CUTTING: Billionaire Ronald Burkle has reduced his 6 percent stake in apparel maker American Apparel Inc. to 4.7 percent over the past two weeks, but is still the second largest individual shareholder after founder Dov Charney. Burkle, who accumulated his stake in June, said in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing that he sold 909,500 shares between Jan. 10 and 20. He now holds roughly 3.4 million shares. As of early December, Charney controlled 41 million shares, or 57.4 percent of the company he founded in 1998.
BIG DEAL: 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, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the transaction. The sale of the 501,000-square-foot complex by Lincoln Property Co. and ASB Real Estate Investments breaks down to about $599 a square foot. The deal for the property, called Horizon at Playa Vista, is expected to close this week.
TRAINING: Aerospace defense contractor Raytheon Co. 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. The center, which will employ 150 people, will offer training and technology development for law enforcement and public safety agencies throughout the Western United States. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Mass., but operates its space and airborne systems division out of El Segundo. It already has a training center in Raleigh, N.C.
PLAY BALL: Billionaire investor Alec Gores reportedly plans to make a bid for the Los Angeles Dodgers if the owners’ divorce forces them to find a buyer. Bloomberg News cited a person with knowledge of the plans who said Gores may try to purchase the Major League Baseball team, either with his fellow billionaire brother, Tom Gores, or as part of an investment group. The Gores are among a number of wealthy Angelenos and others looking to acquire the team. L.A. real estate billionaire Alan Casden, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and former Dodgers first baseman Steve Garvey also have expressed an interest in the team.
EXPANSION: Internet search giant Google Inc. is establishing a beachhead in Venice. In a rare bright spot for the region’s sluggish economy, Google is leasing more than 100,000 square feet of office space in three buildings, including the famed Binoculars Building designed by Frank Gehry. A huge binoculars sculpture, created by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, sits in front of the building. The company said it needed to expand its L.A. presence in order to recruit the work force it needs. The move is part of a major expansion by Google in Southern California and could set up a center of operation in the region.
HILTON HQ: The vacant former headquarters of Hilton Hotels Corp. in Beverly Hills has been purchased by a New York landlord. Tishman Speyer bought the two adjoining office buildings on Civic Center Drive from Hilton. The hotelier was acquired by corporate buyout giant Blackstone Group in 2007 and moved from Beverly Hills to McLean, Va., in 2009 to be closer to Blackstone’s New York headquarters. Terms of the sale weren’t disclosed, but real estate analysts familiar with the transaction said Tishman paid more than $55 million.
NEW CHIEF: Santa Monica electric vehicle developer Coda Holdings has named a new chief executive, Philip Murtaugh, an auto industry veteran in the United States and Asia. Murtaugh was employed by General Motors for more than 30 years in various management and executive positions, including jobs in Asia. Murtaugh succeeds interim Chief Executive Steven “Mac” Heller, a company co-chairman who stepped in when Kevin Czinger resigned in November.
EARNINGS: Hanmi Financial Corp. reported fourth quarter net income of $5.3 million, compared with a net loss of $35.9 million a year earlier. Net interest income, before the provision for credit losses, fell 9 percent to $26 million. … Homebuilder Ryland Group Inc. reported a net loss of $19.1 million, compared with net income of $39 million a year earlier. Revenue slid 52 percent to $227 million. … Occidental Petroleum Corp. reported net income of $1.2 billion, compared with $938 million a year earlier. Revenue rose 16 percent to $5.06 billion. …East West Bancorp reported net income of $32.2 million, compared with net income of more than $253 million a year earlier. The bank reported a noninterest loss of $17.2 million, compared with year-earlier noninterest income of $29.3 million. … Cathay General Bancorp reported net income of $14 million, compared with a loss of $39.4 million a year earlier. Revenue rose more than 11 percent to $91.4 million. …Amgen Inc. reported net income of $1.02 billion, compared with $931 million a year earlier. Revenue rose 1 percent to $3.84 billion.
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