CHINA DEAL: L.A. entertainment company Ikonic Entertainment Group will design and co-develop a theme park in China along with Taichi Lake Group, Chinese investment firm. Ikonic, co-founded by theme park veteran Tony Christopher, will provide planning, design and construction services for a kung fu-themed park in the country’s northwest Hubei Province. It’s estimated that the theme park will cost about $300 million to design and build and may create several hundred jobs in Los Angeles.
REAL ESTATE OUTLOOK: USC’s annual Casden Southern California Industrial and Office Forecast said that slow job growth likely will translate into mixed market conditions for the Los Angeles County’s office and industrial property owners. Office vacancies should remain stable over the next two years, but Class A asking rents are projected to decline 7.7 percent, while Class B space should see a decline of 7.3 percent. In the industrial market, the county’s vacancy rate should decrease 0.4 percentage points to 2.7 percent during the next two years, while rents should increase 9.8 percent to 55 cents per square foot.
STATEWIDE FORECAST: The quarterly UCLA Anderson Forecast notes that payroll gains in September and October suggest a modest recovery is under way, and predicted job growth of 1.4 percent next year and 2.1 percent the following year. But the gains still won’t be enough to push the state’s jobless rate – which was 11.7 percent in October – down to single digits until 2014. The state’s growth rate was better than the national jobless rate, with notable improvements in the Central Valley and Inland Empire.
PASSING NOTED: A memorial service for former Avery Dennison Corp. Chairman Charles D. Miller was scheduled for Monday in Pasadena. Miller died at his home in Pasadena on Nov. 23 due to complications from emphysema. He was 83. He joined the Pasadena office products company in 1964, and served as chairman and chief executive though a major growth and acquisitions period between 1977 and 1998.
DEBT SALE: The investors that plan to buy 99-Cent Only Stores are selling $250 million in a notes offering to help finance the $1.6 billion acquisition. Private-equity firm Ares Management LLC and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board said they also would contribute about $536 million in common equity toward the deal, which is expected to close in the first quarter of next year. The partners reached a deal with the Commerce discount chain’s board in October to take the company private.
ANOTHER PASSING: Superior Industries International Inc. in Van Nuys has announced that its founding chairman, Louis L. Borick, died Nov. 30. He was 87. Borick built Superior from a small automotive accessories distributor into the largest manufacturer of aluminum wheels for passenger cars and light-duty vehicles in North America. Borick founded the company in 1957, was chief executive until 2005 and chairman until 2007.
CLEAN TECH: A solar company and an electric generator firm are the two newest additions to the recently launched Cleantech Incubator in downtown Los Angeles. Eliosolar makes solar power systems and shades for buildings. ClearWater Holdings makes electric motors and generators that power buildings and run power plants. They join two other companies already in the incubator at 411 S. Hewitt St.
ASIAN EXPANSION: RealD Inc. has signed a deal with Chinese-language film producer and distributor Mei Ah Entertainment Group Ltd. to install its 3-D technology for 100 screens in China. The Beverly Hills company, which did not disclose terms of the deal, said the Hong Kong’s Mei Ah plans to add 500 screens over the next five years in China. RealD technology is available on about 460 cinema screens in China with future commitments for 1,200 more screens.
TEXAS DEAL: Westwood investment firm Gores Group has completed the acquisition of Alpheus Communications, one of the largest fiber-network and data center operators in Texas. The Westwood firm, headed by billionaire financier Alec Gores, said Houston-based Alpheus serves the Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio metropolitan areas. Gores is considering combining Alpheus with an existing portfolio firm, First Communications. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
EARNINGS: AeroVironment Inc. reported net income of $6.6 million, 2,400 percent higher than in the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose 26 percent to $80.4 million. … Guess Inc. reported third quarter net income of $66.3 million, 4 percent lower than the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose 5 percent to $643 million. … UTi Worldwide Inc. reported third quarter net income of $28.5 million, 8 percent higher than the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose 5.5 percent to $1.26 billion.
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