JET BUY: Boeing Co. has announced that Air Lease Corp. will purchase up to 33 jetliners. The agreement includes 14 firm orders and four options for the aerospace company’s next-generation 737s, as well as five extended-range 777s and four 787 Dreamliners. In addition, Air Lease agreed to exercise options on six airplanes from last year’s order of 737s. Chief Executive Steven Udvar-Hazy announced the deal at a Paris Air Show press conference. Century City-based Air Lease has a fleet of 46 new and used commercial jets, and anticipates more than doubling that number by the end of the year.
OFFER: Web video site Hulu LLC has received an unsolicited acquisition bid and its board is considering the offer. Yahoo Inc. was identified as the potential purchaser of the Los Angeles site, which is backed by Walt Disney Co., News Corp., NBC Universal and other media companies. The company’s backers launched the service in 2008 in an attempt to retain control over online viewing of their TV and movie content.
SALE: Alliance Films has agreed to purchase Canadian film distributor Maple Pictures from Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. for $38.5 million. Alliance, a Montreal production and distribution company, will acquire Maple and its film library and will assume Maple’s exclusive five-year Canadian distribution deal with Lions Gate, which has corporate headquarters in Vancouver but major operations in Santa Monica. Also last week, Lions Gate said that it will expand its Asia-Pacific regional operations in Hong Kong and reduce its Australian presence.
BOARD MOVE: Alternative energy developer OriginOil Inc. plans to move trading on its shares from the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board to a major U.S. exchange in the next several months. The announcement follows a big order for the L.A. company, which has developed a process to extract oil from algae. Last month, MBD Energy Ltd., an Australian company developing carbon-capture and storage facilities at coal-fired power stations, ordered a large-scale oil system from Origin.
NEW CEO: U.S. Digital Gaming Inc. has hired former News Corp. and Walt Disney Co. senior executive Jon Richmond as CEO. The Beverly Hills company hopes to deploy an Internet gambling platform in the United States. Federal law now prohibits interstate online wagering, but California and several other states have considered legislation that could make online poker legal under the same doctrine that permits lotteries. As president of digital media at News Corp. and earlier at Disney, Richmond oversaw the development and operation of sites that included Fox.com, FoxSports.com and FoxNews.com. He most recently was a managing director at investment firm Houlihan Lokey, where he led the media, sports, gaming and entertainment industry group.
CAPITAL: Hanmi Financial Corp. has commenced a public offering of about $75 million worth of common stock to help boost its capital levels and pay for growth initiatives. The Koreatown parent of Hanmi Bank plans to contribute a substantial portion of net proceeds from the offering to build capital reserves, and fund acquisitions and other growth efforts. The bank has 32 offices statewide, including 27 offices in Los Angeles County.
ENDING: Guess Inc. has announced that co-founder and Chairman Maurice Marciano plans to retire from the company when his employment agreement expires Jan. 28. He will continue to serve as nonexecutive chairman of the board. A native of southern France, Marciano, 62, along with brothers George and Paul, moved to Los Angeles and in 1981 founded Guess, which became known for its designer jeans and provocative marketing. He has held a number of senior executive positions and was chief executive from 1993 to 2007. Paul Marciano currently is chief executive. George Marciano, the company’s original chief executive, left the company in 1993.
PORT PERSON: Geraldine Knatz, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, has been elected president of the International Association of Ports and Harbors. Knatz was unanimously chosen at the association’s biennial World Ports Conference last month in Busan, South Korea. Her term will run until May 2013. The association works with member ports in 52 countries to adopt a menu of best practices for reducing greenhouse gases and curbing pollution from vessels and port-related operations. Other projects include developing international guidelines for fueling ships with liquefied natural gas.
MINT MONEY: BeachMint, a Santa Monica operator of celebrity-endorsed e-commerce sites, has raised $23.5 million in a new funding round. The round was led by Scale Venture Partners, a Bay Area tech investor, and Lightbank, a Chicago venture firm backed by Groupon co-founders Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell. Prior BeachMint investors New Enterprise Associates, Trinity Ventures and Anthem Ventures also participated in the round. As part of the deal, Sharon Wienbar of Scale will join the company’s board, and a representative from Lightbank will gain an observer seat.
BUYOUT: Mark Burg has bought out his partner’s 50 percent stake in L.A. production and management company Evolution Entertainment. He has also hired agent-turned-producer Michael J. Menchel as chief executive. Burg and Oren Koules were partners for 12 years in Evolution – best known for producing the “Saw” horror franchise. They said in a statement that they will continue to produce film and TV projects together, including “Saw” follow-ups. Menchel spent 23 years at Creative Artists Agency before leaving in 1999 for Michael Ovitz’s Artists Management Group. In 2007, he formed his own production company, Relevant Entertainment.
EARNINGS: AeroVironment Inc. reported net income of $17.6 million for the quarter ended April 30, up 13 percent from a year earlier. Revenue rose 7 percent to $106 million.
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