MOVING ON: 21st Century Fox has officially quit its pursuit of Time Warner Inc. 21st Century Fox chief Rupert Murdoch issued a statement declaring that Time Warner’s stock had risen too high for a purchase to be worthwhile for 21st Century Fox’s shareholders. Time Warner had earlier rejected 21st Century Fox’s $80 billion takeover bid. Time Warner is the parent of Burbank’s Warner Bros. Entertainment and 21st Century Fox owns studios on Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles.
CAFFEINE: Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has announced plans to open its first coffee house in Japan by year’s end. The L.A. chain is no stranger to international business, having already established a footprint in 25 countries including South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and Mongolia. Coffee Bean plans to open 700 stores in Japan within seven years.
PASSING: Walter De Logi, who co-founded Ceres Inc. to breed crops as a source of raw materials for biofuels and other products, has died. He was 63. The cause of death was not disclosed. De Logi served as Ceres’ chief executive from the company’s 1996 launch through 2002. He held the chairman’s position at the Thousand Oaks company from 2002 until his death. De Logi held an M.B.A. from Harvard University and a Ph.D. from Caltech. He worked as chief executive for biotechnology firm Plant Genetic Systems from 1986 to 1996 before co-founding Ceres.
NEW TERM: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Cheryl Boone Isaacs, a veteran Hollywood marketer and longtime academy insider, was re-elected to her post by the group’s board of governors. Boone Isaacs, who previously worked at New Line Cinema and Paramount Pictures, will be leading the academy board as it makes crucial decisions about the $300 million Academy Museum, set to open in 2017 at site of the former May Co. building at Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue.
FIGHTING CANCER: Los Angeles County’s wealthiest man, Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, has a new mission to help cancer researchers. Soon-Shiong will serve as global director for cancer services and bioinformatics for Providence Health & Services, where he and other doctors will work to create a clinical genomic sequencing network. Those efforts are to take place at Chan Soon-Shiong Institute of Molecular Medicine in Culver City. The objective is to make it possible for doctors to assess cancer patients’ individual DNA and molecular signatures when determining treatment plans. Soon-Shiong is the former chief executive of Abraxis BioScience and ranks No. 1 on the Business Journal’s list of Wealthiest Angelenos with an estimated net worth of $13.9 billion.
IGNITION: Space Exploration Technologies Corp., better known as SpaceX, has made its 11th consecutive successful launch. Last week, a rocket carrying a telecommunications satellite took off from Cape Canaveral, Fla. The Hawthorne company put the satellite into orbit for Asia Satellite Telecommunications Co. and has another launch scheduled this month.
ACQUIRED: L.A. private equity firm Vance Street Capital has purchased Eirtech Aviation of Shannon, Ireland, for an undisclosed amount. Vance Street plans to combine the Irish company with two other businesses, Leading Edge Aviation Services Inc. and Associated Painters Inc., to create International Aerospace Coatings. The combined business is expected to employ some 800 people in the United States and Europe.
REPORT CARD: Los Angeles doesn’t have much to brag about when it comes to business friendliness. San Francisco’s Thumbtack.com surveyed some 12,000 U.S. entrepreneurs who gave the City of Angels an overall “D” grade for policies and conditions affecting small businesses. The survey assessed such factors as the ease of starting a company, and taxes and regulations. Most California cities earned a C- or worse. Cities that earned top marks include Colorado Springs, Colo.; Boise, Idaho; Austin, Texas; Louisville, Ky.; and Houston.
SEIZED: U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced last week that it seized several animal specimens July 23 that could have otherwise been exported illegally from a local port facility. Items taken into custody included a stuffed baboon, lynx and bobcat, and head mounts and horns from other animals. All items lacked any export permits and four of the items lacked documentation required for trade in specimens taken from endangered species.
EARNINGS: Walt Disney Co. reported net income of $2.2 billion for the second quarter, up 22 percent from the same period last year. Revenue rose 8 percent to $12.5 billion. … Activision Blizzard reported net income of $204 million, down 37 percent from last year. Revenue fell 8 percent to $970 million. … Aecom Technology Corp. reported net income of $69.2 million, down 2 percent from last year. Revenue fell 5 percent to $2.2 billion. … DirecTV reported net income of $806 million, up 22 percent from last year. Revenue increased 5 percent to $8.1 billion.
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