Stories for April 2011

Friday, April 29

Shopzilla Sold to Private Equity Firm

Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. has agreed to sell its Los Angeles-based online comparison shopping business Shopzilla Inc. for $165 million to a private equity firm.

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies rose for the week as investors reacted to generally positive earnings reports.

On Assignment’s Stock Boosted by Earnings

Shares of On Assignment Inc. jumped more the 19 percent Friday after the professional staffing firm reported first-quarter profit and gave a forecast for the current quarter that beat Wall Street’s expectations.

Koreatown's Wilshire Hotel Files for Chapter 11

The owners of a Koreatown hotel that have been in a tax dispute with the city of Los Angeles filed for bankruptcy protection on Thursday, one week after sheriff’s deputies were sent to the hotel to collect unpaid taxes.

Green Dot Misses Expectations But Raises Outlook

Green Dot Corp. shares fell Friday after the prepaid debit card provider’s first quarter results missed Wall Street estimates. The company did raise its full-year outlook based on trends of higher card usage by customers.

Direct Sales Boost True Religion’s Quarterly Profit

Shares of True Religion Apparel Inc. jumped Friday after the designer denim maker’s first-quarter profit far exceeded analysts' estimates, largely due to more high-margin sales at its boutiques and ecommerce site.

Thursday, April 28

State Assembly Approves Vernon Dissolution Bill

A bill to dissolve the industrial city of Vernon handily passed the state Assembly, despite fierce opposition from Vernon businesses and labor groups.

Hudson Pacific Properties Prices $101 Million Secondary Offering

Hudson Pacific Properties Inc. has priced a secondary offering of 6.95 million shares at $14.62 per share, which should raise more than $101 million.

Oxy Pumps Up Earnings

Occidental Petroleum Corp.'s first-quarter earnings soared 46 percent as oil prices rose and the company increased production.

Reliance Steel Beats Quarterly Expectations

Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co.'s first-quarter earnings more than doubled as a pick-up in the economy boosted both sales volume and prices.

Wednesday, April 27

Writers Guild Ratifies 3-Year Contract with Producers

The Writers Guild of America, which went on strike for four months during contract negotiations three years ago, has ratified a new three-year deal with producers.

ReachLocal Shares Jump on Google Partnership Deal

ReachLocal Inc. shares soared more than 33 percent on Wednesday after the company announced a search advertising partnership with Google Inc. and raised its financial outlook.

Slowing Tone-up Shoe Sales Hurt Skecher’s First Quarter

Shares of Skechers USA Inc. fell in after-hours trading Wednesday after the shoemaker reported a smaller first-quarter profit on slower sales of its once trendy Tone-up shoes, and warned that the current quarter might also be challenging.

Despite Lower Sales, Northrop’s Quarter Better Than Expected

Northrop Grumman Corp. reported higher first quarter earnings, despite lower sales, as the defense contractor improved operating income.

Avery Dennison’s Quarter Exceeds Expectations

Avery Dennison Corp. reported lower, but still better-than-expected first quarter earnings, boosted by higher sales of its pressure-sensitive packaging labels.

Teledyne’s Quarterly Profit Beats Street’s View

Teledyne Technologies Inc. said sales growth in its instrumentation division contributed to first quarter results that beat Wall Street’s expectations.

Tuesday, April 26

Improving Economy Boosts East West Bank’s First Quarter Profit

East West Bancorp Inc.'s first quarter profit more than doubled as deposits grew and credit quality improved.

CB Richard Ellis Group Swings to Profit

CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. moved from a loss to a profit in the first quarter as the commercial real estate market continued to recover from the recession.

DreamWorks’ First Quarter Down on Lack of New Releases

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. reported 59 percent lower profit in the first quarter, largely due to the lack of a major theatrical release in the period. The results met Wall Street expectations.

Wilshire Bank Shares Fall on First Quarter Loss

Wilshire Bancorp Inc. shares plunged more than 18 percent on Tuesday, a day after the Koreatown bank reported that it had moved to a loss in the first quarter largely due to a larger provision for bad loans.

Monday, April 25

John Anderson Gives $25M Gift to Namesake School at UCLA

Billionaire John Anderson and his wife Marion have given his namesake UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management a $25 million gift — the largest in the school's history.

Aecom CEO to Add Chairman Title, New President Named

As part of its succession strategy, Aecom Technology Corp. announced that its board had appointed Chief Executive John Dionisio as chairman and promoted three other executives.

KCET Sells Studio Property to Church of Scientology

KCET has sold its studio on Sunset Boulevard to the Church of Scientology for an undisclosed amount, the station announced.

L.A. Chamber Wants Delay on Vernon Disincorporation Bill

One major local business organization has called for postponing a state bill to dissolve the city of Vernon, while another business group appears poised to oppose the bill.

ValueClick Acquires Mobile Advertising Network Greystripe

ValueClick Inc. has acquired mobile advertising network Greystripe Inc. for about $70 million in cash.

Non-Profit Intends To Sell Out

Billionaire’s new store offers pet products and shelter services.

Found Animals unleashes a mall store in order to help pay for its pet adoption services.

Wasting and Wanting


Recent legal losses show how poorly suited the city of Los Angeles is to handling money, writes Charles Crumpley.

Bio-Fuels Company Seeks a Lift From Airplanes

Westwood’s Rentech expands stake in sister business in Hawaii.

Rentech feels it has more in the tank after taking a majority stake in sister bio-fuels company CleanTech.

Mint-ing Money?

Breath-freshener veteran bets on Larry King as spokesman for new product.

The maker of a defunct breath-freshener hopes for a second wind with a new product and Larry King as spokesman.

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Restaurant Founder Adds Consultancy to the Menu

RETAIL & APPAREL: Vic Branstetter opens firm for hospitality, lifestyle and retail clients.

Vic Branstetter, co-founder of restaurant chain Houston’s, has set his entrepreneurial sights on a new venture.

Century City Firm Hopes To Get Shoppers in the Bag

TECHNOLOGY: TreatFeed site combines social networking with deal-hunting.

Fresh off the sale of their retail website HauteLook to department store giant Nordstrom, two of the downtown L.A. company’s co-founders have started another Internet venture.

Trying to Keep a Sweet Secret


After beating all other U.S. dessert chefs this month in an international culinary competition, Sally Camacho, the pastry chef at downtown L.A.’s ritzy WP24 and a sometimes reality TV personality, is getting ready to represent the entire country in the world finals.

Revenge of The Nerds

Santa Monica company to highlight all things geek in L.A. newsletter.

GeekChicDaily has turned its Coke-bottle glasses on Los Angeles with a localized newsletter.

Regional Reports

Regional Report

Having The Last Laugh?

Juice maker plays along with humorous advertising expose.

Pom Wonderful’s sponsorship of a humorous documentary on advertising is no joke.

Will DWP’s New General Manager Fit the Bill?


Gary Toebben, Mary Leslie and Stuart Waldman are energized by Ron Nichols’ early changes at the DWP.

Budgeting at the Ballot Box

OP-ED: Gov. Jerry Brown should let voters have a say on five tax measures that could help save the Golden State.

Maria de Jesus Rosas and Jorge Corralejo nominate five tax changes for the November ballot.

Chicago Bank Moves Back Into Malibu Complex

REAL ESTATE: Lender picks up at auction a condo project it originally bankrolled in ’04.

An eyesore Malibu condo complex, the Villas at Carbon Beach, was bought back this month by the same bank that financed it before the developer went bankrupt.

Google Drops ‘Visibility,’ Stock of L.A. Media Firm

Change to search algorithm reduces results for Demand’s eHow.

Changes to Google’s search engine drove some shareholders away from eHow parent Demand Media.

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Residential Builder Homes In on Some Positive Signs

KB led L.A. market despite slow sales for new properties.

KB Home paced the field of L.A. County developers despite drooping sales of its new homes.

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Wi-Fi Business Hopes Stock Connects on Wall Street

Boingo’s hopes are sky high in wake of jet leaser’s recent IPO.

The recent strong IPO for a jet-leasing company has lifted hopes for Wi-Fi business Boingo’s public offering.

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Barbie’s Parent Skirts Fallout From Bratz Ruling

Victory for MGA does little to impact Mattel stock or analysts’ support.

The Bratz doll feud may be played out as a new court ruling favoring rival MGA failed to hurt Mattel’s share price.

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News of the Week

News of the Week

Calendar & Events


Vernon Leaders See Shaky Breakup Vows

Some doubt speaker’s pledge to protect services.

Some Vernon officials and business leaders wonder what happened to a politician’s promise their costs won’t spike.

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Is L.A. Taking Shots At Liquor Tastings?

Store owners say city pouring it on with permit fees.

Some liquor store owners say L.A. city fees will swallow up all the benefits from a new law that allows in-store alcohol tastings.

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More Hotels Weigh Downtown Check-In

Chains hopeful area will field a football stadium.

Hotel chains are showing little reservation about building more rooms near L.A. Live.

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California Looks for Hollywood Comeback

TV and film tax credits gain on rivals’

California’s star is on the rise as its TV and movie tax credits begin to outshine rival states’.

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Friday, April 22

The Week’s Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies ended slightly on the positive side in a shortened trading week as investors reacted to mixed earnings and economic reports.

Canadians Come to American Apparel’s Rescue

A group of Canadians has agreed to invest $15 million in American Apparel Inc. and could add as much as $28 million in the next six months to enable the Los Angeles company to avoid bankruptcy.

Thursday, April 21

City National’s Profit Beats Expectations

City National Corp. reported first-quarter earnings that beat analyst estimates, pointing to improved credit quality that enabled City National Bank to avoid making provisions for loan losses.

Cathay Bank Turns to Profit

Cathay General Bancorp moved from a loss to a profit in the first quarter as improved credit quality enabled the parent of Cathay Bank parent to take a significantly smaller provision for loan losses.

Jury Rejects Mattel’s Bratz Claims

A federal jury in Santa Ana has handed a stunning blow to Mattel Inc.’s efforts to claim rights to the Bratz doll franchise. The jury in the second trial of the long-running corporate dispute ruled that MGA Entertainment Inc. is the rightful owner of the provocative doll line.

Amgen to Start Paying Dividends

Amgen Inc. announced it will start paying a quarterly dividend in the current second quarter, and expects to pay about 20 percent of its adjusted annual profit in dividends.

Cheesecake Earnings Beat the Street

Cheesecake Factory Inc. said that its first quarter profit beat Wall Street's expectations as more patrons came to its upscale casual restaurants and spent more money at each visit. But shares fell as revenue growth was just shy of forecasts.

Wednesday, April 20

Big U.S. Firms Shift Hiring Abroad


Big U.S. Firms Shift Hiring Abroad

Riordan, Fleming Endorse Beutner

Former Los Angeles jobs czar Austin Beutner picked up major business endorsements as a potential candidate for mayor.

Former Texas Rangers President Appointed to Oversee L.A. Dodgers

Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said that Major League Baseball was taking over operations of the Los Angeles Dodgers from owner Frank McCourt due to “deep concerns” over finances, security and other problems.

Joanne Kim Gets New Top Bank Post

In the latest round in L.A.’s Korean-American bank executive shuffle, Commonwealth Business Bank said that former Wilshire Bancorp chief executive Joanne Kim has been appointed to the same position at its institution.

Amgen Beats Forecasts

Amgen Inc. beat analyst expectations even though first-quarter net income fell 4 percent as the Thousand Oaks biotech increased spending to launch its highly anticipated bone drugs Prolia and Xgeva.

Villaraigosa's Budget Includes Furloughs, Layoffs


Los Angeles city employees would have to take more than a month of furlough days in the next fiscal year under a $6.9 billion budget proposed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Wednesday, but many workers could avoid furloughs by agreeing to defer pay raises and increase health-care contributions.

Teledyne Divests Aircraft Engine Firms

Teledyne Technologies Inc. has completed the sale of its piston engine businesses to a Chinese company for $186 million.

Tuesday, April 19

How to Dodge High Smartphone Rates Abroad


How to Dodge High Smartphone Rates Abroad

Dodgers Signs Vice Chairman

The Los Angeles Dodgers organization has hired civic and business leader Steve Soboroff as vice chairman as part of ongoing efforts to counter negative publicity in the wake of a savage beating of a fan last month.

Rand’s Chief Executive to Step Down

James A. Thomson, who has served as chief executive and president of the nonprofit policy think tank Rand Corp. for more than two decades, said he will retire this fall.

L.A. Live to Get Two More Hotels

Marriott International will be adding two more hotels at the L.A. Live complex as part of a plan by AEG to increase the number of rooms downtown as it seeks to expand the Los Angeles Convention Center and build an NFL stadium.

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Wary Americans Shun Cheapest Homes in 40 Years


Americans Shun Cheapest Homes in 40 Years

Air Lease Corp. Shares Hit the Market

Shares of billionaire Steven Udvar-Hazy’s Air Lease Corp. rose modestly in their first day of trading following an initial public offering that raised roughly $803 million for the Century City company.

Rentech to Acquire Majority of Partner

Rentech Inc. plans to acquire additional equity in fellow biofuel technology developer ClearFuels Technology Inc. in order to become the majority shareholder.

Report: $4.1B LAX Work Gives $6.9B Boost to Region


A $4.1 billion effort to finally spruce up Los Angeles International Airport is paying off for the entire region, according to new report.

SpaceX Gets $75M Grant from NASA


Hawthorne commercial rocket firm Space Exploration Technologies has received $75 million as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Development effort to replace the retiring space shuttle fleet.

Monday, April 18

Ticketmaster to Offer 'Dynamic' Pricing

Ticketmaster has collaborated with West L.A. analytics company MarketShare to start a new service that will enable performing artists and sports teams to raise and lower the price of tickets as they are being sold.

Demand Media Reaffirms Outlook

Shares of Demand Media Inc. fell more than 10 percent on Monday following a consultant’s report asserting that changes to Google search engine algorithms had significantly diminished traffic to the online publishing firm’s flagship eHow information web site.

WILSHIRE CORRIDOR: Concession-Heavy Packages Help Drive Park Mile and Miracle Mile


Major events in Los Angeles County commercial and industrial submarkets in the first quarter.

SAN FERNANDO VALLEY: First Quarter Squanders Fourth’s Momentum as Vacancies Mount


Major events in Los Angeles County commercial and industrial submarkets in the first quarter.

TRI-CITIES: Expanding Small Businesses Help Pick Up the Pace of Absorption


Major events in Los Angeles County commercial and industrial submarkets in the first quarter.

SAN GABRIEL VALLEY: Industrial Activity Extends Vacancy Dip for the Fifth Straight Quarter


Major events in Los Angeles County commercial and industrial submarkets in the first quarter.

CEQA Keeps State Out of the Danger Zones


Cary Brazeman defends CEQA while ripping the city of L.A. for tripping up projects.

Medical Device Company Has Some Healthy Growth

Chatsworth’s Iris International fueled by urinalysis test equipment.

The growth of a testing technology company has been a shot in the arm to local employment.

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Windy City Firm Likes the Air in Downtown L.A.


Downtown’s successful courting of Seyfarth Shaw led the law firm to open a second office there.

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Galleria Mauled in Glendale


The Glendale Galleria should learn from its mistakes and not fight Rick Caruso again, writes Charles Crumpley.

Filling the Void in Los Angeles

OP-ED: Business community will need to back non-profits as they provide the services lost to government cuts.

Demand for non-profit services will rise as the government cuts services, writes David Hamlin.

WESTSIDE: Landlords Put in Their 2 Cents Despite Negative Net Absorption


Major events in Los Angeles County commercial and industrial submarkets in the first quarter.

News of the Week

News of the Week

Calendar & Events


SOUTH BAY/ MID-CITIES: More Office Space Comes Back on Line Despite Industrial Strength


Major events in Los Angeles County commercial and industrial submarkets in the first quarter.

Regional Reports

Regional Report

Downtown’s New Law of Attraction


Downtown L.A. is making its case with the legal industry as firms flock back to the again-bustling area.

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SANTA CLARA VALLEY: Lease Deals and Sales Remain Rare in Market Rife With Vacancies


Major events in Los Angeles County commercial and industrial submarkets in the first quarter.

DOWNTOWN: Office Market Raises Its Game As Stadium Boosts Area’s Draw


Major events in Los Angeles County commercial and industrial submarkets in the first quarter.

HOLLYWOOD: West Hollywood Pulls In Tenants as Hollywood’s Star Dims


Major events in Los Angeles County commercial and industrial submarkets in the first quarter.

Small Tenants, Eager Landlords Propel Choppy Recovery


Major events in Los Angeles County commercial and industrial submarkets in the first quarter.

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Building A Crowd

Big Air seeks a leading role in Hollywood by connecting small movies with audiences.

Big Air hopes to inflate the stature of clients’ independent movies through an unusual distribution system.

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Westwood Firm Plugs Into Tech, Digital Media Sectors

BANKING & FINANCE: Covert & Co. hits the ground running with M&A deals.

Kevin Covert’s timing is looking pretty good.

Los Angeles Sets Course To Land Chinese Businesses

TRADE & TRANSPORT: City teams with Shanghai partner to form ties to China companies.

The city of Los Angeles plans to use a new alliance with China Shipping Container Lines to boost local employment and help businesses.

Investors Make a Lot of Noise Over Warner Music

Talk of possible sale boosts shares of publishing giant.

Sale speculation has cued up a big gain for Warner Music Group’s stock.

L.A. Algae Business Looks to Dive Into Wastewater

OriginOil hopes to grow technology beyond fuel-making process.

Algae-as-fuel business OriginOil is looking to make a splash in the wastewater industry.

L.A. Clothing Companies Tailor Private Equity Deals

Some analysts see sector’s strong cash flow as a good fit for investors.

Local clothing companies are turning to private equity to fashion growth opportunities.

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Cosmetics Maker Faces the Future With New Lines

Jafra creates products aimed at African-American market.

Skin care company Jafra’s business makeover includes new lines geared toward African-Americans.

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More Friction in Store at Rival Malls?

Glendale Galleria updates as Caruso takes stock.

Nordstrom’s jump from Glendale Galleria to Americana at Brand may widen the divide between the rival malls.

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Local Firm Seeks Cut of Virtual Pie

Talkie jumps into social gaming sector.

Brentwood’s Talkie would like to have a say in the expanding social gaming sector.

Santa Monica Equity Firm Takes Stake in Brokerage

Colony’s Grubb & Ellis loan hints at commercial market interest.

Colony Capital may be looking to stick its flag in more commercial properties through a loan to Grubb & Ellis.

Foes Pile Up on L.A. Trash Plan

City may haul in bigger fees.

L.A. business interests would like to trash a city proposal to set up a franchise system for waste haulers.

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John Fenton: Line Driver

Railroad industry veteran now works to hook up Angelenos with trains as Metrolink CEO.

Metrolink CEO John Fenton would like to get Angelenos all aboard the agency’s traffic-reducing train lines.

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Something To Smile About?

Laugh Factory owner sees fewer takers for freebies for jobless.

Laugh Factory owner Jamie Masada is happy to see interest drying up in his specials for jobless people.

Targeting The Web

‘Math Blaster’ maker looks to the Internet for additional business.

The maker of educational software “Math Blaster” has turned its cross hairs online.

Brewer To Tap Into L.A. Market

SoCal Beer is taking a crafty approach to get into local bars.

The brothers behind SoCal Beer are hoping for a pour reception at L.A.’s bars.

Matching the Movie With the Money


When producer Lisa Bruce was a student at NYU, most of her film school classmates wanted to be directors.

Friday, April 15

Pacific Commerce CEO Resigns

Pacific Commerce Bank announced that Brian H. Kelley has resigned as chief executive officer to return to private law practice.

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies fell slightly for the week as investors reacted to mixed earnings and economic reports.

Discouraged Jobseekers Affect Jobless Rate

L.A. County’s unemployment rate fell again last month to 12.3 percent from 12.6 percent in February as fewer people were looking for work.

Lawsuit Cost Hits Mattel’s Profit

Despite higher revenue, Mattel Inc.’s first quarter earnings fell 33 percent due to higher expenses, including the cost of pursuing its Bratz doll lawsuit against rival toymaker MGA Entertainment Inc.

MGM Resorts Founder Kerkorian to Leave Board


Billionaire Kirk Kerkorian will step down in June from the board of MGM Resorts International, the casino company he founded, to become a senior adviser and its first director emeritus.

Thursday, April 14

Beutner Leaves Mayor's Office To Make Way For 2013 Run


After a little more than a year in government, private equity baron Austin Beutner has resigned from the office of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a move that frees him up to campaign for his boss's job in 2013.

New CEO at Americas United Bank

Americas United Bank announced that Adriana M. Boeka had been appointed chief executive.

Boingo Provides IPO Details

Boingo Wireless has set a pricing range for its upcoming 5.8 million-share initial public offering at between $12 and $14 per share.

MarketShare Gets Funding

MarketShare has received a $32 million investment from private equity firm Elevation Partners that will be used for expansion efforts.

Wednesday, April 13

Regulators Sanction OneWest

Federal regulators have ordered Pasadena's OneWest Bank to overhaul its foreclosure processes after finding numerous deficiencies in its mortgage servicing business.

Magic Johnson, Yucaipa Cos. Buy Phoenix Radio Stations


Magic Johnson Enterprises and Yucaipa Cos. are buying three Phoenix radio stations from Atmor Properties Inc.

Ovitz Reaches Deal To Sell Live Nation HQ Building


Former CAA head Michael Ovitz and partners reportedly have reached a preliminary agreement to sell the Beverly Hills headquarters of Live Nation to commercial real estate investment firm Tishman Speyer Properties.

J.H. Snyder Loses North Hollywood Valley Plaza Site


After numerous failed attempts to overhaul Valley Plaza, a tired-looking mall in North Hollywood, developer J.H. Snyder has handed the 23-acre site back to lender iStar.

Musk Says SpaceX Is Considering IPO


Space Exploration Technologies, the space transportation company founded by Internet entrepreneur Elon Musk, could pursue an initial public offering next year.

OriginOil Signs First Large Distribution Deal

Biofuels developer OriginOil Inc. announced a deal with a large waste water treatment systems provider that will distribute OriginOil’s systems to its customers.

Carbon Footprint Companies Plan Merger

Playa del Rey’s Planet Positive International LLC, which provides corporate environmental accreditation programs, has signed a letter of intent to merge with Green Globe International Inc.

Nazarian's SBE Acquires Syndicate Hospitality


Sam Nazarian's hospitality group SBE has acquired its largest Los Angeles night-life competitor, David Judaken's Syndicate Hospitality.

Tuesday, April 12

Colony Financial Makes Loan to Grubb & Ellis

Colony Financial Inc. has participated in $57 million worth of transactions, including an $18 million loan to struggling real estate brokerage Grubb & Ellis Co.

Sam Garrison To Leave L.A. Chamber

The top lobbyist for the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce is leaving next month to join a business consulting firm in Pasadena.

Charles Laufer, Founder of Tiger Beat, Dies at 87


Charles Laufer, who as a high school teacher in 1955 despaired that his students had nothing entertaining to read and responded with magazines aimed at teenage girls desperate to know much, much more about the lives of their favorite cute stars, has died at age 87.

Shuttle Endeavour To Retire at Exposition Park


The space shuttle Endeavour, which was built in Palmdale to replace the destroyed Challenger shuttle, will be placed on display at the California Science Center in Exposition Park after its upcoming final mission.

Phil Spector Lawyers Seek New Trial on Murder Charge


Lawyers for record producer Phil Spector were expected to urge a California appeals court to throw out his 2009 murder conviction and grant a third trial.

AML to Be Acquired

Irvine's Microsemi Corp. plans to acquire the microwave amplifiers and subsystem maker AML Communications Inc. of Camarillo for $28 million in cash.

Clearlake Capital Invests in 3ality Digital

Santa Monica's Clearlake Capital Group LP has led the acquisition and recapitalization of Burbank-based 3-D film technology company 3ality Digital.

Monday, April 11

Discount Chain to Consider Buyout

A special board committee at 99-Cent Only Stores has been appointed to evaluate a private equity-backed management buyout and any potential competing offers.

First California Closes Acquisition

First California Bank has closed its $5.5 million acquisition of the electronic banking division of Palm Desert National Bank.

Gores Group Adds Managing Director

Gores Group LLC said that Lewis L. Bird III has joined the firm as a managing director.

Political Consultant Kam Kuwata Dead at 57


Well-known Democratic political consultant Kam Kuwata was found dead Monday in his Venice condominium.

General Finance Contemplates Aussie Spin Off

General Finance Corp. in Pasadena announced that a subsidiary is considering an initial public offering in Australia.

Kilroy Stock Offering Totals $221 Million

Real estate investment trust Kilroy Realty Corp. increased a stock offering due to investor demand, boosting the proceeds to $221 million.

Venice Firm Helps Unleash Whole New ‘World’

Liquid used focused approach to guide ‘Warcraft’ campaign.

Venice agency Liquid has made a big splash with its approach to promoting video games.

Century City Firm Opts for Sale After Exec’s Death

Rogers Group bought by Ruder Finn in wake of Lynne Doll’s passing.

Rogers Group’s founder had to rethink his succession plan after the death last year of protégé Lynne Doll.

Robert Shapiro: Civil Action

Former O.J. Simpson lawyer has moved from a criminal focus to representing business clients at Glaser Weil.

Attorney Robert Shapiro has shifted from criminal to civil cases but still hears questions about you know who.

Under The Skin

A rare tissue condition inspires doctor to develop genetic test.

Dr. Brandon Colby, who suffers from a rare disease, developed a DNA test to help people and their doctors evaluate health risks.

Regional Reports

Regional Report

News of the Week

News of the Week

Reality Star in the House


For 10 years, Josh Altman has just been a Realtor. But suddenly he’s a star. And that’s been a bit of surprise to the 32-year-old.

Deals Website Makes Play With a Gaming Element

TECHNOLOGY:’s president sees social aspect as key to business’s success.

When Dane McLeod took a look at the tech industry in 2009, he noticed that everyone was buzzing about social games such as “Farmville” and online deals.

Going Whole Hog

Culver City chef feels the heat in competition to cook intact pig.

A pig-cooking contest has given local chefs something to squeal about.

CEO Denies American Apparel Ready to Fold

Dov Charney boasts he’ll be ‘one of the billionaires.’

American Apparel’s controversial chief defends his embattled company’s prospects and his lifestyle choices.

Calling In Outside Assistance

MTA enlists public in competition to create local mass-transit apps.

The MTA has put out a call for the creation of mass-transit apps for the agency’s customers.

Hoping for Something ‘Extra’

Not all Grove vendors are pleased with daily TV taping of show.

Some Grove vendors are seeing crowds but not sales from the taping of celeb news show “Extra.”

Auto Sales Site May Rev Up Infomercials

TrueCar links with TV ad titan.

Infomercial giant Guthy-Renker will be looking to drive more traffic to new partner

MasterImage Looks to Glasses-Free Future

MasterImage is looking to reframe the 3-D sector with its glasses-free technology.

3-D Projections

RealD sets sights on big summer flicks

RealD is hoping for a brighter future with a string of blockbusters heading for its 3-D-outfitted screens.

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Glenn Schieke, 56, Veteran Executive, Skilled Musician

ADVERTISING & PR: Phelps Group COO played piano at opening ceremony of ’84 Olympics.

Phelps Group in Santa Monica lost one of its top employees when Chief Operating Officer Glenn Schieke died due to complications from pneumonia.

Jet Cleaning Business Looks to Land Car Customers

International Aero launches a high-end line of products for automobiles.

International Aero hopes a new product line for automobiles stays grounded.

Investor Sees Opening to Take Over Ticket Seller

Baker Street offers to acquire Studio City company.

An investor and Tix Corp. management are in a battle for the company’s future.

Dodgers Express Is a Swing and a Miss


Tim Cavanaugh calls foul over public spending on transportation to and from Dodger Stadium.

California’s Prognosis

OP-ED: There could be a massive loss of employer benefits if federal health care reform backfires in the state.

Tim DeRoche takes a look at some possible impacts of federal health care reform on California.

Not Suited for Development


State environmental act CEQA spells nothing but trouble for developers, writes Charles Crumpley.

Music Publisher Notes Popularity of Miracle Mile

REAL ESTATE: Neighborhood has become home to more entertainment businesses.

Music publishing company Bug Music Inc., which represents pop stars such as Bruno Mars and holds nearly 250,000 copyrights, is moving its headquarters to the Miracle Mile.

L.A. County Home Sales Take a Step Back

Volume slides by 12 percent and median price declines by 3 percent.

Pace of home sales in L.A. County slowed by 12 percent in March.

Digital Media Has L.A. Firms Venturing Out Again

Tech sector possibilities spark surge in flow of capital.

Digital media opportunities are drawing in L.A.’s venture capital firms.

Calendar & Events


Friday, April 8

City National Expands in Vegas

City National Bank has acquired the assets and deposits of Nevada Commerce Bank, a Las Vegas institution that was closed by federal regulators on Friday.

Trial Wraps Up in Spat Over Bratz Copyright


Mattel Inc. asked a jury to find that rival toymaker MGA Entertainment Inc. stole the idea for the Bratz doll at the end of a second trial over the origins of the pouty, multiethnic figurine.

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies rose for the week as investors weighed the implications of a federal government shutdown.

Gores to Buy Detroit Pistons

After months of negotiations with the owner of the Detroit Pistons, billionaire investor Tom Gores has reached a deal to buy the struggling basketball franchise.

Amgen Expands Into Brazil

Amgen Inc. has bought Brazilian drug developer Bergamo for about $215 million. The biotech giant also reacquired rights to market several Amgen drugs in that fast-growing South American country.

HCP Closes Large Acquisition

HCP Inc. announced that it closed the acquisition of 334 nursing homes and assisted living facilities from HCR ManorCare for $6.1 billion in cash.

MPG Moves Towers to Special Servicing

MPG Office Trust has placed mortgage loans on U.S. Bank Tower and a second downtown high rise in special-servicing status, a move that will allow the troubled REIT to renegotiate terms of the buildings’ debt.

Thursday, April 7

Rogers Group Acquired

The Rogers Group, the Los Angeles public relations firm run by PR magnate Ron Rogers, said that it has been acquired by New York-based firm Ruder Finn Inc.

Wednesday, April 6

Hollywood Reporter To Relocate

The Hollywood Reporter and five associated businesses and publications are moving into the Miracle Mile’s Wilshire Courtyard complex.

American Apparel May Search for a Buyer

American Apparel Inc. reportedly is looking for a buyer as its creditors are increasingly losing patience with the struggling Los Angeles apparel manufacturer and retailer, according to media reports.

Kilroy Increases Secondary Offering

Kilroy Realty Corp. has raised the size of its public offering to 5.3 million shares and priced them at $38.25 each.

Tuesday, April 5

Kilroy Realty Plans $204 Million Stock Offering

Kilroy Realty Corp. has commenced a secondary public offering of 4.5 million shares of common stock to raise money to acquire office buildings in Washington state.

Local Location Filming Gets a Boost

FilmLA Inc. said that a spike in student films, music videos and other small projects boosted location shooting in Los Angeles by 4.7 percent in the first quarter.

Long Beach Port Director to Leave

After leading the Port of Long Beach for 14 years, Richard Steinke announced he will step down Sept. 30.

Loss Widens at KB Home

KB Home's fiscal first-quarter loss increased as the homebuilder delivered fewer homes to buyers and reported fewer orders made for new homes.

Monday, April 4

UCLA Conference Center on Hold

A controversial proposal to build a $160 million hotel and conference center on the UCLA campus has been put on hold pending a more detailed study of the project’s finances, according to a letter sent to faculty.

LAX-Alaska Airlines Settlement Jumps Hurdle

The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners approved a settlement between Los Angeles World Airports and Alaska Airlines that will enable LAX to move forward with a $271 million renovation of Terminal 6.

Farmer Bros. CEO to Retire, Workers Laid Off

Farmer Bros. Co. Chief Executive Roger Laverty III is stepping down as of April 19 and will retire at the end of the company's fiscal year. The company also announced cost reductions that include laying off 80 employees.

Air Lease Corp. Announces IPO Terms

Air Lease Corp., Steve Udvar-Hazy’s latest aircraft leasing venture, could raise as much as $805 million in its upcoming initial public offering, according to a Monday regulatory filing.

Stan Lee Puts 'The Governator' in Animation


Arnold Schwarzenegger says his new animated TV venture features a "superheroic guy" who gets things done — without constraints like laws to thwart his action.

Ducommun Makes Acquisition

Aerospace supplier Ducommun Inc. has reached a definitive agreement to acquire electronics maker LaBarge Inc. in a deal valued at $305 million.

Electro Rent More Than Doubles Profit

Electro Rent Corp reported a 136 percent increase in net income for its fiscal third quarter, as more companies bought or leased its electronic test equipment, personal computers and servers.

Local Firms’ Resurgence Points to General Recovery

Ad agency billings up 8 percent; PR companies up 4 percent.

Increased business at local agencies may hint at a broader economic recovery.

Shopping Site Adds Web Links to Grow Business

West L.A.’s Shopzilla boosts revenue with deeper inventory.

West L.A.’s Shopzilla added retailers to get online shoppers to check out its wares.

Big Picture’s Small Problem


Charles Crumpley finds small and medium-sized companies still have large worries about the economy.

Matt Coffin: New Wave

LowerMyBills founder is on his second online deals site and also connects to L.A.’s tech community as an angel investor.

Creator of Matt Coffin now clicks with the L.A. tech community as an angel investor.

Price for Former Guess Chief’s Home Is No Mystery

CHIEF DWELLINGS: Carlos Alberini is asking $3.5 million for Tuscan-style Encino home.

Listings and sales of executive homes.

Westside Space Proves to Facebook’s ‘Like’-ing

REAL ESTATE: Social networking giant to join other tech tenants in Playa Vista.

Only months after Google Inc. signed a massive Venice office lease, social network giant Facebook Inc. is tip-toeing into the Westside market.

Website Picks a New Path to Presenting Discounts

RETAIL & APPAREL: Shoparatti to offer ‘best’ deals as chosen by TV’s Melissa Rivers.

Shoparatti – no, it’s not a new word to describe conspicuous consumers.

Research Firm Brings Game Theory to Retail Brands

Kelton uses exercise to prepare clients for marketplace changes.

Kelton Research’s retail war game helps companies arm themselves for the marketplace.

Gay Publisher Has Issues With Finances, Lawsuit

Advocate and parent face financial crunch and banks’ lawsuit.

Financial and legal problems have become featured stories about gay magazine Advocate and its parent.

Regional Report

Regional Report

Seeing the Water Glass as Half-Full


When 600 dignitaries gathered for World Water Day on March 22 at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., the mood was solemn. But Steve Hilton wasn’t.

Landing Notoriety

Lounges, restaurant at LAX earn high praise from travel guide.

Two LAX lounges and a restaurant land on a travel guide’s lists of hot spots.

Hot Date in Westwood?

Village businesses to offer special draws on ‘third Thursdays.’

Westwood Village businesses are sold on a once-a-month night of free and discounted attractions.

Giving Birth to Business

Mother Co. lines up moms as investors in its preschooler DVDs.

Mother Co. founders looked to other moms to deliver seed money for the educational DVD maker.

Super Sized

Local restaurateurs serve up a slate of large spaces

Some new local restaurants have made large locations a part of the menu.

Tease photo

USC Medical School Looks to Operate on Westside

Offices will vie with services from UCLA and Cedars-Sinai.

USC’s Keck School of Medicine is injecting itself into a neighborhood served by UCLA and Cedars-Sinai.

Disasters in Japan Expected to Hurt Businesses in L.A.

Tourism and trade companies see a local slowdown coming.

L.A. tourism and trade-related companies expect a slowdown in the wake of Japan’s disasters.

Engineering Firm Builds Approval With Analysts

Jacobs’ contract prospects help boost outlook of stock.

Jacobs’ business blueprint has analysts raising their evaluations of the engineering firm.

Pope Making Her Play

Reality TV show appearance boosts local woman’s Netflix-style toys-through-the-mail business.

A reality TV show’s stamp of approval has boosted a Silver Lake-based toys-through-the-mail venture.

Will L.A. Businesses Star in Show Biz Revival?

Plan calls for cost cuts for TV, movie crews.

L.A. Councilman is shooting to enlist businesses in a discount program for film and TV productions.

Personal Responsibility Hits Home


Michael Gorman raps homeowners who want others to pay for their poor decisions.

Stations Dial In Discount Deals

Websites hope for hits with Groupon-style offers.

Some L.A. stations want to have a say in Groupon-style advertising by adding daily deals to their websites.

Feds Think Small In Bribery Trial

Case against Azusa company may set precedent.

Federal pursuit of a small Azusa manufacturer may raise the bar on foreign corruption cases.

It’s Just Not Working

OPED: Costs of living and doing business in California have undercut the state’s ability to produce jobs.

Elected leaders’ way of doing business has cost California jobs, according to state Sen. Roderick D. Wright.

Calendar & Events


MTA to Finalize Acquisition of Union Station

TRADE & TRANSPORT: Agency to create oversight committee, master plan.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is preparing to close this month on its $75 million purchase of Union Station.

Sunday, April 3

Report: Live Nation Eyes Warner Music


Live Nation Entertainment Inc. reportedly has made an offer to acquire Warner Music Group Corp.

Friday, April 1

AeroVironment Drone Crashes During Test

AeroVironment Inc’s experimental Global Observer unmanned aircraft crashed during an endurance test flight at Edwards Air Force Base early Friday morning.

Report: Gores Group Makes Bid for ‘American Idol’ Owner


Billionaire Alec Gores made an unsolicited offer for “American Idol” owner CKX Inc., according to a person with knowledge of the bid.

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies fell slightly for the week as oil prices jumped on positive economic reports from both the United States and China.

Teledyne Adds Digital Imaging Expertise

Teledyne Technologies Inc. said that its Dalsa subsidiary acquired a minority interest in a laser-based survey and digital imaging company.

Food Truck Vendors Sue Monrovia Over Ban


An organization representing Southern California's popular food trucks has filed a lawsuit against Monrovia for banning the mobile eateries in certain parts of the city.