Stories for September 2011

Friday, September 30

The Week’s Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies fell for the week on continued domestic and overseas economic concerns.

Soon-Shiong Endows Engineering Chair at USC

Patrick Soon-Shiong’s family foundation has endowed a professor chair at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, which will support research “at the intersection of engineering and medicine” that may involve computer science, mobile vision or robotics.

Thursday, September 29

CalAmp Moves from Loss to Profit

CalAmp Corp. shares jumped more than 10 percent in after-market trading Thursday after the company said it moved to a better-than-expected profit in its fiscal second quarter on stronger sales of its wireless datacom products.

Seattle-area Company Acquires ContentGuard

Pendrell Corp. plans to acquire more than 90 percent of ContentGuard, an El Segundo company that develops digital rights management patents, for $90.1 million.

Wednesday, September 28

MGA Entertainment Recalls Toys from Acquisition

MGA Entertainment announced an additional recall of about 1.7 million Little Tikes toy tool sets and trucks, citing a choking hazard from the toy’s plastic “nails”.

Rentech Settles Shareholder Lawsuits

Biofuels developer Rentech Inc. has received court approval to settle class action lawsuits against the company and several current and former directors and officers

Sony Decision Pushes RealD Stock Lower

Shares RealD Inc., the maker of projection systems and glasses for 3-D movies, fell after a report that Sony Corp. plans to stop paying for 3-D glasses when it releases films.

Tuesday, September 27

Governor Signs L.A. Stadium Bill

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation granting Anschutz Entertainment Group the right to expedite legal challenges to a proposed football stadium in downtown Los Angeles.

Trio-Tech Moves to Loss

Trio-Tech International shares fell nearly 13 percent Tuesday morning, a day after the equipment maker and semiconductor testing company said it slipped to a loss in its fiscal fourth quarter on lower sales and higher expenses.

Aerovironment Gets Military Drone Order

Aerovironment Inc. has received a $6.9 million order from the U.S. Air Force for its small Raven unmanned aircraft.

Monday, September 26

Court Says Port Truckers Can Maintain Independence

Trucking companies operating at the Port of Los Angeles will not have to hire their drivers as employees, a federal court has ruled.

Vantage Media Merges With Florida Firm

Vantage Media, an El Segundo provider of performance marketing and online advertising services, on Monday said that it has merged with BrokersWeb, a Miami provider of pay-per-click advertising.

DreamWorks Signs Netflix Deal

Netflix has signed a deal with DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. to stream its movies and TV specials beginning in 2013.

Who Is Saeid Aminpour?


Saeid “Steve” Aminpour banked on his Iranian-American community connections to boost Wilshire’s business.

Yen for Repeating History

OP-ED: United States is following Japan’s inflation-fighting focus and risks the same disastrous real estate fallout.

Benjamin Mark Cole worries a fight-inflation focus in the United States will stagnate property values like in Japan.

LABJ Investigates Conflicts of Interest at Koreatown Bank


Outside business pursuits by a former chief marketing officer and his relationship with the then-CEO has brought federal investigations, shareholder lawsuits and chaos to Koreatown’s Wilshire State Bank. Staff reporter Richard Clough investigates in our quarterly Banking and Finance Special Report.

‘Catalyst in Revolutionizing Air Travel on the West Coast’


Joan Kerr salutes the late Peter Tornqvist and his revolutionizing of West Coast air travel.

Risky Business


Outside business pursuits by a former chief marketing officer and his relationship with the then-CEO has brought federal investigations, shareholder lawsuits and chaos to Koreatown’s Wilshire State Bank.

Downtown Still Adds Up for Accounting Firm

REAL ESTATE: Grant Thornton signs $6 million, 10-year deal for bigger L.A. digs.

Thomas Properties Group Inc. is getting a boost with the decision of Grant Thornton LLP to expand its L.A. office and move it to City National Plaza.

San Pedro’s Commerce Claws

Ports O’Call flies in 30,000 Maine lobsters for weekend festival.

San Pedro’s Ports O’Call flew in 30,000 Maine lobsters as tasty guests of honor for its annual festival.

Bringing Sales Home

Human Healthy looks to own backyard to boost vending business.

Human Healthy Vending hopes for a sales shot in the arm by expanding on its home turf.

Gambling On Show Biz Forecast

Media Predict bettors get real money to wager on TV, film audiences.

Media Predict rolls dice by giving participants real money to bet on TV ratings and films’ box office.

Red Hot Time In Sicily


Being woken up by an erupting volcano sounds scary, but for Adriana Kahane, it is just a hazard of her business.

Car Pricing Website Revs Up With Funding Round

TECHNOLOGY: TrueCar raises $217 million for pickups and product launches.

TrueCar Inc. is stepping on the gas pedal.

Calendar & Events


News of the Week

News of the Week

Regional Reports

Regional Report

Self-Storage Business Locks Into Partnership Buyouts

Analysts praise Public Storage while some ex-partners cry foul.

Public Storage has turned away from acquisitions to secure buyouts of partners.

Video Game Rental Service Gets Alpha Mail Rival

Few points favor GameFly in projected fight with Netflix.

GameFly may get zapped by a big rival as Netflix plans to add video games to its movie-rental mail service.

Fur Ban Raises Hackles


Charles Crumpley wonders if the only thing West Hollywood businesses have to fear is a fur ban itself.

Concert Promoter Fails to Stage a Stock Comeback

Live Nation shares fall despite deals with Universal, Facebook.

Concert promoter Live Nation’s Universal and Facebook deals fail to draw investor applause.

Craft-y Move

DEVELOPMENT: Port of L.A. looks to boost San Pedro tourism by turning two warehouses into a year-round artists’ market.

Port of L.A. takes an arts and crafts approach to finding tenants for two WWII-era warehouses.

Teamsters Roll Into L.A. Port on Back Of Clean-Air Plan

Teamsters are making inroads with L.A. port truckers through an organizing push at Toll Global.

‘Bananas’ Lawyer Regaining Appeal?

Juan Dominguez defends role in alleged fraud against Dole.

Lawyer Juan Dominguez is hungry to get back to work now that controversy has died down over his alleged fraud in lawsuits against Dole Food.

City Planning

Businesses split on benefits of East L.A. incorporation.

Fear of higher fees and taxes has some East L.A. businesses working against a cityhood proposal.

Car Parts Dealer Rides Rocky Road in Short Run

AUTOMOTIVE: U.S. Auto stock down but analysts like long-term outlook.

Analysts expect a comeback a little farther down the road for after-market parts dealer U.S. Auto.

Postal Service Cuts Could Mean Mixed Mail Bag foresees postage sales boost but fears delivery slowdown.

Postal Service’s proposed cutbacks deliver good news to postage business

Michael Klowden: Think Again

INTERVIEW: Lawyer-Turned-Investment-Banker Has Built Up Michael Milken Institute

Michael Klowden says he has no second thoughts about taking the reins at Michael Milken’s think tank.

Friday, September 23

The Week’s Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies dropped sharply for the week, in line with a sell off in the markets over recession fears.

MannKind to Sell Debt to Finance Drug Trials

MannKind Corp. plans to sell senior secured discount notes to raise about $370 million to help pay for additional drug trials that U.S. regulators are requiring for its experimental insulin inhaler.

KB Home’s Loss Widens, But Orders Increase

KB Home saw a larger loss in its fiscal third quarter, but its stock rose slightly Friday morning after the homebuilder also reported more orders.

Thursday, September 22

MTA Approves Major Project Labor Agreement

In a major victory for building trade unions and a setback for non-union contractors, L.A. County’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority has approved a project labor agreement that would cover billions of dollars of future road and rail construction projects.

Nara, Center Financial Shareholders Approve Merger

Nara Bancorp Inc. and Center Financial Corp. said that shareholders of each bank approved their planned $286 million merger that will create the nation’s largest Korean-American bank.

Wednesday, September 21

E-Commerce Venture Just Fabulous Raises $33 Million

Just Fabulous, the latest in a succession of celebrity driven e-commerce sites based in the Los Angeles area, has raised $33 million in a Series A funding round.

Kaiser Permanente Hit by Strike

Los Angeles-area Kaiser Permanente employees began a three-day strike today to protest proposed benefit cuts and what they describe as a lack of progress on contract talks.

Gores to Buy Texas Tech Firm

The Gores Group has agreed to acquire Alpheus Communications, a Houston company that is one of the largest fiber network and data center operators in Texas.

Tuesday, September 20

Coda Holdings Raises Another $147 Million

Los Angeles electric-vehicle and battery developer Coda Holdings has completed a $147 million funding round as it prepares to launch its first vehicle.

Dole Food Sells European Businesses to Partner

Dole Food Company Inc. has signed an agreement sell its ripening and distribution businesses in Spain and Portugal to the Compagnie Fruitière Group, in which it has an ownership stake.

OriginOil to Consult on U.S. Biomass Standards

OriginOil Inc. shares jumped nearly 26 percent Tuesday after the alternative energy developer announced a deal with the U.S. Department of Energy to develop algae-fuel standards.

Live Nation, Universal Music Group Form Partnership

Live Nation Entertainment Inc. and Universal Music Group said they will launch a joint venture management company aimed at strengthening performing artists and their brands.

Monday, September 19

Kythera Biopharmaceuticals Raises $34 Million

Kythera Biopharmaceuticals Inc., which is developing aesthetic medicine products that include a chin fat dissolver, has raised $37.4 million in a Series D funding round.

Los Angeles Sues Supergraphic Firm Sky Tag

The Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office has filed suit against one of the city’s most notorious supergraphic sign companies and 21 property owners for erecting a series of multistory vinyl ads around the city.

Union, Groceries Reach Tentative Deal

Grocery workers and the parent companies of Ralphs, Vons, and Albertsons have reached a tentative contract agreement, both sides announced.

Amgen’s Bone Drug Approved for Additional Uses

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved two more uses for Amgen’s osteoporosis drug Prolia for cancer patients who have undergone chemotherapy, raising the revenue the drug is expected to produce over the next several years.

Hollywood Eatery Calls It a Wrap

Pane e Vino shutters after 20 years as an industry hangout.

Star wattage couldn’t stop the curtain from falling on show business industry hot spot Pane e Vino.

David Feinberg: Rewritten Rx

INTERVIEW: Chief executive boosted bedside manners at UCLA Health System by encouraging staff to refocus on healing and compassion.

Dr. David T. Feinberg gave UCLA Medical System’s reputation a shot in the arm by improving bedside manners.

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Airborne Internet Provider Boards New Content Deals

Row 44 looks to lift revenue by expanding into in-flight entertainment.

Internet provider Row 44 aims to expand its airborne presence by offering original content to airlines.

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Jumping Through Hoops

Son of Dr. J joins film director to put bounce back in ABA league.

Movie director teams with Dr. J’s son to take a shot at reviving basketball’s ABA league.

Taking Good Care of the Doctor


Louis Perry has provided security to such high-profile people as former Vice President Al Gore and boxing star Manny Pacquiao, but nothing quite compares to his current assignment.

Software Firm Scores Big in Video Game Hacks

Sony attacks fuel Guidance’s move into cybersecurity business.

Aiding hack-attacked Sony has been key to unlocking cybersecurity work for Guidance.

Regional Reports

Regional Report

News of the Week

News of the Week

Calendar & Events


West L.A. Developer Homes In on Chinatown

REAL ESTATE: Meta to convert office property into affordable housing project.

After almost three years in escrow, Meta Housing Corp. has finally closed on a 152,000-square-foot office building in Chinatown it plans to convert into senior housing.

Providing Chair Lift

Goldstar ticket program Sit With Friends takes social approach.

Goldstar’s new Sit With Friends social networking feature relies on the closeness of customers.

Proposed State Rainwater Rules Just Drops in Regulation Bucket

OP-ED: Two Views - Running Off Business?

Mike Paik fears proposed rainwater treatment rules for businesses will plunge the state into further regulation. Harry B. Chandler sees the Los Angeles River as a way around more business fees.

Investing in Los Angeles River Offers Alternative to More Fees

OP-ED: Two Views - Running Off Business?

Mike Paik fears proposed rainwater treatment rules for businesses will plunge the state into further regulation. Harry B. Chandler sees the Los Angeles River as a way around more business fees.

Underpowered Fleet Deals Slow Drive-Train Maker

Enova spins wheels as customers slow to convert to electric.

Enova stock has dropped as the maker of hybrid and electric drive trains has failed to get traction with fleet operators.

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Can Maker Opens Up More Space in South Bay

Ball’s former facility likely to join growing warehouse ranks.

Soda can maker Ball’s former home looks like another warehouse conversion candidate in the South Bay.

Medical Center Teams Up to Field Additional Care

HEALTH CARE & BIOTECH: Disc partners with Red Bull to treat drink maker’s sponsored athletes.

Getting both professional athletes and weekend warriors back on their feet after an injury has been a significant portion of Disc Sports & Spine Center’s business since its 2006 opening in Marina del Rey.

Little Relief From Big Government


If may be unfair for AEG to get some relief from the state’s environmental law, but that’s the way big government systems are designed to work, opines Charles Crumpley.

Game for Brazil

Aecom looks at 2016 Olympics project as means to tap into world’s seventh largest economy.

Aecom is game for more business in Brazil after scoring the Olympic Park project for 2016.

Unions Not Likely to Quit on Worker Retention

Labor may revive state bill next year on building service staff.

Labor may look to next year to rerun a defeated bill on retaining building workers.

Signs of Life

New owners revive luxury condo project

New Asian owner Joint Treasure looks to revive the fortunes of scrapped Beverly Hills condo project.

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Grocery Magnate Bags Local Hotel

Billionaire Burkle checking into lodging industry.

Billionaire Ron Burkle hopes to make room in L.A.’s hotel scene for his recently acquired Wilshire Hotel.

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Coffee Maker Buzz Leaves Bad Taste

SEC smells trouble at firm started by Bob Marley’s son.

Coffee distributor Jammin Java’s briefly red-hot stock led to legal heat from the SEC.

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Start a Business on Company Time? Sure.

WDCW lets staff pursue side projects at work.

WDCW gives free rein and full paychecks to employees who pursue other ventures at work.

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Thursday, September 15

Bay Area Bank to Acquire Covina Bank

AltaPacific Bancorp and Covina’s Stellar Business Bank have signed a definitive agreement to merge in a stock deal valued at $17.4 million.

Coda Holdings Acquires Battery Management Firm

Los Angeles electric vehicle and large battery developer Coda Holdings has acquired EnergyCS, a developer of battery management systems that is one of its partners.

Tetra Tech Acquires State Department Consulting Firm

Tetra Tech Inc. has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the State Department consulting firm PRO-telligent LLC.

Wednesday, September 14

Traffic Down Again at L.A., Long Beach Ports

The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles saw port traffic dip in August. It’s the third month in a row the Los Angeles port has seen less business than last year, and the second month for Long Beach.

Los Angeles to Host 2015 Summer Special Olympics

In a tourism boost for the region, Los Angeles will host the Special Olympics World Summer Games in 2015, it was announced Wednesday.

Oaktree Proposes to Take Jakks Pacific Private

Jakks Pacific Inc. shares jumped 23 percent Wednesday morning, a day after Oaktree Capital Management LP announced a hostile takeover bid for the Malibu toymaker after failing to work out a friendly deal.

County Raises Local Business Preference for Contracts

Local businesses competing for county contracts will get a little bonus as the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted to raise the local bid preference to 8 percent.

Tuesday, September 13

Farmer Brothers’ Loss Widens

Farmer Brothers Co. saw its net loss grow 6 percent in its fiscal fourth quarter as the roaster and institutional beverage service provider continued to battle higher raw materials costs and a decrease in the number of business customers it serves.

Higher Spending Increases CrowdGather’s Loss

CrowdGather Inc.’s fiscal first quarter loss jumped 41 percent as the operator of Internet forum communities hired more people and saw higher costs as it integrated recent acquisitions.

Monday, September 12

Building Service Workers Bill Fails in Senate

A proposed state law that would have made it more difficult to fire security guards and other building service workers failed to pass the Legislature after a fierce opposition campaign by building owners and other business groups.

Everbridge Makes Cloud Technology Acquisition

Everbridge Inc. which operates an emergency and incident notification service for governments and businesses, has acquired cloud computing technology company CloudFloor.

Germany’s BMG Buys Bug Music

BMG Rights Management plans to buy Los Angeles song publisher Bug Music, which manages a catalog of hits that includes "What a Wonderful World," "I Walk the Line” and "The Real Slim Shady," for a reported $300 million.

Penthouse Publisher to Buy L.A. Daily Deal Operator JigoCity

FriendFinder Networks Inc., which publishes Penthouse and operates adult social networking sites, plans to buy Los Angeles daily deal web site operator JigoCity for up to $65 million in stock and warrants.

Corporate Credit Union’s Capital Plan Falls Short

BANKING & FINANCE: WesCorp in San Dimas to shutter and sell off business.

WesCorp’s long saga is finally coming to an end – and it’s not exactly a happy one.

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Washington, Oregon Go Distance for Electric Cars

MANUFACTURING: States turn to AeroVironment to set up charging stations along I-5.

Ever had range anxiety? If you don’t have an electric car, probably not.

News of the Week

Legislation granting Anschutz Entertainment Group the right to expedite legal challenges to a proposed football stadium in downtown Los Angeles passed the state Assembly.

Europe In The Bag

Plastic bans boost Cereplast resin sales

Cereplast’s biodegradable resins have bagged more overseas sales in the wake of European bans on plastics.

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Seeing Red Over Green Jobs


Charles Crumpley says he’ll paint the town red as soon as those promised green jobs show up.

School Cutbacks Saw Into Torrance Manufacturer

Slowdown in orders forces Virco to offer buyouts to entire staff.

Virco is learning to cut back in the wake of reduced orders from educational institutions.

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Apparel Makers Suit Up for China

Program fashions export plan for L.A. companies.

New export program aims to help apparel maker Velvet Heart fit in the Chinese market.

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Cruise Line Sets Sales With Deals

Ultraluxury Crystal turns to packages to buoy business.

Luxury cruise line Crystal hopes to get shipshape through its discounts and fixed-price package deals.

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IPO by Jet Lessor May Give Lift to L.A.’s Public Profile

ILFC’s planned IPO would put the jet-leasing business among L.A.’s high-flying public companies.

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Pop-In From The Past

Local shop uncorks vintage process to brew ’30s-era cream soda.

Looking to the past for a cream soda production process was a matter of taste for a local pop shop.

Solar Panel Business Pieces Together Overseas Deal

Maker of plant-based products eyes Asian customers.

BioSolar hopes to power up its business through a Korean partner that will pursue deals in Asia.

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Regional Report

Pacific Office Properties Trust in San Diego has paid $31 million for Valencia Corporate Center

Dairy Family Raises Stakes Against Former Adviser

Alta Dena heirs file to recover more money from one-time friend.

Alta Dena Dairy founders’ family ratchets up fraud case against former financial adviser.

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Local Boutique to Saddle Up With Dallas Firm

LAW: Downtown’s Hennigan Dorman had sought national platform.

Eyebrows were raised earlier this year when downtown L.A. boutique Hennigan Dorman LLP lost name partner Bruce Bennett and nine other attorneys to Dewey & LeBouef LLP, based in New York.

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Getting the Picture


Scott Dudelson has found a way to make a buck while enjoying one of his favorite pastimes – attending concerts and music festivals.

Lagging Rental Rates Deflate Downtown Loft

REAL ESTATE: Owner unable to refinance or sell property in South Park.

South Park Lofts, a tony 49-unit apartment complex in the downtown L.A. neighborhood, went into foreclosure last month after its owner was unable to refinance and failed to sell the property.

Nothing to Sneeze at

Marketing firm hopes online flu game spreads ‘Contagion’ film buzz.

Participant Media hopes for an online viral hit with its flu-tracking game to promote the film “Contagion.”

Calendar & Events

Events of interest to Los Angeles' business community.

Putting L.A. Council on the Clock

OPED: Reducing positions to part time will save money, curb corruption and shake up politics-as-usual quagmire.

Kevin James hopes the clock is running out on a full-time Los Angeles City Council.

Property Service Workers Deserve Job Security

OPED: Lawmakers can promote the economy by passing AB 350.

Mike Garcia sees a proposed state worker retention law as a promoter of job stability.

Calls Go Against Maker of Network Testing Devices

Ixia stock price tumbles as slowdown in sales expected to linger.

Investors have signaled their disapproval over a slowdown in sales for Ixia’s network testing devices.

Powered Back Up

Sales surge short-circuited International Rectifier’s consolidation plans.

Upswing in sales wiped out International Rectifier’s urge to merge its semiconductor facilities.

Clothing Maker Puts Brand on New Business Model

Cherokee now assists its customers with design, manufacturing.

Apparel licensing company Cherokee is trying on a new business strategy of providing more guidance to its customers.

Revealing Halloween Thrills

Former Playboy model creates skimpy, sexy line of costumes.

Playboy model Bridget Marquardt hopes to scare up some interest in her line of sexy Halloween costumes.

Friday, September 9

Stadium Bill Heads to Governor's Desk

The state Senate on Friday passed legislation granting Anschutz Entertainment Group the right to expedite legal challenges to a proposed football stadium in downtown Los Angeles.

The Week’s Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of local public companies fell for the week as job worries and the European debt crisis pulled the broader stock market lower.

Hudson Pacific Buys SF Properties, Declares Dividend

Real estate investment trust Hudson Pacific Properties announced Friday it had acquired two San Francisco office buildings for $68.7 million.

Thursday, September 8

Job Creation Bills Could Trim Business Taxes

Gov. Jerry Brown announced he has reached a bipartisan deal on a package of tax bills designed to stimulate job creation in California.

Wednesday, September 7

Assembly Approves Stadium Bill

Controversial legislation granting Anschutz Entertainment Group the right to expedite legal challenges to a proposed football stadium in downtown Los Angeles passed the state Assembly.

United Online Shares Climb After Analyst Report

Shares of United Online Inc., the Woodland Hills Internet company, rose 8 percent after an analyst at Benchmark Co. started coverage with a “buy” rating.

Simulations Plus Releases Preliminary Financials

Simulations Plus Inc., a pharmaceutical research firm in Lancaster, released preliminary financials for the fourth quarter of 2011, sparking a sell-off of shares that pushed the stock price down 4 percent.

Tuesday, September 6

DineEquity Selects Universal Studios VP as New CFO

DineEquity, the Glendale-based parent company of IHOP and Applebee's restaurants, announced the appointment of Tom Emrey as chief financial officer.

Sales Rep Agreement Powers BioSolar Shares Higher

Shares of BioSolar, a solar energy company in Santa Clarita, spiked 17 percent Tuesday morning after the company announced it had signed a sales representation deal with a Korean firm.

Monday, September 5

Business Must Stay Connected to Threat of Cybercrime


Stan Stahl warns business execs to stay current on threats that exist in cyberspace.

Shaking Up State’s Economy

OP-ED: Infrastructure projects OK’d as they were after Northridge quake could get Californians working again.

Richard G. Little hopes to build momentum for quickly approved state infrastructure projects.

IRS Worker’s Rudeness More Than Taxing


Arlene Howard wants to reform the IRS after a run-in with an incompetent worker at the agency.

How Would the Ports Stack Up?

OP-ED: Vertically consolidated container terminals would go a long way in easing facilities’ expansion issues.

David J. Alba and Richard Risemberg have high hopes for vertical container terminals.

L.A. Shores Up Manufacturing


More manufacturers seem to be moving work back to the United States, Charles Crumpley notes. And he thinks that will be good for Los Angeles. Sort of.

3-D Technology Company To Fill More Seats in China

Deal with movie chain hinges on ability to track attendance.

RealD hopes to add another dimension to its business by bringing 3-D to a Chinese theater chain.

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Algae-to-Fuel Company Stock Sinks After Split

Chief executive blames drop in share price on profit-taking investors.

Sell-off swamps algae-into-fuel company OriginOil in the wake of successful reverse stock split.

Mixed Martial Arts Gym Hopes to Pack Extra Punch

UFC looks to take on industry rivals with locations across L.A.

Mixed martial arts league UFC hopes to score a hit with its branded line of gyms.

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Homebuilder Sees Leg Up in Shrinking Footprint

Ryland’s plan to exit slow cities greeted with stock surge.

Analysts hail homebuilder Ryland’s decision to walk away from slow markets as a step up.

Cement Maker’s Future Solidifies in Long Beach

TRADE & TRANSPORT: Mitsubishi to add silos to handle expected upswing in imports.

With the building industry in the doldrums, it’s no surprise that Mitsubishi Cement Corp. hasn’t imported so much as an ounce of cement since late 2008.

Fitness Company Pumps Up in Santa Monica

REAL ESTATE: Beachbody signs $10 million lease for 91,000 square feet.

Beachbody LLC has expanded at Santa Monica’s Lantana Entertainment Media Campus.

Calendar & Events


FDA Forces Drink Maker to Can Health Claims

Reed’s says it was only ‘copying’ competitors’ approach.

Beverage maker Reed’s has put a cork in health claims about its drinks after FDA warnings.

Businesses Have No Time for Extension Of Workers’ Comp

Some local businesses fear clocking out permanently if the state extends workers’ comp benefits.

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Ritzy Gym Chain Hopes to Fit in L.A.

Equinox looks for lift by picking up Sports Club.

High-end chain Equinox is muscling into L.A.’s fitness scene by picking up Sports Club locations.

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Wal-Mart to sidestep local opposition by moving into stores vacated by other retailers.

Wal-Mart is getting its foot in the door in some local markets by stepping into stores vacated by other retailers.

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Shaky Second Quarter Weakens Defense Contractor

Ducommun stock loses altitude in wake of $3 million net loss.

Turbulent second quarter causes Ducommun stock to lose elevation.

Bigger Picture

Warner Center holds on to Panavision as area eyes more residences.

Panavision moves but decides to keep Warner Center its home despite area’s push for residential space.

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Vernon to Pay Price For Independence?

Companies face fee hikes after dodging takeover.

Vernon businesses must pay off the city’s debt alone after fending off a county takeover.

PR Firm’s Darker Vision of Los Angeles


Robert Wynne has seen the sci-fi movie “Blade Runner” 17 times.

Success Too Sweet?

Run on doughnuts forces Fonuts to close and restock supplies.

Rush for Fonuts’ healthier fare left the doughnut shop in the hole without ingredients after just two days.

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Regional Reports

Regional Reports

Harry Kazazian: Bag Man

Exxel Outdoors CEO, who admits to not being much of a camper, boosted his sleeping bag business by bringing production back to the states.

Exxel Outdoors CEO Harry Kazazian partly credits his work ethic to his father, a Soviet political prisoner under Stalin.

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Making Call on Radiation

Pong Research’s cases offer phone users some exposure coverage.

Pong Research hopes to expose more customers to its radiation-reducing cases for cell phones.

Santa Monica Firm Looks for Social Media Hookup

ADVERTISING & PR: Blitz buys Big Method for Facebook and blog connections.

Blitz, a Santa Monica ad agency, acquired social media marketing agency Big Method last week to add power to its digital services.

Putting Some Zip In 90210

Beverly Hills turns to talent agency to find licensing opportunities.

Beverly Hills has turned to talent agency William Morris to boost the city’s star power.

Analysts Give Some Credit to Debit Card Company

BANKING & FINANCE: Green Dot seen as likely purchaser of competitor NetSpend.

Could Green Dot Corp., which is already the nation’s largest issuer of prepaid debit cards, be ready to take an even bigger slice of the pie?

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News of the Week

News of the Week

Friday, September 2

National Technical Systems Makes Massachusetts Acquisition

National Technical Systems Inc. has acquired Lighting Technologies, an engineering services and testing laboratory.

ILFC Files for $100 Million IPO

Aircraft leasing firm International Lease Finance Corp. announced in Friday regulatory filing that it plans to raise up to $100 million in an initial public offering of stock.

Thursday, September 1

UTi Worldwide’s Quarter Better Than Expected

Shares of UTi Worldwide Inc. gained 13 percent on Thursday after the freight logistics company said its fiscal second-quarter earnings jumped 21 percent on higher revenue across all of its business segments.

Virco Makes Employee Buy-Out Offers to Cut Costs

Furniture maker Virco Manufacturing Corp. announced that it’s offering early retirement and voluntary separation packages to about 1,050 employees in California and Arkansas to avoid layoffs.

ValueClick Completes Buyout and Boosts Stock Repurchase

ValueClick Inc's board has increased its repurchase authorization by $86 million to help offset dilution caused by previously announced acquisition of a Chicago company that has now closed.

Teledyne Wins Large Defense Contract

Teledyne Technologies Inc. has been been awarded a contract related to the federal government's missile defense system that is expected to be worth up to $595 million over five years.