Stories for January 2012

Tuesday, January 31

Quartermaster Merges with Kentucky Firm

Quartermaster Inc., a Cerritos distributor of public safety uniforms and gear, said it is merging with a Kentucky competitor that is owned by a New York private equity firm.

MannKind Plans Dilutive Stock Offerings

MannKind Corp. shares dropped nearly 15 percent on Tuesday after the cash-strapped biotech said it plans to sell $50 million worth of stock and warrants in a public offering, part of a fund-raising effort for ongoing clinical trials of its experimental inhaled insulin product.

Platinum Equity Sells IT Portfolio Company

Platinum Equity has sold one of its portfolio companies, Canvas Systems, a Georgia supplier of refurbished information technology hardware and services.

Doll Demand Boosts Mattel’s Quarter

Mattel Inc.’s fourth quarter profit rose a better-than-expected 14 percent as the El Segundo company saw strong holiday demand for Barbie and its other dolls. But challenges at its Fisher-Price unit dampened revenue growth.

Flat Sales Growth Hammers Avery Dennison’s Quarter

Shares of Avery Dennison Corp. fell more than 5 percent on Tuesday after the Pasadena label maker said fourth-quarter profit slid a worse-than-expected 81 percent on nearly flat sales. The company also provided full-year guidance below analysts’ forecasts.

Jacobs Wins Large Air Force Contract

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. has won a support services contract from the U.S. Air Force Materiel Command that could be worth as much as $1.9 billion over seven years.

Monday, January 30

Ceres IPO Expected Next Week

Ceres Inc., which is developing seeds to provide specialized crops for the biofuels industry, is scheduled to go public next week in an effort to raise roughly $132 million.

Gores Group to Buy Pep Boys

Gores Group has signed an agreement to take private the national auto parts chain Pep Boys – Manny, Moe & Jack in a deal roughly valued at $791 million.

BIS Computer Solutions Acquires ResultWorx Technology Group

BIS Computer Solutions Inc., a global supplier of information technology services based in La Crescenta, has acquired Pasadena technology services firm ResultWorx Technology Group Inc.

Investors Get a Breather on Beaten-Down Stock

MannKind shares rise while company waits for inhaler’s approval.

Analysts can’t figure out why investors are putting more stock in shares of MannKind.

Regional Reports

Regional Reports

Judge Won’t Revive Case Against Ex-Bank Officer

BANKING & FINANCE: Former Wilshire State executive had faced more fraud accusations.

A judge last week denied requests to reopen a fraud case against the former chief marketing officer of Wilshire State Bank.

Luxury Weighs In

Operator of fitness camps to open upscale line of resorts.

Operator of fitness camps looks to tip the scale with new luxury weight-loss resorts.

Retail Star on Hollywood Looking for Stage Name

CIM Group selling naming rights to Hollywood & Highland.

Hollywood & Highland is striving to get a name sponsor at the same time it may need a new name for its Kodak Theatre.

Getting A Reading On Market

Japan nuclear disaster spurs sales for firm’s radiation detector.

Safety concerns in Japan help secure sales for Beverly Hills firm’s radiation detector.

Looking to Score Points In the Field

FanCloud co-founders hit the road to promote sports site at games.

FanCloud co-founders play up their sports website with events at pro and college games.

Had a Baby, Closed the Deal


Talk about being a working mom: Kimberly Roberts Stepp signed the biggest deal of her career a few months ago, only 40 hours after giving birth by Cesarean section.

Nonunion Supermarkets May Shelve Inner-City Sites

Ordinance on worker retention survives high court appeal.

U.S. Supreme Court’s affirmation of cities’ worker retention ordinances could steer supermarket buyers away from inner-city locations.

Former Boutique Owner Fashions Online Career

Lisa Kline joins team after shutting her last shop.

Lisa Kline has pulled the plug on her last brick-and-mortar clothing shop and will now look to connect with customers only online.

Snack Maker Looks for Bite of Midwest Market

MANUFACTURING: Snak King expands with acquisition of C.J. Vitner in Chicago.

A local maker of off-brand Doritos is expanding into the Midwest and plans to bring a Chicago staple back to Los Angeles.

Industry Vets Like New Health Drink’s Prognosis

Creators of Fuze, VitaminWater back in thick of it with BodyArmor.

Healthy drink maker BodyArmor gets a shot in the arm with backing of VitaminWater’s creator.

Tease photo

Electric Trucks Seek Euro Spark

Maker Balqon looks abroad after port bellyflop.

Electric truck company Balqon has set sail for European markets after its vehicles washed out at local ports.

Tease photo

Disclosure’s Legal, Financial Exposure


Charles Crumpley warns businesses will pay a price no matter how they handle California’s new law on forced labor.

Red Building So Far Saving on Cost of Red Carpet

Pacific Design Center structure still awaits first tenant signing.

Pacific Design Center’s Red Building has yet to get the green light from tenants willing to pay steep asking rents.

Tease photo

Business Task Force Advances Services for Homeless


Business task force gets to work on helping the homeless, according to Jerry Neuman and Renee White Fraser.

Still a Ways Off

OP-ED: Governor’s axing of redevelopment agencies goes against his goal of establishing more local control.

Governor loses local-control building block by axing redevelopment agencies, writes Daniel J.B. Mitchell.

Personal Touch

Startup Gravity hopes to give online publishers a lift with tool that customizes site experience to each reader.

Startup Gravity hopes to pull in publishers with its tool that personalizes a reader’s website experience.

Tease photo

Water Firm Dips Toe Back in Desert

New client prompts Cadiz to revive aquifer project.

Expanded distribution pool has water company Cadiz ready to take the plunge on a Mojave Desert aquifer project.

Tease photo

Will Cutting Kids’ Games Get THQ Back on Track?

TECHNOLOGY: Layoffs result from restructuring at Agoura Hills publisher.

After a period of net losses and negative cash flow, THQ Inc. may be taking the steps needed to turn its businesses around.

On Emission

The ports’ clean truck programs drove German immigrant Martin Schuermann to switch from show business to the electric vehicle industry.

Martin Schuermann made a clean break with show business when he switched to the electric vehicle industry.

Tease photo

Booming Base

Korean pop a high-volume import in L.A.

Bringing Korean pop acts to L.A. turns into a sound business for local concert promoter.

Tease photo

Forced-Labor Law Binds Business?

Companies fear state act will spur lawsuits.

Retailers and manufacturers fear state’s new forced-labor law will put them under the yoke of activist lawsuits.

Tease photo

L.A. Investor Likes Sound of Koreatown Quartet

REAL ESTATE: Vista pays $17 million for portfolio of residential properties.

A 199-unit apartment portfolio in Koreatown traded hands for $17 million this month.

Calendar & Events

Calendar & Events

Friday, January 27

Improved Ryland Quarter Still Misses Expectations

The Ryland Group Inc. moved to a profit in the fourth quarter, but the results fell short of Wall Street forecasts.

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies gained only slightly for the week, as investors reacted to reports that the U.S. economy in the fourth quarter grew at a slower pace than expected.

Wesco Aircraft Sees Growth in Quarter

Wesco Aircraft Holdings Inc. saw 7 percent growth in fiscal first quarter earnings, driven by strong sales of its aerospace equipment outside the United States.

Toll Group Drivers File with NLRB

Truck drivers at logistics firm Toll Group Inc. in San Pedro have filed for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board, the latest action in a months-long dispute between the drivers and the Australian company.

Thursday, January 26

Amgen Profit Disappoints, But Revenue Exceeds Expectations

Drug maker Amgen Inc. said its fourth-quarter earnings fell a worse-than-expected 8.5 percent, largely due to higher production, sales and other expenses. But a 3 percent increase in revenue beat Wall Street forecasts.

Mixed Quarter at Green Dot Causes Shares to Decline

Shares of Green Dot Corp. fell 6 percent Friday, a day after the prepaid debit card issuer reported fourth quarter revenue below Wall Street expectations.

Amgen to Buy Cancer Drug Developer for $1 Billion

Amgen Inc. has signed an agreement to acquire Micromet Inc., a Maryland cancer drug developer with no products yet on the market, for nearly $1.16 billion.

Mixed Results in Quarter for Jacobs

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. reported a 36 percent jump in fiscal first quarter profit, but revenue fell a little short of Wall Street expectations.

Teledyne Profit Exceeds Forecasts But Revenue Disappoints

Teledyne Technologies Inc. reported a nearly flat, but better-than-expected profit in the fourth quarter. However, revenue for the Thousand Oaks aerospace and defense contractor missed Wall Street forecasts.

Wednesday, January 25

Green Dot Buys Card Processing Firm eCommLink

Green Dot Corp. has acquired a Los Vegas prepaid processing firm, as the Monrovia prepaid debit card provider moves toward becoming a more vertically integrated company.

THQ Plans to Drop Licensed Kids Games

THQ Inc. shares fell on Wednesday after the video game publisher announced it will stop developing licensed games geared for children to focus on its core franchises and digital initiatives.

Oxy’s Profit Soars in Quarter

Occidental Petroleum Corp. said that its net income jumped nearly 35 percent in the fourth quarter as the company boosted its U.S. operations and saw strong growth in its chemicals business.

Passenger Count Rose at LAX Last Year

Traffic at Los Angeles International Airport last year grew 4.7 percent, with 61.8 million passengers passing though the world’s sixth busiest airport.

Tuesday, January 24

Profit at OSI Jumps on Sales

OSI Systems Inc.’s shares rose more than 6 percent on Tuesday after the security and medical scanner manufacturer said its fiscal second-quarter earnings surged 33 percent.

High Court Declines to Review Grocery Worker Ordinance

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by grocery chain owners to overturn “worker retention” ordinances in Los Angeles and other California cities.

Semtech to Buy Canadian Chip Maker

Semtech Corp. said it would pay about $494 million in cash to acquire Gennum Corp., a Canadian maker of products that enable video and data to be transmitted at high speed over long distances on the Internet. Shares rose more than 8 percent on the news.

Monday, January 23

Internet Brands' Acquisiton Expands Travel Offerings

Internet Brands, a Los Angeles operator of niche websites, has acquired an award-winning travel blog, Frugal Travel Guy, for an undisclosed amount.

City of L.A. To Expand Business Assistance Centers

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced an expanded offering of services at six business assistance centers throughout the city.

Acquisition Adds to J2 Global’s Services

Internet services company J2 Global Inc. has acquired nearly all the assets of Offsite Backup Solutions LLC, a Phoenix provider of online data backup.

Shuttered CRAs Open Door for New Development Forces


Shiraz D. Tangri hopes the loss of redevelopment agencies will make room for other development tools.

Technology Gets Behind The Wheel

Special-effects studio sees real prospects in virtual car simulator.

Special-effects studio looks to make in-roads at automotive events with its driving simulator.

Sushi Rolls Served With Raw Speed

Machines pick up pace at new Beverly Hills restaurant U-sushi.

New Beverly Hills restaurant has machines playing a major sushi role.

‘Bully’ Pushing to Change DJ Tunes

Karaoke firm tries to sink L.A. pirates.

Karaoke company sounds off on song piracy by cueing up lawsuits against L.A. DJ’s and venues.

Warmth Has Chilling Effect On Sporting Goods Chain

Slow seasonal sales for winter apparel send Big 5 stock tumbling.

Unseasonably warm weather has chilling effect on Big 5’s seasonal sales and stock price.

Class B Makes Grade With Companies Hopeful for Port Resurgence


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

Up in the Air?

Slowing airline traffic stalls area merchants

Businesses feel left behind by American Airlines’ departure from Bob Hope Airport.

Pasadena Residents Split On Catching NFL Team

Chamber says temporary tenant’s fiscal lift would offset penalties.

Pasadena chamber pushes budding bid to lure pro football team to Rose Bowl.

One-Man Operations Drive Trio of Companies to Unite

ADVERTISING & PR: Alliance looks to fend off rivals by offering range of services.

Kahn Media in Reseda has formed a triple alliance to fend off competition from wannabes in the niche of automotive marketing.

Focus Yields Fiesta Time

Galpin Ford retains nationwide No. 1 sales ranking for 22nd year.

Dealership Galpin Ford has lot to be proud of with its 22nd consecutive national No. 1 sales ranking.

Calendar & Events


Miracle Growth


Former “spillover” market Miracle Mile is now making a splash as a prime residential and office destination.

Tease photo

The Vision Thing


When Stan Yoshihara left his job at commercial real estate giant CBRE Group Inc. to start his own property management firm, he wanted to create a smaller company that gave him some flexibility and creativity.

Developer Had Vision of Miracle Mile’s Renewal


Developer Wayne Ratkovich talks about the neighborhood’s advantages and challenges.

Regional Reports

Regional Reports

News of the Week

News of the Week

In Distress

Veteran banking executive Mary Lynn Lenz says she’s not quite ready for a withdrawal from turning around financially troubled institutions.

Mary Lynn Lenz isn’t ready to check out of the stress of turning around distressed banks.

Handle With Care

OPED: Proposed state measures to regulate in-home, assisted-living workers would drive up business costs.

Barry Berger doesn’t like the prognosis for in-home care companies if the state passes more regulations.

Low Vacancy Rate a Shore Thing In Popular ‘Silicon Beach’ Area


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

Baseball Team Owners Call Third Strike on Bank

Pohlad family, also stakeholders in First California, push for change.

Baseball family says a local bank has struck out and calls for change.

Specializing in Low Rents No Longer Makes Wilshire Center Special


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

Some Tenants Think Smaller as They Stay Put but Give Back Space


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

Technology, Entertainment Firms Take Leading Roles in Comeback


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

Airport Opponents Plane Wrong


Charles Crumpley thinks it’s kind of funny how things keep changing, often making “problems” go “poof.”

Pasadena, Burbank Drum Up More Deals While Glendale Lags


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

Award Hopefuls Roll Out Red Carpet for Venues

Loosened rules for Oscar campaigns lead to surge in screening events.

Rule change on Oscar campaigns has raised the curtain on more business for screening venues.

Class A Asking Rents Spike but Valley Remains Tenant’s Market


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

Firm’s Wi-Fi Acquisition Connects With Wall Street

Revenue from pickup last summer boosts share price for Ixia.

Rising revenue has distributor of network testing devices connecting with investors.

Fourth Quarter Delivers Many Unhappy Returns


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

Industrial Space Snapped Up as Impact of Japan Disaster Fades


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

Dodgers Bidding Field Includes L.A.’s Wealthiest

Rival teams include billionaires and famous former athletes.

Why some of L.A.’s biggest financial hitters are taking a swing for the Dodgers franchise.

Art Deco Masterpiece Hidden in Plain Site


Former department store renovates in hopes of retail revival.

Cruise Line Tosses Two Big Leases Overboard as It Consolidates


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

Planting Flags

Hotelier looks to take Luxe brand and management services nationwide.

Hotelier checks into brand expansion and growing its management services.

Dealers Drive Off Web Competition

States put brakes on TrueCar referral fees.

Marketing site TrueCar changes gears to subscriptions as states put the brakes on referral fees it charges dealers.

Friday, January 20

County Unemployment Rate Falls Slightly

Los Angeles County job growth slowed in December, even as the local unemployment rate edged down a tenth of a point to 11.8 percent.

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies gained for the week, as the markets reacted to unexpectedly good earnings reports.

Grandpoint Capital to Acquire Escondido Bank

Grandpoint Capital Inc. is furthering its expansion into San Diego County, announcing its intention to acquire California Community Bank, an Escondido institution with four branches.

Evolve Media Makes Acquisitions

Evolve Media Corp., operator of a digital media network, has acquired two websites focusing on entertainment and eco-friendly living.

Thursday, January 19

Improved Quarter at City National

City National Corp. said its fourth quarter profit rose 11 percent as the company expanded to new markets and set aside less money to cover loan losses.

Loan Generation Fuels East West's Quarter

East West Bancorp Inc. said its fourth quarter profit doubled as the county’s second largest local bank grew its loan portfolio.

Image Metrics Spins Out Pro-Animation Business

Image Metrics Inc. said that it is dividing its digital facial animation technology into two businesses, spinning off the later into a new company called Faceware Technologies Inc.

Stronger Hanmi Profit in Quarter

Hanmi Financial Corp. reported slightly higher earnings in the fourth quarter and moved to a profit for the full year, thanks to lower credit losses and growth in government-backed loans to small businesses.

HCP Sells Notes to Pay Down Credit Facility

HCP Inc. is selling about $450 million in senior unsecured notes, in part to pay down more expensive debt.

Wednesday, January 18

Solid Quarter for Simulations Plus

Simulations Plus Inc. said that its first quarter profit jumped 71 percent as the developer of pharmaceutical simulation software benefited from the sale of a non-core business.

M West Holdings Buys Cahuenga Plaza

M West Holdings said that it has acquired Cahuenga Plaza, a 73,150-square-foot office building near Toluca Lake.

Tuesday, January 17

L.A. Port Again Breaks Yearly Export Record

For the second consecutive year, exports through the Port of Los Angeles hit an all-time high last year.

Pasadena Chamber Proposes Rose Bowl as Temporary NFL Host

The Pasadena Chamber of Commerce is urging managers of the Rose Bowl to consider offering its venue as a temporary home if Los Angeles is successful in luring a National Football League team back to the region.

Disney Launches 'Disney Baby' Site

Walt Disney Co, has launched, a website for expectant and new parents featuring parenting advice and a collection of products from the Disney Baby brand.

Ayzenberg Group Acquires The Social Method

The Ayzenberg Group has acquired The Social Method, a social media marketing agency based in Tustin.

Monday, January 16

DOE Makes Development Deal with OriginOil

OriginOil Inc. announced plans with a U.S. Department of Energy facility to develop an integrated system that will better commercialize its technology to extract oil from algae.

Symantec Buys Cloud Services Provider LiveOffice for $115 Million

LiveOffice, a Torrance provider of cloud-based data archiving, has been acquired by computer security company Symantec Corp. for $115 million.

Getting Scoop on Middle East

Shuttered L.A. artisan ice-cream chain finds new life in Abu Dhabi.

Ice-cream chain L.A. Creamery trades L.A.’s cold shoulder for warm embrace in Abu Dhabi.

Regional Reports

Regional Reports

News of the Week

News of the Week

Calendar & Events


Meeting of the Young and Younger


Shortly after Sandro Dazzan, a Realtor in Malibu, was featured last month as one of Forbes magazine’s 30 under 30 – which spotlights rising young business people – he got a call from a New York financial adviser named Jason Goldstein.

Dream Job

Investment banking was the family business for Ken Karmin when he decided in 1999 to acquire and run Ortho Mattress.

Ken Karmin pads his investment banking career by serving as CEO of Ortho Mattress.

Subdivide and Conquer

Benedict OPED: Canyon residents hope to hold up proposed estate home by misusing L.A. city code on single lots.

Benjamin M. Reznik rips the city of L.A. for its job-killing new rule that’ll make it tough to build large homes.

Project Labor Agreements Build Nothing but Unions


Eric Christen faults lawmakers for building careers on the back of project labor agreements for contractors.

Securities Subsidiary Ready to Invest in Social Media

BANKING & FINANCE: Wedbush unit hopes to boost business via Twitter and Facebook.

The financial services industry has been somewhat reluctant to embrace social media, but one local investment firm is hoping to change that.

Actor Takes Leading Role in Client Development

David Ackert trains CPAs, lawyers in customer relations.

Actor hopes to help accountants and lawyers reach a better stage in client relations.

Marriage-Minded Lawyers Came a-Courtin’ in 2011

LAW: L.A. firms paced country by joining in half-dozen unions.

The final numbers are in and it’s official: 2011 was a comeback year for law firm mergers, and nowhere more than in Los Angeles.

American History at A Surplus

96-year-old seller of military items opens museum at shop.

Oxman’s Surplus’ 96-year-old owner marshals military items into in-store museum.

Saddled With Insurance

Van Nuys brokerage trots out specialty equine coverage.

Brokerage Momentous trots out policies for horse owners.

Stock Investors on Board With Directors’ Exodus

MRV sees shares rise in wake of string of four resignations.

Investors get a new line on MRV’s stock after four directors announce resignations.

Carrying On

Plastic bag makers cope differently with ban risk

Two plastic bag makers take opposite paths to cope with potential bans.

Tease photo

Former Banker Hit With More Claims

New borrowers say they were pushed into bad loans.

A former Koreatown banker faces new allegations of wrongdoing.

Tease photo

Investors Check Out of Hospitalist Company Stock

Usual surge fails to materialize to boost IPC’s fourth quarter.

IPC’s poor fourth quarter prognosis sent the hospitalist company’s stock tumbling.

Tease photo

Generator Maker Hopes to Energize New Markets

Aura turns to military deals, new products for vehicles.

Generator maker Aura seeks to power up sales with military deals and vehicle products.

Tease photo

Business Group Feeling ‘Blah’ About Sacramento

BizFed’s first ad campaign wants talk replaced with results.

BizFed pushes for business-friendly policies in Sacramento with first ad campaign.

Tease photo

Joint Venture Will Accent Spanish

Affiliate of CAA targets Latin America.

New film-TV joint venture heads south to invest in rising Latin American markets.

Tease photo

Channel Changer

TV: Reality show producer taps app that brings program-linked content in real time to smart phones and tablets.

Actv8 looks to channel a reality show deal into more interest in its added-content app for smart phones and tablets.

Tease photo

Summit Merger Could Put Roar in Lions Gate Shares

Investors wait for terms of what could be ‘transformational’ deal.

Lions Gate stock fails to roar to new heights despite reports of impending deal for Summit.

Tease photo

YouTube Pushes ‘Play’ on Property in Playa Vista

REAL ESTATE: Google-owned video giant is joining tech rush into Westside.

Internet video-sharing giant YouTube LLC is in negotiations to lease office space at L.A. developer Ratkovich Co.’s Hercules Campus in Playa Vista, sources told the Business Journal.

Tease photo

Off the Market


The 10th anniversary of Sarbanes-Oxley is coming up, but Charles Crumpley is in no mood to celebrate.

Firm Seeks Safety In Afghanistan

Aecom eyes public projects to secure revenue.

Aecom looks to reinforce revenue by deploying consultants to high-risk Afghanistan.

Los Angeles County Home Sales December 2011

A list of December home and condo sales by neighborhood.

Friday, January 13

Loss of Large Tenant Hurt Long Beach Port Traffic Last Year

The Port of Long Beach handled slightly less cargo last year than it did in 2010, a result of light holiday shipments and the loss of a cargo terminal operator to the neighboring Port of Los Angeles.

Lions Gate Buys 'Twilight' Maker Summit Entertainment

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. said that it had bought Santa Monica’s Summit Entertainment LLC, creator of the hit “Twilight” film franchise, in a cash-and-stock deal valued at more than $412 million.

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies gained for the week, as news that several European Union countries may lose their top credit ratings was offset by earlier strong market gains.

Online Advertising Network Firm PK4 Media Acquires Collaborator

Advertising network and publishing company PK4 Media said it has acquired JSFour for undisclosed terms.

Thursday, January 12

Women Sentenced to Prison for Stealing from ‘Tae Bo’ Creator

Operators of a Marina Del Rey firm that provided bookkeeping and other financial services to celebrity fitness instructor Billy Blanks have been sentenced to 33 months in federal prison for stealing more than $1.1 million from the developer of the Tae Bo exercise program.

PUC Approves SoCal Edison Solar Energy Deals

State regulators have approved three solar energy contracts signed last year by Southern California Edison.

MRV Delays Shareholder Meeting Again as More Directors Resign

MRV Communications Inc. on Thursday said it would further delay its annual meeting as two more board members announced they would resign, bringing the total of departing executives and directors in recent weeks to at least five.

Wednesday, January 11

L.A. City Council Votes to Abandon Redevelopment Program

The L.A. City Council voted 9-3 to not have the city take over redevelopment responsibilities once the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency ceases to exist on Feb. 1.

Cool Planet BioFuels to Start Road Tests

Cool Planet BioFuels has received approval from the California Air Resources Board to begin fleet-testing its experimental “negative carbon” gasoline, which can be made from corn cobs, woodchips or other low-grade biomass.

LAEDC Hires New Economist

The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. is set to announce Wednesday that it has hired real estate economist Robert Kleinhenz as its new chief economist. He replaces Nancy Sidhu, who retired last month to deal with a family health situation.

VCA Antech Purchases Canada’s Largest Vet Chain

VCA Antech Inc. has acquired Associate Veterinary Clinics, operator of the largest network of animal hospitals in Canada.

Tuesday, January 10

Mark Cuban to Promote Skecher’s Shoe Line

Shares of Skechers USA Inc. rose 8 percent on Tuesday after the shoe company announced that quirky Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban would be featured in the company’s Super Bowl commercial promoting a line of high-performance running shoes.

GoDigital Acquires Digital Distribution Competitor Might Entertainment

Santa Monica digital distribution company GoDigital said that in the wake of a successful recapitalization it has acquired Beverly Hills video-on-demand competitor Might Entertainment.

CO Architects Forms Joint Venture with N.Y. Firm

Los Angeles architectural firm CO Architects announced a joint venture with New York City’s FXFOWLE designed to extend the geographic and expertise reach of each company.

Cetera Financial to Acquire Genworth Financial Unit

Cetera Financial Group said it plans to acquire Genworth Financial Investment Services Inc. from Genworth Financial.

ImmunoCellular Therapeutics Prices Stock Offering

ImmunoCellular Therapeutics Ltd., a small Woodland Hills biotech, priced an offering of nearly 9.5 million units of stock and warrants, which should result in net proceeds of about $9.4 million.

Monday, January 9

IPC Lowers Guidance, Shares Plunge

Shares of IPC the Hospitalist Company Inc. slid 33 percent on Monday after the operator of hospital-based physician practices lowered its full-year profit forecast and gave fourth-quarter guidance below analyst expectations.

MRV Communications Chairman, Board Member to Resign

MRV Communications Inc., which last month saw its chief executive resign, announced that its interim board chairman also was leaving the troubled Chatsworth company. Another board member also has said he will resign from the board.

Health Net Sells Medicare Drug Plan for $160 Million

Health Net Inc. plans to sell its Medicare Part D prescription drug plan business to a subsidiary of retail drug store operator CVS Caremark Corp. for $160 million.

Gates’ Corbis Buys Product Placement Firm NMA Group

NMA Group, a Los Angeles company that places products, mostly electronics, in movies and television shows, has been acquired by Corbis, a Seattle digital media licensing firm owned by Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

Covering Up the ‘Dfect’


Having worked for decades as a construction attorney, Robert S. Mann thinks he knows a thing or two about minimizing errors.

Working Overtime in California

OPED: Recent 9th Circuit decision burdens in-state businesses with tracking pay rules for out-of-state employees.

Michelle Lee Flores worries the 9th Circuit Court has punched out state businesses with a recent overtime decision.

Canadian Insurer Takes on Entertainment Tenants

REAL ESTATE: Home to movie and TV companies goes for $39.5 million.

The West L.A. building that houses 20th Century Fox Film Corp. and BBC Worldwide Americas Inc. was sold this month for $39.5 million.

Calendar & Events


News of the Week

News of the Week

Medium Is the Message for West Hollywood Firm

ADVERTISING & PR: Ciplex sees jump in revenue after stepping away from larger clients.

A West Hollywood agency that decided to target smaller clients has racked up some pretty big numbers.

Smart Phone App Aims to Make Live Connections

TECHNOLOGY: Nprogress’ Ntro uses GPS to link up users in the same location.

A Brentwood startup wants to help people make connections as more people are turning to their computers to meet friends and love interests.

Ports Ax Fee but Truckers Won’t Give Break on Cost

TRADE & TRANSPORT: Businesses say rates to remain as is to help pay for new vehicles.

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have stopped charging a fee that allowed older trucks to haul cargo, but trucking companies said their customers shouldn’t expect to start paying less.

Concert Promoter Gets Lift From Madonna Dates

2012 tour plans by singer boost Live Nation’s share price.

Madonna’s upcoming tour has provided material for concert company Live Nation’s stock surge.

Regional Reports

Regional Reports

Beauty Research Looks Good to Website Business

Santa Monica firm to package consumer reviews for industry clients.

Total Beauty hopes consumer reviews from its websites will look appealing as industry research.

Tease photo

Hollywood Theater’s Next Stage May Be Rough

Kodak could lose name sponsor along with Oscars.

Possible loss of name sponsor Kodak and the Oscars could leave Hollywood & Highland theater without direction.

Tease photo

Winding Road

Former show biz agent and California lawmaker Kevin Murray now leads a non-profit in its goal of finding employment for homeless people.

Ex-entertainment agent and state legislator Kevin Murray now flexes his street smarts helping the homeless.

Tease photo

Doctors Endorse Concierge Operation

Firm nurses high-price, low-volume practices.

SignatureMD finds room to operate high-price, low-volume concierge services for doctors.

Tease photo

Ojai Water Fight Drain on Business

American States unit hit with fines, fights forced sale.

American States may end up taking a bath as costs pile up for a water subsidiary that could lose its Ojai business.

Tease photo

Outside the Box

Vincent Mehdizadeh hopes pot shops give thumbs up to his fingerprint-checking, drug-dispensing vending machines.

Vincent Mehdizadeh looks to weed out seedy pot shops with his MedBox vending machines that dispense drugs.

Tease photo

Digital Prints All Over Lab Layoffs

Switch from film spurs Technicolor cuts.

Technicolor lowers the curtain on its iconic film-processing business as it moves to digital movie distribution.

Tease photo

Breaking Bad?

'Fracking' challenges could hold up Oxy drilling

Environmental groups’ challenges to fracking process could undermine Occidental drilling plans.

Tease photo

Reality TV’s Revenge of The Nerds?

Tech geeks to take top billing in show about local startups.

Tech geeks take their turn in the reality spotlight on a new program that tracks local startups.

Clothing Chain Picks Up Property Near Grove Mall

Developer Alan Casden had sought site for residential project.

Developer Alan Casden loses potential site for residential project to Ross Dress for Less chain.

Breaking Down Billboards

NatureWoven provides green alternative to vinyl signage.

NatureWoven hopes to sign up billboard businesses with a biodegradable alternative to vinyl sheets.

Land Deal Upended by Demise of Redevelopment

Monrovia property owner still wants more for train yard site.

Monrovia property owner still rails against Gold Line offer as too low.

Shot in Arm For Sales?

PC vendor looks to tap medical customers with office makeover contest.

Computer vendor looks to connect with medical customers with its contest for an office makeover.

Give Fracking a Break


Charles Crumpley takes a crack at promoting compromise on oil companies’ use of fracking.

Cancer Drug Provides Healthy Boost to Biotech

Analyst calls Xgeva ‘key franchise to watch’ for Amgen.

Potential new use has boosted the prognosis for drug Xgeva and maker Amgen.

Friday, January 6

The Week’s Big Movers

The Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies closed up for the first week of the year, as an encouraging national jobs report offset continuing concerns about the European debt crisis.

Image Metrics Plans to Deregister its Stock

Image Metrics Inc., a Santa Monica provider of digital facial animation technology for the entertainment industry, said that it intends to voluntarily deregister its common stock and suspend its reporting obligations to the U.S. Securities Commission.

Aecom Acquires Taiwan Engineering Firm

Aecom Technology Corp. has acquired Capital Engineering Corp., an environmental and engineering consultancy firm in Taiwan.

Thursday, January 5

Enova Sells Shares to Finance Product Development

Enova Systems Inc. has completed a financing that will be used to further develop hybrid electric and all-electric drive systems, and fund an initiative to make fleet purchases more affordable.

Sony Executive to Lead State Film Commission’s Board

The California Film Commission’s Board of Commissioners has elected legislative and public affairs expert Keith Weaver as chairman.

Fresh Produce Shortages Hurt Calavo’s Quarter

Calavo Growers Inc.'s its fiscal fourth quarter profit fell 25 percent, largely due to fresh produce supply shortages, but the earnings still beat analysts’ expectations.

Wednesday, January 4

Disney Reaches Comcast Agreement

Walt Disney Co. has reached a 10-year agreement to have its cable channels and ABC network carried by Comcast Corp., the nation's largest cable TV provider. Separately, publisher Meredith Corp. announced that it had bought one of the Burbank entertainment giant’s family magazines.

Humana Acquires Local Medicare Advantage HMO

Humana Inc. has completed acquisition of MD Care, a Medicare Advantage health maintenance organization based in Long Beach.

NBC’s Big MetroStudios Project Killed, Smaller Facility Planned

Thomas Properties Group Inc. and NBC Universal Media LLC have killed a plan to build an office and post-production complex in Universal City. nstead, NBC Universal will upgrade and convert a significantly smaller facility already located on the Universal Studios lot.

Torre Joins Caruso’s Bid to Buy Dodgers

Joe Torre has resigned from his management position in Major League Baseball's front office to join with billionaire real estate developer Rick Caruso’s group to try to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Federal Realty Acquires Plaza El Segundo

Federal Realty Investment Trust has acquired a controlling interest in Plaza El Segundo, a 381,000-square-foot retail property in El Segundo, and bought an adjacent, vacant 8.1-acre property for future development.

Tuesday, January 3

Commercials Boosted L.A.'s Film Industry Last Year

On-location filming in Los Angeles dropped 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter, but still managed a 4.4 percent increase for the year, according to FilmL.A. Inc.

COR Securities Acquires Clearing Firm

COR Securities Holdings Inc. has acquired Legent Clearing LLC., a securities clearing firm in Omaha, Neb.

Avery Dennison to Sell Unit to 3M

Avery Dennison Corp. has signed a definitive agreement to sell its office and consumer products business to 3M Co. for $550 million in cash.

Gores Group Makes German Acquisition

The Gores Group said it plans to acquire a German maker of forged and machined components used in automobiles and commercial vehicles.

Monday, January 2

Furniture Maker Gets Some Credit, Stock Boost

Virco rebounds after default, expensive worker buyout.

Furniture maker Virco is off the hot seat after securing new line of credit, which boosts share value.

Calendar & Events


Virtual Office Fails to Connect


Charles Crumpley rates the virtual advantages and disadvantages of online workplaces.

Jumbo Projects

Business Journal focuses on five of L.A. County’s biggest projects, running from freeway expansion to LAX renovation.

Restaurant Puts Down Some Roots

Post & Beam hopes customers dig produce grown on site at eatery.

Post & Beam hopes to be a special garden-variety restaurant by growing some produce on site.

Tease photo

Local Lenders Feeling Pressure Over Federal Money

Institutions see speedy repayment of TARP funds as bottom-line boost.

Local lenders hurry to shake bottom-line and public image burdens by paying off federal TARP loans.

Tease photo

Alternative Fuel Company Gets New Marching Orders

MANUFACTURING: OriginOil’s new contracts with military to tap firm’s algae technology.

OriginOil Inc., an L.A. company that extracts oil from algae, is working to develop biofuels for the military as the government tries to reduce its reliance on petroleum fuels.

Tease photo

Police Make Business of Seizures

Taking of inventory may spell end for XYZ.

Secondhand goods dealer XYZ got a firsthand look at law enforcement’s increased practice of asset seizure.

Tease photo

Toymaker’s Sales Fail to Share in Holiday Cheer

Jakks’ stock takes a tumble after surprisingly slow season.

Slow holiday sales left toymaker Jakks Pacific with a lump of coal in its stocking and a depressed share price.

Works for Scale

Plaintiff’s attorney Thomas V. Girardi tries to keep things light as he handles heavy cases for clients, including the Dodger Stadium assault victim.

Plaintiff’s attorney Thomas V. Girardi argues that his cases against companies are a boon for businesses.

Tease photo

Regional Reports

Regional Report

Landlord Moves Out of the Office

Jamison looks to trim big commercial portfolio.

Acquisitive office landlord Jamison has reversed gears and has shed some of its properties.

Tease photo

Office Reframed

WORKPLACE: Niner Bikes rolls in Torrance with virtual office model.

Niner Bikes peddles it products by relying on employees across the country linked by the web.

Tease photo

Lenders See Part To Play in Film

Banks fill hole in Hollywood financing.

Lenders see a bigger role to play in film financing as boom-era sources of money dry up.

Tease photo

Agency Had Write Stuff In Suit Over Pen Contest

Jury rules Pentel stole marketing idea from small L.A. firm.

Getting a contract in writing helped El Segundo agency win lawsuit over pitched pen contest.

Los Angeles Should Weigh in With New Tax on Trans Fats


Ted Lux would like to see L.A. city throw its weight around and enact some fatty-food taxes.

Internet Poker Businesses Say Odds Have Improved

MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT: Companies see federal decision clearing way for online sites in state.

A U.S. Department of Justice decision announced late last month has some L.A. businesses raising their bet that online poker will become legal in California this year.

Mike Tyson’s Latest Hit?

Ex-boxer punches up star portfolio for maker of celebrity greetings.

StarGreetz gets in the ring with ex-boxer Mike Tyson to produce e-cards, messages and ring tones.

News of the Week

News of the Week

Building Buyer Sees Toymaker Tenant as Asset

REAL ESTATE: Angelo Gordon pays $45 million for Mattel’s R&D facility.

Mattel Inc. just got a new landlord.

Semiconductor Market Resurgence Short-Circuits

Chips dip as economy and Asian disasters crunch sales.

Concerns about the economy and natural disasters have chipped away at semiconductor demand.

Jumping Through Hoops

Staples Center scores full calendar with NBA’s condensed schedule.

NBA’s condensed schedule will have Staples Center double- and even triple-teaming events.

Bank Company’s Stock Goes on Rise With Analysts

BANKING & FINANCE: Hanmi earns praise with reverse split, share offering.

Hanmi Financial Corp. is making strides in a plan to regain its reputation as one of Koreatown’s strongest financial institutions.

Relaxing on the ‘High Way’ Across the County


Think you’ve got a long commute in Los Angeles? Stephen Lassetter’s commute is all the way through Los Angeles – from San Bernardino County to Ventura County.

Harvesting L.A.’s Bounty

OPED: Local elected leaders must nurture several projects that should yield much needed jobs in the new year.

Gary L. Toebben charges local elected officials with sowing job-creating projects.