Stories for December 2016

Friday, December 30

Movers for Week Ending December 30, 2016

West Los Angeles patent portfolio holding company Marathon Patent Group Inc. was this week’s biggest gainer, shooting up 12.4 percent to close at $1.72. Fulgent Genetics Inc., the Temple City-based genetic testing company, also was up big, gaining 11.8 percent to close at $11.57. The week’s biggest loser was Differential Brands Group Inc. of Commerce, which lost 16.3 percent to close at $2.35.

Silicon Beach Report Dec. 30: Core Innovation Capital Raises $71.5M for Financial Tech Investments

Core Innovation Capital raises $71.5 million for financial tech investments, SpaceX loads Falcon 9 for launch, and DirecTV to end $35 a month streaming service.

Core Innovation Capital Raises $71.5M for Financial Tech Investments

Core Innovation Capital of Hollywood, a financial services technology investor, has raised a second fund worth $71.5 million, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Chinese Dollars Power Up Technology Startups

INVESTMENT: Local firms have cashed in on country’s passion for virtual reality.

Foreign money has helped fill a venture capital void for virtual reality firms.

Spruce Goose Hangar Wings Way to New Owner

ACQUISITION: Broker says tenant Google helped land $270 million sale price.

The 1940s-era Spruce Goose hangar in Playa Vista might be an unfinished shell, but that didn’t stop the building from holding its own in the trendy office market with a recent sale price of $270 million.


Upcoming conventions

Seafood Service Rides New Wave

Dock to Dish sinks hooks into local restaurants with subscription boxes of fish.

Seafood service Dock to Dish helps local restaurants get a line on fresh fish.

Tease photo

Slice of History Fuels Food Fest

Forty eateries to cook up tribute to Pasadena as home of cheeseburger.

Culinary event looks to beef up Pasadena’s claim as the birthplace of the cheeseburger.

Tease photo

Cultural Divide, Connection

Economic ties between Los Angeles and China bode well for both the region and the nation.

Santa Monica a Beachhead for Beijing Agency

ADVERTISING: Hylink’s new office will aid clients on both sides of Pacific.

Beijing’s Hylink sets up in Santa Monica to shore up businesses in the United States and overseas.

Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Trade Show Still Plays Big Role for L.A. Businesses

A Look Ahead: What’s on the agenda for Los Angeles business in the coming week

While Microsoft Corp. and Apple Inc. might no longer be launching their products at Las Vegas’ Consumer Electronics Show, the event still has appeal for a number of L.A. companies – mainstays and upstarts alike.

Tease photo

Lobby Issues In Hotel Vote

POLITICS: Campaign raised questions of foreign influence.

Companies’ pursuit of their business interests has stoked concern over foreign influence.

Tease photo

Immigration Funding May Depart

DEVELOPMENT: Fate of EB-5 has projects mulling financing.

Projects are hesitant to build on the uncertainty facing the EB-5 green card program.

Tease photo

Chinese Companies Take Larger Role in Hollywood

ENTERTAINMENT: U.S. producers picture deals as ticket to China’s box office.

Production deals have China’s star on the rise in Hollywood.

Chinese Currents

L.A.’s economy, ports buoyed by ties to U.S.’ largest trading partner

Los Angeles has been able to trade on its Pacific Coast position with China, writes Gene Seroka.

Medical Companies Trumpet Merger as Financial Shot in Arm

Apollo Medical Holdings Inc. said late last month that it would merge with Network Medical Management Inc. in the first half of this year, putting the vast majority of the Glendale public company’s shares under control of Network Medical’s shareholders.

Industrial Shift

Chinese investors’ pursuit of property has led from hotels to warehouses

Chinese investors’ pursuit of properties has progressed from residential to industrial.

Tease photo

Chinese Currents

President-elect Trump’s tough talk on tariffs could lead to sea change

The incoming administration’s trade policies may spark conflict with our partners, write Christopher Thornberg and Jock O’Connell.

Pacific Waves

INVESTMENT: China scales L.A.’s economy, but to lesser degree than Japan in 1980s

Despite comparisons to Japan in the 1980s, Chinese money has yet to make the same impact.

Tease photo

PAGE 3: Berggruen Repictures L.A.

He might still be nicknamed the “homeless billionaire,” but Nicolas Berggruen certainly has an eye for Los Angeles.


Calendar of events

Thursday, December 29

Silicon Beach Report Dec. 29: Faraday Future CEO Ding Lei Steps Down

Faraday Future Chief Executive Ding Lei steps down, Hulu signs 50 Disney movies, and Snap Inc. to compare itself to Facebook on IPO roadshow.

Faraday Future Leader Ding Lei Steps Down

Faraday Future’s Global Chief Executive Ding Lei has reportedly stepped aside from leading the electric car manufacturer, following a string of negative reports, including the stoppage of construction at its Nevada factory due to a cash shortage, and an exodus of senior executives.

Tease photo

Wednesday, December 28

Deed Shows $270 Million Price Tag in Spruce Goose Hangar Sale

The 1940s-era Spruce Goose hangar in Playa Vista sold last week for close to $270 million, on par with the values of modern office campuses that have recently traded in the trendy market.

Tease photo

Nasty Gal Receives $20 Million Offer From British Retailer Boohoo

Bankrupt women’s clothing company Nasty Gal has received a $20 million offer from British online retailer Boohoo for the company’s intellectual property, the companies announced today.

Tuesday, December 27

Snap Acquires Israeli Augmented Reality Firm Cimagine Media

Snap Inc., parent company of mobile messaging app Snapchat, acquired Israeli augmented reality startup Cimagine Media for an estimated $30-$40 million, according to the Calcalist financial daily.

Local Leisure and Hospitality Industry Ends Year on a High Note

A record $20.6 billion of expenditures by tourists to Los Angeles County last year and increases in income made for healthy growth of the leisure and hospitality industry for the year ended in October, according to a new report from Beacon Economics.

Monday, December 26

Power Players

Los Angeles is a middle-market kingpin, home to thousands of companies valued at less than $1 billion. But don’t let size fool you. These innovative businesses, from tech to manufacturing, are drawing interest from investors at home and abroad to what Jim Freedman called “the most fertile place in the world for … mid-sized and smaller companies.”

Friday, December 23

Silicon Beach Report Dec. 23: Snapchat Launches Filter Game

Snap Inc.’s Snapchat launches filter game.

NMS Properties Booted as Rental Managers During Ownership Dispute

A judge has agreed to boot Santa Monica developer Neil Shekhter’s NMS Properties from eight properties it manages in Los Angeles while an ownership dispute plays out in the courts.

Gov. Brown Appoints Local Attorneys to Judicial Posts

Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday named six new judges to the Los Angeles Superior Court, including three local private sector attorneys.

Movers for Week Ending December 23, 2016

Pasadena-based Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Inc. was this week’s biggest mover, gaining 28 percent to end at $1.59. Ares Management LP was also among the week’s movers. The Los Angeles-based global alternative asset manager gained 15 percent to end at $18.45. Malibu toy marketing company Jakks Pacific, Inc. was this week’s biggest loser, dropping 28 percent to end at $5.05.

San Diego Chargers Agree to Orange County Office Lease

Although the San Diego Chargers have not yet pulled the plug on their hometown, the team is making plans for a possible move to Los Angeles.

Tease photo

Thursday, December 22

Apollo Medical to Merge with Network Medical Management

Apollo Medical Holdings Inc. of Glendale announced Thursday that it is joining with Alhambra-based Network Medical Management Inc. in a stock-for-stock merger.

Spruce Goose Hangar in Playa Vista Sells to Japanese Investor

A Japanese investor has swooped into Playa Vista, purchasing the former Spruce Goose hangar that is leased to Google.

Tease photo

Atar Capital Acquires Team Inc. Energy Division

Beverly Hills-based Atar Capital has acquired Furmanite’s Midstream Quality Assurance Business, a carveout from Tulsa’s Team Inc.

Silicon Beach Report Dec. 22: Jaunt Launches VR app for PlayStation

Jaunt Launches VR app for PlayStation.

Wednesday, December 21

Long Beach Harbor Commission OKs Hanjin Terminal Sale

The Port of Long Beach Harbor Commission signed off Wednesday on the sale of the port’s largest terminal operator by bankrupt Hanjin Shipping Co. to a subsidiary of Mediterranean Shipping Co.

Tease photo

Supporters of Anti-Development Measure S File Lawsuit over Opponents' Ballot Argument

Proponents of Measure S, the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative to limit development in Los Angeles that is on the March ballot, have filed a lawsuit alleging the ballot argument by opponents is full of false claims and exaggerations about the initiative’s economic impact.

Court Hits Pause on Judgment Stripping Real Estate Developer of Nine Properties

An appellate court agreed Tuesday to temporarily halt a trial court’s order stripping control of nine multifamily buildings from Santa Monica developer Neil Shekhter and his NMS Properties Inc. until the judicial panel examines the case more closely.

Fandango Moving to Larger Headquarters in Beverly Hills

Fandango is making moves to bulk up. The online movie-ticket seller just signed a lease for a new space in Beverly Hills that is about twice the size of its current headquarters in West L.A.

Tease photo

Silicon Beach Report Dec. 21: Snap Opens China Office

Snap Inc. opens China office, Walt Disney to produce content for Snapchat, and TaskUs hires 5,700 employees in 2016.

Tuesday, December 20

Aecom Joint Venture Team Wins San Onofre Decommissioning Project

A joint venture team including L.A.’s Aecom Technology Corp. has been awarded a contract for part of the decommissioning process of the shuttered San Onofre nuclear generating station in northern San Diego County.

Tease photo

Drug Maker Puma Biotechnology Inc. Moves Stock Listing to Nasdaq

Puma Biotechnology Inc. announced Tuesday that the company would move its stock listing from the New York Stock Exchange to the Nasdaq effective Jan., 3.

Silicon Beach Report Dec. 20: Walt Disney Merges Maker with Competing Department

Walt Disney merges Maker with competing department, Snap Inc. acquires ad tech firm, Faraday Future attacks journalists on Twitter, and more.

Walt Disney Merges Maker with Competing Department

Walt Disney Co. has swept its subsidiary Maker Studios into a new area within its digital consumer products and interactive media division.

Hotel Happy Rivals Checking in to Hollywood

Some new competitors are coming to the neighborhood of the W Hollywood, but the hotel’s general manager is welcoming them, their restaurants, and shops with open arms.

Hanjin Shipping Inks Deal to Sell Port of Long Beach Terminal

Hanjin Shipping Co. has signed a contract to sell its stake in the largest terminal at the Port of Long Beach to Mediterranean Shipping Co. A South Korean court announced the sale Tuesday, the Yonhap News Agency and the Wall Street Journal reported.

Monday, December 19

Silicon Beach Report Dec. 19: Rubicon Project Tests Tool to Block, Snooze, or Like Ads

Rubicon Project tests tool to block, snooze, or like ads, Snapchat gives celebrities no special treatment, and Elon Musk proposes a tunneling company.

Rubicon Project Tests Tool to Block, Snooze, or Like Ads

Fatigue from relentless targeted online advertising has spurred a growing share of internet users to download ad blockers – browser extensions that remove digital ads from websites. In fact, more than one in four U.S. internet users removed digital ads from Web pages with an ad blocker this year, according to a report by eMarketer.

Fred Segal Inks Lease for Sunset Strip

High-end retailer Fred Segal has signed a lease for 22,000 square feet in a new residential building on the Sunset Strip, bringing an iconic fashion name to a part of West Hollywood better known for its clubs and nightlife.

Friday, December 16

Movers for Week Ending December 16, 2016

West Los Angeles intellectual property licensing firm Marathon Patent Group Inc. was the week’s big winner, gaining 13 percent to close at $1.74. Following closely behind was Santa Monica cancer treatment research firm Kite Pharma Inc., which gained 12.8 percent to close at $51.76. The week’s biggest laggard was Nova Lifestyle Inc. The Commerce-based furniture maker’s stock price was down 15.2 percent to close at $1.96.

Silicon Beach Report Dec. 16: Riot Signs $300M Internet Broadcasting Deal for ‘League of Legends’

Riot Signs $300 million internet broadcasting deal for ‘League of Legends,’ Soylent powder goes back on sale just in time for Christmas, and Activision’s Call of Duty tops sales charts.

L.A. Unemployment Rate Stays at 5.1 Percent Even as County Adds 22,000 Jobs

L.A. County’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.1 percent in November even as 22,000 jobs were added to employer payrolls in the county, state figures released Friday show.

Panda Express Imports Japanese Barbecue to Hacienda Heights

The parent corporation of the Chinese fast-food chain Panda Express opened the first international branch of sit-down Taiwanese restaurant YakiYan in Hacienda Heights this week.

Disney slate looking picture perfect as studio nears record box office.

A Look Ahead: What’s on the agenda for Los Angeles business in the coming week

While there are still a few more days before 2016 comes to an end, the studio set to take the annual box-office crown has been decided – and its margin is only going to get bigger.

City of L.A. System Tosses Out Trash Businesses

WASTE: Some companies who lost out on franchise zones may shut down.

Some trash-hauling businesses say they have been kicked to the curb by the city of L.A.’s franchise zones.

Ad Tech Firm Looks to Browser to Click Again

INTERNET: New extension pitched by Rubicon Project asks users to choose ads.

Fatigue from relentless targeted online advertising has spurred a growing share of internet users to download ad blockers – browser extensions that remove digital ads from websites.

Owners Land Ground Beneath Office Properties

ACQUISITIONS: Beacon, CIM buy land beneath One, Two Cal Plaza.

The owners of two iconic office towers on downtown’s Bunker Hill now own the land on which they sit.

Tease photo

New Players Sniff Out Pot Revenues

MARIJUANA: Doors open in Gateway cities.

Gateway cities are high on revenue prospects from cannabis operations.

New Players Sniff Out Pot Revenues

REAL ESTATE: High rents draw in landlords.

Smoking out rental properties can often be a pricey process for pot businesses.

Los Angeles Stakes Out Space on Street Vending

Los Angeles moves on selling its plan to legalize street vending in the city.

Twinkies Taker Opts to Return To Blank Check

Gores Group is still sweet on blank-check ventures.

Contributing to Philanthropy

Some easy to follow guidelines can help maximize impact of donating time, money to charitable causes.

Dan Rothblatt gives some easy steps to maximize donors’ charitable pursuits.

Merger Plan Continues to Come Together for Investment Firm

West L.A. investment advisory firm Aspiriant announced last week that it would merge with Stanford Investment Group to create a combined venture with more than $10 billion in assets under management.

Dating App CEO to Hook Up With Accelerator

INTERNET: Sean Rad to leave Tinder, shift to sister outfit Swipe Ventures.

Sean Rad to break it off with dating app Tinder.

Paying Up

REGULATION: Jan. 1 will kick off string of wage hikes across state.

The new year will clock in with new wage and hour laws for businesses across Los Angeles.

Tease photo

Recreational Pot Could Burn Employers

Addiction therapist Howard C. Samuels sees risks in legal pot.

Serving Up Lessons on Sand

While most play beach volleyball only occasionally, Nader Hamda hardly goes a week without setting, spiking, or serving a ball.

Future Promises Risks, Rewards for Businesses

LOOK AHEAD: Presidency of Trump, vote to restrict development loom in 2017.

A preview of the business stories that will seize the spotlight in 2017.

Tease photo


Calendar of events

Scaling Heights

SpaceX weighs in with Falcon Heavy as low-cost satellite launch option

SpaceX hopes to tip the scales in the launch market with its Falcon Heavy rocket.

Tease photo

Service Commits To Giving Back

David Sobie’s company handles in-person dropoffs of returns for e-tailers.

David Sobie looks to give back to e-tailers through his in-person return service.

Tease photo

Choosing the middle path

The process of regulating vendors on the streets of Los Angeles could provide a roadmap for politicians in Washington.

Lawyers Pursue Fruitful Careers

British emigres ditch law to seek heat in operating frozen dessert company.

A pair of British lawyers now aim to court L.A. customers with frozen fruit desserts.


Upcoming conventions

Thursday, December 15

Housing Moratorium Initiative Could Cost City 12,000 Jobs a Year and Thousands of Housing Units

If Measure S, the so-called “Neighborhood Integrity Initiative” establishing a two-year moratorium and other limits on major housing projects in Los Angeles were to pass in March, it would cost the city 12,000 jobs a year and deprive the city of thousands of additional housing units, according to a study released Thursday from initiative opponents.

Silicon Beach Report Dec. 15: Faraday Future's Troubles Mount Ahead of CES Unveiling

Faraday Future’s unpaid bills are piling up and spurring lawsuits, Chinese firm eyes acquisition of Flipagram, GumGum launches TV signage valuation tool, and more.

Fortress Investment Group Sells Revolution Studios

Fortress Investment Group of Century City is selling Santa Monica-based Revolution Studios Distribution Co. two years after it acquired the production studio for a reported $250 million.

Wednesday, December 14

John Aaroe Group Merging with San Francisco Real Estate Brokerage

Beverly Hills-based John Aaroe Group is merging with San Francisco’s Pacific Union International Inc., the ninth-largest real estate brokerage in the United States by sales volume, the companies announced Wednesday.

Silicon Beach Report Dec. 14: Rubicon Project and Clear Channel Launch Programmatic Billboard Network

Rubicon Project and Clear Channel launch programmatic billboard network, Elon Musk to advise President-Elect Donald Trump, and Wevr launches paid subscription for virtual reality apps.

Elon Musk to Advise President-Elect Donald Trump

Elon Musk has entered President-Elect Donald Trump’s orbit. The billionaire founder of rocket manufacturer Space Exploration Technologies Corp. and electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors Inc. has accepted an advisory role in Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum, a non-partisan policy council.

Port Traffic Up at Los Angeles, Down at Long Beach

The effects of the Hanjin shipping line bankruptcy continue to roil the county’s ports as cargo container traffic rose 24 percent last month to record levels at the Port of Los Angeles, but fell 14 percent at the Port of Long Beach, both ports reported Wednesday.

Tease photo

Tuesday, December 13

Silicon Beach Report Dec. 13: Virtual Reality Developer Survios Raises $50 Million

Virtual reality developer Survios raises $50 million, Snapchat introduces group chats, mental health app Stop, Breathe & Think raises $1.3 million, Tinder launches on Apple TV, and more.

Alta Environmental Awarded $13.3 Million in Public Works Contracts

Long Beach environmental services firm Alta Environmental has been awarded two contracts worth $13.3 million from the Los Angeles County Public Works Department, the company announced Tuesday.

Virtual Reality Developer Survios Raises $50 Million

Virtual reality video game producer Survios announced on Tuesday that it has raised $50 million in capital over two rounds this year from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Lux Capital, and other investors.

Monday, December 12

L.A. Council Committee Moves Street Vending Legalization Forward

After three years of consideration, the Los Angeles City Council took its first step toward legalizing street vending Monday afternoon.

Silicon Beach Report Dec. 12: Mitú Launches Snapchat Discover Channel

Mitú launches Snapchat Discover channel, SpaceX delays first manned mission in Dragon capsule, and KidGaurd launches cellphone monitoring software for children.

Downtown California Plaza Land Sells for $103 Million

The owners of two iconic office towers on downtown’s Bunker Hill now also own the land on which they sit.

West L.A. Wealth Management Firm Aspiriant Merges with Bay Area Firm

West Los Angeles wealth management firm Aspiriant announced Monday that it would merge with Silicon Valley advisory outfit Stanford Investment Group.

Gores Group Plans Second Blank Check Spinoff; Files for $375 Million IPO

The Gores Group filed notice Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission announcing an initial public offering for the private equity firm’s second “blank check” company, Gores Holdings II.

Friday, December 9

L.A. Council Approves Huge Trash Franchise System

The Los Angeles City Council on Friday approved a multibillion-dollar waste hauling franchise system for commercial and multifamily properties.

More Tronc Shares Purchased by Soon-Shiong, Ferro

Patrick Soon-Shiong, the second-largest shareholder of L.A. Times parent tronc Inc., has purchased another 98,927 shares of stock in the company on Nov. 29 and Dec. 2 at prices ranging from $12.77 to $13.16, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Silicon Beach Report Dec. 9: Tinder Launches Branded Podcast on Dating

Mattel & Upfront participate in interactive puzzle startup’s $24 million round, Tinder launches branded podcast on dating, and advertiser interest in Live Stories slackens.

Movers for Week Ending December 9, 2016

Alhambra-based Indium Phosphide design and manufacturer Emcore Corporation was this week’s biggest mover, gaining 40 percent to end at $8.65. Glendale’s Apollo Medical Holdings Inc. was also among the week’s movers. The healthcare company gained 26 percent to end at $4.23. Beverly Hills-based Capricor Therapeutics Inc. was this week’s biggest loser, dropping 17 percent to end at $2.67.

L.A. Businesses Work on Equality For LGBT Hires

Nonprofit report top scores given to SCE and CBRE, among other companies.

Nonprofit reports high LGBT equality scores for some L.A. businesses.

Lawyer Courts the Stage

Litigation attorney by day, stage actress by night – and that’s just the way Jessica Walker likes it.

Maintaining Service Key to Sale of Car-Parking Pioneer

Patrons of Lawry’s the Prime Rib in Beverly Hills have been pulling up at the local institution and handing their keys off to employees of just one company for more than 70 years: Valet Parking Services.

Tease photo

Hotel Happy Rivals Checking In to Hollywood

EXPANSION: More guests mean safer streets, says general manager of W.

Some new competitors are coming to the neighborhood of the W Hollywood, but the hotel’s general manager is welcoming them, their restaurants, and shops with open arms.

Some Restaurants May Put Tech at Your Service

DINING: Businesses look to automated serving to offset worker wage hikes.

Some restaurateurs are looking to employ automated ordering to cut down on worker costs.

Twitter Followings Still Fashionable

APPAREL: Nasty Gal’s social media reach could reel in bid.

Bidders could button up a high-profile social media presence from bankrupt Nasty Gal.

Up, Up, and Away

Rising interest rates may cause some to rethink deals, but the bigger threat to the expansion of the local economy will come from trade, not monetary, policy.

Shipping Duo Floats Pier Deal

Duo may dive into a deal to acquire Hanjin’s Pier T terminal at the Port of Long Beach.

Female Execs From Lifeboat Productions Put Focus on Digital TV

ENTERTAINMENT: Shows by Lifeboat aim to secure young female audiences.

Producer Lifeboat casts itself as a maker of TV programming for young women.

Tease photo


Upcoming conventions


Calendar of events

Sports Network Teems With Subscription Issues

TV: Analysts offer advice on how Disney could tackle ESPN’s viewership decline.

Business Journal fields some team analysis on how Disney should handle ESPN and its subscriber decline.

Tease photo

Launch in January Could Prove Big Lift to SpaceX’s Schedule

A Look Ahead: What’s on the agenda for Los Angeles business in the coming week

Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX, is aiming to launch another rocket early next month, which would be its first attempt since a Sep. 1 explosion prompted the Hawthorne aerospace company to halt its launch schedule as it investigated the cause of the incident.

Tease photo

Recycling Yard Doubles Price Tag in Latest Deal

SALE: $10 million pickup touted as growing pull of downtown’s Arts District.

A former cardboard recycling yard in downtown’s Arts District recently sold for just over $10 million, more than double the price it fetched only two years ago, a sign of quickly rising land values in a fast-developing market.

Tease photo

Oprah Winfrey Sows Seeds For Growing Venture

Lifestyle maven’s blessing boosts sales 4,000 percent for Urban Agriculture kits.

Chad Corzine saw sales bloom for his seed-growing kits after Oprah Winfrey said she digs ’em.

Floravere Hitches Wedding Gowns to Online Sales Strategy

INTERNET: Engaged Online

Floravere looks to retailor the wedding dress business through online sales.

Tease photo

Label Intends to Slip More Women Into Denim

FASHION: Good American sews up backing for jeans from Khloe Kardashian.

Los Angeles is a haven for denim labels, and one newly launched brand is already breaking the mold.

Tease photo

Aquifer Owner Looks to Trump to Line Up Pipe

WATER: Cadiz hopes new administration will prove friendlier to desert project.

Aquifer owner Cadiz hopes a GOP White House will warm to its desert pipeline project.

Tease photo

SPECIAL REPORT: Rate Boost May Cost Real Estate

LENDING: Fed hike could curb commercial, residential markets.

An interest-rate hike by the Fed would likely squeeze L.A.’s commercial and residential real estate markets only slightly.

Thursday, December 8

Silicon Beach Report Dec. 8: Sean Rad to Step Down as Tinder CEO, Become Head of Match Group M&A Firm

Sean Rad to step down as Tinder CEO to become head of Match Group M&A firm, Honest Co. to cut 14 percent of staff, and Hulu launches multiple user profiles.

Goldhirsh Foundation Awards $1 Million in Grants to 12 L.A.-Area Organizations

The Goldhirsh Foundation announced winners for its annual My LA2050 Grants Challenge Tuesday, a $1 million grant competition to source creative ideas about shaping the future of Los Angeles. The 12 winning organizations will receive grants ranging from $25,000 to $100,000 to implement projects in 2017 designed around themes that make Los Angeles the best place to learn, create, play, connect, and live.

New Form Studio Raises $18 Million

Santa Monica entertainment studio New Form Productions announced Thursday it has raised $18 million in a Series B round of funding from ITV and Discovery Communications Inc.

Industrial Redo Aims to Snag Logistics Company

Industrial landlords near the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are beginning to upgrade their facilities to meet the increasingly heavy demands of e-commerce. In Compton, PGIM Real Estate just completed a four-month, multimillion renovation on its Dominguez Hills Industrial Center, which sits on nearly 5 1/2 acres. The biggest transformation to the 34-year-old property was scraping away 10,000 square feet of offices to expand the truck yard - crucial to attract logistics companies.

Sean Rad to Step Down as Tinder CEO to Lead M&A

Tinder Chief Executive Sean Rad will step down from his role as the company’s chief executive to lead Swipe Ventures, a Match Group accelerator and acquisition vehicle.

Wednesday, December 7

Silicon Beach Report Dec. 7: Emcore Corp. Shares Rise More Than 30 Percent

Emcore Corp. shares rise more than 30 percent, SpaceX delays Falcon 9 launch until early January, Barstool Sports signs deal with Sirius for daily satellite radio show, and more.

Lynwood Becomes First Local City to Allow Commercial Marijuana Cultivation and Manufacturing

The Lynwood City Council approved an ordinance on Tuesday evening that allows commercial marijuana cultivation and manufacturing in the city.

Emcore Corp. Shares Rise More Than 30 Percent

Emcore Corp. shares soared by more than 30 percent on Wednesday to close at $8.45 after posting stronger-than-expected revenue totals for the quarter ended Sept. 30.

Tuesday, December 6

Debra Wong Yang a Potential Trump Pick for SEC Chair

Los Angeles could be sending another local player to join Donald Trump’s nascent presidential administration. NBC News and the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that Trump was considering Debra Wong Yang, a partner at downtown’s Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, to chair of the Security and Exchange Commission.

Silicon Beach Report Dec. 6: J2 Global Acquires Everyday Health for $465M

J2 Global acquires Everyday Health for $465 million, Aerovironment charger is official accessory to Chevy Bolt EV, and Heal Adds Dick Gephardt to board.

Arts District Recycling Yard Sells for $10 Million

A former cardboard recycling yard in downtown’s Arts District sold last week for more than double the price it fetched just two years ago, a sign of quickly rising land values in a fast-developing market. Vancouver-based Onni Group purchased the 38,266-square-foot site in an off-market deal on November 11 for just over $10 million, according to a source familiar with the deal. In 2014, Core Development picked up the plot for just $3.9 million, according to public records.

Solace Capital Closes $576 Million Fund

Solace Capital Partners announced the closing of its first fund, a $576 million investment vehicle, Monday. The West Los Angeles private equity outfit, which was formed in 2014, has already put $120 million into five different companies, according to a statement. The firm focuses on control investing in distressed assets and over leveraged companies in the middle and lower market.

Cadiz Closes Public Offering; Raises $10.6 Million in Working Capital

Cadiz Inc., the Los Angeles company that’s trying to build a water storage and conveyance project in the Mojave Desert, announced Tuesday that it has closed a public offering that netted $10.6 million in working capital. Separately, the company announced a refinancing of $43 million in senior debt that extends the maturity date two years until September 2019.

Monday, December 5

Report: Steady Job Growth on Tap for L.A. County

Slow but steady will rule when it comes to job growth in L.A. County over the next six years, according to a forecast released Monday by Beacon Economics.

Silicon Beach Report Dec. 5: Snapchat Avoids Fake News with Editorial Team

Snapchat avoids fake news with editorial team, Atom Tickets adds famous film makers to advisory board, and domain registry company XYZ gets permission to sell domains in China.

Domain Registry Company XYZ Gets Permission to Sell Domains in China

Domain registry company XYZ Inc. has been granted permission by the Chinese government to sell its dot-xyz domain suffix in China, potentially opening up a huge market to the Santa Monica startup. XYZ has sold more than 6 million dot-xyz domains globally. About 2 million of those domains were registered in China with tentative permission from the Chinese government. The firm has exclusive rights from Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers, a Marina del Rey nonprofit that administers and manages domain names, to sell the dot-xyz domain.

11 L.A. Companies Earn Recognition for LGBTQ-Inclusive Workplace Policies

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation has ranked 11 companies in Los Angeles a perfect 100 for their LGBTQ-inclusive workplace policies in the latest 2017 Corporate Equality Index (CEI). Some Los Angeles companies which earned the “Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality” included American Apparel, Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., and Mattel Inc. The civil rights organization, which aims to improve the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer individuals, ranked 887 national companies in this year’s CEI, 123 of which are headquartered in California. Of those, 70 California companies earned perfect scores of 100.

Report Says SoCal Construction Still Faces Problems

Construction is booming in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California. Downtown towers are sprouting up left and right, a new $1.5 billion bridge spanning the mouth of the Los Angeles River at the Port of Long Beach is taking shape, and a $2.6 billion football stadium for the Los Angeles Rams broke ground last month in Inglewood. But a new report by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp., “Building the Future: Construction in Southern California,” says the region still hasn’t fully recovered from the recession and that the construction industry faces a challenging regulatory environment and high costs.

Friday, December 2

Judge Amends Ruling, Adds Attorneys’ Fees in Real Estate Spat

After ruling last month that Santa Monica developer Neil Shekhter forged documents in a dispute over a joint property venture, a judge Friday ordered the real estate mogul to cede all control of the projects to AEW Capital Management. The nine properties at issue in the dispute include Luxe apartment developments in West Hollywood, Santa Monica, and Culver City. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Suzane Bruguera also handed AEW’s attorneys at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher more than $6 million in attorneys’ fees and costs.

Hospitality Firm SBE Officially Acquires Morgans Hotel Group

Los Angeles hospitality firm SBE Entertainment Group completed a $82 million acquisition of Morgans Hotel Group, the New York City company behind iconic hotel brands such as the Delano in Miami Beach and West Hollywood’s Mondrian, SBE announced on Dec. 1. SBE, which owns the SLS hotel chain that includes hotels in Beverly Hills and Las Vegas, will now have 22 hotels internationally and be worth around $805 million. The deal was originally announced in May.

Silicon Beach Report Dec. 2: Bam Ventures Launches Incubator for Brian Lee’s Ideas

Bam Ventures launches incubator for Brian Lee’s ideas, Bankrupt Nasty Gal may have a suitor, Annapurna Pictures launches video game division, and more.

Bam Ventures Launching Incubator for Honest Co. CEO Brian Lee's Ideas

Bam Venture Partners has started raising a second $30 million fund which it will use, in part, to invest in and incubate startup ideas thought of by Brian Lee, co-founder of the fund and chief executive of the Honest Co. of Playa Vista. What capital isn’t used for the incubator will be invested in seed and early stage deals, similar to the sort of investments made by the first Bam Ventures fund, said Lee. The Playa Vista venture firm’s first fund was $6 million.

Bankrupt Women Retailer Nasty Gal May Have a Suitor

A British online retailer has reportedly put in a bid for L.A. women’s retailer Nasty Gal Inc., which filed for bankruptcy last month. Boohoo, founded in Manchester in 2006, registered a company with the name “Nasty Gal Limited” with the British government on Nov. 21, according to online records. Nasty Gal, which began as an eBay business in 2006, had been looking for a buyer as far back as 2014, but was unable to find one due to its debt and other issues, according to its bankruptcy filing.

Movers for Week Ending December 2, 2016

The week’s biggest gainer was Manhattan Beach casual shoe brand Skechers USA Inc., which shot up 18.2 percent to close at $26.16. Fulgent Genetics Inc. of Temple City also saw big gains, adding 6.8 percent to its stock price to close at $9.88. The week’s biggest laggard was Pasadena’s Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Inc., which plunged 69.2 percent to close at $1.44.

Stocks Mixed Again

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 22 points in Friday trading to 19,170. The S&P 500 rose 1 point to 2,192. The Nasdaq rose 5 points to 5,256. The LABJ stock index rose 1 point to 225.

Transamerica to Close California Offices

Transamerica announced Thursday that it will be closing its offices in Los Angeles and Folsom and cut 345 jobs on the West Coast starting next year, the Los Angeles Times reports.The financial services and insurance company will no longer have operations in California, except for the Transamerica Pyramid it still owns in San Francisco, and will be eliminating 800 total positions nationwide.

Could New Movie Rental be Offered in the Future?

Some Hollywood studios are considering offering high-priced home rentals of new films shortly after they debut in theaters, Bloomberg reports. Rental prices would range from $25 to $50 per film and would be available on streaming platforms. The idea could trigger a fight with theater operators who previously enjoyed as much as six months of exclusive rights to new releases.

Becerra Named California Attorney General

Rep. Xavier Becerra, the head of the House Democratic Caucus and former state deputy attorney general, has been named California’s next attorney general by Gov. Jerry Brown, Politico reports. The office will be vacated in January when Kamala Harris is sworn in as a U.S. senator and a special election will be held for Becerra’s congressional seat after his appointment.

Chargers May Move to L.A.

The San Diego Chargers may be moving to Los Angeles in 2017 after a ballot measure regarding a new $1.8 billion San Diego stadium failed to pass in November, ESPN reports. The Chargers were granted the option to relocate and have until the Jan. 15, 2017 NFL owners meeting to alert the league about their plans.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 22 points in early Friday trading to 19,170. The S&P 500 rose 4 points to 2,195. The Nasdaq rose 10 points to 5,261. The LABJ stock index rose 1 point to 226.

Paper Parent’s Largest Investors Deepen Stakes

JOURNALISM: Pickup of shares follows Gannett’s collapsed deal for tronc.

Tronc Inc.’s two largest shareholders have been actively increasing their stakes in the Los Angeles Times parent, a month after Gannett Co.’s attempted acquisition fell apart.

Creative Influence

Kim Getty steers Deutsch LA as ad agency cues up music clients, prepares to open production studio

Longtime exec Kim Getty expects Deutsch LA to make a big production out of its new studio.

Stages of Opera Passion

Richard B. Jones fell in love with opera in a place where he wasn’t allowed to listen to jazz: the former Soviet Union.

Rose Parade Float to Petal Olympics Bid

City of L.A.’s entry to sport past competitors, tout Coliseum’s history.

City of L.A.’s Rose Parade float to take Olympics bid to streets and television.

Dance Group To Step It Up At Hotel Gig

Nonprofit books run at Ace as part of venue’s mix of performances.

L.A. Dance Project choreographs return to downtown’s Theatre at Ace Hotel.

Hotel Comfort From Trump?

Hotelier fighting labor case may be looking forward to the Trump administration’s check-in.

Attorney Continues to Make Case as Dealmaker

LAW: Bob Baradaran adds hotel-condo development in Beverly Hills to resume.

Attorney Bob Baradaran helped Beverly Hills lose its reservations about a hotel-condo megaproject.

Party Prospects

Local businessmen’s support for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign may secure roles in Republican administration, including gig as Treasury secretary

Businessmen boosters of Donald Trump may have secured a line on the White House.

Cable Channel to Tackle Football Players at Home

TV: New show on Rams players, wives follows familiar game plan for E.

Cable channel E makes a play for late-season ratings with a show about Rams players and their wives.

Meeting could put city on road to legalizing street vendors.

A look ahead: What's on the agenda for Los Angeles business in the coming week

After several years of talks, the Los Angeles City Council will take its first steps to formally legalize street vending in a public hearing on Dec. 12 that will offer community stakeholders an opportunity to weigh in on the issue.

Businesses May Pay for Ex-Con Hiring Measure

EMPLOYMENT: Critics of city of L.A. proposal fear costly interview process.

Hiring workers could get a bit tougher for many employers in the city of Los Angeles.

Voice Actors Sound Off on Games

ENTERTAINMENT: Union aims at scoring TV, film status.

Video-game production schedules are at risk as voice actors shoot for better terms.


Calendar of Events

Tea’d Up

BEVERAGES: L.A. remains key market for kombucha makers.

Kombucha pioneer doubts that Pepsi’s entry will shake up the carbonated tea market.

Small Business Has Big Issues With 2017

COMMERCE: Trump policies, health care among top concerns.

Survey: Health care costs and Trump presidency are sizable issues for small-business owners.


Upcoming conventions

Small Business Has Big Issues With 2017

COMMERCE: Trump policies, health care among top concerns.

Survey: Health care costs and Trump presidency are sizable issues for small-business owners.

Report: SoCal Construction Still Faces Problems

DEVELOPMENT: Region’s regulations, steep costs can hold back projects.

Construction is booming in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California.

Investment firm looks to prove metal with $150 million zinc deal

Deal of the week: A look at the companies that signed on the dotted line last week.

OpenGate Capital’s newest acquisition is a key cog in the Century City private equity firm’s plan to exploit niche cross-border opportunities overlooked by other outfits.

Tease photo

It’s a Mad, Mad World

The world has turned on its head.

Thursday, December 1

Silicon Beach Report Dec. 1: SpaceX Aims to Resume Flights on Dec. 16

SpaceX aims to resume flights on Dec. 16, Breitbart hits back against boycotting advertisers, and 21st Century Fox invests in augmented and virtual reality glasses company.

Fandango Acquires Latin American Online Movie Ticketer Cinepapaya

Online ticket seller Fandango announced today it is expanding its business in Latin America with the acquisition of online movie ticket platform Cinepapaya. The deal will nearly double Fandango’s reach in the region, extending its ticketing business to include Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Ecuador, and Bolivia. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Pepperdine’s Graziadio School to Launch Business Incubator

Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management is launching a business incubator with a donation from a local venture capital investor, the Malibu university announced Thursday. Dan and Coco Peate made a “multimillion dollar” to launch the incubator, which will be called the Peate Institute for Entrepreneurship. The exact amount of the donation was not disclosed. It will operate at a yet-to-be-chosen site in the Conejo Valley, near Pepperdine’s Thousand Oaks campus and the Ventura headquarters of Dan Peate’s venture capital firm, Peate Ventures.

After $583M Sale, Howard Hughes Center to Get Makeover

The 1.3-million-square-foot Howard Hughes Center in Westchester is going to get an upgrade after it was purchased last month for $583 million. The Blackstone Group acquired the office complex near Los Angeles International Airport as part of its purchase of 20 properties in California and Washington for $1.16 billion in a fire sale from Hines REIT Inc. over the summer. That sale was completed in November, according to CoStar Realty Information Inc.

Stocks Mixed Again

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 68 points in Thursday trading to 19,192. The S&P 500 fell 8 points to 2,191. The Nasdaq fell 73 points to 5,251. The LABJ stock index fell 2 points to 225.

Arrowhead Falls as Trials Halted

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Inc. is firing 30 percent of its staff, halting all human trials, and going back to the lab after a seeing troubling safety concerns in a technology to cure liver disease, Bloomberg reports. Shares plunged 66 percent on Wednesday, and the once billion-dollar company’s market cap is now down to about $100 million.

Breitbart News Fights Back after Advertisers Flee

Some major advertisers at Breitbart News Network are leaving after Donald Trump’s victory, and Breitbart is fighting back, the Los Angeles Times reports. The site called some departures “un-American” and a war “against conservative customers whose values propelled Donald Trump into the White House.”

DGA Begins Contract Negotiations Early

The Directors Guild of America will begin contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers more than six months before the current contract expires on June 30, Variety reports. Negotiations are expected to focus on an increase in contributions from the studios to health and pension plans and bringing residual fees for pay cable and basic cable reruns up to par with broadcast fees.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 58 points in Thursday trading to 19,181. The S&P 500 stayed steady at 2,199. The Nasdaq fell 18 points to 5,308. The LABJ stock index stayed steady at 226.