as a protest of that state’s new immigration law.

Stop Sign

L.A. businesses want crackdown on illegal signs, not new rules

Business leaders push the city of L.A. to crack down on illegal signs rather than restrict new ones.

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Animated About Investment

New cartoon program features financial tips from Warren Buffett.

A cartoon Warren Buffett helps kids solve the mysteries of investing on a new TV show.

Going To the Wall Over Art

City of L.A. may OK ad-free mural displays outside businesses.

A Studio City mural frames the city of L.A.’s rules on outdoor displays of art.

Ads Click Off Rehab Center

Passages sues rivals over links in Google searches.

Malibu rehab center Passages has sued rivals over linking their ads to its name in Google search responses.

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Dole Proposes New Settlements

Food giant floats deal for ’70s pesticide plaintiffs.

Dole Food hopes it has found a way to settle maybe thousands of complaints from banana plantation workers.

Mattel Bets on Creature Features

‘Monster’ line looks to stalk tween girls.

Barbie maker Mattel hopes Monster High doll line makes grade with tween girls.

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Building on Marriage

PROFILE: Husband-wife team behind SGI used state’s minority, women hiring rules to score school construction jobs.

The couple behind Pasadena’s SGI have married their business to school construction projects.

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Local PR Exec Exerts Influence by E-Mailing It In

Mike Levine insists daily e-newsletter was never about business.

PR maven Michael Levine says his popular e-mail newsletter is about generating talk not ad money.

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Bio-Plastics Maker’s Stock Slips Despite Positive Steps

Cereplast shares fall almost one-third after move to Nasdaq.

El Segundo bio-plastics maker Cereplast’s positive steps have failed to steady its stock.

Not Amused

Long Beach entertainment complex short on customers and tenants.

It’s been a roller-coaster ride for a former Long Beach amusement park-turned-entertainment complex.

New of the Week

Janice Min, who turned Us Weekly into a publishing powerhouse, has joined show business trade publication Hollywood Reporter as editorial director.

Kids’ Stock Has Risen

Pacoima eighth-graders share crown in regional stock-picking contest.

Wall Street could learn some lessons from local the eighth-grade winners of a stock investment game.

Saturday, May 29

City National Acquires Another Failed Bank

City National Bank has acquired the assets of a Nevada institution that was closed by regulators, marking City National’s second failed-bank acquisition in three weeks.

Friday, May 28

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies closed up for the week even though overall markets continued to decline over concerns about the European economy.

Money Manager to Stars Accused of Fraud


Kenneth Starr, a New York investment adviser to celebrities such as movie director Martin Scorsese and actor Uma Thurman, was arrested by U.S. agents on charges of running an alleged investment fraud of as much as $30 million, prosecutors said.

Amgen Drug Wins European Approval

Amgen Inc.'s new osteoporosis drug Prolia has been approved in Europe as a treatment for the bone disease for both women and men in certain circumstances. It’s the first approval for the drug worldwide.

With Tesla Out, What's Next for L.A. County Sites?


Now that it's clear that Tesla Motor Co. won't open its new plant in Downey or Long Beach, what's next for the two sites where the cities have long hoped to see development?

Bill Aims to Help Former IndyMac Customers

Two California lawmakers have introduced a bill to raise retroactively the insurance limit on deposits held at IndyMac Bank, which could help former customers recover money lost when the thrift failed.

Thursday, May 27

Village Roadshow Pictures Secures $1 Billion Credit


Village Roadshow Pictures Group -- which has co-financed and co-produced such Warners movies as the current "Sex and the City 2" and the recent "Sherlock Holmes" -- has closed a $1 billion credit facility to fund its current and future films slates.

In-N-Out Burger to Open Texas Restaurants


After years of resisting out-of-state expansion, Southern California’s most beloved burger chain is planning to open restaurants in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.

MPG Gives Building to Lender

MPG Office Trust Inc. shares jumped more than 12 percent after the office landlord turned over a five-story building in Irvine to its lender in an effort to reduce debt.

Guess Makes Cautious Outlook

Guess Inc.'s fiscal first quarter earnings rose sharply, but its stock fell in after-hours trading after the apparel company issued guidance below analyst expectations.

Kardashian Sisters Introduce Product Line

The celebutante Kardashian sisters continue to leverage their reality show fame with the launch of a branded beauty line, starting with a self-tanning gel.

L.A. County Auditors Find Widespread Fraud


Los Angeles County auditors have substantiated 101 instances of fraud during the last six months of 2009, uncovering cases large and small in which taxpayers were cheated, according to a new report.

Fox Sports Names New President

Eric Shanks, a top entertainment executive at DirecTV Inc., is leaving to become president of Fox Sports, the companies announced.

Wednesday, May 26

Emmis Communications To Go Private

Emmis Communications Corp., owner of Los Angeles magazine and radio station KPWR-FM, will go private in a buyout led by Chief Executive Jeffrey Smulyan.

99 Cents Only Profit Jumps

99 Cents Only Stores said that its fiscal fourth-quarter profit rose 141 percent on higher sales and decreased expenses.

Court Sides with L.A. in Fight Against Supergraphics


The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals handed a major victory to the city of Los Angeles in its fight against the proliferation of unpermitted billboards, reversing a federal judge’s ruling that struck down a ban on new supergraphics, billboards and freeway-facing signs.

La Opinión Publisher Named CEO of the Paper's Parent


Monica C. Lozano will head the nation's largest Spanish-language newspaper company, ImpreMedia, and keep her current post. She plans to beef up digital content.

Redstone Says CBS, Viacom Not for Sale


CBS Corp. Executive Chairman Sumner Redstone spelled out again that he has no interest in selling the network or its sister company, Viacom Inc.

Disney Assistant Accused of Insider Trading


An assistant to a top executive at Walt Disney Co. has been charged with participating in an insider trading scheme.

Sleep Diagnostic Company Acquired

Advanced Sleep Medicine Services Inc., a provider of sleep disorder diagnostics and related medical equipment, has been acquired by a New York private equity firm.

Tuesday, May 25

Hanmi Gets Infusion

A South Korean financial conglomerate has agreed to purchase a majority stake in Hanmi Bank, ending the troubled institution’s lengthy search for capital.

KB Home Hires CFO

KB Home has appointed Jeff Kaminski as chief financial officer.

Center Financial CFO Resigns

Center Financial Corp. said Lonny Robinson has submitted his resignation as chief financial officer to pursue a new opportunity.

MGM's Future Now in Hands of Debt Holders


Hedge funds that control large chunks of the studio's debt are ignoring a 2-month-old acquisition offer from Time Warner and a restructuring plan to raise $1 billion in new capital.

Enterprise Zone Created in LAX Area


Hoping to spur job creation near Los Angeles International Airport, officials announced the creation of an enterprise zone offering economic incentives to businesses in the area.

Avery Dennison Appoints CFO

Avery Dennison Corp. announced the promotion of Mitchell Butier to chief financial officer, effective June 1.

Boeing Awards Contract to Ducommun Unit

A Ducommun Inc. subsidiaryhas won a long-term contract from Boeing Co. to furnish fin tip assemblies for the Boeing 777.

Disney Formally Calls Off Miramax Talks With Weinsteins


Walt Disney Co. on Monday formally terminated negotiations with Harvey and Bob Weinstein to buy back Miramax Films, according to news reports.

Monday, May 24

Eli Broad Said to Pick Site for New Museum


Where will Eli Broad build his museum? According to sources, Broad could make a final choice as early as this week.

Long Beach's Sea Launch May Get Russian Owner


Rocket & Space Corp. Energia, based in Moscow, has proposed investing $140 million to take an 85 percent stake in the Boeing firm that uses a platform in the middle of the Pacific to launch rockets.

DreamWorks Sinks on Poor ‘Shrek’ Showing

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. shares slid 11 percent Monday after the fourth and last film in the "Shrek" series turned in a so-so opening box office.

A Surreal Hangover in California


The Landis-Armstrong kerfuffle overshadows a typically mellow Tour of California.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Marc Nathanson - #36


Cable television pioneer now big real estate investor.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Patrick Soon-Shiong - #1


While many of L.A.’s richest spent the past 12 months rebuilding their recession-pummeled fortunes, biotech billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong didn’t skip a beat – building on the proceeds of last year to once again top the heap of Wealthiest Angelenos.

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The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Barbara Davis & Family - #49


Widow of legendary oil and entertainment tycoon Martin Davis lives quietly off what remains of late husband’s formerly multibillion-dollar fortune.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Howard Marks - #34


Accomplished investor said 2009 was shockingly good for investment firm, despite sluggish economy.

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The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Bruce Karsh - #33


President and portfolio manager of investment firm Oaktree Capital Management holds stake equal to that of co-founder Howard Marks.

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The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Robert Maguire - #31


Famously mercurial developer's net worth rose modestly due to improvement in commercial real estate and private aviation.

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The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Michael Milken - #28


Investor and philathropist said to have invested in distressed companies and debt – and already is seeing strong returns.

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The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: George Randolph Hearst Jr. and David Whitmire Hearst Jr. - #26 & #27


Grandchildren of legendary publishing tycoon William Randolph Hearst benefited from post-recession uptick in advertising.

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The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Gary Michelson - #25


Spinal surgeon and inventor’s wealth built on $1.3 billion patent settlement from Medtronic in 2005.

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The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Anthony Pritzker - #24


Economic recovery boosted net worth of member of Chicago family, whose fortune is derived from hospitality, financial services and heavy industry.

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The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Alfred Mann - #23


L.A.’s best-known entrepreneur benefited from small rise in stock of his MannKind Corp., which seeks to revolutionize diabetes care with inhalable insulin.

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The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Stewart & Lynda Resnick - #22


Resnicks’ retail and agricultural empire Roll International Corp. held up despite weak economy.

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The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: John E. Anderson - #21


Nonagenarian said the value of his wide real estate holdings took hit.

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The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Donald Sterling - #20


Sterling's portfolio of apartment buildings appreciated strongly since last year.

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The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Alec Gores - #19


Alec Gores and his technology-oriented buyout firm saw its portfolio companies appreciate as economy recovers.

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The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Steven Udvar-Hazy - #18


Aircraft leasing pioneer doing better than thought after publicly stating he sold massive AIG holding before stock crashed amid financial crisis.

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The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Charles Munger - #17


Vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway owns more than 13,000 shares of investment firm’s stock, well up since April 2009.

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Agency Gets Message Out of Work Done by Charities

MARKETING: Donor Research Details Where Dollars End Up.

When business dropped off at the advertising firm Jerri Hemsworth operates with husband Brian it gave the chance to assess the direction of her career.

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Restacking the Coin


L.A.’s billionaires boosted their net worth by scoring in deals in depressed markets.

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List of Wealthiest Reflects Broad Gains of Rebound


Tracking the ups and downs, entries and departures of the area’s financial elite.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Rick Caruso - #16


After taking big hit on last year’s list, developer of Grove has made comeback alongside other billionaires with real estate holdings.

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The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: William Barron Hilton - #15


Family sold hotel empire in 2007, so Hilton didn’t suffer in steep downfall of hospitality properties.

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The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: John Tu - #14


Tech baron saw net worth rebound as computer chip market made comeback.

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The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Edward Roski Jr. - #13


Chairman and chief executive of industrial developer Majestic Realty hit hard during recession. Recovered a bit due to long leases to desirable Class A tenants.

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The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Tom Gores - #12


Got busy during economic downturn with buyout firm Platinum Equity, completing 10 deals.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Alan Casden - #11


Casden's portfolio of apartment buildings made gains after recession-related swoon.

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21st Century Taking Out Insurance With New Ads

ADVERTISING & PR: DonatWald creates spokesman to lead insurer’s new campaign.

DonatWald+Haque has won the advertising account for 21st Century Insurance.

Former Firm Continues to Deliver for New Partners

LAW: Another Jeffer Mangels veteran enlists with Elkins Kalt.

Century City-based Elkins Kalt Weintraub Reuben Gartside LLP has added another veteran from Jeffer Mangels Butler & Marmaro LLP to the fold.

Business Hopes to Make Impact on City of L.A.

REGULATION WATCH: Council forms office to analyze financial ramifications of proposals.

It’s not all gloom and doom at the city of Los Angeles, despite the budget chaos: Local business groups are cheering a City Council vote last week to create an office specifically to analyze the economic impacts of new regulations and ordinances.

West Hills Hospital Boosts Its Regional Presence

HEALTH CARE & BIOTECH: Facility adds emergency department and critical care unit to campus.

West Hills Hospital and Medical Center has taken another step in its transformation from community hospital to regional medical center with the opening of a $60 million emergency department and critical care unit that will be the largest such facility in the San Fernando Valley.

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K-Swiss Finally Starts Running on Money Track

Insiders buy up shares in Westlake Village company on better forecast.

Westlake Village footwear maker K-Swiss has proved a shoo-in with investors.

Booting Up New Tour

Event producer looks to launch country cousin to Vans punk show.

The South Pasadena producer of punk music shows has cued up a country version of the tour.

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News of the Week

News of the Week

Are You Ready for Some Football?

It was a chilly and drizzly evening last week at an event for the opening of the Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles at L.A. Live.

Bringing ‘Lost’ Home

Local auctioneer plans to put items of iconic sci-fi show on block.

“Lost” fans will be able to buy a piece of TV history with help from a Calabasas auctioneer.

Trimming Waist at Work

Roll International’s new on-site eatery puts focus on healthy fare.

Billionaire couple Lynda and Stewart Resnick have opened an eatery to feed employees’ healthy appetites.

Running Full-Court Press

PR exec’s events help companies get their products before media.

PR expert Alyson Dutch helps clients’ push their products with the press.

Roski, Billionaire Partner Square Off in NFL Bid


Former partners Ed Roski Jr. and Philip Anschutz are fielding competing NFL stadium proposals.

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Will Sun Rise on Dry Lake Bed?

Cadiz repitches land in desert for solar power use.

L.A.’s Cadiz hopes its Mojave Desert holding proves a hot property with solar power firms.

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Hollywood Cues Up Food Fight

Rolling Stone to launch eatery near Hard Rock.

A musical bistro battle is tuning up in Hollywood as Rolling Stone and Hard Rock Café’ plan neighboring restaurants.

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Funded Trucks Short L.A. Port

Clean air vehicles not making required trips.

Most of the trucks that received public money to upgrade have failed to make the required trips to the Port of Los Angeles.

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Valuing Wealth


Tracking the ups and downs, entries and departures of the area’s financial elite.

Hollywood Glitz a Strong Lure for L.A. Moguls


Show business has a history of pulling in big names.

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Calendar & Events


The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Ming Hsieh - #50


Co-founder of Cogent Systems still owns 41 percent of Pasadena manufacturer of fingerprint scanners, whose stock off this year due to declining sales.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Stephen Bing - #48


Stable values for apartment properties and increases in equities and bonds account for real estate scion’s slight gains.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Tom Werner - #47


Co-owner of Boston Red Sox saw wealth climb incrementally as team became second-most valuable franchise in baseball behind rival Yankees.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Peter Lowy - #46


Mall magnate owns about 30 million shares of Westfield Group stock, which have gained nearly 25 percent in past year.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Jerry Bruckheimer - #45


The money and the buzz on each of L.A.’s wealthiest.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Ronald Tutor - #44


Construction magnate returns to list after several years’ departure.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Michael Eisner - #43


Former Mouse House big cheese reaped rewards of Disney rebound.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Aubrey Chernick - #42


Software entrepreneur’s security consulting firm continues brisk business in insecure world.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Frederick ‘Ted’ Field - #41

Resurgence in capital markets accounted for Field’s year-over-year gain.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Frank McCourt - #40


After nearly 30 years of marriage, impending high-profile divorce will divvy up more than $1 billion in assets.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Robert Day Jr. - #39


Founder of L.A investment giant Trust Co. of the West rebounded from rough 2008.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Neil Kadisha - #38


Former chairman of Qualcomm Inc. is snapping up distressed debt and real estate.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: John Shea - #37


Year of recovery for homebuilder. Value of family company J.F. Shea Co. appreciated along with stock prices of rival public homebuilders.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Lowell Milken - #35


Investor likely seeing strong returns from investments in distressed debt and companies.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Jeffrey Katzenberg - #32


The money and the buzz on each of L.A.’s wealthiest.

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Real Estate Investor Homes In on Distressed Assets


History is repeating for Thomas Barrack Jr., who made a fortune picking up distressed real estate assets after the S&L crisis.

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The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Thomas Barrack Jr. - #30


Real estate mogul had busy, though not particularly stellar, year.

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The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: George Joseph - #29


Net worth rebounded along with market cap of Mercury General, property and casual insurer he founded in 1962.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: A. Jerrold Perenchio - #10


Has kept money in private family investment firm Chartwell Partners since selling Univision stake for $1.3 billion in 2007.

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The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: David Murdock - #9


Produce king offered 41 percent stake in his Dole Food Co. in IPO last year to pay down debt, but only raised disappointing $447 million.

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The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Sumner Redstone - #8


How do you make $1 billion in 12 months? Own millions of CBS shares – which doubled – and Viacom, another big winner.

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The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Haim Saban - #6


This media mogul was in the news all year.

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The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Steven Spielberg - #7


Hollywood’s most famous director watched 5.4 million shares of DreamWorks Animation jump to $214 million.

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The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Ron Burkle - #5


Self-made mogul controls L.A. holding company Yucaipa Cos., with holdings in grocery, retailing, logistics and manufacturing.

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The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: David Geffen - #4


Media mogul owns more than 3.5 million DreamWorks Animation shares, worth $140 million due to market run-up. Said to have sold other equity holdings in 2007 before crash.

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The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Eli Broad - #3


The money and the buzz on each of L.A.’s wealthiest.

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The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Kirk Kerkorian - #2


Is it the end of an era for the aging Beverly Hills casino mogul?

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AB 32 Puts Too Much Heat on Manufacturing Sector


Ronald Stein believes California’s Global Warming Solutions Act is a bad fit for the manufacturing sector.

Building on Incentives

Local government should be looking to state statutes not mandates to spur creation of affordable housing.

Benjamin M. Reznick writes that incentives are better than mandates when it comes to creating affordable housing.

L.A. Port Awash in Mystery


Charles Crumpley harbors some reservations about the Port of L.A.’s recent decisions.

Downtown L.A. Developer Looks to Shed Old Digs

CHIEF DWELLING: Raffi Cohen seeks $10.9 million for mansion in Beverly Hills.

Listings and sales of L.A. executive homes.

Gym Chain Shows Flexibility With New Location

REAL ESTATE: Burbank OKs 24 Hour Fitness after changes to parking plan.

Burbank is getting a new gym. But it wasn’t easy.

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Far Afield

A knee injury at 24 ended Welshman Lyndon Faulkner’s rugby career and put him on the path to the chief executive’s suite.

Lyndon Faulkner started his business career after a knee injury forced him to give up rugby.

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Staying on a Roll

Skateboarder Rob Dyrdek relies on licensing deals to maintain revenue as age dims his sporting skills.

Skateboarder Rob Dyrdek relies on brand licensing to keep his career rolling.

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Regional Report

Regional Report

Saturday, May 22

Karatz Leverages Bel-Air Home for Bail


Former KB Home Chief Executive Bruce Karatz, who is awaiting sentencing on charges related to the backdating of company stock options, has put up his Bel-Air home as collateral so he can remain free on bail.

Friday, May 21

Ad Company to Remove Its Supergraphics

Outdoor advertising firm Van Wagner Communications said it will voluntarily remove 60 of its supergraphics from buildings in Los Angeles.

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies closed down after a week of overall stock market volatility and disappointing financials.

Local Jobs Picture Improves

Los Angeles County continued its slow march out of the recession in April, according to new state figures.

Icahn Again Extends Lions Gate Offer

Carl Icahn has extended his tender offer for Lions Gate shares until June 1, after the end-of-Friday deadline approached with too few shareholders taking him up on it.

Lenders Face Stiff Fines for Blighted, Foreclosed Homes


Banks and other lenders would be hit with stiff fines if they fail to keep foreclosed homes from becoming a blight, under an ordinance approved by the Los Angeles City Council.

U.S. HealthWorks Acquires L.A. Centers

U.S. HealthWorks has acquired two Technimed Occupational Medicine healthcare centers, located in Vernon and Commerce.

Burkle, Weinsteins Deny Talks Failed on Miramax


Billionaire Ron Burkle and potential partners the Weinstein brothers denied reports that talks to buy the Walt Disney Co.'s Miramax Films division were on the rocks.

Caruso Eludes Slump, Considers Mayoral Run


Mall developer Rick Caruso plans to take his success in retail to distressed shopping centers, apartments, luxury hotels, airports and maybe a run for Los Angeles mayor.

Thursday, May 20

KIIS Again Wins Ratings Race

Top 40 station KIIS-FM (102.7) held on to the top spot in local radio ratings for the fourth month in a row.

Tesla Picks NorCal Site for Assembly Plant


Tesla Motors said it is teaming up with Toyota to build its all-electric Model S sedan at the shuttered NUMMI plant in Fremont, foregoing a potential site in Downey.

ReachLocal Shares Surge in IPO Debut


Shares of online marketing company ReachLocal surged more than 15 percent Thursday after the company's initial public offering was priced below expectations.

Oil Company's Lawsuit to Proceed

A local oil company’s $700 million lawsuit against the city of Hermosa Beach appears headed for trial later this year, now that the state Supreme Court has declined to consider an appeal from the city.

Zenith Acquisition Closes

Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. closed its acquisition of Zenith National Insurance Corp. after $1.4 billion deal has received regulatory approval.

Wednesday, May 19

AIG Names Former Airbus Executive to Lead ILFC


AIG has tapped a former top Airbus official to take the helm of its Century City-based aircraft leasing business, which in recent months has been devastated by executive defections.

CEO: Lions Gate and Icahn Had Talks on Takeover Bid


Lions Gate Entertainment has spoken to billionaire investor Carl Icahn a couple of times over his hostile $7 per share offer for the company, its chief executive said,

Hot Topic Shares Drop on Loss

Hot Topic Inc. shares fell 10 percent Thursday, a day after the trendy mall retailer posted a net loss in its first quarter because of declining revenue.

On Location: 'Captain America' Will Be Filmed in … London


The Marvel Studios project was originally to be shot in L.A., but an executive says it made economic sense to go to London, where the story is partly set. A tax incentive helped too.

Oprah Hires Eli Broad's Investment Manager


Oprah Winfrey reportedly has hired Peter Adamson, a well-regarded investor who currently serves as chief investment officer for Los Angeles billionaire and philanthropist Eli Broad, to manage her investments.

American Apparel Plunges on Greater Loss

American Apparel Inc. shares fell more than 40 percent Wednesday after reporting a significantly larger operating loss and warning that it could default on debt.

New Investors Boost Coda’s Capital

Electric car developer Coda has closed a larger than initially planned investment round of $58 million, which will enable it to expand its battery business more quickly.

Tuesday, May 18

Maria Elena Durazo Reelected to Powerful Labor Post


Maria Elena Durazo has been reelected to a second four-year term as head of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, the county’s largest labor group and a political powerhouse.

Jacobs Wins Large Military Contract

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. has received a $1.5 billion contract to support the U.S. Special Operations Command, and also announced a separate contract in Mexico.

Skechers to License Bag Line

Trendy shoemaker Skechers USA Inc. has signed a licensing agreement in which Global Design Concepts will design, produce and distribute Skechers-branded bags.

Monday, May 17

Estée Lauder Acquires L.A.’s Smashbox

The owner of Smashbox Beauty Cosmetics Inc. has agreed to sell the Los Angeles company to Estée Lauder Cos.

Divided L.A. City Council Votes to Eliminate 761 Positions


A divided Los Angeles City Council voted to move ahead with plans to eliminate 761 positions while continuing to seek concessions from the unions that represent thousands of city employees.

Lions Gate, Icahn Officially Begin Settlement Talks


Lions Gate Entertainment and activist investor Carl Icahn have officially begun settlement talks to end their long-running and acrimonious fight over the future of the company.

Chamber Fights 'Job-Killing' Legistation

The California Chamber of Commerce is targeting more than three dozen bills in the state Legislature as “job killers,” the highest total given that name in recent years.

Higher Sales Boost Trio-Tech’s Quarter

Sharply higher sales of its semiconductor test equipment enabled Trio-Tech International to report a third quarter net profit compared to a year ago.

Kilroy to Refinance Debt

Kilroy Realty Corp.'s operating partnership plans to offer senior unsecured notes in a private placement to institutional buyers, which it plans to use to buy back debt.

The Grand Canyon of Boycotts


Charles Crumpley fears the L.A. City Council’s decision to boycott Arizona will only hurt local businesses.

Side Swiped

Some local merchants would like to shelve a state lawmaker’s proposal to ban surcharges on debit card use.

Some L.A. store owners fear that losing money is in the cards if the state bans debit surcharges.

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Some Positive Buzz for L.A.

City officials prove their drive by landing headquarters of Chinese electric automaker BYD.

First Deputy Mayor Austin Beutner beeps the city of L.A.’s horn for landing the North American headquarters of Chinese car company BYD.

Sky’s the Limit For Fuel Maker

Synthetic product passes United flight test.

A Westwood maker of synthetic fuel looks for sales to take off after a successful test flight of its product.

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Calendar & Events


Hollywood Property Flowers for West L.A. Firm

REAL ESTATE: Lion had acquired distressed loans on building for $4.02 million in 2008.

In 2008, Lion Real Estate Group LLC cashed in on a hot recessionary trend in the local commercial real estate market and bought two distressed loans on a 26-unit Hollywood apartment building.



Roll Opening Credits

Grocery debuts in ‘neighborhood’ of Hollywood

The opening of a Trader Joe’s is helping boost Hollywood’s reputation as a residential area.

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L.A. Architect Sports Quite a Passion for Stadium Design


Robert Mankin is in the business of showcasing competition.

Lot of Roar, Little Bite in Lions Gate ‘Poison Pill’

Balloting by shareholders does little to restrict Carl Icahn.

Lions Gate shareholders’ “poison pill” plan may not stop Carl Icahn from gulping down more stock.

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News of the Week

News of the Week

Aluminum Company a Test of L.A. Firm’s Mettle

BANKING & FINANCE: Oaktree vies with Dubai fund to acquire Germany’s Almatis.

Oaktree Capital Management is going toe to toe with Dubai in a battle for ownership of an aluminum company, and the downtown L.A. investment firm may just come away with the prize.

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Bike Race Gears Up With Big Name, New Dates

SPORTS BUSINESS: Amgen Touradds Lance Armstrong and moves to May to avoid rain.

The Amgen Tour of California was set to roll through California beginning Sunday with Lance Armstrong, new sponsors and a high-definition television contract.

Lee’s Nine C’s on Free DVD


Lee Iacocca, best known for resuscitating Chrysler in the 1980s, has shied away from the spotlight in recent years.

Markets Look to Sack Cart Containment Measure

Companies fear L.A. City Council proposal would drive up expenses.

Supermarkets see bigger bills if the L.A. City Council forces them to keep shopping carts from being taken off site.

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Rival NFL Stadium Camps Fight for Poll Position

Industry, downtown backers flood Business Journal survey.

A Business Journal poll on where to place an NFL stadium spurred some outsized voting driven by the two competing camps.

Rec Center In the Swim

Business community chips in to promote use of complex.

L.A. business leaders were up to the challenge of raising funds for an area athletic center.

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It All Came Out In the Wash

L.A. Laundromat hosts dance performance to customers’chagrin.

A local laundromat owner got to play theatrical producer when a dance group staged a show at his facility.

Head Of the Class

USC business students reap seed money with supplement sales plan.

Two business students’ retail sales strategy made the grade and some money in a USC entrepreneurship competition.

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Cemetery’s Landscaping to Die For

Hillside goes high end to lure customers.

A Culver City cemetery plots to land customers with high-end garden-style grave sites.

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L.A. Landlords Ready to Move?

City Council weighs costly rent control curb.

The city of L.A.’s proposed moratorium on residential rent hikes has some landlords feeling unwelcome.

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Cool With It

Why some businesses oppose delay of global warming act

Some local business owners are giving the cold shoulder to an initiative delaying the state’s global warming act.

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Sunday, May 16

Former Associate Joins Suit Against Sitrick


Grab the flak jackets: Allan Mayer, a partner in the public relations powerhouse 42 West, has joined in a lawsuit against his old associate Michael Sitrick, the Hollywood crisis king.

Friday, May 14

LA Experiencing Billboard Wars


When he authorized a 50-foot-long mural to cover a cinderblock wall bordering his Ventura Boulevard car wash, Studio City businessman Ben Forat had no permit to do so and was aware that he was flouting the law.

Former Nara Chief Joins First Standard Bank

Less than three months after leaving Koreatown’s second largest bank, former Nara Bank chief executive Min J. Kim has taken the same position at the much smaller First Standard Bank up the street.

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies closed up for the week, even though the overall markets fell due to European Union economic worries.

Icahn in Talks to End Lions Gate Hostile Takeover Bid


Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. and Carl Icahn reportedly have held talks about awarding him board seats and ending his hostile takeover bid for the independent film studio.

Parsons to Manage Federal Building Retrofits

The General Services Administration has selected Parsons to provide construction management services for 10 sustainable energy projects at 23 federal buildings in the Washington, D.C. area.

L.A.'s Homeboy Industries Lays Off Most Employees


Homeboy Industries, the Los Angeles institution whose mission for more than 20 years has been to turn jobs into a recipe for saving the lives of gang members, has laid off most of its employees because of crushing financial problems.

Thursday, May 13

True Religion Appoints New President

True Religion Apparel Inc. said that Michael Egeck had been hired as its new president.

ILFC Founder Udvar-Hazy Plans New Venture


Steven Udvar-Hazy, the former chief of American International Group Inc's (AIG.N) International Lease Finance Corp, is raising several billion dollars for a new venture, sources familiar with the situation said.

Saban Eying Newsweek

Haim Saban said he may make a bid for Newsweek magazine, which the Washington Post Co. has put on the auction block.

Council Wants Carts Corralled

The Los Angeles City Council has taken the first step in forcing supermarkets and grocery stores to keep shopping carts on their premises.

Valley Gets OK for Business Incentives

The state has approved a major expansion of enterprise zone tax credits for businesses in the San Fernando Valley.

Northrop Wins Navy Carrier Contract

Northrop Grumman Corp. was awarded an additional $186 million contract from U.S. Navy concerning the USS Gerald R. Ford, a nuclear powered aircraft carrier under construction.

Wednesday, May 12

Cargo Traffic at Ports Jumps in April


Trade at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach continued to rebound in April, marking the fifth straight month of cargo gains at the nation's busiest seaport complex.

Power Rangers Return to Saban

Los Angeles media billionaire Haim Saban has bought back the rights to his Power Rangers franchise from Walt Disney Co.

Lower Sales Hurts Arden’s Quarter

Arden Group Inc.'s first-quarter net income dropped 12 percent on lower grocery sales.

L.A. City Council Votes in Favor of Arizona Boycott


The Los Angeles City Council has voted 13-1 in favor of an economic boycott of Arizona, becoming the largest city yet to boycott the state over its new anti-illegal immigration law.

Lions Gate Shareholders Approve Poison Pill

Lions Gat shareholders approved the studio’s shareholder rights plan, but the company still faces court opposition to implementing its strategy to thwart investor Carl Icahn’s tender offer.

Boeing Suspends C-17 Production in Wake of Strike


Production of Boeing's C-17 cargo jet has been indefinitely suspended after workers walked off the job early Tuesday in a dispute over pension and medical benefits.

Maguire Properties Changes Name

Los Angeles office landlord Maguire Properties Inc. has changed its name to MPG Office Trust Inc., thus erasing the name of its founder.

Tuesday, May 11

Ralphs Accused of Overcharging Customers


Los Angeles County officials have charged supermarket giant Ralphs and its parent company with overcharging customers, false advertising and false labeling after an undercover operation.

'Alice' a Wonder for Disney’s Quarter

Walt Disney Co.'s fiscal second quarter profit rose 55 percent, aided by “Alice in Wonderland's” strong box office receipts. The results exceeded Wall Street's expectations.

L.A. City Layoffs Would Trigger Raises For Other Workers


Under contracts negotiated last year, layoffs would trigger two raises in the coming fiscal year for union coalition workers.

Dole Food Profit Falls

Dole Food Co. Inc. said its first quarter profits were hurt by weak market conditions in Europe and Asia.

Ex-CalPERS Official Accused of Fraud Vows Vindication


Alfred R. Villalobos, who helped guide billions of dollars' worth of deals between investment firms and the state pension fund, criticizes attorney general's tactics.

Boeing C-17 Strike Begins in Long Beach


Boeing C-17 line workers began a strike just past midnight today at Long Beach's largest private employer, grinding production to a halt on one of the world's leading cargo jets.

Merger Costs Hurt Live Nation’s Quarter

Concert promoter Live Nation Entertainment said its first quarter loss grew, largely due to costs related to its recent merger with Ticketmaster.

Monday, May 10

Icahn Extends Lions Gate Deadline

Carl Icahn has extended his tender offer for Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. shares, a move that the studio believes shows that investors are rejecting Icahn’s $7 per share bid.

Farmers Markets Are Testing Grounds for Small Business


Locations in Southern California offer growers and craftspeople a low-cost way to see whether they have a viable concept. But the job of getting into one of these events can be challenging.

An Indie That Believes in CDs


The waters might be choppy for the music business right now, but the Concord Music Group is happy to ride those waves.

Guidance Makes Acquisition

Guidance Software Inc. is acquiring the assets of Tableau LLC, manufacturer of computer forensic hardware, for $12.3 million.

Higher Energy Prices Benefit BreitBurn

BreitBurn Energy Partners LP's first-quarter profit rose 25 percent, exceeding Wall Street expectations, as the oil and natural gas producer was helped by higher oil prices.

City National Acquires Failed Bank

City National Bank has acquired the assets and deposits of 1st Pacific Bank of California, a San Diego institution closed by regulators.

Farm Raised

Betty Graham went from picking cotton in Missouri with her parents to working with and befriending Hollywood stars as a real estate broker in Los Angeles.

Real estate chief Betty Graham attributes her successful career to loyal clients and friends such as Johnny Carson.

Businesses in Crunch as SBA Lender Closes

Innovative Bank was leading small loan provider.

The credit crunch may get worse for L.A.’s small businesses with the shuttering of a high-volume SBA lender.

April Brings Some Spring to Home Sales

Median price, number of deals rise from first three months of 2010.

Home prices and sales volume surged in April compared with the first three months of the year.

Spilling Over

Oil company says Hermosa using Gulf leak to fight claim

A local oil company claims Hermosa Beach is exploiting the Gulf of Mexico spill to avoid paying damages over a broken lease.

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Chilly Reception For Chain Rival

Tommy’s sues founder’s son over competing chili business.

A family food fight has erupted over use of the moniker of chili burger chain Tommy’s.

Poker Business Bets on Energy

In odd turn, WPT goes ‘all in’ on oil and gas.

A former poker tour operator has become a card-carrying success as an oil and gas business.

An American State of Mind


The population of Los Angeles and California may be going up, but don’t feel too smug about that, Charles Crumpley writes.

Retiring Public Pension Plans

OP-ED: BizFed calls for end to public sector pensions and wants them replaced by 401(k)-style retirement plans.

BizFed chief David W. Fleming calls for public pensions to be replaced with 401(k)-style retirement plans.

Business Pays for Court Delays


Cash-strapped courts are causing delays that hurt businesses, according to Robert Heller.

Owner Sheds Half of Torrance Business Center

REAL ESTATE: Kearny’s $40 million deal is largest this year in county’s industrial market.

Kearny Real Estate Co. has sold about half of its 2.6 million-square-foot Hawthorne industrial development for $40 million in Los Angeles County’s largest industrial deal this year.

Digital Media Exec Looks to Connect With Buyer

CHIEF DWELLING: Eric Frankel seeks $6.15 million for mansion in Brentwood.

Listings and sales of L.A. executive homes.



Calendar & Events


Accountant Joins Festival to Indulge Love of Indian Films


Shreedhar Kothari might be a public accountant by day, but beneath his green visor resides a passion for the big screen.

Bean Counting

Torrance coffee company Farmer Bros. has seen its share value wither despite major acquisitions.

Torrance coffee maker Farmer Bros. looks to light a fire under its stock.

Regional Report

Regional Report

Chance Encounter in a State of Gracie


Valerie Blackburn has confronted the ultimate L.A. dilemma: How to approach a celebrity without being a pest?

Not So Strange Bedfellows

Chamber holds mixer at adult novelty store in West Hollywood.

West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce spiced up a recent networking night by holding it at an adult novelty shop.

Agency Group Shakes Off Shareholder Lawsuit

ADVERTISING & PR: L.A.-based Emak rebuffs drive by ex-CEO to add allies to board.

The management team at Emak Worldwide, a group of five agencies based in Los Angeles, has won its appeal against dissident shareholders who wanted to take control of the boardroom.

Resistance Builds to Proposed Hikes in County Fees

REGULATION WATCH: Trade group presses supervisors to justify levy increases.

Building interests are facing off with the county’s planning department over a proposal to raise permit fees by as much as 800 percent.

Banana Plantation Defender Found to Have Appeal

LAW: Fulbright in downtown L.A. plucks Dole’s Rudy Perrino.

Rudy Perrino was brought on as the in-house director of litigation for Dole Food Co. in 2004 for one main reason: to handle the flood of lawsuits filed by former banana plantation workers claiming to have been left sterilized by its use of pesticide dibromochloropropane, or DBCP.

Woodlands Hills Insurer Regains Military Contract

HEALTH CARE & BIOTECH: Loss in June had spurred Health Net to focus on state market.

Health Net Inc. last week finally received some good news about a large military contract it feared it had lost.

Apparel Maker Seeks Sales Heat in Middle East

Latest expansion part of overseas strategy for Van Nuys’ Cherokee.

Van Nuys apparel maker Cherokee has extended its global ambition to the Middle East.

Marina Buoyed

Long Beach reduces fees to to keep local yacht club afloat.

Long Beach lifted some eyebrows when it decided to cut rent to keep a local yacht club afloat.

News of the Week

News of the Week

Blockbuster Proposal

Burbank firm hopes to slip into disc void of shuttered rental chains.

A Burbank postproduction firm thinks it has a blockbuster idea with stripped-down movie rental shops.

Time Travel Not Included

LMS to craft high-end, gadget-laden hot tubs under Coleman brand.

Hot-tub maker LMS is helping expand the Coleman camping brand from the great outdoors to backyards.

Saturday, May 8

Oxy Investors Balk at Executive-Pay Practices


Investors have rapped Occidental Petroleum Corp. over its pay practices, marking the second time in a week—and ever —that a big U.S. company has lost a "say on pay" vote.

Friday, May 7

Lions Gate Loses Appeal on Icahn Poison Pill


Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. lost an appeal to restore a shareholder rights plan that would have prevented a takeover bid from billionaire investor Carl Icahn.

Live Nation Receives Second U.K. Merger Clearance


Live Nation Entertainment Inc. won United Kingdom antitrust approval of its merger with Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc., following a second court-ordered review.

L.A. Council to Consider Rent Hike Moratorium

The City Council agreed to consider barring landlords from imposing any rent increase on thousands of rent-controlled apartments for at least four months.

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies closed down for the week after a week of extreme stock market volatility.

MCM Creditors Audition Would-Be Moguls to Run Studio


Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.’s creditors, unsatisfied with proposals to buy or restructure the debt-laden film studio, reportedly have contacted Hollywood executives who may be willing to run it.

Edison Reports Lower Quarter

Edison International's its first-quarter net income fell 5.6 percent partly because of lower-than-expected revenue.

Superior Swings to Profit

Superior Industries International Inc. turned from a loss to a profit in the first quarter as the economy improved for its automotive industry customers.

PUC Approves Geothermal Contract

State utility regulators approved a 20-year geothermal energy contract for Southern California Edison.

New UC Regents Appointed from L.A.

The state Senate has confirmed to the UC Board of Regents attorney and civic leader George Kieffer and former entertainment executive Sherry Lansing

Thursday, May 6

Activision’s Quarter Beats Expectations

Activision Blizzard Inc. reported better-than-expected first quarter profit due to strong sales of its latest games in the "Call of Duty" and "World of Warcraft" series.

Aecom Reports Mixed Quarter

Aecom Technology Corp. reported fiscal second quarter earnings that beat Wall Street expectations, although revenue was slightly lower than expected.

Abraxis Narrows Loss

Abraxis BioScience Inc.'s first-quarter net loss fell 87 percent as sales of its cancer drug Abraxane picked up steam.

Medical Group Sues City of Hope

A medical group representing nearly 200 Pasadena-area doctors and administrators has filed a lawsuit against City of Hope claiming that the medical center’s decision to create a nonprofit foundation is illegal.

Burkle’s Americold Shelves Biggest U.S. IPO of 2010


Ron Burkle’s Americold Realty Trust postponed the largest U.S. initial public offering of 2010, while Hong Kong’s Swire Properties Ltd. shelved its sale as the biggest stock-market slump in a year roiled IPOs.

Burkle's Yucaipa Sues Barnes & Noble Over 'Poison Pill'


Ron Burkle's Yucaipa Cos. has filed a lawsuit against Barnes & Noble Inc., saying the bookseller's shareholder rights plan creates a "slanted playing field" in favor of the controlling Riggio family.

Media Mogul Launches Saban Brands


Media mogul Haim Saban is launching a new company, Saban Brands, and is committing $500 million in capital to acquire established entertainment and consumer names.

Boeing C-17 Workers Reject Labor Contract


Boeing C-17 line workers have overwhelmingly rejected a new labor contract, opening the possibility of a strike at the Long Beach plant.

K-Swiss Cautious About 2010 Sales

K-Swiss Inc. shares dropped 19 percent Thursday after the athletic-shoe maker warned that an overseas plant closure would hurt sales this year.

DirecTV Beats Expectations

DirecTV Inc.'s first quarter earnings nearly tripled as it added more satellite TV provider customers.

Wednesday, May 5

Military Contract Returned to Health Net

The Department of Defense has returned to Health Net Inc. a multi-billion dollar contract to provide health insurance to military personnel, dependents and retirees in 20 states after initial winner Aetna Inc. was disqualified.

Auto Dealership Gets City’s Support

The Long Beach City Council unanimously approved a $600,000 loan to a large local Ford dealership to keep the business from leaving town and taking its considerable sales tax revenue with it.

THQ Shrinks Loss

Video game publisher THQ Inc. reported better-than-expected adjusted results for its fiscal fourth quarter.

Former Paramount Exec to Lead L.A. Redevelopment Agency


Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has selected Christine Essel, a former entertainment industry executive who recently lost a bruising campaign for City Council, to serve as his top executive at the L.A. Community Redevelopment Agency.

Forecast Sees Rough Road to Recovery

L.A.’s road to recovery from the worst recession in decades will be uneven with some potholes ahead next year, according to Beacon Economics' latest forecast.

Office Building Owner Sues Beverly Hills

The owners of an office tower under construction in Beverly Hills have filed a lawsuit seeking $40 million in damages for the city’s rejection of a request to convert the building to medical office space.

Crown Reduces Loss

Crown Media Holdings Inc., the operator of family-oriented cable TV networks, said its first-quarter net loss decreased because of lower costs.

Response Genetics Hires CFO

Response Genetics Inc. said that former Abraxis BioScience chief financial officer David D. O’Toole had been appointed its new CFO.

Hydrogen-Powered Ideas on Display in Long Beach


After some five years of planning and decades of dreaming, engineers are laying the groundwork for a new generation of hydrogen fueling stations across California.

Tuesday, May 4

Los Angeles to Close Hundreds of Marijuana Shops


Los Angeles city prosecutors are sending letters to 439 medical marijuana dispensaries warning them that they must shut down by June 7, when an ordinance to control pot shops will finally take effect after years of debate and delay.

Guess? COO to Leave

Guess? Inc. Chief Operating Officer Carlos Alberini is resigning to become co-chief executive of Restoration Hardware.

True Religion’s Quarter Exceeds Estimates

True Religion Apparel Inc.'s first-quarter results stepped past estimates thanks to brisk sales at its branded retail stores and international segments.

DineEquity Falls on Earnings Report

Wall Street chopped 13 percent off DineEquity Inc.'s share price Tuesday, as investors pick out troubling trends in the casual restaurant owner's better-than-expected earnings.

PennyMac Profit Less Than Expected

PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust reported first quarter earnings that were less than Wall Street expected.

Monday, May 3

PS Business Parks Quarter Disappoints

PS Business Parks, Inc. said its profit and funds from operations fell in the first quarter, in part due to a decrease in rental rates.

Higher Profit at Herbalife

Herbalife Ltd.'s first quarter earnings rose 25 percent, driven by continued strong demand for its weight loss and dietary supplement products in North America and the Asia Pacific region.

County Jobless Program Works for Employers Too


A little-known Los Angeles County jobs program is paying $10 an hour to several thousand workers at temporary jobs in businesses around Los Angeles, including hundreds of small firms.

Audiences, and Hollywood, Flock to Smartphones


It might be hard to imagine watching “The Office” on a screen no bigger than a business card. But tens of thousands of people — by the most conservative estimate — are already doing just that.

Jakks Founder Jack Friedman Dies

Jack Friedman, co-founder and chairman of Malibu toymaker Jakks Pacific Inc., died Monday after being hospitalized for several weeks. He was 70.

First Quarter Down For Mercury

Mercury General Corp.’s first-quarter earnings fell 37 percent as the property and casualty insurer sustained a drop in revenue and investment gains.

Molina Buys IT Business

Molina Healthcare Inc. has closed on its acquisition of the health information management business of Unisys Corp., which now will be known as Molina Medicaid Solutions.

Herbalife Sues Paris Hilton's Parents Over Mistaken Royalties


Herbalife International filed suit in Los Angeles against Kathy and Rick Hilton regarding a dispute over royalty payments paid by the company to the Hiltons.

Rancho Palos Verdes Property Coasts to a Sale

REAL ESTATE: Broker credits $22.9 million price to Madison’s ocean views.

In one of the biggest multifamily deals in Los Angeles County in 2010, a 90-unit apartment building at 6507 and 6510 Ocean Crest Drive in Rancho Palos Verdes has been sold.

Calendar & Events


Veteran Exec Returns to Ad Business After Brief Stint as a TV Producer


When his friends asked advertising exec Whit Friese in 2009 to produce a TV show based on his career at Chicago-based ad company Leo Burnett Worldwide, Friese figured that he couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

Healthy Focus

Exercise enthusiast Steven Kriegsman sees it as a special duty to oversee biotech Cytrx’s development of disease therapies.

Running a drug development company has gotten personal for Cytrx CEO Steven Kriegsman.

Tackled Head-On

Ex-NFL lineman Andrew Kline now makes plays as an investment banker to sports team owners.

Former NFL hopeful Andrew Kline now fields an investment banking team for sports franchises.

Regional Report

Regional Report

Maker of Hit War Series May Be Facing Last ‘Call’

TECHNOLOGY: Feud with parent Activision likely means end of Infinity Ward.

Is it “game over” for one of L.A.’s most successful video game studios?

Initiatives Draw Interest From Industries


A look at ballot measures that have gained backing from various industries

Business, Labor Work Together to Land L.A. Jobs

Coalition looks to provide unified voice on economic issues.

L.A. labor and business leaders have launched an alliance to promote job creation.

NFL Owners Take a Pass For Now on L.A. Stadium

SPORTS BUSINESS: Developer of Industry venue says league is focused on union contract.

This much is official: There won’t be an NFL team playing in Los Angeles in 2010 – and so Ed Roski Jr.’s plans to build a City of Industry football stadium are on hold for at least a year.

Chase Looks to Run Up Presence in L.A. County

BANKING & FINANCE: 18 branches are scheduled to open in the region this year.

Chase Bank plans to open 18 branches in Los Angeles County this year, executives said last week, generating upwards of 200 local jobs.

Truckers Defend Right to Work as Trial Concludes

Port officials say safety at stake in Clean Trucks Program.

The trial over independent truckers’ efforts to continue working at the Port of Los Angeles has wrapped up.

Analysts Wag Tails Over L.A. Vet Hospital Operator

Despite revenue issues, VCA is seen as poised for growth.

Analysts like what they see at VCA Antech veterinary hospital chain.

Spinning Wheel

Should crisis expert Michael Sitrick manage his own crisis?

An ex-employee’s lawsuit gives crisis consultant Michael Sitrick a chance to practice what he preaches.

News of the Week

News of the Week

Pastrami Maestro Conducts Meat and Greet


By day, Saul Cooperstein negotiates deals for Sam Nazarian’s SBE Entertainment Group LLC.

Business Minded

Financial adviser puts a premium on women’s group staying on topic.

Financial adviser Darya Allen-Attar is helping women executives get down to business.

Ex-Banker Cleans Up In Franchise

Scholarship program helps pay for launch of janitorial service.

A former banking exec has bounced back from being laid off by launching a janitorial service.

Rooting Interest in ‘Avatar’

Torrance nursery looks to sweeten pot with its movie-star flora.

A Torrance nursery hopes to reap sales thanks to the out-of-this-world plants seen in “Avatar.”

Caruso Clings To Santa Anita

Exec seeks to salvage race track retail plan.

Rick Caruso says he’s still in the race to build a retail center at the Santa Anita horse track even though his partner has killed their first deal.



Another Delay For Grand Ave.?

In exchange, Related offers site to Eli Broad.

Developers of downtown L.A.’s Grand Avenue project hope to make room for Eli Broad’s art collection – and they want another extension to the start date.

Different Sort of Stars Interested in Indies

Big-name L.A. investors pursue Miramax.

A chance to buy the film library of iconic indie studio Miramax has attracted some of L.A.’s wealthiest individuals but not many studios.

Primary Issue

Business looks to open races to moderate candidates

Some local business groups see an open primary initiative as a means to make Sacramento more productive.

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Getting L.A. Back to Work

Angelenos must stop taking the path of least resistance and reclaim the city’s mantle as a trailblazer.

P. Jacob Yadegar believes L.A. must make tough calls to reclaim its rep as a leader in innovation.

Highway Projects Put Transit Proposal on Right Path

County Supervisor Michael Antonovich applauds the broadening of projects in the 30/10 plan.

Defending State Environmental Law

Small-business owner finds enacting AB 32-like reductions in carbon emissions saved his company money.

Small-business owner Tom Bowman writes that following the state’s AB 32 law has helped him cut costs.

Lowering Boom on Boomers


Charles Crumpley finds optimism blooms among young entrepreneurs able to click with the Internet.