ACQUIRED: Westlake Village athletic brand K-Swiss Inc. has agreed to an acquisition by E. Land World, a major South Korean retailer, for about $170 million. E. Land will pay $4.75 per share, a 40 percent premium over the stock’s closing price before the deal was announced Jan. 17. The merger must be approved by shareholders.
POM PROBLEMS: The Federal Trade Commission released what it called a final ruling against POM Wonderful LLC, saying ads for the company’s pomegranate juice made misleading claims about the drink’s health benefits. The FTC said POM’s claims must now be backed by two clinical trials. L.A. billionaires Lynda and Stewart Resnick, who own the company, plan to appeal.
NAME CHANGE: Chinese TV maker TCL has paid more than $5 million for the naming rights to the venerable Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. The Hollywood Boulevard landmark will now be called the TCL Chinese Theatre. The iconic venue, which was opened by showman Sid Grauman in 1927, draws nearly 4 million visitors a year and is often used for red-carpet premieres.
PLANT WARNING: The Food and Drug Administration has sent a warning letter to St. Paul, Minn.-based St. Jude Medical Inc. about problematic manufacturing processes at its Sylmar facility, which makes the Durata defibrillator lead, a wire that connects the defibrillator to the heart. The regulator said it will not approve new products from the company until the problems, which were found during inspections last fall, are corrected. St. Jude said it takes the matter seriously and is responding to the FDA’s requests.
GAME PLAY: Starting in June, Walt Disney Co. will begin rolling out game platform Infinity, offering a multiplatform world combining characters from Disney and Pixar films and TV shows. The Burbank’s company’s Disney Interactive unit said the platform will be on consoles and mobile devices. Gamers will be able to play with themes from properties such as Pirates of the Caribbean and Monsters University.
CEO DEPARTS: BBCN Bancorp Inc. Chief Executive Alvin Kang has resigned, effective Jan. 31. Kang is also resigning as a board director. BBCN, which operates the $5 billion-asset BBCN Bank, the largest Korean-American bank in the country, said it will hire a search firm to find a chief executive and an executive council to lead the bank in the interim. Kang became chief executive of Nara Bancorp in 2010 and led it through its merger with Center Financial Corp. the following year, creating BBCN. The bank did not provide a reason for Kang’s departure.
TOURISM ACTIVITY: Los Angeles enjoyed another strong year for tourism, with 41.4 million visitors coming to the city in 2012. That’s a 2.5 percent more than in 2011, according to the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board. Hotel occupancy in Los Angeles also rose enough to surpass the previous record of 2006. International tourists represent about 15 percent of all visitors, with travelers from Asia often starting their trip in Los Angeles before continuing on to other destinations.
PORT NUMBERS: The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach together moved 14.1 million containers last year – slightly more cargo than in 2011 – despite an eight-day strike that shut down much of the nation’s largest port complex. Los Angeles handled 8.12 million containers, its best postrecession year to date and third busiest ever. Long Beach surpassed 6 million containers.
POT SHOPS: In its latest attempt to regulate the city’s hundreds of medical marijuana dispensaries, the Los Angeles City Council has directed staff to draw up language for a May 21 ballot measure. The measure is a response to two other medical marijuana initiatives qualified for the ballot earlier this month. The city’s measure would permit only those dispensaries that opened before a city moratorium in 2007, and also would raise taxes on marijuana sales.
EXPANDING ABROAD: Biotech giant Amgen Inc. plans to spend about $200 million to build a manufacturing facility in Singapore. The plant will have an initial focus on drugs derived from monoclonal antibodies, which work with the body’s immune system to fight cancer and other diseases. The Thousand Oaks company said it will staff the facility with new employees and experienced staff members.
APARTMENTS: Malibu developer Weintraub Real Estate Group has confirmed plans to build a 600-unit complex at the Catalina Yachts boat building lot at Warner Center in the West San Fernando Valley. The 615,000-square-foot complex on Victory Boulevard will feature nine buildings.
EARNINGS: PacWest Bancorp reported fourth quarter net income of $19.2 million, up 43 percent from the same period a year earlier. Interest income for the Century City bank holding company rose 9 percent to $69.6 million. Noninterest income dropped 75 percent to $2.1 million. … Simulations Plus Inc. reported fiscal first quarter net income of $587,000, down 22 percent from the same period a year earlier. Revenue for the Lancaster drug research software company rose nearly 2 percent to nearly $2.3 million.
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