SOLD: Internet Brands Inc., an El Segundo Internet media firm, has agreed to be acquired by a private equity firm in a deal valued at roughly $640 million. Hellman & Friedman Capital Partners, which has offices in San Francisco, New York and London, will pay $13.35 in cash for each share of Internet Brands common stock, a premium of more than 46 percent over its Sept. 17 closing price. Internet Brands is a spinoff of Pasadena Internet incubator Idealab, and operates several dozen consumer sites including CarsDirect.com, Gardens.com and DoItYourself.com.
SUB BUY: A subsidiary of Teledyne Technologies Inc. has acquired an Icelandic maker of a submersible that has commercial, scientific and defense uses. The Thousand Oaks company, which manufactures electronic components, instrumentation and communications products, said that Hafmynd ehf.’s Gavia submersible complements Teledyne’s own autonomous underwater vehicles. Among commercial applications for the Gaia is checking the condition of underwater gas and oil pipelines. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
MORE JOBLESS: Los Angeles County lost nearly 13,000 jobs in August as local and federal government payrolls were slashed, pushing the unemployment rate up two-tenths of a point to 12.6 percent. The county reported a drop of 12,800 nonfarm payroll jobs in August, with more than two-thirds of those losses coming from the government and manufacturing sectors. One of the few bright spots was the construction sector, which gained 2,400 jobs in August on top of nearly 2,000 jobs added in July.
REFOCUS: MMC is getting out of the e-mail business by selling its Mail.com and related properties to a German company for an undisclosed amount. Trade publications estimate the L.A. company will get between $50 million and $100 million from United Internet Group, which is based in Montabur, northwest of Frankfurt. MCC, which plans to rebrand itself as a new-media company, operates specialty Internet sites such as OnCars.com, entertainment industry blogger Nikki Finke’s Deadline.com and Bonnie Fuller’s HollywoodLife.com.
DISMISSED: A Los Angeles County Superior Court has dismissed a 2009 lawsuit against Dole Food Co. Inc. that was brought by 185 Colombian plaintiffs who claimed Dole had paid off Colombian paramilitary organizations. The lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice, meaning that the Westlake Village fresh food producer is entitled to judgments against the 185 plaintiffs for bringing what the company described as a “frivolous” suit.
CHARGED: The Securities & Exchange Commission has sued William A. Goldstein and Marc E. Bercoon, alleging the Atlanta partners cold-called investors across the country who paid $3.2 million for what they thought were shares of LA Digital Post, an L.A. postproduction company about to go public. The SEC said that in reality the money was diverted to unrelated company LADP Acquisition.
GOING EAST: Publisher Condé Nast announced that the respected food magazine Bon Appétit will move its editorial office from Los Angeles to New York later this fall. Longtime editor Barbara Fairchild will be leaving the monthly publication. Condé Nast last month also moved L.A.-based Architectural Digest after the departure of longtime editor Paige Rense.
PLEA DEAL: Bonnie Hoxie, a former assistant to a Walt Disney Co. executive, admitted in a New York court that she tried to sell confidential earnings information in a scheme with her boyfriend. Hoxie pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and wire fraud, and one count of wire fraud. She could get four to 10 months in prison when she is sentenced Dec. 21. Her boyfriend, Moroccan-born Yonni Sebbag, who offered to sell the information to investors, last month pleaded guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and securities fraud. He faces to 27 to 33 months in prison and could be deported.
LAX EATING: A Los Angeles City Council committee awarded four out of five recommended dining contracts at Los Angeles International Airport covering Terminals 4, 5, 7 and 8. Three of the contracts were awarded to Miami-based Areas USA, which plans to bring the airport Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza, gang-intervention eatery Homegirl Cafe, downtown L.A. steakhouse Engine Co. 28 and Culver City-based Ford’s Filling Station. Citing legal concerns, the five-member Board of Referred Powers rejected staff’s recommendation for SSP America to receive the largest food and beverage concession contract. That contract will be rebid.
FUND-RAISING: Three companies announced stock or debt offerings last week. Pasadena life sciences landlord Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc. priced a 4.5 million secondary public stock offering at $69.25 per share. DineEquity Inc., the Glendale owner of Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar and IHOP Restaurants chains, is selling up to $825 million in senior unsecured notes in a public offering. L.A. oil and gas partnership Breitburn Energy Partners LP plans to sell $250 million in senior unsecured notes in a private offering to qualified institutional buyers.
EARNINGS: Ameron International Corp. reported fiscal third quarter net income of $8.9 million, 50 percent higher than a year earlier. Revenue rose 2 percent to more than $134 million.
CORRECTION: An article in the Sept. 20 edition headlined “Building Up” should have said that the private preopening gala for the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Exhibition Pavilion at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art was scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 25.
CLARIFICATION: The Retail & Apparel column headlined “L.A. Frozen Yogurt Chain Heats Up Growth Drive” in the Sept. 20 issue quoted Ron Graves, chief executive of Pinkberry, as saying “we could have thousands of stores.” However, he should have said Pinkberry has received “thousand of requests for stores.”
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