PLAY BALL: The $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers to Guggenheim Baseball Management, a group that includes former Los Angeles Lakers star Earvin “Magic” Johnson, was completed, the team announced. Mark Walter, chief executive of financial services firm Guggenheim Partners, becomes the controlling owner of the Dodgers and the team will be run by former Atlanta Braves President Stan Kasten.
ACADEMY DEAL: Kodak Theatre will be renamed Dolby Theatre and the Academy Awards will be held there for the next 20 years under agreements announced by the owner of the Hollywood & Highland Center. CIM Group said it signed a 20-year contract with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to retain the annual Academy Awards show at what has been named the Kodak Theatre. In addition, sound technology company Dolby Laboratories Inc. signed a separate 20-year naming-rights agreement that will take effect this summer.
SALES QUESTIONS: David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital Ltd. in New York questioned Herbalife Ltd.’s percentage of distributors who actually were selling products to others, as opposed to signing up primarily to benefit from the distributor discount. In a conference call, Einhorn asked why the company had stopped disclosing more details on levels of distributor activity in its annual filings. Herbalife later said Einhorn’s questions raised no new subjects or concerns.
BON VOYAGE: Mark S. Liberman, chief executive of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, announced plans to retire by the end of the year. Liberman has been with the board for nine years and was an executive with United Air Lines for 34. The tourism board represents Los Angeles to the meetings and convention industry, and promotes the region to both individual travelers and event planners. Liberman said he would work with the board’s executive committee to find a successor. Chairman Tom Mullen, who is vice president of American Express, will lead the search committee.
NO EXPANSION: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration rejected an application by Amgen Inc. to expand the use of its drug Xgeva to slow the spread of tumors to the bones of patients suffering from advanced prostate cancer. Xgeva, which went on the market last year, is approved to prevent fractures in patients with advanced prostate cancer that already has migrated to the bone.
DRUG LICENSE: MannKind Corp. has announced that it is licensing a portfolio of early stage experimental drugs to Tolero Pharmaceuticals Inc. in a deal that could be worth more than $130 million. The companies said the drug candidates are being studied as treatments for blood cancers and inflammatory diseases. Tolero, a Salt Lake City developer of cancer and other drugs, will have worldwide rights to develop the drugs. The deal provides a means for cash-strapped MannKind of Valencia to develop other drugs in its pipeline while it concentrates on getting U.S. regulatory approval for its main drug candidate, inhalable-insulin treatment Afrezza. Tolero will make up-front and milestone payments to MannKind as the drugs advance through clinical development and regulatory review and, if approved, reach sales targets. MannKind also would receive licensing payments and royalties.
NEW OFFICE: Commercial real estate investment and services company Cassidy Turley Inc. opened its first L.A. office and has hired away four brokers from Transwestern’s downtown office to do so. The St. Louis-based real estate company employs about 3,500 people in more than 60 offices nationwide, with clients including JP Morgan Chase & Co. and H&R Block. Jonathan Larsen, former Transwestern executive managing director, will head the new Cassidy office, which opened in the Bank of America Plaza at 333 S. Hope St. Suzanne Lee, Eric Moore and Katie Bernhisel, all formerly of Transwestern, will join Larsen in the new outpost.
DEAL REJECTED?: Demand Media Inc. reportedly rejected a deal to be bought by a private-equity firm. Technology news website AllThingsD.com reported that Demand Media turned down a bid worth up to $1.2 billion from Thomas H. Lee Partners. The report cited unnamed people close to the matter. Representatives from Demand Media and Thomas H. Lee did not comment.
MORE MONEY: NanoH2O Inc., which is developing a more efficient reverse osmosis process for seawater desalination, has raised $60.5 million in equity and credit funding. The El Segundo water purification company, which is developing advanced membranes for filtering out salt based on UCLA research, said $40 million was raised from several venture capital firms. “We are well positioned to continue to provide our global customers with new, leading-edge (technology) that lowers the energy, operating and capital costs of desalination and other water treatment applications,” Chief Executive Jeff Green said in a statement.
EARNINGS: DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. reported net income of $9.1 million, compared with $8.8 million in the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose 26 percent to $136 million. … True Religion Apparel Inc. reported net income of $10.4 million, compared with $9 million in the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose 14 percent to nearly $107 million. … Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. reported net income of $83.9 million, compared with $80.3 million for the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose 5.5 percent to $2.7 billion. … DineEquity Inc. reported net income of $29.9 million, compared with $28.1 million in the same period a year earlier. Revenue fell 18 percent to $245 million. … Herbalife reported net income of $108 million, compared with $88.7 million in the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose 21 percent to $964 million. … On Assignment Inc. reported net income of $5.4 million, compared with $3.5 million in the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose 29 percent to $167 million. … Molina Healthcare Inc. reported net income of $18.1 million, compared with $17.4 million in the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose 23 percent to $1.37 billion.
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