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.
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