NEW FUND: Gores Group has closed fundraising for its fourth private-equity fund, Gores Small Capitalization Partners LP. The Westwood investment firm, headed by billionaire financier Alec Gores, said the new $300 million fund will target lower-middle-market businesses, below the target size of its $2 billion flagship fund, Gores Capital Partners III LP. Gores III also will co-invest $100 million alongside the new fund to bolster Gores Small Cap’s investment power. The new fund will be led by Managing Directors Ashley Abdo, Victor C. Otley, Catherine Scanlon and Michael Nold.
MOBILE BILLBOARDS: The Los Angeles City Council approved an ordinance making it illegal to leave billboards and advertisements attached to vehicles parked on public streets or property. Signs painted on vehicles remain legal. First-time offenders will receive a 24-hour warning before the billboards are removed by city crews. Subsequent offenses could result in misdemeanor charges, with fines of as much as $1,000 and up to six months in jail. The ordinance brings the city into compliance with AB 1298, which regulates advertisements attached to motor vehicles.
CAMPUS EXPANSION: Art Center College of Design in Pasadena has announced plans to expand its campus with the acquisition of an adjacent former U.S. Postal Service property. The acquisition was made possible through $5 million in gifts from alumni, according to the college. L.A. firm Michael Maltzan Architecture will work with college officials to integrate the expanded campus. The acquired property is closer to public transportation than the main campus.
STARTUP SOLD: Fetch Technologies, a USC spinoff that has developed online data aggregation and analysis software, has been sold to Connotate Inc., a New Brunswick, N.J., tech company that sells similar products. Fetch, which has customers that include e-commerce site Shopzilla, helps companies process large amounts of intelligence, news and other Internet data in real time. Companies can use the results for market analysis and background screenings. Fetch employs technology based on artificial intelligence research at the USC Information Sciences Institute.
DEBT SALE: DirecTV Inc. has sold three senior debt offerings from which it expects total net proceeds of $3.97 billion. DirecTV Holdings LLC, a subsidiary of the El Segundo satellite TV service provider, said that it will issue notes due in five, 10 and 20 years. The parent company expects to use some of the proceeds from the senior notes sale to buy back its stock and for general corporate purposes.
DEAL DONE: Amgen Inc. has completed a tender offer to take over cancer therapy developer Micromet Inc., which it is buying for $1.16 billion. The Thousand Oaks biotech giant in January agreed to buy the Rockville, Md., company for $11 a share, a 33 percent premium over the closing price the day before the deal was announced. The pickup bolsters Amgen’s drug pipeline. Micromet, which will become a subsidiary, is developing an experimental antibody-based drug called blinatumomab.
O.C. ACQUISITION: Beverly Hills real estate investment and services company Kennedy-Wilson Holdings Inc. has acquired Meyers LLC, an Irvine real estate consultancy that specializes in advisory, research and capital placement for the single-family homebuilding and apartment markets. Meyers founder and principal Jeff Meyers is regarded as a leading expert in residential trends and the firm will continue to operate as Meyers Research LLC. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
NEW APPROACH: Skechers USA Inc. said that it is dropping its third-party distributor arrangement in Japan and forming a wholly owned subsidiary in hopes of growing its market share there. The Manhattan Beach casual shoemaker said that Skechers Japan G.K. will start offering a wider array of products in the country later this year, and it expects to double its business there in the next three to five years. There also are plans to open Skechers retail stores across Japan and increase its marketing campaign there. Skechers’ international business now comprises 30 percent of total sales, with subsidiaries in Brazil, Canada, Chile and Europe, and joint ventures in Asia.
NEW CFO: Activision Blizzard Inc. has hired Dennis Durkin, a former Microsoft Corp. executive, to be its chief financial officer. Durkin, 41, will replace Thomas Tippl, who had been serving in the post on an interim basis since being promoted to chief operating officer of the Santa Monica video game maker in 2010. Durkin most recently served as chief financial officer and chief operating officer of Microsoft’s interactive entertainment business, which includes its popular Xbox 360 gaming console.
OFFICE: Kilroy Realty Corp. has acquired a tech business office complex in the Silicon Valley city of Menlo Park for more than $162 million. The West L.A. real estate investment trust, which has been accumulating properties in Northern California, said the seven buildings of Menlo Corporate Center are 79 percent leased. Tenants in the 374,000-square-foot complex include Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, ETrade Financial Corp. and Allstate Corp.
EARNINGS: AeroVironment Inc. of Monrovia reported fiscal third quarter net income of $5.7 million, 50 percent less than the same period a year earlier. Revenue fell 15 percent to $72 million. … U.S. Auto Parts Network Inc. of Carson reported a fourth quarter loss of $7 million, 140 percent larger in the same period a year earlier. Revenue fell 4 percent to $77.2 million. … PC Mall Inc. of El Segundo reported a fourth quarter loss of $393,000 compared with net income of $3.9 million in the same period a year earlier. Revenue fell 8.4 percent to less than $390 million. … Staar Surgical Co. of Monrovia reported fourth quarter net income of $109,000 compared with a net loss of $691,000 in the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose 14 percent to $16.4 million. … Superior Industries International Inc. reported fourth quarter net income of $40.2 million, 80 percent more than the same period a year earlier. Sales rose 14 percent to nearly $217 million.
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