Stories for January 2011

Monday, January 31

Brown Calls Out GOP on Tax-Measure Vote


Pressing against a March deadline to put his tax measure on the ballot, Gov. Jerry Brown stepped up pressure on reluctant Republicans Monday, calling their opposition "unconscionable" in his most direct attack on them yet.

International Rectifier Beats Forecasts

International Rectifier Corp. reported a fiscal second-quarter profit well above Wall Street expectations, citing higher sales and improved margins for its power management chips.

Cutting Edge Tries a New Model for Film Music


“The King’s Speech” collected an impressive 12 Oscar nominations last week. It might have stopped short of a dozen without help from a British entrepreneur who has planted his business at the tricky intersection of film and music.

Cherokee’s Chairman Steps Down

Cherokee Inc. said that Robert Margolis, its executive chairman and largest shareholder, had resigned as of last Friday. Another director was elected to replace him.

Plant Sale Boosts Ameron’s Quarter

Ameron International Corp. reported an 89 percent jump in fourth quarter per-share profit, largely from the sale of its share in a steel mini-mill. But shares fell sharply in morning trading.

Apparel Maker Picks Prime Spot in Santa Monica

Spain’s Desigual chooses Promenade site for big U.S. expansion.

Spanish apparel maker Desigual found its L.A. spot in the sun near booming Santa Monica Place.

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Physician Group Checks Into SoCal for First Time

IPC’s deal for Riverside business hints at more regional action.

North Hollywood physician group manager IPC likes the prognosis for expansion in Southern California.

Cupid, Table For Two

Stonefire eatery chain has no reservations about staff romances.

Romance is on the menu at Stonefire eateries as management actually encourages co-workers to date.

Refurishing Points of Entry

Some downtown L.A. landlords are upgrading lobbies in a campaign to attract tenants and boost rents.

Some downtown L.A. landlords are upgrading office building lobbies as part of a ground-floor effort to attract tenants.

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Spiritual Mission in Hollywood?

Catholic priest guides Paulist Productions’ programming slate.

A Catholic priest leads Paulist Productions’ drive to channel TV programs with a spiritual message.

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Provider of Wi-Fi Hopes to Connect

Boingo plans IPO while facing increased competition.

Wi-Fi company Boingo hopes its upcoming IPO connects with investors.

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Chance for NFL in L.A. Too Good to Pass


Ted Lux thinks it’s time for L.A to tackle pro football again.

E-Discovery Firms Get New Look

Companies now stress quality of searches over volume.

Local e-discovery firms have avoided virtual collapse by focusing and improving search services.

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Rock of Ages

New generation trying to bring hip back to Strip

A new generation of venue and restaurant owners finds the Sunset Strip’s rock history doesn’t always strike a chord with today’s clubgoers.

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Supply and 'Demand' Take Over in IPO

Offering beats expectations as investors ignore ‘red flags.’

Demand Media shares were in short supply as the company’s IPO beat expectations despite journalists’ dislike of the company.

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Hefty Price Tag Hits Home for Residential Designer

CHIEF DWELLINGS: Bowery Group’s Tom Fanning puts own house up for $7 million.

Listings and sales of executive homes.

Taking Look At YouTube

New show highlights people creating a buzz on the video site.

Online show “Partners Project” takes a look at YouTube success stories.

Mr. Woo Goes to Washington


When Charlie Woo received a dinner party invitation in the mail about a month ago, he did a double take. “I wasn’t sure it was real,” he said.

Regional Reports

Regional Report

Calendar & Events


News of the Week

News of the Week

Maker of Gluten-Free Food Is Filling Up on Contracts

String of companies line up for Simply Shari’s products.

A Westlake Village company is feasting on new deals for its gluten-free products.

Investors in Forum Operator Have Nice Things to Say

CrowdGather share price rises 31 percent in trading last week.

Online forum operator CrowdGather has people talking with its recent spike in stock price.

Body Scan Maker Looks Again at Medical Devices

OSI plans to rejuvenate lackluster Spacelabs division.

Body-scan maker OSI is giving a jump start to its medical device business.

Oil Companies Face Double Dip

Will Beverly Hills and L.A. voters dig extraction levies?

A few oil companies drilling under Beverly Hills may face two new extraction taxes.

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Getting Manufacturing Off the Ground

OP-ED: A new business incubator located in downtown Los Angeles would help the area tap its tech innovators.

Andrea Belz would like to see a business incubator in downtown L.A. so it can tap the region’s tech innovators.

Time to Chase CRAs Out of Town


Charles Crumpley wouldn’t mind it if community redevelopment agencies were killed off.

Gene Hale: Full Sales

Gene Hale left a hardscrabble life and racism behind in Alabama for California and an eventual position atop a multimillion-dollar distributor of construction equipment.

Gene Hale rode his salesman skills out of poverty and racism in Alabama.

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Mix and Match

Humantelligence’s TalentScan personality survey helps customer companies assess and focus employees’ abilities.

Software by Marina del Rey’s Humantelligence helps customer companies get a line on employee talents.

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Friday, January 28

Commission: Mozilo Predicted Housing Collapse in 2004


Former Countrywide Financial Corp. Chief Executive Officer Angelo Mozilo warned as early as 2004 of a possible housing-market collapse while the Federal Reserve overlooked the threat a year later, according to documents released by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.

Compensation of Disney's Iger Totaled $29.6M


Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Officer Robert Iger received a 24 percent increase in compensation in its last fiscal year, according to regulatory filings.

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies fell slightly for the week as the markets were hurt by a move to less risky investments due to unrest in Egypt.

Colony Boosts Distressed Loan Portfolio

A consortium of investors organized by Thomas J. Barrack Jr.'s Colony Capital LLC has acquired from U.S. banking regulators two portfolios of distressed real estate loans, valued at $817 million, for about $193 million.

Thursday, January 27

Hamni Shows Profit

Koreatown bank owner Hanmi Financial Corp. said that it had returned to profitability for the first time in two years by significantly reducing its provision for bad loans.

Cereplast Makes Private Stock Placement

Bio-plastics maker Cereplast Inc. has raised $12 million through a private placement of stock with several institutional investors. Proceeds will help fund its expanding business in Europe.

Report: JPMorgan to Buy Fox Interactive Office for $300M


In one of the biggest real estate deals in Los Angeles in years, the asset management arm of JPMorgan Chase & Co. has agreed to pay about $300 million for a large office development in Playa Vista that is leased by Fox Interactive Media, the News Corp. unit that includes MySpace.

Wednesday, January 26

Ryland Swings to Loss

Homebuilder Ryland Group Inc. swung to a loss in the fourth quarter as new orders fell and the company lost a large tax benefit that it enjoyed the previous year.

Live Nation Cuts Profit Forecast Due to Lawsuit


Live Nation Entertainment Inc. cut its annual profit forecast by 7 percent after agreeing to settle a class-action lawsuit against its Ticketmaster division over online ticketing fees charged to customers.

NBC Has Deal to Sell L.A.'s Spanish-language KWHY-TV


NBCU plans to sell its Spanish-language independent KWHY-TV Los Angeles to investment company Meruelo Group.

Quarterly Oil Production Up for Oxy

Occidental Petroleum Corp.'s fourth-quarter net income rose 29 percent as the company produced more oil and sold it for higher prices.

Demand Media’s IPO Larger Than Expected

Demand Media Inc. received an enthusiastic welcome on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday following an initial public offering that raised about $151 million.

Disney Interactive Restructures, Lays Off 200


Disney Interactive, the Walt Disney Co. division that focuses on console, handheld, online, and mobile games, has laid off 200 employees and hired a former Electronic Arts executive as part of a sweeping restructuring of the money-losing business unit.

Tuesday, January 25

Burkle Reduces American Apparel Stake

Billionaire Ronald Burkle has reduced his 6 percent stake in apparel maker American Apparel Inc. over the past two weeks, but remains the second largest individual shareholder after founder Dov Charney.

East West Results Beat Forecasts

East West Bancorp reported a lower fourth-quarter profit, but the results were better than Wall Street expected. The Pasadena bank also forecast earnings above analysts’ expectations.

Homeboy Industries Launches Food Line

Downtown L.A. non-profit Homeboy Industries, which provides job training and other rehabilitation services to ex-gang members, has launched a line of salsa and tortilla chips available at 256 Ralphs supermarkets.

Prosecutors: Disney Leaker Should Get at Least 27 Months


Yonni Sebbag, a California man who pleaded guilty in a scheme to leak Walt Disney Co. earnings information, should be sentenced to 27 months to 33 months in prison, prosecutors said.

Countrywide Accused of 'Massive' Mortgage Fraud


Bank of America Inc.’s Countrywide Financial unit, acquired by the bank in 2008, was accused of “massive fraud” in a lawsuit by investors who claim they were misled about mortgage-backed securities.

OSI’s Quarter Beats Expectations

OSI Systems Inc. reported better-than-expected fiscal second quarter profit on higher sales of its airport security screening system. It raised its outlook for the coming year.

Jacobs’ Profit Falls

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. reported a 9 percent decrease in fiscal first quarter earnings, but raised its guidance for the coming year.

Balqon Gets Large Contract

Balqon Corp. has signed an agreement to supply 300 drive systems for buses to be sold in China.

Monday, January 24

Raytheon Plans New L.A. Facility

Aerospace defense contractor Raytheon Company is in the final stages of selecting a 25,000-square-foot training and development center set to open in Los Angeles County this summer.

Cathay Moves to Better-Than-Expected Profit

Cathay General Bancorp moved to a profit in its fourth quarter on securities gains, higher deposits and lower charge-offs for bad loans.

Neulasta, Enbrel Boost Amgen’s 4th Quarter

Amgen Inc.’s earnings rose a better-than-expected 10 percent on higher sales of its infection-fighting and anti-inflammatory drugs. The biotech also said it is acquiring a company that's developing cancer drugs.

State to Audit L.A., Pasadena Redevelopment Agencies


State Controller John Chiang named community development commissions in Los Angeles and Pasadena as among 18 redevelopment agencies that will be audited this spring

Gores Eying Dodgers Bid

Billionaire investor Alec Gores reportedly plans to make a bid for the Los Angeles Dodgers if the current owners’ divorce forces them to find a buyer.

Pacific Commerce Bank Raises Money

Pacific Commerce Bank has completed a $5 million capital raise through a private placement of its common stock.

Idealab Company Changes Name Again

PostUp has acquired UberTwitter, developer of a Twitter software program for BlackBerry phones, and as a result has changed its own name to UberMedia.

Jack LaLanne, Media Fitness Guru, Dies at 96


Legendary fitness guru Jack LaLanne, who prodding Americans to get off their couches and into the gym decades before it was cool, died Sunday at his home in Morro Bay.

Deal Removes Challenger to Meruelo Maddux's Exit Plan


Meruelo Maddux Properties Inc. has struck a deal to settle its differences with a lender group that had threatened to blow up the company's bankruptcy-exit plan with a rival proposal.

Muddying The Water

Dredging project churns up big battle at L.A. port

Where to deposit sludge from an L.A. port dredging project is a question that’s sailing all the way to the City Council.

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Checking It Out

Smart phone users snap up CheckPoints’ app for shoppers.

Smart phone users have been quick to check out CheckPoints’ app that lets partnered businesses offer deals.

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New CEO Plugs Into Koreatown Software Firm

TECHNOLOGY: Former chief strategy officer takes Network Automation reins.

Network Automation Inc. has named Gary Bishop chief executive. Bishop, who was formerly chief strategy officer for the Koreatown company, took over earlier this month.

SBA Loan Activity Spikes Year to Year in L.A. District

BANKING & FINANCE: Number rises by 54 percent in first quarter; dollar value up 151 percent.

With the credit markets thawing, small-business lending in Los Angeles is up sharply from last year.

Regional Reports

Regional Report

All the World’s a Courtroom


Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy will preside over a different kind of trial in Los Angeles next week – one that will have him reviewing Shakespeare instead of amicus briefs.

Getting Co-Workers To Click

No Mimes’ website lets Cisco workers team-build online.

Online game by No Mimes got Cisco Systems employees talking about team-building.

Inhaled Insulin Maker Still Breathing

MannKind’s future may hinge on deep pockets of owner.

After the FDA last week refused to approve Mannkind’s inhalable insulin product, the company is stepping back to take a breath.

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Calendar & Events


Former Boss Is Charged Up About DWP’s Future


Ex-DWP Manager Austin Beutner is energized about the changes he sees in the department.

Little Parking Space for Error

OP-ED: L.A. city’s decision to lease parking garages for short-term fiscal gain won’t add up in the long run.

Christopher Hill thinks the city’s drive to lease parking garages has left L.A. in a bad spot.

Water Rising Higher at Ports


Charles Crumpley fears the local ports are treading water financially despite a recent cargo boom.

TRI-CITIES: Burbank Pushes Tri-Cities’ Negative Absorption Rate Into the Black


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

SANTA CLARITA VALLEY: Brokers See Little Chance for Backslide as Vacancies Dip Once Again


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

SAN GABRIEL VALLEY: City of Industry Paces Recovery That Has Run for Four Quarters


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

SAN FERNANDO VALLEY: A Negative Turns Into a Positive As Less Space Returns to Market


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

SOUTH BAY/ MID-CITIES: Lease Activity Rises in Mid-Cities as Lower Rates Draw Businesses


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

WESTSIDE: Vacancies Continue to Climb as Tenants Renew for Reduced Space


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

WILSHIRE CORRIDOR: Decrease in Vacancies Has Some In Area Talking About Recovery


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

HOLLYWOOD: Entertainment Industry Tenants Key to Helping Market Stabilize


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

DOWNTOWN: Fourth Quarter Lease Activity Narrows Negative Absorption Rate


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

Optimism Returns to Real Estate Market


To the relief of brokers and commercial property landlords – and even deal-hungry tenants – the L.A. County commercial real estate market appeared finally to start its nascent recovery in the final quarter of last year.

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Local Focus Puts Online Ad Firm in the Spotlight

Shares of ReachLocal soar due to vast untapped market.

Potential for growth in the online ad market has spurred investors to get closer to ReachLocal.

Rising Cost of Beans Burns Coffee Maker’s Stock

CFO says Farmer Bros. can’t pass expense on to customers.

The increasing cost of beans has shares of coffee maker Farmers Bros. in hot water.

Holding the Keys to New Business

Founder of Valet Girls takes a spin as maker of organic ice cream.

Valet Girls founder Nancy Saltzman traveled a not so rocky road to the ice-cream business.

Raising the Roof While Partying

AT&T Center opens vacant top office space to special events.

Open office space in downtown L.A. has turned one landlord into a party planner.

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Silver Lining


SoCal’s aging population has made senior housing a strong sector despite a tight credit market.

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Paige Adams-Geller: A Better Fit

Former beauty pageant contestant and fit model now helps set fashion trends with her and her husband’s apparel business.

Former model Paige Adams-Geller has slipped right into her new job as a jeans maker.

Local REIT Seizes Moment With Senior Housing


Acquisition spree has turned Long Beach’s HCP into nation’s largest health care industry landlord.

Developments in State of Jeopardy

Push to chop CRAs could ax local projects.

Anxiety is building for many local projects as the governor pushes to ax redevelopment funds statewide.

Jet Exec Flying Into Cloudy Skies?

Billionaire to launch venture in crowded marketplace.

Billionaire Steven Udvar-Hazy is going public with his aircraft leasing business in a sky crowded with competitors.

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Healthy Outlook

Medical imaging center operator RadNet’s buying spree has given company’s stock a shot in the arm.

Investors like what they see in medical imaging center operator RadNet’s buying spree.

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Houston Developer Makes Splash in Los Angeles


Houston developer Belmont Village is banking on L.A.’s bumper crop of baby boomers.

News of the Week

News of the Week

Ex-U.S. Senator to Hang His Hat in D.C. and L.A.

LAW: Utah’s Robert F. Bennett to advise Arent Fox’s Asian clients.

Utah Sen. Robert F. Bennett has joined Arent Fox LLP as a senior policy adviser in the government relations practice, so it makes sense that he’ll be spending much of his time in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office.

City of Los Angeles Seeks Pilot for Ontario Airport

TRADE & TRANSPORT: LAWA taking expressions of interest to operate struggling facility.

Interested in running an airport?

Friday, January 21

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies rose only slightly for the week, despite strong earnings reports boosting the overall markets.

Coda Hires CEO

Santa Monica electric vehicle developer Coda Holdings has hired as its chief executive Philip Murtaugh, an experienced auto industry executive in both the United States and Asia.

Judge Sides with Gundlach's New Firm

DoubleLine Capital LP, the L.A. bond firm started by star fund manager Jeffrey Gundlach, has won the latest battle in a bitter war against TCW Group Inc.

County Jobless Rate Rises

Los Angeles County’s unemployment rate hit 13 percent in December for the first time in modern history.

Ameron to Expand in Oklahoma

Ameron International Corp. plans to build a steel-pole manufacturing plant in Tulsa, Okla.

Report: Warner Music Looks to Buy EMI or Sell Itself


Warner Music Group reportedly has hired the investment bank Goldman Sachs to seek out potential buyers for the company, a process that will play out while Warner continues to explore buying the beleaguered British music giant EMI.

Manatt Settles Resnick Malicious Prosecution Suit


Ending 13 years of litigation, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips has agreed to pay $25 million in damages to Stewart and Lynda Resnick in a case that began over trademark and advertising claims related to the late Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales.

Thursday, January 20

City National Profit Increases

City National Corp. rose in the fourth quarter improvement in credit quality and double-digit increases in revenue, net interest income and deposits.

Disney Cruise Line to Begin Port of L.A. Stay


Disney Cruise Line will call the Port of Los Angeles home for the next two years when the Disney Wonder ship arrives Friday, offering seven-night summer cruises to the Mexican Riviera.

CRA Boosts Funding for Broad Museum


The Community Redevelopment Agency this morning bumped funding for Eli Broad’s art museum by $22 million in order to build a larger parking facility, a public plaza and widen sidewalks on Grand Avenue.

Caruso Adds Land at Americana

Developer Rick Caruso's company has purchased one of the two properties it needs in order to expand the Americana at Brand mall in Glendale.

Abu Dhabi Picks Oxy for Big Project

Occidental Petroleum Corp. has won the right to jointly develop a tricky and expensive natural gas field project in the United Arab Emirates.

County Museum COO to Retire

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art said that Melody Kanschat will be leaving her position of chief operating officer in May.

HCP Prices Debt Offering

Health care real estate investment trust HCP Inc. said that it expects about $2.37 billion in net proceeds from an offering of senior unsecured notes that it priced on Thursday.

Wednesday, January 19

Boeing to Layoff at Least 900 Workers

Boeing announced that it will layoff at least 900 C-17 Globemaster III workers in Long Beach by the end of 2012 in the wake of lower demand for the military jet.

FDA Delays MannKind’s Inhaled Insulin

MannKind Corp. shares plunged 32 percent Thursday, a day after U.S. regulators told the biotech that it won’t consider approving its Afrezza insulin inhaler until new human studies are conducted.

Management Shakeup at eHarmony

Santa Monica online matchmaker eHarmony said that Chief Executive Greg Waldorf has abruptly stepped down, and the chief operating officer is taking over until a replacement can be found.

Tuesday, January 18

Mattel Accuses MGA of Stealing Bratz Idea


Mattel Inc., the maker of Barbie, accused rival toymaker MGA Entertainment Inc. of stealing the idea for the pouty, multiethnic Bratz doll in 2000 when it made a deal with the designer who Mattel said worked for them when he created the doll.

Amgen to Sell Bay Area Facility to German Drugmaker


Amgen Inc. on Tuesday said it signed a deal to sell German drugmaker Boehringer Ingelheim a development and manufacturing facility in Fremont.

FCC Approves NBC Universal Acquisition

The Federal Communications Commission has approved Comcast’s acquisition of General Electric’s NBC Universal with a number of conditions designed to address concerns of competitors and consumer groups.

Long Beach Port Traffic Jumps

Cargo shipments passing through the Port of Long Beach jumped 24 percent last year, the biggest rise on record, as the port saw steady recovery from recession lows.

Comcast Invests in Pasadena Tech Firm

Perfect Market Inc. said that Comcast Interactive Capital led a $9 million financing round, which the Pasadena startup will use to improve products that help news organizations get more revenue from their content.

Arrowhead Sells Unidym for $5 Million

Arrowhead Research Corp. has sold its electronics business to a South Korean company, enabling it to better concentrate on its medical businesses.

Hong Kong Disneyland Loss Narrows to $93 Million


Walt Disney Co. narrowed the annual loss at Hong Kong Disneyland and said it expects the business to turn profitable “fairly soon” as visitor numbers rise and the park expands.

Monday, January 17

Korean Air to Add A380 Service

Korean Air will launch Airbus A380 service between Los Angeles and Seoul in October, becoming the second carrier to fly the super jumbo aircraft into LAX.

Air Lease IPO to Target Emerging Markets

L.A. billionaire Steven Udvar-Hazy’s new aircraft leasing venture hopes to capitalize on air travel growth in emerging markets with proceeds from a just-announced initial public offering that could raise up to $100 million.

Spilled Milk

Dairy heirs allege family friend made off with millions

Relatives of Alta Dena Dairy’s founders allege a former family friend stole millions as their trustee.

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Record Collection In a Spin

Publicist’s pursuit of a buyer yields mix of kind and rude replies.

A local publicist has gone round and round contacting high-profile 3 names to buy a $500,000 record collection.

Torrance Kicks Up Some Sand

New visitors’ bureau to tout beachfront in its tourism campaign.

Torrance believes it has a shore thing – its beach – to pitch as it opens a visitors’ bureau to woo tourists.

Taking Work Home

Brothers behind berry liquor also share a house in Los Angeles.

The Reum brothers decided to keep it a family act when they launched acai berry liquor Veev.

Put Another Dime in the Jukebox, Baby


Christopher Wicks has dabbled in songwriting for decades and even started a band, The Glorious.

Regional Reports

Regional Report

Disney to ‘Dwell’ on Its Interactive Store Model

Company says concept boosts shopping time of customers.

Disney plans to adapt more stores to an interactive model that has increased the amount of time customers spend in shops.

Cheesecake Left Out in The Cold

Chain’s results blamed on storms that hit U.S. on holiday weekends.

Cheesecake Factory shares fell as investors’ found a slow fourth quarter tough to stomach.

CityWalk Nightclub Coming Spring

RETAIL & APPAREL: Hotel owner prepares to open Vegas-style Infusion.

Hollywood is full of glitzy nightclubs that attract L.A.’s glitterati. But Chris Rosas is betting his style of Las Vegas glam will stand out.

Appearance on ‘Oprah’ May Help Tights Expand

Local maker’s product spotlighted on ‘must-have’ segment.

Redondo Beach tights maker hopes an endorsement from Oprah Winfrey gives sales a leg up.

Battery Maker in Azusa Doubles Up Product Offerings

MANUFACTURING: Contour unveils coin-size line to power up LED lighting systems.

Contour Energy Systems Inc., an Azusa startup, has come out with its second product line in as many months: a collection of what it calls “next-generation” coin-size cell batteries to power LED lighting systems, calculators, cameras and other devices.

Open-Wheel League Driven To Make Media Inroads

IndyCar’s new Santa Monica office, exec to pursue TV deals.

Izod IndyCar Series hopes a new Santa Monica office will fuel a drive into TV programming.

Graphics Company Sees Added Dimension in 3-D

SPORTS BUSINESS: Hollywood’s Rezn8 extends partnership with mixed martial arts league.

The next big thing in sports is 3-D TV, and leading television graphics firm Rezn8 is getting in on the action.

Carl’s Jr. Advertisements Ready for Another Look

CKE chooses David&Goliath but wants to ‘retain the edginess.’

El Segundo’s David&Goliath now has the tall order of handling the racy ads for Carl’s Jr.

Adconion Makes Move to New Santa Monica Office

ADVERTISING & PR: Workers at online ad network will get beach volleyball court.

Adconion, an online ad network based in Santa Monica, has moved its headquarters and nearly tripled its square footage.

News of the Week

News of the Week

Calendar & Events


Beverly Hills Blockbuster Makes It Under the Wire

CHIEF DWELLINGS: $23 million deal for Gonda estate last month was city’s largest in 2010.

Listings and sales of executive homes.

Laboring Under ‘Greenmail’

OPED: Developers jump through hoops as abuse of a state law helps unions make companies do their bidding.

Unions are tapping a state environmental law to shake down developers, writes Kevin Dayton.

Time to Plug Back Into Electric Autos

John T. Boal looks to the past to see a future for electric cars in California.

AEG Chief Joins Run at NFL Team

Philip Anschutz lists conditions for downtown stadium.

AEG owner Philip Anschutz is game for pursuing an NFL team as long as some conditions line up.

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Bad-Boy Jeans Maker Takes a Seat

CEO’s high profile failed to save Rock & Republic.

Empty pockets eventually ended the high-profile run of bad-boy jeans maker Michael Ball.

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Local Firm Heads North to Expand

Tetra Tech pumped about Canada’s oil sands.

Pasadena’s Tetra Tech continues to dig Canada with a recent move into the oil sands business.

Hitting the Books

Long Beach’s Unicon has had a strong run helping community banks assess and fix their loan portfolios.

Unicon has been booked solid helping distressed community banks with their loan portfolios.

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Villaraigosa Sets Contract Mandates

Agencies required to hire more small businesses in policy shift.

The city of Los Angeles is switching to a clearinghouse system to encourage contracts to go to small businesses and other groups.

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Local Company Grows As Parent Keeps Hands Off

Tokyo firm sees value in Agensys functioning as a startup.

Biotech firm Agensys is increasing its roots in L.A. with the blessing of Japanese parent Astellas.

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Warehouse Tenant Helps Fill Up Santa Fe Springs

REAL ESTATE: Industrial deal seen as quick turnaround for such a large space.

A seven-year lease valued at more than $23 million was signed last month for 411,000 square feet of distribution space in Santa Fe Springs – a deal that’s certain to make a dent in the city’s fourth quarter industrial vacancy rate.

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Ad Generation

Tech execs who helped establish online ads in L.A. in late ’90s now build on their roots with new ventures.

Pioneering L.A. execs who sowed the seeds of the online ad business are reaping the rewards now.

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Craig Levra: Changing Gear

Working with the founders of Sport Chalet was a whole new game for retail exec when he joined the family-owned company.

“Moving up” defines Craig Levra’s career as a sporting goods exec and his passion for ice climbing.

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Stadium Players Out of Position?


Charles Crumpley fields his own proposal for a new sports stadium.

Two L.A.-Area Operators Add Out-of-State Holdings

HEALTH CARE & BIOTECH: HealthWorks, IPC maintain expansion pace with acquisitions.

Two rapidly expanding specialty health care providers continued their growth last month with strategic out-of-state acquisitions.

From Garlic Bread to Beverly Hills

Frozen food magnate opens Devon Works shop on Wilshire.

Frozen-food exec looks to heat up Beverly Hills with a shop selling high-end fashion and accessories.

Saturday, January 15

Report: CB Richard In Line to Buy ING’s Real Estate Unit


CB Richard Ellis, the property services firm, has emerged as favourite to acquire the majority of ING’s real estate group to create the world’s largest property funds business with more than $100bn under management.

Friday, January 14

MySpace to Laid-Off: You Experienced Something Special


Bitter reports from the 500 employees MySpace laid off early this week have been flooding the tech blogs

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies gained more than 3 percent for the week as the markets reacted to positive economic and earnings reports.

Boingo Files for IPO

Wi-Fi network provider Boingo Wireless has filed for an initial public offering to sell up to $75 million worth of common stock.

Record Quarter for Software Developer

Simulations Plus Inc. reported a 32 percent rise in fiscal first quarter profit, as its pharmaceutical industry customers stepped up purchase of its subscription-based research and development software.

Disney Venture Fund Makes Investment

E-commerce and digital marketing software developer Baynote said that Walt Disney Co.’s venture capital firm, Steamboat Ventures, was among investors in its latest round of financing.

Thursday, January 13

Apartments Planned at Old Circuit City Site

A development partnership between Post Investment Group and a Huntington Beach developer plans to build a 208-unit luxury apartment project in downtown Glendale aimed at young urban professionals.

Green Dot to Offer Tax Refund Debit Card

Green Dot Corp. has been named program manager for a U.S. Treasury Department pilot program that will enable taxpayers to obtain their federal tax refunds via direct deposit to a prepaid debit card.

Pacific Office Properties Calls Off Offering


Real estate investment trust Pacific Office Properties Trust Inc. has called off a previously announced public offering of stock, a reverse stock split, and transfer of its stock listing to the New York Stock Exchange.

Gores Sells Holding

The Gores Group LLC has sold one of its portfolio firms, Lineage Power, to General Electric Co. in a deal valued a $520 million.

Wednesday, January 12

Hundreds Mark Kyser's Legacy at Memorial


To sum up his friend, the late longtime Southern California economist Jack Kyser, Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe started with something that wasn't Jack Kyser.

L.A. City Council OKs Plan to Lease Garages


After a full day of contentious debate, Los Angeles City Council members agreed to move forward with a plan to lease city garages, but the money will not likely arrive in time to help bridge this year's $63 million budget gap.

CytRx Sells Remaining Stake in Spin-Off

CytRx Corp. has raised around $7 million to develop its experimental cancer drug portfolio by selling its remaining equity interest in a Massachusetts company spun off several years ago.

Mud Flies in New Bratz Brawl


On Thursday, Mattel Inc., the house that Barbie built, heads back to court to once again try to prove that Isaac Larian's MGA Entertainment Inc. stole the toy company's intellectual property when it created the popular Bratz doll line a decade ago.

Colony Capital Takes Stake in SBE

Thomas Barrack Jr.’s Colony Capital LLC has paid $35 million for a minority stake in Sam Nazarian's boutique hotel and nightclub company SBE LLC.

Demand Media Gives IPO Pricing Range

Online publishing firm Demand Media said that it could raise about $130 million for itself and its shareholders in an upcoming initial public offering, according to a regulatory filing.

Tuesday, January 11

Council To Consider Gambol's Shipyard Plan

The Los Angeles City Council has voted to reconsider Gambol Industries Inc.’s proposal to rebuild a shipyard at the Port of Los Angeles despite the previous rejection of the idea by the Board of Harbor Commissioners.

Tetra Tech Makes Canadian Acquisition

Tetra Tech Inc. plans to break into a specialized niche in oil production services by acquiring nearly all of the assets of British Columbia company Fransen Engineering.

L.A. Film Production Work Up 15% in 2010


Production of movies, TV shows and commercials was up 15 percent year-to-year in the Los Angeles region last year, according to non-profit tabulator Film L.A.

Dowie, Stodder Lose Appeals in Fleishman-Hillard Case


Doug Dowie, the former power broker as head of the Fleishman-Hillard PR office in Los Angeles during the mayoral administration of Jim Hahn, has been ordered to report to federal prison next month along with underling John Stodder.

Gardner, Underwood & Bacon Acquired

Loop Capital Markets, considered the nation’s largest minority-owned investment bank and brokerage firm, said that it acquired Los Angeles financial advisory firm Gardner, Underwood & Bacon LLC.

Canyon Parlays Harvard-Drexel Roots Into Dealmaking


Joshua Friedman’s endurance carries through to the way he and his partner, Mitchell Julis, run Los Angeles-based Canyon Partners LLC, the $19 billion hedge fund.

Disney Revamps Retail Stores

Walt Disney Co. announced a revamp of its Disney Store retail chain and plans to open 25 new and remodeled stores in North America and Europe this year.

Preliminary Cheesecake Results Disappoint

Shares of Cheesecake Factory Inc. fell more than 7 percent Tuesday after the casual dining chain previewed fourth-quarter results that fell short of Wall Street expectations.

Film Studio Born of Comics Grabs Hollywood’s Attention


Barry Levine’s high-octane razzmatazz strikes some Hollywood executives as hucksterism. But there is no denying Radical Studios is tapping into — and helping shape — a new business identity for production companies.

Monday, January 10

ABC Seeks to Exploit Marvel Franchise


Walt Disney Co.’s ABC is looking to tap characters from its Marvel comic-book franchise for network television shows, building from an initial list that includes the Hulk and AKA Jessica Jones.

Pasadena Banks Complete Merger

California General Bank and Professional Business Bank, two Pasadena commercial banks, have completed their merger.

Hef to Take Playboy Private

Playboy Enterprises Inc. has agreed to be taken private by founder Hugh Hefner in a private equity backed deal valued at about $207 million.

Brown Wants Deep Cuts, 5-Year Extension of Taxes


Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday proposed a budget that relies on $12.5 billion in spending cuts over the next 18 months and higher taxes over the next five years to solve the state budget deficit.

Disney, Yahoo Look at Internet TV


Walt Disney Co. reportedly is discussing making video from some of its television networks available on sets embedded with Yahoo Inc.'s Internet-TV software.

SoCal Edison Signs Renewable Energy Deals

Southern California Edison has signed contracts to have solar power-produced electricity provided to the Rosemead utility’s customers.

Report: Significant Myspace Layoffs Planned This Week


Myspace, which has been struggling to revitalize itself, is expected to lay off 550 to 600 of its staff of just over 1,000 on Tuesday, according to several sources.

Entravision Acquires All of Rep Firm

Entravision Communications Corp. has acquired the remaining 50 percent interest in Lotus Entravision Reps, its national sales rep firm.

New Focus

Inventor Stephen Kurtin had to create a company that made both lenses and frames in order to fashion his adjustable-focus eyeglasses.

Inventor Stephen Kurtin had to look at creating his own business for his adjustable-focus eyeglasses.

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Paige Craig: On the Move

Travel enthusiast and former Marine has gone from angel investor in the L.A. tech scene to launching his own firm, about which he hesitates to give details.

Former Marine Paige Craig now marshals his forces as a member of L.A.’s tech community.

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Hispanic Accent

Santa Monica firm tunes in Spanish-language infomercials for clients.

Santa Monica’s Mercury Media accents the Hispanic market for its clients with Spanish-language infomercials.

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December Brings a Chill to Home Sales

Mixed numbers for homes and condos fuel worry of a double dip.

December’s mixed sales numbers did little to dispel fears of a double dip in residential real estate.

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REIT’s Stock Rocked as Big Board Debut Nears

Value of Pacific Office Properties’ shares tumble 39 percent.

Pacific Office Properties’ shares have plunged just as the REIT prepares for its New York Stock Exchange debut.

News of the Week

News of the Week

California Adventure, Real and Virtual


Stuart Waldman had a double dose of California adventure for the holidays.

Many Happy Returns

Spike in retail sales means more items for reselling business.

Stock is looking up for a local warehouse that deals in returned merchandise.

Technology Takes A Seat

Long Beach company’s massage chair takes its orders from iPad

Human Touch puts comfort in your hands with its iPad-controlled massage chair.

Ex-Director Unhappy With Hanmi Direction

Shareholder lawsuit compounds Hanmi’s problems.

L.A. Gold Dealers Prove Their Metal

Two local firms add staff to handle boom in sales.

Precious metals dealers are bringing in more staff as investors increasingly take a shine to gold.

State Shoots Wide With Video Games

Incentives spur firms to grow outside California.

Local video game companies are going out of state to score financial incentives.

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No More Horsing Around

Ex-equestrian rides Pilates’ popularity to two local gym studios.

Former equestrian vaulter now stands tall in the saddle as the operator of two Pilates studios.

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City Councilman Homes In on L.A.’s Landlords

REGULATION WATCH: Owners of rent-controlled, affordable units may get tax breaks.

An L.A. councilman wants to give owners of rent-controlled apartments and affordable housing units a tax break.

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Koreatown Banks Plan to Thin Ranks

Koreatown’s biggest banks may beef up by feasting on smaller struggling rivals.

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Pet Peeve

L.A. businesses still waiting on tax credit for new jobs

L.A. employers have been left hanging by the city’s delayed plan for tax credits for new hires.

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Time for Advertising to Take Control in Hollywood


Schuyler M. Moore would like to see advertising sitting in the director’s chair in Hollywood.

Changing Channels

OPED: In breaking with PBS, KCET looks to improve its finances and coverage of Southern California issues.

Gordon M. Bava sees a bright future coming into focus for KCET without PBS.

Don’t Hold Your Breath for FDA


For MannKind, waiting for FDA approval is as absurd as waiting for Godot, Charles Crumpley writes.

Downtown L.A. Building Boosted by Rising Rents

REAL ESTATE: Property sells for $62.5 million after apartments draw 20 bids.

A 204-unit downtown L.A. luxury apartment building has changed hands for $62.5 million, a sales price that was boosted by rising rental rates and strong interest in the property.

Calendar & Events


Regional Reports

Regional Report

L.A.-Based Website Plays With Money Management

TECHNOLOGY: guides players to financial goals with awards, prizes.

Scott Saunders was in private equity. Now he wants to be an Internet entrepreneur.

‘Judgment’ Call Goes Credit Union Execs’ Way

BANKING & FINANCE: Ex-employees of Western Corporate may be dropped from lawsuit.

A dozen former directors of Western Corporate Federal Credit Union, facing allegations in a billion-dollar lawsuit brought by federal regulators, can breathe a little easier.

Ports Look to Put Brakes on Use of Small Dirty Trucks

TRADE & TRANSPORT: Loophole let operators move freight with two-axle Class 7 tractors.

Both the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles have moved aggressively to plug a loophole allowing hundreds of dirty trucks to do business on their properties despite the otherwise stringent Clean Truck Program.

Reality TV Hits Home for L.A.’s Production Leaders

Genre dominant in top 10 list of on-location permit holders in 2010.

Production companies that channeled reality TV paced L.A.’s field of top location shooters in 2010.

Friday, January 7

Parking Measure May Return to Ballot

A Beverly Hills initiative that would mandate two hours of free parking in city lots is back on the March 8 ballot, but the legal battle over its validity isn’t over yet.

Amgen Wins Ruling Blocking Teva’s Generic Sensipar


Amgen Inc. won a U.S. court ruling that bars Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. from selling a generic version of the kidney drug Sensipar until at least 2016.

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies eked out a slight gain for the week as investors reacted to disappointing jobs and retail sales reports.

Metro, High-Speed Rail Group May Buy Union Station


The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, in partnership with the California High Speed Rail Authority, is in talks to purchase historic Union Station.

Better-Than-Expected Quarter at KB Home

KB Home cut costs and improved margins to report a fiscal fourth quarter profit that beat Wall Street forecasts. But the nation’s fifth-largest homebuilder continued to be cautious about future demand.

Arizona Company Acquires RayTracker

RayTracker, a Pasadena start-up that makes goods for the solar energy industry and is backed by tech incubator Idealab, has been acquired by First Solar, a major maker of solar power panels and systems.

Amgen Licenses Experimental Drug

A day after Amgen Inc. licensed an experimental drug from another local biotech, a drugmaker in the United Kingdom said that it has licensed one of Amgen’s own pipeline drugs to commercialize.

L.A. Tourism Bouncing Back, Officials Say


Los Angeles' tourism industry appears to be rebounding after a slump caused by the recession, tourism officials said.

Thursday, January 6

Center Financial CEO Replaced

In advance of its merger with another Koreatown bank, Center Financial Corp. said that it had fired its chief executive, Jae Whan Yoo, and replaced him with veteran Southern California banker.

Xencor Gets Another Licensing Deal

Amgen Inc. has became the latest drug maker to sign a licensing deal, potentially worth up to $500 million, for the right to commercialize a drug candidate first developed by Monrovia biotech Xencor.

Amusement Park Changes Hands

CNL Lifestyle Properties Inc. has bought the Pacific Park amusement park on the Santa Monica Pier for $34 million from Santa Monica Amusements LLC, which will continue to manage the facility.

Coda Holdings Raises $76 Million

Coda Holdings said it has raised $76 million in a new round of financing that will support production of its all-electric sedan and help build a battery manufacturing facility.

Gores Group Completes Sale of Vincotech

The Gores Group LLC said that it closed the sale of its Vincotech Holdings Sàrl in Germany to Mitsubishi Electric Corp.

Wednesday, January 5

Hedge Fund Wants Ameron’s CEO Out

Barington Capital Group is urging the board of Ameron International Corp to get rid of Chief Executive James Marlen, claiming that his management has hurt the company’s share price.

For Developer, California Dream Is a Reality


In the latest sign that financing is starting to trickle back into California's property market, a group of investors is pumping cash into a huge, but stalled, $1.4 billion master-planned community being developed on the site of a former military base.

Mattel Creates COO Position

Mattel Inc. has appointed a top division executive to be its first-ever chief operating officer and said that the president of another division would be leaving this spring.

THQ Signs Video Game Deal with Mattel

THQ Inc. will be developing additional video games based on Mattel Inc. toy franchises under a new licensing deal.

Tuesday, January 4

Parking Measure Off Ballot

A Beverly Hills initiative that would have mandated two hours of free parking in city lots was ordered removed from the ballot by a judge.

CalAmp Narrows Loss

CalAmp Corp. narrowed its loss in its fiscal third quarter, despite lower-than-expected sales of wireless communications equipment for the satellite TV market.

Radnet Makes TeleMed Acquisition

RadNet Inc. has completed acquisition of a New York company called Imaging On Call LLC, which provides remote interpretation of diagnostic imaging exams for hospitals, doctors and other health care providers.

Indie Exec to Take Over at Warner/Chappell

Warner Music Group has named indie music industry entrepreneur Cameron Strang as chief executive of its Santa Monica music publishing firm Warner/Chappell Music.

Monday, January 3

Report: Layoffs Planned to Prep MySpace for Sale


While the media buzzes about Facebook's new $500 million investment from Goldman Sachs and Digital Sky Technologies and $50 billion valuation, MySpace is at the other end of the spectrum, facing more layoffs and on the auction block.

$1.9 Billion -- Warner Bros. Claims 2010 Box Office Crown


Warner Bros. has won the domestic box office for a third consecutive year, reporting revenue of nearly $1.9 billion for 2010.

Tutor Perini Makes Texas Acquisition

Tutor Perini Corp. has completed the acquisition of Fisk Electric Co., a privately held electrical construction company, in a deal valued at more than $100 million.

Bank Merger Closes

California United Bank has completed the acquisition of California Oaks State Bank in a deal valued at about $17.2 million.

Simi Aerospace Unit Changes Hands

TransDigm Group Inc. of Cleveland has completed an acquisition of a Simi Valley aerospace parts unit.

Non-Profits Police ‘Legal Aid’ Term

State measure draws line on use by for-profit businesses.

Local non-profits are using a state law to throw the book at businesses using the term “legal aid.”

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Immigrant Entrepreneurs - Ilona Todd


From a British clothing maker to a set designer from Rhodesia, the Business Journal spotlights seven business people who followed their dreams to Los Angeles.

Immigrant Entrepreneurs - Christopher Wicks


From a British clothing maker to a set designer from Rhodesia, the Business Journal spotlights seven business people who followed their dreams to Los Angeles.

Immigrant Entrepreneurs - Jean-Luc Nouzille


From a British clothing maker to a set designer from Rhodesia, the Business Journal spotlights seven business people who followed their dreams to Los Angeles.

Sabrina Kay: An Educational Experience


From a British clothing maker to a set designer from Rhodesia, the Business Journal spotlights seven business people who followed their dreams to Los Angeles.

Immigrant Entrepreneurs - Moshe Tsabag


From a British clothing maker to a set designer from Rhodesia, the Business Journal spotlights seven business people who followed their dreams to Los Angeles.

Immigrant Entrepreneurs - Arturo Sneider


From a British clothing maker to a set designer from Rhodesia, the Business Journal spotlights seven business people who followed their dreams to Los Angeles.

A Net Gain?

Rival groups hope to revive Manhattan Beach Open volleyball competition after bankruptcy of pro tour.

Competing groups hope to draw lines in the sand by reviving pro volleyball’s Manhattan Beach Open.

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Torrance Startup Gets Contract for Digestive Drug

HEALTH CARE & BIOTECH: NutreStore helps patients better absorb nutrients.

Emmaus Medical Inc. has been developing an amino acid treatment for sickle cell disease, a blood condition that afflicts millions of people of African descent worldwide.

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Immigrant Entrepreneur: Jeremy Railton


From a British clothing maker to a set designer from Rhodesia, the Business Journal spotlights seven business people who followed their dreams to Los Angeles.

Calendar & Events


Regional Reports

Regional Report

Consulting Firm Gets In Ring for Pacquiao Deals

ADVERTISING & PR: Glendale company seeks products for boxer to back.

How did a Glendale management consulting firm become the new endorsement deal broker for celebrity boxer Manny Pacquiao?

Inglewood Sock Maker Proves a Shoo-In as a Pickup

RETAIL & APPAREL: K. Bell pairs up with manufacturer of Fruit of the Loom.

L.A. entrepreneur Karen Bell founded K. Bell Socks out of her garage about 30 years ago and grew it into a national brand.

News of the Week

News of the Week

Local Firm Wants to Go On Defense Internationally

LAW: Gibson Dunn forms unit to capitalize on Dole and Chevron victories.

Downtown L.A.-based Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP’s defense of Dole Food Co. and Chevron Corp. in massive tort cases originating from Central America and Ecuador has boosted its reputation in that field.

Peddling the Story of Dutch Pedal Power


Rachel Bauch spends her days handling clients at Ruder Finn, a West L.A. public relations firm.

Beauty Supply Maker Likes Look of New Hair Product

MANUFACTURING: Pacoima’s Zerran widens distribution to handle straightener.

Zerran International Corp., a Pacoima-based manufacturer of women’s beauty products for use in salons, has nearly doubled its North American distribution network in anticipation of a new hair smoothing system it says will take the peril out of perms.

Glendale Property Makes Case for Getting Along

REAL ESTATE: Receiver praises parties for cooperation in eventual $43 million deal.

As far as receivership deals go, the $43 million sale of 416 on Broadway, a 115-unit multifamily building at 416 E. Broadway in Glendale, managed to come without too much litigation.

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Pumped Up

Santa Monica’s Beachbody has helped drive sales of its exercise products by setting up a network of coaches to help new customers.

Santa Monica’s Beachbody has flexed its sales with a 100 percent increase in three years.

Thriller of a Connection

Local auction house becomes top handler of Michael Jackson items.

Julien’s Auctions has become the main handler of Michael Jackson items despite hitting some sour notes with the singer before his death.

Company’s Charity Off The Leash

L.A. cookie maker uses part of profits to feed elderly shut-ins’ pets.

L.A. cookie maker has made a pet project of feeding the animal companions of elderly shut-ins.

Wheels Come Off L.A.’s Mobile Billboard Ban

Reseda businessman to put signs on sleighs to skirt city law.

City of L.A.’s mobile billboard ban drives Reseda businessman to motorize some of his signs.

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Personal Spin Aired

Radio exec spotlights his cancer battle on Farsi-language station.

Cancer patient and radio executive John Paley is dialed into getting word out on dealing with the disease.

L.A. Concrete Company Gets Firm Deal From LAX

Klorman scores $35 million contract for terminal addition.

A Woodland Hills firm has begun a big project at LAX.

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Making It in L.A. With an Accent


Foreigners come to Los Angeles all the time to start a business. With good reason.

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Lots of Worry

Businesses fear hikes at L.A. parking garages

Businesses are looking to put the brakes on a city of L.A. plan to lease parking garages to private operators.

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Taking a $4 Billion Train to Nowhere

OP-ED: High-speed rail money should be spent on transportation projects that are more useful and feasible.

Jorge C. Corralejo sees California on a fast train to nowhere with high-speed rail.

Backing Up on Parking Issue?


When it comes to the controversy about the city’s parking garages, Charles Crumpley is sitting on the fence. He thinks both sides make good points.

If Banks Are In Lending Business, They Should Start Lending


Ted Lux warns homeowner hopefuls not to bank on getting that mortgage loan.

Dennis Gilbert: Switch Hitter

INTERVIEW: Dennis Gilbert owns an insurance firm. But the former sports agent is a baseball fanatic and he’d buy a team in the right conditions.

Former sports agent Dennis Gilbert scored big after switching to the insurance industry. Now, he’s interested in buying a baseball team.

Will an IPO Still Be In Demand?

SEC raises flags over website operator’s accounting.

Online content provider Demand Media plans an IPO, but its accounting method may not click with the SEC.

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