SCALING BACK: DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. plans unspecified reductions in staff. It also pushed back the release date for its animated movie “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” by four months, meaning the studio will release only two films in 2013. The news follows the Glendale studio’s disappointing November release, “Rise of the Guardians.” Trade publications say potentially 500 people could get pink slips.
AEG BIDS: Potential bidders for the Anschutz Entertainment Group sports and entertainment empire include L.A.-area billionaires Patrick Soon-Shiong, Ron Burkle and Tom Barrack, Guggenheim Partners, One West Bank Chief Executive Peter Mnuchin, Australian shopping center giant Westfield Corp. and even a Qatari sovereign wealth fund, either solo or in partnerships. AEG reportedly is seeking a bid of about $10 billion. Its holdings include sports teams, arenas and L.A. Live.
PLAN APPROVED: The Los Angeles City Council has signed off on a $1.6 billion proposal to expand the Universal Studios theme park and production facilities. The NBCUniversal Evolution Plan includes extensive upgrades to the company’s movie and television studios, $100 million in transportation improvements, and expansions at CityWalk and the theme park.
DONE DEAL: Carlyle Group and the management team of TCW Group Inc. have completed their acquisition of the downtown L.A. asset manager from French bank Société Générale S.A. Carlyle, an asset manager in Washington, D.C., acquired a 60 percent stake, with about 150 of TCW’s 500 employees holding the rest. Other financial terms were not disclosed.
STOCKING UP: Air Lease Corp. said that it ordered 39 Airbus jets in a deal estimated at $9 billion. Among the aircraft ordered by the L.A. firm, founded by Steven Udvar-Hazy, were 20 of the plane manufacturer’s A350-900 aircraft and five A350-1000s, which are the largest planes in the A350 line. The more fuel-efficient aircraft are scheduled to start entering service next year and compete with Boeing’s 787 Dreamliners, which have been grounded.
STOCK SALE: “Star Wars” creator George Lucas might not keep all of his huge new chunk of Walt Disney Co. stock very long, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing formally signaling his right to sell “from time to time” more than 37 million shares that he received when he sold Lucasfilm Ltd. to Disney for $4 billion. A spokesperson told trade publications that Lucas, who holds the shares in a family trust, does not have any plans to sell the stock.
UNIFORM MOVE: Van Nuys brand licensing company Cherokee Inc. has reacquired the school uniforms category of its apparel line Cherokee Uniforms from Strategic Partners Inc. in Chatsworth for an undisclosed amount. The Van Nuys company said it wants to more tightly control the brand name now that Minneapolis big-box retailer Target Corp. has signed a multiyear license agreement to sell Cherokee-branded school uniforms in its stores.
SALES TAX: The board of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce voted to endorse the half-cent sales tax measure on the city’s March ballot, citing the need to preserve law enforcement, firefighting and other vital city services. The measure would raise the rate to 9.5 percent and is estimated to generate an estimated $200 million a year in additional money for city coffers. Another major business group, the Valley Industry and Commerce Association, has opposed the measure.
RUNWAY: Los Angeles International Airport commissioners have endorsed a controversial plan to move the northern runway closer to nearby homes for what supporters call safety and efficiency reasons. The move is part of a larger modernization effort to keep the airport competitive in an era of larger jetliners and airport upgrades in other major cities. Neighborhood groups continue to oppose the move.
LAWSUIT: Bratz doll maker MGA Entertainment Inc. has sued to block what it claims is an improperly awarded $23 million prejudgment lien granted to its onetime lawyers at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, Reuters reported. The complaint accuses the downtown L.A. firm of breaching confidentiality provisions of an arbitration agreement in connection with its handling of MGA’s litigation against Mattel Inc. over the Bratz line.
INTERESTED BUYER?: Analysts following True Religion Apparel Inc. said they believe that the Vernon denim maker is negotiating a sale of the company, likely to a private-equity firm. True Religion announced last year that its board had formed a committee to explore strategic alternatives after receiving interest from third parties.
EARNINGS: Walt Disney Co. reported fiscal first quarter net income of $1.38 billion, 6 percent lower than in the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose 5 percent to $11.3 billion. … Mattel Inc. reported fourth quarter net income of less than $307 million, 17 percent lower than in the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose 5 percent to $2.26 billion. … CBRE Group Inc. reported fourth quarter net income of $173 million, up 173 percent from the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose 14 percent to $2 billion. … Macerich Co. reported fourth quarter net income of $174 million, up 7 percent from the same period a year earlier, with funds from operations up more than 11 percent to more than $132 million. … Aecom Technology Corp. reported fiscal first quarter net income of $38 million, 21 percent lower than in the same period a year earlier. Revenue fell 1 percent to $2.02 billion.
For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.