Stories for September 2010

Thursday, September 30

Trio-Tech Moves to Profit

Trio-Tech International said strong sales of its semiconductor test equipment helped move the company to a profit in its fiscal fourth quarter.

Teva Version of Amgen Drug Delayed by FDA


U.S. health regulators have delayed approval of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd's biotechnology medicine to boost white blood cells that is similar to Amgen Inc's big-selling Neupogen.

Will Patch Become the WalMart of News in L.A.?


When AOL, the digital dinosaur from the Internet's dial-up days, announced its big push into hyperlocal journalism known as Patch, a network of bloglike sites, the corporation spun it as a feel-good story. But in L.A., not everyone sees it that way.

Missing Real Estate Broker Found Alive

Ed Rosenthal, the veteran L.A. commercial real estate broker who’d been reported missing in Joshua Tree National Park, was found alive Thursday in critical condition.

Governor Vetos Debit Fee Bill

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed a bill that would have banned merchants from charging fees on debit card purchases.

Mattel Unit Recalls 10 Million Toys

Mattel Inc.'s Fisher-Price unit is recalling tricycles, high chairs and toys sold in the United States and Canada because of the potential for serious injury to children.

Weiss Moves to Kroll

Risk consultant Kroll officially announced that former Los Angeles city councilman Jack Weiss will lead the Los Angeles office of its business intelligence and investigations practice.

Wednesday, September 29

Tutor Perini Awarded Aqueduct Project

Tutor Perini Corp. has won a $241 million contract to renovate portions of the famed Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, New York.

Shopzilla Makes Deal with Google

Shopzilla Inc. has signed a strategic partnership with Google Inc. that will include the Los Angeles company’s Bizrate ratings and reviews within certain Google search and ad products.

L.A. Man Wanted in Ponzi Scheme Arrested in France


Bruce Fred Friedman, a Los Angeles financial adviser charged with defrauding investors in a $228 million Ponzi scheme has been arrested in France.

Live Nation Chairman to Resign

Barry Diller is resigning as chairman and director of Live Nation Entertainment Inc. according media reports.

Cornerstone OnDemand Files IPO

Software developer Cornerstone OnDemand Inc. has filed for an initial public offering, saying it wants to raise up to $115 million.

Tuesday, September 28

Search Continues for L.A. Real Estate Broker

The search continues for veteran commercial real estate broker Ed Rosenthal, who was reported missing after his car was found at the Black Rock campground in Joshua Tree National Park over the weekend.

Tix to Delist from Nasdaq

Tix Corp. said that it giving up on trying to meet Nasdaq listing requirements and will move its stock to the Pink Sheet’s new OTCQX market.

Northrop Wins Homeland Security Contract

Northrop Grumman Corp. has been awarded a contract, valued up to $2.63 billion, to install information technology systems at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s new headquarters in Washington D.C.

Disney, CBS, Fox Sue Online Subscription Service Ivi


Walt Disney Co.’s ABC, CBS Corp. and other broadcasters sued Ivi, an online subscription service, for streaming television programs over the Web without authorization.

Barnes & Noble Stockholders Snub Burkle

Barnes & Noble Inc. shareholders settled a contentious proxy battle by voting for a slate backed by Chairman Leonard Riggio rather than candidates proposed by Los Angeles billionaire Ron Burkle.

Namvar Appears in Court

Ezri Namvar, the Westside real estate investor accused of defrauding hundreds of investors, delayed entering a plea on criminal charges during an arraignment in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

Monday, September 27

California May Seek $5 Billion From Wall Street


California is lining up a short- term loan of more than $5 billion from a group of Wall Street banks to tide the state over with enough cash after a record- long budget impasse, Treasurer Bill Lockyer said.

Revolution Prep Raises $15 Million

Revolution Prep, a Los Angeles provider of test preparation software and services, has raised $15 million in its first institutional financing round, which was lead by a London private equity firm.

FTC Says POM Juice Ads Are Deceptive About Health


Federal regulators have filed complaints against the makers of POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice, saying there's no science to support claims that the products treat or prevent diseases such as prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction.

Who Wins, Loses from Mass Immigration to California?


No state and almost no developed economy has absorbed so many immigrant workers so quickly as California. The arrival of more than 5 million foreign workers over the past four decades raises a basic question: Who wins, and who loses?

Prominent Local Real Estate Broker Missing

Veteran commercial real estate broker Ed Rosenthal was reported missing Sunday evening after his car was found left over the weekend at the Black Rock campground in Joshua Tree National Park.

Northrop Plans Local Aerospace Layoffs

Northrop Grumman Corp., which plans to move its headquarters to the Washington, D.C. area next year, said that around 500 employees -- mostly in Los Angeles County -- will be laid off by the end of the year.

Money Manager in Madoff Case Dies at 84

Former Beverly Hills money manager Stanley Chais, who was accused of investing nearly $1 billion of his celebrity clients’ money in Bernard Madoff investment schemes, has died in New York City

Facial Animation Company Sports a New Head

TECHNOLOGY: Image Metrics hires chief executive for his simulation expertise.

Santa Monica facial animation company Image Metrics has tapped a new chief executive to expand the company’s technology from video games and movies to computer simulation for uses that could include combat training.

Investor Puts Out Welcome Mat to Malibu Home

CHIEF DWELLINGS: Jonathan Frank reduces price by 20 percent to $40 million for estate.

Listings and sales of executive homes.

Mideast Envoy

Local consultant helps Hollywood movies connect overseas.

An Iranian-born consultant is helping film studios connect with Middle Eastern audiences.

Little Produced In Namvar Sales

Creditors on pace to get 5 cents on the dollar.

Creditors of Ezri Namvar are on pace to receive less than 5 percent of what they are owed.

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Analysts Differ on Impact of Fraud Indictment

Trustee says criminal indictment is unlikely to impact bankruptcy proceedings

Newport Beach Brokerage Heads North to L.A.

REAL ESTATE: Voit taps ex-CB Richard Ellis trio to open Commerce office.

Voit Real Estate Services LLC, a Newport Beach commercial real estate brokerage and asset services firm, opened its first brokerage office in Los Angeles County on Sept. 1.

Calendar & Events


Big-Name Clients Fuel Culver City Firm’s Growth

ADVERTISING & PR: Burger King, NBC accounts swell Pitch’s staff to new heights.

Pitch Inc., a creative ad firm in Culver City, has grown its payroll about 52 percent in the last six months after winning two major accounts.

Bank of America Thinks It May Have the Answer

BANKING & FINANCE: Chain to deploy specialists at L.A. sites to handle customer questions.

After its high-profile acquisitions of mortgage giant Countrywide Financial Corp. and investment bank Merrill Lynch, Bank of America Corp. is looking to establish itself as a one-stop financial superstore.

Liquidator Sees Business, Share Value Evaporate

Stock falls 92 percent in a year for Great American Group.

Formerly flush Woodland Hills liquidator Great American has been left high and dry as business evaporated.

Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue, This Lease Extension Is Just for You


Commercial real estate broker Ed Rosenthal, 64, is known as the poet-broker of downtown Los Angeles.

Hoping To Have Last Laugh

ComedySportz hustles to keep the lights on at its Hollywood home.

Hollywood troupe ComedySportz is improvising financial ways to keep the show rolling.

Class Action Needed on Lawsuits Targeting Schools


David Houston warns that students are paying the price for frivolous lawsuits against schools.

California Dreaming in the Worst Way

OP-ED: L.A. lawmakers work to lure jobs to the city with no regard to the quality of those positions.

Madeline Janis writes that Los Angeles needs to do its homework when bringing employers to the city.

Going the Distance for TV News


Charles Crumpley hopes a news purveyor’s outsourcing business model may yield improved local coverage.

Getting Point Across

Language Weaver now sells computerized translations to commercial customers in addition to the government.

Language Weaver hopes its computerized translations speak to commercial as well as governmental customers.

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Ken Klee: Crystal Clear

Bankruptcy lawyer Ken Klee has no doubt that his legal world success has been aided by New Age practices such as energy healing.

Lawyer Ken Klee gets energized when making a case for New Age health practices.

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Out of Bounds?

L.A. city proposal to favor local bidders could leave many low-cost contractors on outside looking in.

Critics say a city of L.A. proposal to favor local bidders would hit too close to home.

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Making A Splash by The Beach

Santa Monica Pier’s new restrooms make a national top 10 list.

Santa Monica Pier has shored up its reputation with a design award for its restrooms.

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News of the Week

News of the Week

Church Lender Prays for Fuller Plates

L.A. savings and loan hurt as congregations’ donations dip.

L.A. thrift Broadway Federal has seen trouble grow in its loan portfolio as its church borrowers have watched donations shrink.

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Clock Runs Out On 12-to-2 Plan

L.A. kills permit streamlining proposal.

Los Angeles now plans to overhaul its proposed overhaul of the city permitting process.

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Near and Far

Pasadena web channel to rely on overseas staff

The owner of a Pasadena news website that outsources its reporting overseas hopes to adapt the business model to web TV.

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L.A. Non-Profit Has WWII Warship in Cross Hairs

TRADE & TRANSPORT: Los Angeles port to study plan to dock USS Iowa in San Pedro.

The Port of Los Angeles has selected a consultant to look into the feasibility of bringing an iconic World War II battleship to Southern California as a tourist attraction.

Sunday, September 26

Comcast COO Burke takes top spot at NBC Universal


Comcast Chief Operating Officer Steve Burke will succeed Jeff Zucker as the new CEO of NBC Universal later this year, when Comcast takes control of the broadcaster.

New Team Alters Disney Studios’ Path


When you spend 38 years producing movies, as Jerry Bruckheimer has, you see studio regimes come and go — out with the old, in with the new. The circumstances differ, but one aspect, he said, is always the same: “Hollywood kills you when you bring in an outsider.”

Friday, September 24

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s weighted index of the largest local public companies closed up for the week as a reported rise in capital spending buoyed investors distressed about lackluster home sales.

KB Home Narrows Loss

KB Home reported a much smaller fiscal third-quarter loss than a year earlier. The homebuilder benefited from higher selling prices, but warned that a slowdown in new orders will hurt its recovery.

Rock & Republic Files Chapter 11 Exit Plan

Premium denim maker Rock & Republic has announced a rescue package of up to $48 million that would bring the company out of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Amgen Initiates Partial Drug Recall

Amgen Inc. is recalling certain lots of its anemia drugs Epogen and Procrit because the vials could contain glass flakes.

Aecom Makes Acquisition

Aecom Technology Corp. plans to buy a Montreal engineering company named RSW for an undisclosed price.

NBC Universal's Zucker to Leave After Comcast Takeover


NBC Universal Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Zucker will step down once Comcast Corp. completes its takeover of the company, giving the new owners a chance to reshape management.

Thursday, September 23

California Govenor, Lawmakers Reach Budget Compromise


California lawmakers and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger agreed on “the framework” to close a $19 billion deficit, ending an impasse that pushed the most-populous U.S. state near insolvency for a second year running.

Mattel To Sell $500M in Debt

Mattel Inc. is selling $500 million in senior unsecured notes, part of which will be used to pay off older debt.

The $9 Billion Subway-to-Sea Rip-off

When USC professor and transportation expert James Moore heard the findings several days ago that the $9 billion Subway to the Sea won't relieve congestion on the Westside, as vowed by Antonio Villaraigosa, Moore was among a number of transportation insiders who wasn't stunned

Ameron’s Profit Rises

Ameron International Corp. beat Wall Street expectations by reporting a 50 percent jump in fiscal third-quarter earnings.

Breitburn Commences Debt Offering

Breitburn Energy Partners LP is planning a private offering to eligible purchasers of $250 million in senior unsecured notes.

Warner Bros. Prepares for Succession


Long-time Warner Bros. President Alan Horn will leave his post in April, succeeded by a group of three executives, a plan announced Wednesday by Jeff Bewkes, chief executive of the film studio's parent, Time Warner Inc.

Wednesday, September 22

U.S., India Near Deal for Long Beach's Boeing C-17s


After months of negotiation, India and the United States are nearing completion of a roughly $3.5-billion defense deal that includes the purchase of at least 10 Boeing C-17s. The deal would be a major boost to the C-17 plant in Long Beach.

Namvar Indicted on Fraud Charges

Ezri Namvar, the bankrupt Westside businessman who amassed an estimated $2.5 billion real estate portfolio that collapsed two years ago amid allegations he was operating a Ponzi scheme, has been indicted on wire fraud charges.

Alexandria Sells New Stock

Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc. has raised $343 million from a larger than originally announced public offering of 4.5 million common shares.

DineEquity Plans $825 Million Debt Offering

DineEquity, Inc. plans to offer up to $825 million in its senior unsecured notes.

Tuesday, September 21

Disney Earnings Leaker Admits to Scheme With Boyfriend


Bonnie Hoxie, a former assistant to Walt Disney Co. corporate communications chief Zenia Mucha, admitted in court that she tried to sell confidential earnings information in a scheme with her boyfriend.

Alexandria Commences Secondary Offering

Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc. is making a public offering of 4 million common shares.

Teledyne Acquires Underwater Vehicle Maker

A Teledyne Technologies Inc. subsidiary has acquired Hafmynd ehf, an Icelandic maker of a submersible that has commercial, scientific and defense uses.

MMC Sells

Specialty website operator MMC – formerly known as Media Corp. – is getting out of the email business by selling its to a German company.

Tetra Tech Venture Gets Wind Energy Contract

A Tetra Tech Inc. business in Canada has been awarded a $30 million contract to provide turn-key construction services for the Lamèque Wind Power Project in the province of New Brunswick.

Four LAX Dining Contracts Awarded, But Fifth To Be Rebid


Efforts to spice up the culinary selections at Los Angeles International Airport took a leap forward when a City Council committee awarded four out of five recommended airport dining contracts spanning Terminals 4, 5, 7 and 8.

SEC Alleges Bait-And-Switch Using Hollywood Lure


The Securities & Exchange Commission has sued two Atlanta men, alleging cold-called investors across the country paid $3.2 million for what they thought were shares of LA Digital Post, a small Los Angeles post-production company about to go public, only to find the money was diverted fraudulently

Monday, September 20

Proxy Firm Sides with Burkle

A notable proxy-advisory firm said shareholders should support Ron Burkle's director slate for Barnes & Noble, giving the Los Angeles billionaire investor some crucial support before a shareholders’ meeting next week.

Bon Appétit to Leave Los Angeles

Respected food magazine Bon Appétit will move its editorial office from L.A. to New York this fall, publisher Condé Nast said. Longtime editor Barbara Fairchild will leave the monthly publication after the relocation.

Report: Indian Company In Talks for MGM


Indian conglomerate Sahara India Pariwar is in exploratory talks on acquiring beleaguered movie studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. for more than $2 billion, according to a media report.

ValueClick Seen as Good Investment

Shares of Internet advertising company ValueClick Inc. jumped more than 9 percent Monday after a Wall Street analyst upgraded shares to a “buy.”

Internet Brands to Be Acquired

Internet Brands Inc., an El Segundo Internet media firm, is being acquired a private equity firm in a deal valued at roughly $640 million.

Countrywide Business Bolsters Bank of America


From a new Bank of America division to a hard-money lender, mortgage deals are still getting done in L.A.

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Long Beach Ticket Vendor In Grand Prix Driver’s Seat

SPORTS BUSINESS: Tix takes over IndyCar event from industry giant Ticketmaster.

Robert Edmison has been a ticketholder for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach for years.

Business School To Work Alumni

UCLA Anderson eyes ways to make up state money

UCLA’s Anderson business school hopes first-class fundraising will offset its decision to ditch state money.

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Charging Up Los Angeles

OP-ED: City will more than make back the incentives offered to land Chinese maker of electric vehicles

Carol Schatz explains the benefits of L.A.’s incentives to land Chinese electric car maker BYD.

Culver City Firm Dialed In to Making Twitter Pay

Culture Jam compensates users for their tweets promoting brands.

Culver City firm hopes to put a price on Twitter’s potential by rewarding users for promotional tweets.

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PennyMac Branches Out With Origination Division


From a new Bank of America division to a hard-money lender, mortgage deals are still getting done in L.A.

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Frozen Yogurt Chain Heats Up Growth Drive

RETAIL & APPAREL: Pinkberry CEO looks to serve up 100 stores by end of this fall.

Pinkberry executives spent the past two years devising a growth plan, and now the frozen yogurt chain is opening stores at a rapid clip.

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Investor Courts Creditor Clash

Meruelo rips ‘takeover’ attempt by bank.

Richard Meruelo and his creditors have stepped up their fight for control of his bankrupt real estate company.

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Building Up

LACMA pavilion elevates Resnicks in arts world

LACMA’s new Lynda and Stewart Resnick pavilion moves the business couple into the first rank of L.A. arts patrons.

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Extended Shelf Life

BIZ PROFILE: Student’s plan helps boost sales and customer base of family’s retail display business.

Xochitl Cortez’s business plan made the grade with her family’s retail display company.

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Clinical Lab Partnership to Kick Off in Burbank

HEALTH CARE & BIOTECH: Providence, Pathology Associates to launch business next year.

Providence Health & Services is partnering with Pathology Associates Medical Laboratories to create a clinical laboratory intended to compete in the region with national companies.

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Alan Mendelson: News Break

INTERVIEW: Former L.A. TV reporter Alan Mendelson now works on the small screen as an infomercial pitchman and host of his ‘Best Buys’ paid-programmig show.

Former TV reporter Alan Mendelson has changed channels and now works as an infomercial pitchman.

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R&D Tax Credit Works for Manufacturers


Brandon K. Edwards backs Obama’s R&D tax credit proposal as a boost for local companies.

Screen Test

Venice agency’s TV series for Red Bull is an example of the new role firms play in entertainment production.

A Venice agency’s new TV show is an example of how advertising companies are creating content.

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Lender Offers Options to ‘Subprime’ Borrowers


From a new Bank of America division to a hard-money lender, mortgage deals are still getting done in L.A.

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Losing LAX Concessionaires Serve Up Sour Grapes


Richard Karno says complaints about LAX’s concessionaire process are just sour grapes.

Putting Politics Before Science

OP-ED: Environmentalists are relying on ideology as they hijack a revamp of the state’s chemical review process.

Jack Stewart warns environmentalists are playing politics with the state’s Green Chemistry Initiative.

L.A. Localizes Bad Policy


Charles Crumpley opines that L.A.’s proposed local preference ordinance may make people feel good but it’s bad policy.

Beverly Hills Firm Enjoys Its Northern Exposure

REAL ESTATE: Toronto’s Fairfax picks up properties with Kennedy-Wilson.

All it took was Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting in Omaha, Neb., to seal a $278 million partnership between Beverly Hills investment firm Kennedy-Wilson Holdings Inc. and Toronto financial services firm Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd.

Calendar & Events


Regional Reports

Regional Report

Partners Take Corporate Gig in Downtown L.A.

LAW: Winston hires Levin and Loui to deal with transactions.

The announcement that local attorneys C. James Levin and Warren Loui have joined Winston & Strawn LLP as partners means that the firm finally has attorneys to handle corporate transactions in its downtown L.A. office.

Court Rejects LAX Hotels’ Claims on Banquet Fees

Employees win ruling on access to money they say costs them tips.

LAX-area hotels lose legal ruling in battle with unions over who gets services fees charged at banquets.

News of the Week

News of the Week

At the Intersection of Shopping and Circuitry


Technology might still be a male-dominated field, but at a Girls in Tech event two weeks ago, it was all about the women.

Prize Has Ups, Downs

Area non-profit offers zero-gravity flight with James Cameron.

X Prize got $30,000 from bids to take a zero-gravity flight with “Avatar” director James Cameron.

It’s a Snap for Amateur Paparazzi

New iPhone app allows users to message in celebrity photos.

Celebrity Vibe’s iPhone app offers users a shot at being paid paparazzi.

Art Walk Steps Up Attractions

Miracle Mile event organizers add dancers despite budget cuts.

Miracle Mile Art Walk organizers are reframing the event with added attractions such as dancers.

A New Bank Order


While national banking chains have become the biggest mortgage lenders in Los Angeles County, some local businesses are building a presence.

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Friday, September 17

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s weighted index of the largest local public companies closed down for the week, even though most companies on the list were up for the week.

American Apparel Gets Extension

Shares of American Apparel Inc. jumped nearly 17 percent late Friday after the struggling retailer said NYSE Amex regulators had agreed to its updated plan to avoid delisting.

Bankrupt Rock & Republic Pursued by Landlords


Rock & Republic, the Los Angeles premium-denim house in financial hot water, faces an important court date next month to ease its climb out of bankruptcy.

Torre To Retire as Dodgers Manager


Joe Torre announced Friday he will retire as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are mired near the bottom of the NL West, and the team immediately said hitting coach Don Mattingly will replace him.

L.A. Jobless Rate Hits 12.6 Percent

Los Angeles County lost nearly 13,000 jobs last month as government payrolls were slashed, pushing the unemployment rate up two-tenths of a point.

Worker Lawsuit Against Dole Dismissed

Dole Food Co. Inc. said that the Los Angeles County Superior Court has dismissed a lawsuit brought by 185 Colombian plaintiffs who claimed Dole had paid off Colombian paramilitary organizations.

Northrop May Find Shipyard Buyer


Northrop Grumman Corp. may be able to find a buyer for a Louisiana shipyard targeted for closing after the U.S. Navy said it plans to accelerate production of a new class of refueling vessels.

Thursday, September 16

Gores Group Acquires Washington Mill

Gores Group LLC said that it led an investor group that has acquired the Cosmopolis specialty cellulose mill in Washington state from Weyerhaeuser Co.

Michael Jackson's Mother Sues AEG


A lawsuit filed by Michael Jackson's mother once again places the spotlight on the pop star's final days as it focuses not just on the doctor charged in his death but also on the concert promoter that was supposed to pay the physician.

Furloughs Next Step in Long Beach Budget Cuts


In addition to approving massive cuts to city services, including dozens of police and firefighter positions, the Long Beach City Council also approved taking the first steps toward implementing furloughs in the coming year

Canon Communications To Be Acquired

Canon Communications LLC said that its owners have agreed to sell it for $287 million to London trade publisher United Business Media Ltd.

OSI Gets Large TSA Contract

OSI Systems Inc.'s security division has won a contract, potentially worth up to $325 million, to supply its baggage-inspection X-ray machines to the U.S. Transportation Security Administration.

Wednesday, September 15

Proxy Advisor Supports Barnes & Noble in Burkle Contest


Proxy-advisory firm Glass Lewis & Co. has recommended Barnes & Noble Inc. shareholders vote for founder and Chairman Leonard Riggio and his slate of directors, throwing water on a proxy contest being waged by activist investor Ronald Burkle's Yucaipa Cos.

SouthWest Water Names New CEO

SouthWest Water Co. which went private this week, announced that its new owners have selected Floyd E. Wicks as chief executive officer.

Record Fine Levied Against 99 Cents Stores

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said that a federal judge has fined 99 Cents Only Stores Inc. a record $400,000 in penalties for selling cleaning and pest control products that contained illegal pesticides.

Ameron Sells Remaining Stake in Steel Mill

Ameron International Corp. has agreed to sell its 50 percent stake in steelmaker Tamco for $82.5 million in cash.

Budget Despair Continues for Unpaid State Vendors


Without a state budget, California is relying on a patchwork of bank loans and personal credit lines to help sustain essential services around the state. By its venders.

Tuesday, September 14

Management Shake-Up at Warner Bros. Records


In a management shake-up at one of the nation's biggest music labels, Tom Whalley, chairman and chief executive of Warner Bros. Records, is departing after nine years on the job.

Peerless Reports Loss in Quarter

Peerless Systems Corp., which licenses digital imaging and networking technologies, said it lost money in its second quarter largely due to lower fee revenue.

Eisner Downplays Reports He May Run Tribune Co.


Former Disney chief executive Michael Eisner is downplaying reports that he is being considered to head Los Angeles-Times parent Tribune Co. after it exits bankruptcy protection.

Magic Johnson-led Group Selected for LAX Contract


Overturning the wishes of LAX staff, a five-member council committee has awarded an airport retail contract worth $30 million a year to a business group that includes Magic Johnson.

Lionsgate and Televisa Unite on Films


Lionsgate’s African-American-focused film business, anchored by Tyler Perry titles, has become a gold mine for the studio. Movies with predominantly black casts that tell stories rooted in black culture bring out a sizable black audience. The study now wants to pull off the same trick with Hispanic-focused films.

Amgen Sells $1.5 Billion in Debt

Biotech giant Amgen Inc. is selling $1.5 billion in notes, its second large debt sale this year.

Farmer Bros. Narrows Loss

Farmer Bros. Co. narrowed its fiscal fourth quarter loss by 18 percent, despite lower net sales, and reported an even better fiscal 2010 due to contributions from an acquisition.

Monday, September 13

SouthWest Water Acquisition Closes

SouthWest Water Co. said it completed its $427 million acquisition by institutional investors and went private at the end of trading Monday.

Radnet Makes Software Acquisition

Diagnostic imaging center operator RadNet Inc. plans to acquire radiology software developer Image Medical Corp. for more than $10.7 million in cash and promissory notes.

PAC All Business When It Comes to Politics

The Valley Industry & Commerce Association throws its hat in the ring with a PAC to back business-friendly candidates.

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She Means Business

Trainer Valerie Waters launched line of sliding exercise discs.

West L.A. trainer steps out with new sliding exercise discs that replace bulky boards.

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Business Interests Chop Down 'Job Killers'

REGULATION WATCH: Eleven such bills now face likely veto from governor.

Business interests were largely successful in stopping bills they labeled as antibusiness in the recently concluded legislative session.

New CEO to Change Path Of Beverly Hills’ Meteor

TECHNOLOGY: Titles with more complexity the goal of Zac Brandenberg.

A new chief executive has landed at Meteor Games.

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Big Names Join the Rotation

Drucker forum turns into annual event with celebrity speakers.

Former Disney chief Michael Eisner will kick off Drucker Business Forum’s annual event.

News of the Week

News of the Week

For Those About to Rock, We Salute You


Will Shepler has his eyes on a prize called the AdJam Axe – a guitar with special significance in local advertising circles.

Sports Bar Steps Up TV Viewing

Westwood location of Barney’s Beanery has stadium seating.

The owner of Barney’s Beanery in Westwood hopes to get a rise out of customers with stadium seating for TV viewing.

Candidates Must Make an Issue of Small Businesses


Theresa Ynzunza, Manny Cons and Jorge C. Corralejo would like to see campaigning politicians make small business a high priority.

Regional Reports

Regional Report

L.A. Firm Feels Pressed on Releases

Marketwire forced to expand services or face extinction.

Marketwire hopes to get the word out on its service to track the impact of clients’ press releases on the web.

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Rival Reborn

Recycler site sets sights on Craigslist thinks its print editions and new website are handy tools to compete with classified king Craigslist.

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Westwood Firm’s Latest Deal Signed and Sealed

BANKING & FINANCE: Gores buys biggest envelope maker in U.S., among other moves.

The dealmaking environment is looking up for firms with cash to spend. Just ask the Gores Group.

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Santa Monica Place: Coming ’Round

New mall a big boost, draw for Third Street Promenade.

Business has stepped up at walking mall Third Street Promenade courtesy of the adjacent revamped Santa Monica Place.

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Electric Car Dream Short-Circuits


Charles Crumpley says this is no time to wave the checkered flag in L.A.’s race to be an electric car capital.

Calendar & Events


A Healthy Prescription?

OP-ED: Beverly Hills’ cap on medical space helps limit the city’s exposure to a market that provides few positives.

Ex-City Manager Rod Wood says Beverly Hills made a healthy choice in limiting medical office space.

L.A. Lacks the Juice to Land Electric Car Plant

Santa Monica’s Coda to finish cars in Bay Area.

Electric car maker Coda looks like it is pulling the plug on L.A. as the site for an assembly plant.

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Louis Perry: Building Security

INTERVIEW: His acting jobs never made him enough money, but Louis Perry made it big in the guard business.

Louis Perry thinks he made a safe and sound decision when he scrapped his acting career to launch a security firm.

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Real Estate Investor in Beverly Hills Double-Play

CHIEF DWELLINGS: Wehba listing one home at $9.8 million, another at $68.5 million.

Listings and sales of executive homes.

Restaurateur Has Something Cooking in Hollywood

REAL ESTATE: Ground floor to serve up new eatery from chef David Myers.

Michelin-starred chef David Myers will open a restaurant in Hollywood after his company, David Myers Group LLC, purchased the ground floor of the Lofts at Hollywood and Vine.



Good Fit for a Recession

Van Nuys apparel business Cherokee has managed to stay buoyant by licensing clothes but not making them.

Apparel company Cherokee’s licensing business seems tailor-made for the recession.

West Hollywood Firm Sees Ex-Nike Exec as Shoo-In

ADVERTISING & PR: Wider services at marketer a priority for new chief.

Former Nike executive Daryl Butler is the new managing director at the West Hollywood office of Jack Morton Worldwide, a corporate marketing event production firm.

Eatery Chains Feast on Reported Burger King Deal

Investors serve up big gains for DineEquity, Cheesecake Factory stocks.

DineEquity and Cheesecake Factory stock feasted last week on reports of a multibillion-dollar offer for the Burger King fast-food chain.

Sunday, September 12

Hollywood Reporter to Become a Weekly Magazine


The Hollywood Reporter has been dying a slow death for a decade, bleeding from layoffs, vanishing advertisers and diminished relevance in a news cycle now dominated by cutthroat entertainment blogs.

SAG to Expand AFTRA Joint Bargaining Pact


Ramping for what will surely be a heated battle between pro and anti AFTRA-merger voices within SAG, the Screen Actors Guild national board this weekend voted to begin negotiation on a new Educational and Industrial contract alongside its sister labor org.

Friday, September 10

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies closed down for the week even though the overall market rose on Friday following encouraging economic news.

Myricom Promotes CFO to CEO

Myricom Inc., an Arcadia developer of hardware used in high-performance computing, has named Nanette Boden as its chief executive and president.

Profit Down at Virco

Virco Manufacturing Corp.'s profit fell in the second quarter, hurt by lower sales of its institutional furniture products.

Thursday, September 9

Saban and Munger Duke It Out Over Propositions


What on earth are two billionaires doing with a couple of convoluted state initiatives that most California voters have never even heard of?

City National Sells Notes

City National Corp. has sold $300 million worth of senior notes in a public offering, and will use proceeds to buy back higher interest securities sold last December.

CoreObjects Acquired

CoreObjects Software, a Los Angeles software development company, has been acquired by an Indian company.

Korn/Ferry’s Quarter Exceeds Expectations

Korn/Ferry International returned to a profit in its fiscal first quarter with revenue from executive recruitment fees rising as client companies worldwide began recovering from the downturn.

AeroVironment Sees Smaller Loss

AeroVironment Inc. narrowed its loss in its fiscal first quarter as sales of its small unmanned aircraft to the military picked up. The loss was better than Wall Street expected.

Wednesday, September 8

Spyglass Reportedly Signs Letter of Intent with MGM


Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. reportedly has signed a non-binding letter of intent to hand over management of the film studio to Spyglass Entertainment Group’s Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum.

Kennedy Wilson Creates $278M Partnership

Kennedy-Wilson Holdings Inc. has formed a $278-million real estate investment partnership with Canada’s Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd.

J2 Global Acquires Florida Competitor

J2 Global Communications Inc. has bought Venali Inc., an Internet fax messaging service provider that had sued it in 2006, for about $17 million.

Local Cuts Could Come from Boeing Restructuring


Boeing plans to restructure its Military Aircraft division as it braces for drastic cuts in defense spending here and abroad through much of the decade.

Asian Trips Aim to Woo Trade to L.A., Lancaster


Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Los Angeles-area officials and business leaders are off to Asia this week on overlapping trade missions, hoping to bring home investment and jobs to a region starved for economic boosts.

Gores Makes Acquisition in Texas

The Gores Group LLC has acquired nearly all assets and assumed certain liabilities of National Envelope Corp., a Texas company considered the world’s largest envelope producer. The company has been going through Chapter 11.

Profit Falls at Cherokee

Cherokee Inc.'s fiscal second quarter earnings fell 14 percent on lower income from its overseas business.

Tuesday, September 7

David Westin Resigns as President of Disney's ABC News


David Westin resigned as president of ABC News after 13 years, saying he will seek opportunities outside of the Walt Disney Co. network.

UCLA Anderson to Become More Self-Sufficient

UCLA’s Anderson School of Management plans to no longer take public funding, as the UC system faces significant cuts due to the state’s $20 billion budget deficit. The proposed shift will bring higher tuition for M.B.A. students.

Semco Instruments Acquired

Semco Instruments, a Valencia manufacturer of aerospace components, has been acquired by a Cleveland company in a deal valued at $74 million.

Lions Gate Signs Jane Fonda Deal

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. has signed a home entertainment distribution deal with actress and ’80s fitness star Jane Fonda, who is launching a line of videos aimed at aging baby boomers.

Bay Cities Bank Announces Infusion

Bay Cities National Bank has entered into an agreement in which it will get $460 million of new capital from investment banker Stephen Gordon and 25 other investors as part of a change in control at the South Bay bank.

Monday, September 6

Report: American Apparel in Talks with Restructuring Firm


American Apparel Inc. reportedly is in talks to bring in an outside restructuring firm as the manufacturer and retailer struggles to fix its flagging operations.

Labor Tries to Organize Carwashes in Los Angeles


The carwashes of Los Angeles would appear to be an unlikely target for a unionization drive. Nonetheless, labor organizers have set out to unionize this city’s carwash workers, hoping to improve their paltry pay and end widespread abuses.

Newsmakers & Kudos


Overhauling Auto Industry Drives Biofuels Chief Technology Officer


Brian Goodall grew up far from Los Angeles, in a British town called Letchworth.

News of the Week

News of the Week

Official Seal Of Approval

Long Beach looks to endorsement deals to generate revenue.

Long Beach officials see endorsement deals with businesses as a way to boost city revenue.

Something’s Always Cooking

Beverlywood eatery puts a new chef on the menu every few days.

Turnover is very high at Beverlywood’s Test Kitchen as the eatery showcases a new chef and menu every few days.

Setting the Table

West Hollywood’s Urbanspoon pushes local eateries to make the switch to its online reservation service.

Urbanspoon wants restaurants to get over their reservations about switching to its table-booking service.

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Grounds for Growth

Vernon’s Gavina & Sons brews up ‘super-premium’ lines to target consumers who drink at home.

Vernon coffee roaster F. Gavina & Sons hopes a home-brewed product line heats up sales.

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Sticker Shock?

Electric car maker’s jobs to cost L.A. millions

Is the city of Los Angeles facing a shocking bill in its drive to land a Chinese electric car maker?

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Port Drivers Will Keep On Truckin’

Independents look to maintain L.A. access.

Independent truckers foresee a long road of appeals ahead as they battle to retain access to the L.A. port.

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Weaving Web of Donations

Internet entrepreneur’s venture turns ad fees into philanthropy.

Online search engine GoodSearch helps users get a line on philanthropy by donating ad fees to charities.

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Downtown L.A. Festival In Ring With Big Sponsors

SPORTS BUSINESS: Event links with Mexican Independence Day to lure Latino audience.

Oscar de la Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions has some punch with corporate marketers seeking to reach the Latino market.

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Jet-Setter Flies Away From Airport Gig


Life is busy, especially for entrepreneur Sam Nazarian.

Intellectual Property Attorney Leads Team Exodus

LAW: Richard de Bodo takes partners from Hogan to Piper.

One of the biggest local names in intellectual property has a new home.

Malibu Company Makes No Secret of Spy Line

RETAIL & APPAREL: Jakks plans to have new products under wraps for holiday season.

Jakks Pacific Inc. is letting kids play at being the next secret agent.

Cargo Spike Buoys Port Hiring in L.A., Long Beach

TRADE & TRANSPORT: Eleven of 13 terminals will add off-peak late-night, weekend shifts.

Recent surges in cargo volumes have prompted the majority of marine terminals in Southern California’s two major ports to reinstate late-night and weekend operating hours this week.

New Exec to Tune Up Radio to Work With Print, TV

Steve Carver the latest tapped by CBS to oversee L.A. stations.

CBS Radio has dialed up a new chief for the L.A. market to oversee collaboration with newspapers and TV.

LAX Concession Process Hits Some Turbulence


Madelyn Alfano rips what she believes is LAX’s half-baked process for awarding eatery concessions.

Buttoning Up Surcharges

OP-ED: New state bill would prevent retailers from adding a use fee to debit cards and jacking up prices on goods.

State Sen. Jenny Oropeza defends her measure banning merchants from applying debit card surcharges.

Left at a Loss on Labor Day


Charles Crumpley gets worked up about L.A.’s anemic job scene this Labor Day.

Downtown L.A. Developer Goes on Offensive

REAL ESTATE: Sonny Astani launches ad campaign ripping holder of Concerto project loan.

Sonny Astani, the real estate developer trying to keep his Concerto condo project in downtown Los Angeles out of the hands of investment firm Starwood Capital Group, is airing his grievances though a media campaign.

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Alec Shankman: The Real Deal

Midwest transplant Alec Shankman launched a casting site for reality TV hopefuls after working as an agent for some of the genre’s stars.

Reality hit home for Alec Shankman while working with some of the TV genre’s eccentric stars.

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County Leaders Fret Northrop’s Flight

Officials hope to tie down work after HQ relocates.

County leaders are scrambling to maintain Northrop Grumman’s large footprint locally after the company’s headquarters moves to Virginia.

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Office Supply Giant Looks to Lock Up Security Firm

Analysts expect 3M to face rival bids for Pasadena’s Cogent

Office supply maker 3M sees its purchase of Pasadena security firm Cogent as a safe bet.

Still No Room For Fast Food

South L.A. likely to keep new-eatery ban.

South Los Angeles looks likely to serve up permanent limits on building stand-alone fast-food eateries.

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Calendar of Events

Friday, September 3

Paramount Chief Sells L.A. Home for $21.5M


Paramount Chief Executive Brad Grey has sold his Pacific Palisades home for $21.5 million.

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies closed up for the week as markets rallied on an improved jobs report.

SouthWest Water Deal Gets Final Approval

The California Public Utilities Commission has approved SouthWest Water Co.'s acquisition by an institutional investor partnership that will take the company private.

Vicente Capital Makes Investment

Vicente Capital Partners has taken a minority stake in an Emmy Award-winning TV graphics technology company in North Carolina that needs money to expand.

Thursday, September 2

Disney, Time Warner Cable Reach ABC, ESPN Deal


Walt Disney Co. reached a long-term agreement with Time Warner Cable Inc. that keeps ESPN’s football games and ABC’s comedy “Modern Family” on the air for the cable operator’s almost 13 million video customers.

Filmyard Says No Problem with Miramax Sale

The investment group headed by Ronald Tutor and Tom Barrack, said that it had sufficient money to complete its $660 million purchase of Miramax Films, despite reports that some investors had dropped out.

Mattel Sues MGA Over Assets

Mattel Inc. has filed suit against longtime rival MGA Entertainment Inc. to preserve its right to the Bratz doll assets if it wins an upcoming retrial over the doll line.

UTi’s Quarter Better Than Expected

Shares of UTi Worldwide Inc. rose Thursday after the logistics company said higher freight volumes enabled it to report a better-than-expected second quarter.

Berkshire Won't Budge on Wesco Bid


Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. said the price it is offering to pay for the shares it doesn't own in its subsidiary Wesco Financial Corp. is "fair" and it doesn't intend to pay more to boost its ownership in Wesco to 100 percent.

Wednesday, September 1

SEC Ends KB Home Investigation

KB Home said that the Securities and Exchange Commission had completed its investigation into potential accounting and disclosure violations by the homebuilder and would not recommend any enforcement action.

AT&T U-verse Drops Hallmark Channels

AT&T Inc. has dropped Crown Media Holdings’ two Hallmark channels from its U-verse cable TV lineup after the companies failed to reach a new contract.

Irani Expected to Retire

Occidental Petroleum Corp. Chief Executive Ray Irani is expected to soon set a date to step down as investor anger over his high pay mounts, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

HCP Settles with Management Company

HCP Inc. said it reached a $50 million deal to improve the contract terms on 27 of its senior housing communities managed by Sunrise Senior Living Inc., ending a protracted dispute between the two companies.

Del Amo Fashion Center Announces $200 Million Upgrade


The owners of Torrance's Del Amo Fashion Center, prodded by city officials who have seen sales tax revenues slide in recent years, said they will spend $200 million to upgrade the dowdy mall.