BAG BAN: The Los Angeles City Council has approved a ban on plastic shopping bags at grocery stores that sell perishable food items, including supermarkets, some big-box chains, pharmacies and convenience stores. The ordinance, which will take effect next year, also will require businesses to charge customers 10 cents each for paper shopping bags. Los Angeles has become the largest city in the state to adopt a plastic bag ban, following the lead of Los Angeles County, Culver City and Santa Monica.
NEW OWNER: GenCorp has completed its acquisition of Canoga Park rocket engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. The $550 million purchase doubles the size of Sacramento-based GenCorp, which has merged Rocketdyne with its AeroJet-General Corp. subsidiary. The combined company is called Aerojet Rocketdyne Inc. Officials said they plan to expand local operations at Rocketdyne, which developed the rocket engines used for NASA’s Apollo and space shuttle programs.
VEGAS BABY: L.A.’s Anschutz Entertainment Group has signed a joint venture with Las Vegas’ MGM Resorts International to develop a $350 million, 20,000-seat arena near the Las Vegas Strip. The partners will jointly finance the arena between the New York, New York and Monte Carlo resort hotels. They expect to break ground next year and open in summer 2016.
PRODUCTION DEAL: DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. will bring its feature film characters to the small screen in a deal to produce content for streaming by Netflix Inc. The deal between the Glendale animation studio and the Los Gatos film rental company calls for 300 hours of new programming. DreamWorks Chief Executive Jeffrey Katzenberg said the deal represents a major commitment to creating original content for Internet television.
TOWER SOLD: Struggling L.A. real estate investor MPG Office Trust Inc. has completed the sale of downtown L.A.’s U.S. Bank Tower. MPG sold the tallest building west of the Mississippi River for $368 million to Beringia Central LLC, a subsidiary of Singapore real estate company Overseas Union Enterprise Ltd. Net proceeds were about $103 million.
APPEAL: A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge has ruled that Exide Technologies’ Vernon battery recycling plant, which was closed by state inspectors in April, will be allowed to reopen pending a court hearing next month. The state ordered the Exide plant to shut, citing arsenic emissions, but the Georgia company appealed. Exide filed for bankruptcy protection this month, citing the loss of the Vernon plant’s production as a factor.
FUNDS RAISED: Kennedy Wilson completed fundraising for its fourth U.S. real estate investment fund, with total capital commitments of $303 million. The Beverly Hills real estate investment and services firm put $15 million into Kennedy Wilson Real Estate Fund IV, with other investors including pension funds and university endowments. Fund IV so far has taken stakes in 26 multifamily, office, retail and residential properties in the Western United States.
EASTERN EXPANSION: Live Nation Entertainment Inc. has acquired a majority stake in Estonia’s BDG Music Group, considered the largest concert promoter in the Baltic region. The Beverly Hills concert promoter did not disclose terms of the deal. BDG is based in Tallinn and has produced more than 50 shows since launching in early 2012. The company will be renamed Live Nation Baltics and retain its management team.
SERVICE CUTBACK: Aetna Inc. said it would stop selling new individual health insurance policies in California next month and will cancel coverage for about 50,000 policyholders by January. The Hartford, Conn., company said it would continue to sell group health plans in the state to employers, as well as offer products related to Medicare, dental and life insurance.
MOVING ON: Motorcar Parts of America Inc. took an $84.7 million write-off of its failed acquisition of a Canadian parts maker. Toronto-based Fenwick Automotive Products Ltd., also known as Fenco, was broken off from Motorcar Parts. Fenco and its affiliates filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation. Motorcar Parts, which bought Fenwick million in 2011 for $5 million in stock, will get $30 million in tax advantages as a result of the loss.
PORT ACTIVITY: The Port of Long Beach posted a 17 percent increase in cargo volume in May, its highest level in nearly three years. More than 580,000 containers moved through the port in May, with exports up by 14 percent in the same period. The port attributed the increase partly to relocation of operations by CMA CGM and Mediterranean Shipping Co., which left the Port of Los Angeles last year. More than 480,000 containers moved through the L.A. port in May, with exports off 16 percent.
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