NO CHARGES: Federal prosecutors ended a criminal investigation of Angelo Mozilo, the former chief executive of Calabasas mortgage lender Countrywide Financial, without taking any action against him. A grand jury spent two years investigating Mozilo’s conduct during the mortgage crisis at Countrywide, which was taken over by Bank of America. In October, Mozilo paid $67.5 million to settle a civil securities fraud lawsuit by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
CONTRACT: The Pentagon handed the first phase of a job-rich $35 billion contract to Chicago-based Boeing Co. for aerial refueling tankers. Boeing beat the European Aeronautic Defense & Space Co. in bidding for the contract to build 18 planes for $3.5 billion. Boeing has said that its winning bid would mean about 4,500 jobs in California, including at Raytheon in El Segundo, Alarin Aircraft Hinge Inc. in the City of Commerce and Lamsco West Inc. in Santa Clarita.
SENTENCED: Former Walt Disney Co. executive assistant Bonnie Hoxie was sentenced to four months of home confinement for her role in a scheme to leak Disney earnings information to investors last year. Hoxie, 34, earlier pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud and other charges. Her former boyfriend Yonni Sebbag attempted to sell the inside tips by sending anonymous letters to 33 hedge funds and other investment companies, some of whom alerted authorities. Sebbag has been sentenced to more than two years in prison.
NEW DEAL: American Apparel Inc. has avoided defaulting on a key loan by amending its credit agreement with a lender, but the move came at a price: The company is now required to hit a profit target it had previously sought to eliminate. The apparel manufacturer and retailer signed an amended credit agreement with one of its largest lenders, London private equity firm Lion Capital LLP, that requires it to maintain a minimum consolidated level of earnings before interest, depreciation and amortization for 12 consecutive months.
REVAMPED: United Online Inc. unveiled a long-awaited remodel of its struggling ClassMates.com social networking site. Renamed MemoryLane.com, the site features a wider array of videos, magazines and other nostalgic content created between 1940 and 1999. The Woodland Hills Internet company, which also owns floral site FTD.com, acquired Seattle-based Classmates in 2004. But the service had faltered in recent quarters as both the recession and competition from free social networking sites made potential customers less inclined to pay for premium services. Classmates had roughly 57 million people registered with the site, but only a few million were premium members.
EXPANSION: Aecom Technology Corp., which acquired Tishman Construction Corp. last year, has created a construction service business line for North America and the Middle East with Tishman President John T. Livingston serving as chief executive. The L.A. technical and management support service provider said the new unit was part of the ongoing integration of the companies and will offer end-to-end service to clients.
ACQUISITION: Image Metrics Inc., a Santa Monica developer of facial animation technology, said it has acquired Big Stage, an avatar-creation software developer, for an undisclosed sum. Big Stage, a USC technology spinoff once known as Clone, has software that enables users to upload several photos of themselves to an Internet site that automatically combines and converts them into a realistic-looking avatar for use in virtual worlds, video clips, video games and social networking sites.
NO TWEET: Twitter Inc. quickly lifted a ban on Pasadena-based UberMedia’s three mobile phone apps for apparent violations of the social media messaging service’s use policies. UberMedia, a fast-growing startup, has developed or acquired programs that provide Twitter users with alternative interfaces on different smart phone platforms. After discussions with San Francisco-based Twitter, UberMedia renamed its Blackberry app UberTwitter to UberSocial in order to address copyright concerns.
CLUB CLOSE: Billionaire David Murdock has decided to close Westwood’s storied Regency Club, a longtime haven for L.A.’s business elite. The private club’s lease on the top floor of Murdock Plaza is set to expire April 30, and Murdock decided not to renew the lease. While members said attendance at the dining room and sponsored events has been noticeably down since the recession, management said that the club had not seen a noticeable decline in its membership of about 600.
EARNINGS: Tutor Perini Corp. reported fourth quarter net income of $18.9 million, 42 percent lower than a year earlier. Revenue fell 36 percent to $688 million. … DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. reported fourth quarter net income of $85.2 million, 95 percent more than a year earlier. Revenue rose 42 percent to $276 million. … Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. reported fourth quarter net income of $39.5 million, 57 percent lower than a year earlier. Sales rose 24 percent to $1.58 billion. … Ducommun Inc. reported fourth quarter net income of $4.2 million compared with a net loss of $3.2 million a year earlier. Sales fell 3.7 percent to less than $102 million. … DirecTV Group Inc. reported fourth quarter net income of $618 million compared with a loss of $32 million a year earlier. Revenue rose 11 percent to $6.62 billion. … Demand Media Inc. reported fourth quarter net income of $1 million compared with a loss of $7.6 million a year earlier. Revenue rose 33 percent to $73.6 million. … Herbalife Ltd. reported fourth quarter net income of $81 million, 46 percent higher than a year earlier. Revenue rose 17 percent to more than $738 million.
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