BOOK DEAL: Saban Brands has signed a global publishing deal with Random House Children’s Books for an interactive collection of books inspired by its preschool television series featuring the popular Julius Jr. monkey character. The affiliate of L.A. billionaire Haim Saban’s Saban Capital Group said the books will be available beginning this fall. Saban Brands bought rights in 2010 to the Julius family of characters created by Paul Frank.
NEW OWNERS: Fort Worth, Texas, investment firm TPG has completed its $394 million acquisition of Compton’s Arden Group Inc., which operates the Gelson’s Markets chain. Gelson’s, based in Encino, operates 17 upscale supermarkets across Southern California. TPG plans to increase the number of Gelson’s by as many as 10 stores, with the first postacquisition market to open in La Canada Flintridge at the end of March.
PORT TRAFFIC: Traffic at the Port of Los Angeles rose 2.5 percent last month compared with a year earlier, while activity at the Port of Long Beach fell 1.4 percent. Imports at Los Angeles jumped 6.7 percent; exports were up 1.7 percent. Long Beach imports rose 2 percent; exports declined 3.4 percent.
RECALL: Nestle USA has issued a voluntary recall of Hot Pockets Philly Steak and Cheese sandwiches made at its Chatsworth plant. The Swiss food and beverage company, with U.S. headquarters in Glendale, reportedly used a small quantity of meat that came from Petaluma’s Rancho Feeding Corp., which recently was cited by regulators for processing “diseased and unsound animals.”
GREATER RANGE: Santa Monica public radio station KCRW-FM (89.9) has acquired KDB-FM (93.7) in Santa Barbara for a reported $1 million to increase its reach up the coast. KQSC-FM (88.7) in Santa Barbara, agreed to turn over its frequency to KCRW as it moves its KUSC-FM (91.5) classical programming to KDB. KCRW plans to staff its new outpost at Antioch University in Santa Barbara with at least two full-time staffers, along with interns.
DEAL COMPLETED: London private equity firm Permira has completed a $200 million investment in LegalZoom.com Inc., making it the largest shareholder of the Glendale legal services company. The equity financing will be used to expand the business of LegalZoom, which last month announced that it would not pursue an initial public offering. Permira gains the power to appoint most of the company’s board, but LegalZoom’s management team and its early venture partners, including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, maintain most of their ownership stakes.
EARNINGS: Herbalife reported fourth quarter net income of more than $123 million, compared with $112 million in the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose 20 percent to $1.3 billion. ... DirecTV reported fourth quarter net income of $810 million, compared with $942 million. Sales rose 6.7 percent to $8.59 billion.
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