GOING PRIVATE: True Religion Apparel Inc. has agreed to be acquired by New York investment management firm TowerBrook Capital Partners LP in a deal worth about $835 million. The Vernon designer denim maker, founded by Jeff Lubell, announced in October that it was exploring strategic alternatives. If approved by shareholders and anti-trust regulators, the deal is expected to close in the third quarter.
CLOSING: Hollywood Park announced that it will end its horse-racing operations Dec. 22 after 75 years in business. Track President Jack Liebau notified the California Horse Racing Board that the park’s current owner, Hollywood Park Land Co., would not be requesting any racing dates for 2014. The closure has been anticipated given the development potential for the urban infill site. Hollywood Park Casino will remain in operation.
HOSPITAL BID: L.A. billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles are making a joint offer for Santa Monica’s St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica. St. John’s reportedly has seen interest from other hospital chains. Soon-Shiong is a benefactor of St. John’s, with a wing of the hospital bearing his family’s name.
RAILYARD SUIT: The Long Beach City Council has voted unanimously to sue Los Angeles over a Southern California International Gateway rail-yard project at the Port of Los Angeles, which local leaders say will hurt nearby Long Beach and Wilmington neighborhoods. The $500 million project would enable trucks to load containers and put them on trains closer to the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, rather than traveling to the BNSF Hobart Yard 24 miles away.
MERGER NEARS: Century City’s PacWest Bancorp has received final approval from federal regulators for its $231 million stock acquisition of Westlake Village’s First California Financial Group Inc. The merger will create the eighth largest publicly held bank headquartered in California. PacWest, with $5.4 billion in assets, has 66 Pacific Western Bank branches throughout the state. First California has 15 First California Bank branches, mostly in Central and Southern California, with $1.9 billion in assets. The merger is expected to close by May 31.
DIVERSIFYING: Online matchmaker EHarmony is poised to enter an already crowded online job search market next year. The Santa Monica-based online dating service is developing an online career service to connect employers with job seekers based on its current compatibility metrics for dating.
OFFICEs: Warner Center Corporate Park in Woodland Hills and another nearby office property have been acquired for $80 million by current tenant Adler Realty Investments Inc. and its partner, LLJ Ventures. The office park, which was sold by Equity Office Properties Inc., features 12 low-rise buildings in a campus setting on 26 acres.
PORT ACIVITY: The Port of Los Angeles reported lower container volume in April compared with last year, while the neighboring Port of Long Beach reported gains. The number of containers moving through the L.A. port fell to 640,330 units, down 9.5 percent. Long Beach container volume increased about 13 percent to 519,464 units. The change is largely attributed to shipping line CMA CGM Group moving a weekly ship call from Los Angeles to Long Beach last year.
SOLD: Struggling Beverly Hills real estate developer Alan Casden has sold a 276-unit luxury apartment complex in Burbank that he built in 2010. Empire Landing, at 1901 N. Buena Vista St., was acquired by TIAA-Cref in New York. Terms were not disclosed. Casden made his fortune selling a Los Angeles County apartment portfolio in 2001 for $1.5 billion, but was later hit hard by the real estate bust and an acrimonious split with his financial partner.
NEW USE: The government of Kuwait has bought the former downtown Beverly Hills business offices of late entertainment mogul Merv Griffin, with plans to move its consulate there. The 9,046-square-foot building on El Camino Drive, built in 1951, reportedly sold for $10.4 million, a record for a Beverly Hills property of that size. The building is unoccupied.
WORKER SAFETY: Bumble Bee Foods LLC faces nearly $74,000 in fines following a California Department of Industrial Relations investigation into the death of a tuna plant worker, who was killed in October at the company’s Santa Fe Springs plant. The state agency issued six citations to San Diego-based Bumble Bee. Though the canning facility had no reported safety violations prior to the fatal mishap, investigators learned that previous serious injuries had gone unreported.
TELEDYNE BUY: A Canadian subsidiary of Teledyne Technologies Inc. has acquired a Dutch semiconductor company. Teledyne Dalsa B.V. bought Axiom IC B.V. in Enschede, the Netherlands. Axiom makes high-performance integrated circuits for image-sensor and camera products. Teledyne Technologies is in Thousand Oaks and its Dalsa subsidiary is in Waterloo, Ontario. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
EARNINGS: Skechers USA Inc. reported net income of $6.7 million compared with a loss of $3.7 million in the same quarter a year ago. Revenue rose 29 percent to $452 million.
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