Stories for November 2016

Wednesday, November 30

Silicon Beach Report Nov. 30: Snapchat Shuts Down Story Explorer Feature

Snapchat shuts down Story Explorer feature, SpaceX to carry private rover to moon, and tronc Inc. Director Michael Ferro stocks up on additional shares.

Soon-Shiong and Ferro Stock Up on Additional Tronc Shares

Michael Ferro, chairman of L.A. Times owner tronc Inc., has purchased an additional 42,126 shares of stock in the company, according to a Nov. 28 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The stock was acquired through Ferro’s investment vehicle, Merrick Venture Management Holdings, at an average cost of $12.93 a share for a total transaction of about $545,000.

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Long Beach Security Firm Sued by Co-Founder

The co-founder of Long Beach-based Access Control Related Enterprises (ACRE) sued the security systems company and a Philadelphia private equity stakeholder alleging he was forced out for opposing a management buyout plan. William West, who acted as chief financial officer and chief operating officer for the company he co-founded in 2012 with chief executive Joseph Grillo, filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court Monday asking for at least $15 million.

HBO’s ‘Ballers’ and Six Other Series Will Move Production to L.A. Area

HBO’s TV series “Ballers” will be moving production for its third season from Miami to Los Angeles, according to the California Film Commission’s Executive Director Amy Lemisch. “Ballers” is the seventh TV series to relocate to California by way of the expanded tax credit program that went into effect in 2015. The show is scheduled to shoot its next 10 episodes in the greater Los Angeles area, where it will employ 135 cast, 209 base crew and 5,700 extras. Production will generate an estimated $33.5 million in “qualified expenditures,” which the commission defines as wages paid to below-the-line workers on the crew, and payments to in-state vendors. Based on these figures, “Ballers” has been conditionally approved for a tax credit reservation of $8.3 million.

L.A. City Council Approves Sidewalk Repair Plan

After years of complaints from residents and businesses about crumbling sidewalks, the Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a $1.4 billion citywide sidewalk repair program, with rebates for residents and businesses that repair sidewalks on their own. The program represents a unique split-responsibility approach, with the city assuming most repair costs for the next 30 years and then turning over complete responsibility for repairs to adjacent residential or commercial property owners.

One Beverly Hills Cleared for Construction After City Council 4-1 Vote

Beverly Hills City Council voted 4-1 Tuesday to approve a lucrative development deal with luxury hotel-condo project, One Beverly Hills. Owned by Dalian Wanda Group, the project will feature residences, a 134-room “luxury boutique hotel,” rooftop pool, and restaurant. In addition to the estimated $820 million in revenue the project is expected to bring in for Beverly Hills over the next 30 years, Wanda Group has signed a massive development agreement that provides the city with an immediate payoff. It is this agreement the council voted to approve last night.

Stocks Mixed Again

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 2 points in Wednesday trading to 19,124. The S&P 500 fell 6 points to 2,199. The Nasdaq fell 56 points to 5,324. The LABJ stock index fell 2 points to 226.

AES May Build Largest Battery Facility in the World

Power company AES Corp. is planning on building a 300-megawatt battery facility in Long Beach, the Daily News reports. If approved by state regulators, the storage facility would be the capable of storing more electrical power than any facility previously constructed.

Are California Refineries Manipulating Gas Prices?

Consumer advocacy group Consumer Watchdog alleges that California refineries are holding down gasoline production to inflate prices at the pump, the Los Angeles Times reports. Gas prices in the Los Angeles area are an average of 50 cents higher than the national average. The Western States Petroleum Association says higher prices in California are due to higher taxes and fees as well as requirements for a more environmentally friendly blend of gas.

Southern California Home Prices Rise

Southern California home prices rose 6.9 percent from a year earlier to $465,000 in October, the Los Angeles Times reports. Nationwide prices have surpassed prices during the bubble peak in 2006, though the Los Angeles metro region is now 7.8 percent below the bubble peak numbers.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 76 points in early Wednesday trading to 19,198. The S&P 500 rose 6 points to 2,210. The Nasdaq fell 6 points to 5,375. The LABJ stock index stayed steady at 228.

Tuesday, November 29

Trump to Tap L.A. Financier Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary

President-elect Donald Trump is set to name L.A. financier Steven Mnuchin as his Treasury Secretary, numerous media reports said Tuesday afternoon. Mnuchin, 53, was Trump’s national campaign finance chairman and had been on the short list for the Treasury post. The Bel Air resident currently runs hedge fund Dune Capital Management.

Pritzker Group Increases Staff in Los Angeles to Hunt Early Stage Deals

Pritzker Group Venture Capital has expanded the number of personnel in its L.A. office in order to pursue more early-stage investments in local tech companies. Partner Gabe Greenbaum and Vice President Peter Liu have relocated from the firm’s Chicago office to Los Angeles. The company also recently hired Nico Gimenez, who joined as an associate. Pritzker is particularly interested in investing in enterprise, consumer tech, healthcare IT software, as well as emerging technologies such artificial intelligence, internet of things, virtual reality.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 24 points in Tuesday trading to 19,122. The S&P 500 rose 3 points to 2,205. The Nasdaq rose 11 points to 5,380. The LABJ stock index rose 1 point to 229.

LAX Breaks Thanksgiving Record

An estimated 2.3 million travelers passed through LAX this Thanksgiving holiday period, an increase of 8.4 percent over last year’s record of 2.1 million, KPCC reports. The busiest day at the airport was Nov. 18, the first day of the 11-day traveling period.

SpaceX Expected to Release Report on Rocket Explosion

SpaceX is expected to give federal authorities a preliminary investigative report next month pinpointing fueling procedures as the most likely cause of the September explosion of its unmanned Falcon 9 rocket, The Wall Street Journal reports. The company intends to resume launches before the end of 2016 if government agencies sign off on its major findings and give approval for operational changes to prevent a repeat of the same accident.

Metro to Pay Additional $300M for 405 Widening

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority will pay nearly $300 million more to Kiewit Corp., the contractor for the 405 widening project, after years of dispute over responsibility for cost overruns, the Los Angeles Times reports. The agreement will push the cost of the Sepulveda Pass project above $1.6 million, 55 percent higher than the original budget.

Beverly Hills Home Sells for $4M Over Asking

Jill Tavelman Collins, an ex-wife of musician Phil Collins, bought a house next door to her Beverly Hills home for nearly $4 million more than the asking price, The Wall Street Journal reports. A bidding war with about 17 offers sent the price up to $12.5 million.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 21 points in early Tuesday trading to 19,077. The S&P 500 fell 2 points to 2,199. The Nasdaq fell 5 points to 5,364. The LABJ stock index stayed steady at 228.

Monday, November 28

OpenGate Capital Acquires Belgian Zinc Supplier Umicore

Private equity firm OpenGate Capital announced Monday it purchased the zinc products wing of Belgian materials technology company Umicore for $150 million. OpenGate’s purchase of Umicore Zinc Chemicals - which has been rebranded as EverZinc - is the largest investment made by the Century City outfit since it was founded in 2005, and the fifth acquisition from its $305 million institutional fund.

Silicon Beach Report Nov. 28: Activision CEO Becomes One of Top-Paid U.S. Executives

Activision CEO becomes one of top-paid U.S. executives, Atom tickets partners with Disney for Star Wars Merchandise, and AT&T’s DirecTV launches streaming TV service.

Activision CEO One of Top Paid Executives in U.S.

Activision Blizzard Inc. increased the performance stock bonus of its chief executive, Bobby Kotick, to a maximum of $56.3 million over three years, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Santa Monica firm also reduced his base pay from $2.37 million a year to $1.75 million a year. The company’s board agreed to the pay adjustment shortly before the Thanksgiving holiday on Nov. 22. The pay increase makes Kotick one of the highest paid executives in the United States. The top paid chief executive last year was Dara Khosrowshahi of Seattle’s Expedia Inc., who received compensation of $94.6 million, largely from stock options, reports the Wall Street Journal. Kotick’s pay change was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

One Beverly Hills Nears Finish Line on Luxury Condo-Hotel Project

In what is poised to be one of the most lucrative deals for any city in the country, Beverly Hills City Council will vote Tuesday on a development agreement with One Beverly Hills, a condo-hotel project by the Chinese conglomerate, Dalian Wanda Group. Unlike many municipalities that offer tax breaks and rebates to entice developers to build in the area, the proposed contract with One Beverly Hills dictates that Wanda Beverly Hills Properties LLC pay the city $60 million in upfront fees, a percentage of gross room revenue from the hotel, as well as a "municipal surcharge."

Stocks Continue to Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 54 points in Monday trading to 19,098. The S&P 500 fell 12 points to 2,202. The Nasdaq fell 30 points to 5,369. The LABJ stock index stayed steady at 228.

ESPN Reports Loss of 2 Million Subscribers

Walt Disney Co. reported that its flagship cable network ESPN lost about 2 million subscribers in fiscal 2016, ended Oct. 1, The Hollywood Reporter reports. ESPN now has 90 million subscribers, down from 100 million five years ago. The slump in viewership has spooked investors and shares are down 18 percent this year to near $98.

Three Multifamily Properties Trade for $120M

Brentwood-based R. W. Selby & Co. has acquired three multifamily properties in Bel Air and West L.A., The Real Deal reports. The three properties, purchased by State Farm about 10 years ago, sold for $120.1 million, or about $639 per square foot.

Disney’s ‘Moana’ Takes $81 Million

Walt Disney Co.’s new animated film “Moana” scored big at the box office over the Thanksgiving weekend, taking in $81.1 million and beating “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” which placed No. 2 in its second weekend with $65.8 million, The Hollywood Reporter reports. It was the second-biggest Thanksgiving Weekend opening on record.

Workers Protest Underground Garment Industry Working Conditions

Workers for Ross Dress For Less protested the treatment of employees at Southern California’s underground garment industry over the weekend, claiming the discount chain refuses to pay them the legal minimum wage, the Daily News reports. Ross representatives said that the retailer complies with labor laws.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 49 points in early Monday trading to 19,103. The S&P 500 fell 5 points to 2,208. The Nasdaq fell 15 points to 5,384. The LABJ stock index stayed steady at 228.

Friday, November 25

Forecaster of Recession Fuzzy on Trump’s Future

ECONOMY: No bubble in housing market, according to Christopher Thornberg.

Economist Christopher Thornberg is not ready to give a vote of confidence to the president-elect.

Chinese Food Pioneers Fill Plate

DINING: Cherngs feed growth plan with diverse investments.

Panda Express’ Cherng family has looked beyond Chinese fare to heat up growth prospects.

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Commercial Kitchens Turn Into Hot Properties

FOOD: Facility operators look to feast on expansion as businesses get cooking.

A boom in cooking ventures has commercial kitchen operators whipping up expansion plans.

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Software Firm Boosts Market

REAL ESTATE: Oracle pays up for Santa Monica office.

Software giant Oracle increases footprint with record Santa Monica office deal.

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And Then the Fallout

Now that the dust has settled a bit on the election season, it’s time to take stock of whether we’ve voted to help ourselves.

Partners Plunge Into South Bay’s Office Market

ACQUISITION: Duo pays $120 million for campus as property options thin out.

Lincoln Property Co. and Rockwood Capital are diving into the South Bay office market with their purchase this month of a 355,000-square-foot office campus in El Segundo.

Under Cloud

Tax hikes could burn vaping shops, customers

Vaping businesses fear a new state tax will leave little breathing room for their profit margins.

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Upcoming conventions

State Ruling Puts Brokerages on Notice in Regards to Disclosure

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

California real estate companies might need to start taking extra care when operating as agents for both the buyer and seller of a property after a state Supreme Court ruling last week.

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High Sales Taxes Could Prove Buzz Kill for Pot

MARIJUANA: Owners of weed businesses say levies may stoke illegal market.

Pot businesses fear high sales taxes could keep the fire burning for illegal dealers.

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Calendar of events

Satellite Launcher Turns Vision to Constellations

AEROSPACE: SpaceX sees Earth-encircling system beaming internet globally.

Apparently, Elon Musk’s November wasn’t busy enough.

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Media Giant Doubles up on Digital Reach with $200 Million Investment

NBCUniversal is doubling its bet on online media company BuzzFeed to help the traditional media company better meet a shifting landscape shaken up by the internet.

Multifamily Developer Draws Judge’s Sanction

REAL ESTATE: Plaintiff had filed lawsuit over buying out deal partner.

An L.A. Superior Court judge has sanctioned prominent Santa Monica developer Neil Shekhter of NMS Properties over his actions stemming from a 2010 deal forming a joint real estate venture to finance and develop nine multifamily residential properties, mostly on the Westside.

Finance Exec Hits Stride

In just a little more than two decades, Jeff Runyan has competed in about 50 marathons and triathlons throughout the country, from New Mexico to Missouri, Tennessee to Kansas.

Violinist Shed Labels With Music Career

Lindsey Stirling uses YouTube to cue up sales, fan connection.

Violinist Lindsey Stirling has used YouTube to tune up her career without record label support.

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Mall Owner Looks to Sell Sites Online

Macerich teams with Popsugar to attract shoppers to properties.

Retail center owner Macerich buys into digital outreach to push its properties with shoppers.

Politics Plays With Projects

DEVELOPMENT: March vote may resolve measure conflict.

Projects may elect to wait and see how rival regulatory initiatives play out at the ballot box.

Weekly Newspaper Owner Hopes to Deliver Buyer

MEDIA: Sue Laris pursues deal for Downtown News amid declining valuations.

Owner of Downtown News hopes to page a buyer for the weekly amid falling paper valuations.

Deportation Policy Could Hurt L.A.’s Economy

EMPLOYMENT: Proposed plan under Donald Trump may thin local workforce.

Donald Trump’s proposed immigration crackdown may work against L.A.’s economy.

Drone Maker Aims to Land Commercial Sectors

AVIATION: AeroVironment high on Quantix’s use by agriculture, energy, others.

AeroVironment has developed its Quantix drone to take wing for use by commercial customers.

Wednesday, November 23

Silicon Beach Report Nov. 23: Breitbart Banned from Major Ad Exchange

Breitbart banned from major ad exchange, e-sports franchise Cloud9 raises $2.9 million, and Bridg launches CRM software for restaurants.

Soon-Shiong Ups Stake in L.A. Times Parent

Patrick Soon-Shiong, the wealthiest person in Los Angeles and the largest shareholder in Los Angeles Times parent tronc Inc., spent the week before Thanksgiving stocking up on more tronc shares.

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Judge Rules Santa Monica Developer Forged Documents in Real Estate Dispute

A judge ruled Tuesday to sanction prominent Santa Monica developer Neil Shekhter after an eight-day hearing showed the real estate mogul forged documents, destroyed evidence, and committed perjury in connection to a dispute over a joint apartment complex venture.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 59 points in Wednesday trading to 19,083. The S&P 500 rose 2 points to 2,205. The Nasdaq fell 6 points to 5,381. The LABJ stock index rose 1 point to 227.

READER POLL: Now that the Build Better L.A. measure has passed, should the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative be removed from the March ballot?

READER POLL: Now that the Build Better L.A. measure has passed, should the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative be removed from the March ballot?

Judge Blocks Obama’s Overtime Pay Rule

The future of a federal rule change that would grant millions more Americans the opportunity to earn overtime pay has been cast into doubt following a federal court ruling in Texas, according to the Los Angeles Times. Read the Business Journal’s previous coverage of the issue as it pertains to California here.

Tom Barrack Doesn’t Want Trump Cabinet Post

Billionaire Tom Barrack has removed himself from consideration for a cabinet post in the Donald Trump administration, according to the Hollywood Reporter, though he thinks the President-elect’s China policy will benefit the entertainment industry.

Consumer-Friendly Credentials Now Required for Banks Working With City of L.A.

Banks wishing to do business with the City of Los Angeles must now submit documentation proving they do not engage in predatory sales practices, according to the Los Angeles Times. However, some consumer advocates were pushing for the City Council to enact stricter rules.

Elon Musk No Stranger to Online Trolls

Elon Musk has been the target of numerous online critics that decry the business practices of his companies, such as Tesla and SpaceX, according to Bloomberg. However, questions are being raised about whether his business rivals could be behind some of the attacks.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 12 points in early Wednesday trading to 19,036. The S&P 500 fell 7 points to 2,196. The Nasdaq fell 28 points to 5,358. The LABJ stock index dropped 1 point to 225.

Tuesday, November 22

Silicon Beach Report Nov. 22: Hyperloop One Planning Self-Driving Vehicles

Hyperloop One planning self-driving vehicles, SpaceX selected for NASA’s earth survey mission, and Riot negotiating $90M deal to stream League of Legends.

Participant Media’s TakePart to Shut Down Website Operations

Jeff Skoll’s Participant Media is shuttering its digital division, TakePart. The social impact-focused news website that launched in 2008 and also functioned as a marketing arm for Participant’s film division will no longer operate after the end of this year, according to a source at the company.

Fast-Fashion Firm Stretched Too Thin

APPAREL: Nasty Gal’s quick rise, growth end in bankruptcy.

The clock appears to have struck midnight for the Cinderella of tech. The nickname was given to Sophia Amoruso, the young founder of clothing retailer and manufacturer Nasty Gal in a 2013 New York Times article for her ability to seemingly turn cast-off vintage clothes into hundreds of millions of dollars – within six years of its founding the company’s sales hit a reported $100 million. This month, however, the magic ran out, as the company filed for bankruptcy protection, saying it didn’t have enough money to pay employees at the end of November.

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Stocks Rise Again

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 67 points in Tuesday trading to 19,024. The S&P 500 rose 5 points to 2,203. The Nasdaq rose 17 points to 5,386. The LABJ stock index stayed steady at 226.

NBCUniversal Doubles Investment in Buzzfeed

NBCUniversal is making another $200 million investment in Buzzfeed after investing $200 million in the company last year, Variety reports. The companies plan to extend their advertising-sales relationship and collaborate with NBCU’s Content Studio to make short-form digital video content for advertisers and “create new digital consumer experiences.”

Six Injured During Test Drive at L.A. Auto Show

Six people were injured on Monday when a 2017 Fiat 500e on a test drive at the Los Angeles Auto show struck a cement planter, sending debris flying, near the DTLA Convention Center, the Daily News reports. Eight people were evaluated for non-life-threatening injuries and six were taken to the hospital, including the man who was driving the car.

Snapchat Pop-Up Shops Attract Hundreds

Hundreds of people lined up for hours on Monday in New York for a chance to buy Snapchat Spectacles from a “Snapbot” vending machine in a pop-up store off Fifth Avenue, The New York Times reports. Venice-based Snapchat has kept the locations of its pop-up stores secret, and the shops have shown up around the Los Angeles area, Tulsa Okla,, and even at the Grand Canyon. The sunglasses record 10-second videos that are wirelessly sent to the user’s Snapchat app and retail for $130.

Tesla Completes SolarCity Acquisition

Tesla Motors Inc. officially closed on a deal Monday morning to buy SolarCity Corp. in an all-stock deal valuing the company at $2 billion, the Los Angeles Times reports. Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk wants to sell the company’s solar panels through Tesla’s stores so customers can buy them to power their homes and charge their Tesla electric vehicles The company’s first joint project - solar roof tiles that look like traditional tiles - are expected to be on the market by summer.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 39 points in early Tuesday trading to 18,996. The S&P 500 rose 4 points to 2,202. The Nasdaq rose 16 points to 5,385. The LABJ stock index stayed steady at 226.

Monday, November 21

Silicon Beach Report Nov. 11: Snap Inc. Opens Spectacles Store in NYC

Snap Inc. opens Spectacles store in New York City, across the street from Apple store, NBC Universal plows $200 million more into Buzzfeed, and virtual reality video distribution platform Vrideo shuts down.

Live Nation’s Kayne West Tour Canceled

Live Nation announced on Monday that it was canceling the remaining 21 shows in rapper Kanye West’s “Saint Pablo Tour.” The cancellation came without explanation in a two-sentence press release, which also said that ticket purchasers would receive a full refund. A spokeswoman for Live Nation declined to comment. Though the “Saint Pablo Tour” cancellation was headline grabbing, it’s not likely to have much of an impact on Live Nation’s revenue. The concert series was already partially completed and represents a small portion of the 26,000 events the company manages each year.

Lincoln and Rockwood Buy El Segundo Office for $120 Million

Lincoln Property Co. and Rockwood Capital are diving into the South Bay office market with their purchase last week of a 355,000-square-foot office campus in El Segundo. The property - comprised of three office buildings and two retail properties - sold for $120 million, or roughly $338 a square foot, according to a source familiar with the deal. DivcoWest, the seller, declined to comment. Lincoln plans to spend millions on a year-long renovation, part of a plan to attract technology, media, and entertainment companies to fill the office space that is currently half empty, said Rob Kane, Lincoln’s senior vice president.

Doing Business in L.A. Grew Tougher This Year

COMMERCE: Survey sees costs jumping even higher in 2016 with new taxes.

It might not be what local business owners want to hear, but the cost of doing business in Los Angeles has gone up yet again and will likely jump even more next year, according to a survey to be released this week. The annual Kosmont-Rose Institute Cost of Doing Business Survey has classified 46 of the 74 Los Angeles County cities surveyed as either “high cost” or “very high cost” in terms of tax and fee rates for businesses in 2016. That’s up from 45 last year and 44 the year before that, representing a steadily increasing trend. Even worse, eight area cities – including Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, and Culver City – rank among the 20 most expensive cities in which to do business in the Western United States. That’s also up one from last year.

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Stocks Continue to Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 89 points in Monday trading to 18,957. The S&P 500 rose 16 points to 2,198. The Nasdaq rose 47 points to 5,369. The LABJ stock index stayed steady at 226.

Hyperloop One Settles Employee Lawsuit

Hyperloop One has settled a breach of fiduciary lawsuit brought by Brogan BamBrogan, its former chief technology officer and co-founder, and three other employees, the Business Journal reports. In a complaint filed July in Los Angeles Superior Court, BamBrogan claimed he was fire after he was critical of Hyperloop One Board Chairman Shervin Pishevar’s management of the company, whose behavior he claimed was tantamount to a breach of fiduciary duty. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

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Oracle Buys Santa Monica Offices for $368 Million

Software giant Oracle Corp. has purchased a Santa Monica office building for $368 million, according to a source familiar with the deal, the Business Journal reports. At roughly $1,165 a square foot, the transaction is one of the priciest ever per square foot for a large office complex in the market. The sellers were Invesco Ltd., based in Atlanta, and Worthe Real Estate Group, based in Santa Monica, the source said.

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Japanese Firm Takes Controlling Stake in L.A. Food Importer

One of L.A.’s oldest and most prominent importers of Japanese foods and restaurant supplies is being acquired by a $1.3 billion Japanese company, the Business Journal reports. Takara Holdings Inc., based in Kyoto, Japan, said it would pay $8.16 million for an additional 10.3 percent stake in downtown’s Mutual Trading Co. Inc. Takara already owns a 40.7 percent stake in Mutual Trading.

‘Fantastic Beasts’ Wins at the BO

Warner Bros. and J.K. Rowling’s new Harry Potter-related film “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” sold $75 million in North American tickets over the weekend, and $143.3 million in partial release overseas, The New York Times reports. STX’s “The Edge of Seventeen” took in $4.8 million, and Open Road’s “Bleed for This” made $2.4 million.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 45 points in early Monday trading to 18,913. The S&P 500 rose 11 points to 2,193. The Nasdaq rose 37 points to 5,358. The LABJ stock index rose 1 point to 226.

Friday, November 18

Silicon Beach Report Nov. 11: Hyperloop One Settles Employee Lawsuit

Hyperloop One settles employee lawsuit, Tastemade has 20 million monthly views on Instagram Stories, real estate loan platform Peer Street raises $15 million, and healthcare information site Renew raises $3 million.

L.A. Unemployment Rate Ticks Up to 5.1 Percent

L.A. County’s unemployment rate rose slightly to 5.1 percent in October even as the number of payroll jobs reached 4.4 million for the first time ever, state figures released Friday show. The county’s unemployment rate edged up for the second straight month from 5 percent in September and a low of 4.9 percent in August, according to figures from the California Employment Development Department. A year ago, the rate was 6.1 percent.

Cedars-Sinai Buys Miracle Mile Office for $295 Million

Cedars-Sinai snapped up a 24-story office tower on Wilshire Boulevard for $295 million this month, or nearly $646 a square foot. That makes it the priciest deal per square foot on Miracle Mile in at least the past decade, according to CoStar records. The seller was Morgan Stanley & Co., which had purchased the site in 2010 for $174 million, or about $380 a square foot. The seller was Morgan Stanley & Co., which had purchased the site in 2010 for $174 million, or about $380 a square foot.

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Dairy Queen Plans L.A. Expansion of Its Quick-Service Restaurant Concept

Dairy Queen is sweet on Los Angeles. The 76-year-old Minneapolis ice cream maker is planning on opening 50 to 60 stores in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, and Orange counties in the next decade. It would be a significant step up from the brand’s 98 locations in California. The L.A. move is part of Dairy Queen’s nationwide push of its quick-service restaurant concept DQ Grill and Chill, which includes new locations and conversions of existing stores. Started in 2002, the restaurant has a menu with burgers and chicken sandwiches that the company hopes can compete with Jack in the Box and Burger King.

Movers for Week Ending November 18, 2016

Glendale-based Apollo Medical Holdings Inc. was the week’s biggest gainer, rising 29 percent to close at $4. Guidance Software Inc., the Pasadena investigative software company, also saw big gains, shooting up 24.9 percent to close the week at $6.81. The week’s biggest laggard was Commerce-based furniture maker Nova Lifestyle Inc., which sank 25.4 percent to close at $2.41.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 36 points in Friday trading to 18,868. The S&P 500 fell 5 point to 2,182. The Nasdaq fell 12 points to 5,322. The LABJ stock index fell 3 points to 226.

OneWest Bank Accused of Redlining Minority Buyers

Steve Mnuchin’s OneWest Bank many have broken federal laws by keeping branches out of minority neighborhoods and making just two mortgages to black borrowers in 2014 and 2015 in Southern California, Bloomberg reports. The redlining complaint, that was submitted by two housing advocates this week, asks the Department of Housing and Urban Development to investigate whether OneWest broke laws ensuring equal access to credit for minority home buyers.

Port of L.A. Unveils $1.3 Million Tracking Program

The Port of Los Angeles introduced a $1.3 million pilot with GE Transportation on Tuesday to deliver cargo information to retailers and truckers that will begin next year, the Daily News reports. The digitization should prevent congestion, give retailers, truckers and railroad companies more lead time, and could cut costs for the products that come through the port.

DWP Owes L.A. Customers $67.5 Million for Overbilling

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power owes its customers at least $67.5 million after the utility company overbilled them because of a faulty computer billing system that was launched in 2013, the Los Angeles Times reports. Because of a class-action settlement, customers will be refunded 100 percent of the amount they were owed by early next summer, and ratepayers have the right to make claims for “consequential damages” stemming from the billing problem.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 3 points in Friday trading to 18,907. The S&P 500 fell 1 point to 2,187. The Nasdaq rose 1 point to 5,336. The LABJ stock index fell 1 point to 227.


Upcoming conventions

Opponent Aims ‘Death Ray’ Concern at Tower

DEVELOPMENT: Neighbor questions glass glare; no risk, Wilshire Grand says.

Wilshire Grand Center neighbor has glaring concern that building’s glass may generate “death rays.”

Judge Rebuffs City’s Bid to Seize Water System

UTILITY: Tentative ruling questions advances under Claremont’s ownership.

Judge’s ruling may sink Claremont’s bid to take over Golden State Water’s local operations.

Congress Weighs Axing EB-5 Visa Program That Funds Developments

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

A hotly debated federal program that provides visas to foreign investors in exchange for funding projects in economically depressed areas might once again be on the chopping block.

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Hospital Sees Healthy Outlook on Miracle Mile

ACQUISITION: Pickup by Cedars-Sinai draws high square-foot rate of $646.

Cedars-Sinai snapped up a 24-story office tower on Wilshire Boulevard for $295 million this month, or nearly $646 a square foot.

Board Game Maker Gets Moving

MANUFACTURING: Hersch’s mobile title plays up marketing.

Board game maker Hersch plays up marketing angle in move to mobile market.

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Bike Shop Banker Supply Steers Clear of Racing, Expensive Big Brands.

CYCLING: Gear Shift

Banker Supply settled on Los Angeles to peddle its more casual and cheaper take on bikes.

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Zoning Out

Development struggles in part stoked by social media have Jerry Snyder strictly focused on entitled properties

Jerry Snyder talks L.A. development and why he’s no friend of social media.

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Ad Tech Firms Drawing Attention as Acquisitions

INTERNET: Rubicon faces tough road as independent amid shifting industry.

Ad tech sector’s struggles may help Rubicon Project click as an acquisition target.

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Downtown executives reveal how the thriving city center works for them and their businesses.


Downtown executives reveal how the thriving city center works for them and their businesses.


Downtown executives reveal how the thriving city center works for them and their businesses.

SPECIAL REPORT: Karin Liljegren

Downtown executives reveal how the thriving city center works for them and their businesses.

Team Playing to Wider Crowds

Analytics firm UberMedia touts diverse fan base as plus in return of Rams.

Analytics firm UberMedia says the Rams are fielding a more diverse fan base in Los Angeles.

Lawyers Tune Up Music TV Series

Team at Mitchell Silberberg helped score song rights including 13 Beatles tracks.

Mitchell Silberberg team spent eight years cueing up songs for a PBS music documentary.


Downtown executives reveal how the thriving city center works for them and their businesses.

Exec’s Travel Plans Up in Air

While most people only dream about flying above L.A. traffic, Michael Root does so regularly.


Downtown executives reveal how the thriving city center works for them and their businesses.

SPECIAL REPORT: Lauren Gropper

Downtown executives reveal how the thriving city center works for them and their businesses.

Struggling Clothing Firm Returns to Chapter 11

MANUFACTURING: Latest American Apparel filing raises specter of layoffs.

Latest American Apparel bankruptcy filing could presage massive job cuts.

Ice-Cream Chain Seeks Southern California Heat

EXPANSION: Dairy Queen looks to scoop up 50 to 60 sites in decadelong drive.

Dairy Queen is sweet on Los Angeles.

Cable Network Takes Stake in Comedy Site to Humor Millennials

Comedy website Funny or Die Inc. is laughing all the way to the bank.

SPECIAL REPORT: David Kirchheimer

Downtown executives reveal how the thriving city center works for them and their businesses.


Downtown executives reveal how the thriving city center works for them and their businesses.

Follow the Money

It might cost more to operate a business in Los Angeles, but that’s a price many companies are willing to pay.


Calendar of events

Thursday, November 17

Silicon Beach Report Nov. 17: SpaceX Files Paperwork for Satellite Network

SpaceX files paperwork for satellite network, Warner Bros. acquires Machinima in nine figure deal, and AMC Networks acquires minority stake in Funny or Die.

Warner Bros. Acquires Machinima in Nine Figure Deal

Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. has signed an agreement to acquire the remainder of Machinima, an online gaming culture and streaming content platform. The deal values the company in the nine figure range, according to sources close to the deal. Warner Bros. already bought into the company during Machinima capital raises in 2014 and 2015. Warner Bros. plans to fold Burbank-based Machinima into its newly-formed Warner Bros. Digital Networks, according to the company. The purchase was part of a strategy to increase its online engagement and expand its digital presence. The Machinima pickup helps Warner Bros. in key areas – such as its line of DC comic book films, according to Warner Bros. Digital Networks President Craig Hunegs.

Rams Break Ground on $2.6 Billion Inglewood Stadium

The Los Angeles Rams held a groundbreaking Thursday morning for the $2.6 billion Los Angeles Stadium and Entertainment District at Hollywood Park. Rams owner Stan Kroenke, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, and Inglewood Mayor James Butts made remarks at the ceremony. The stadium is expected to be completed for the 2019 football season and will host the 2021 Super Bowl. Kroenke noted that the project will ultimately move 8 million cubic yards of dirt to make way for the stadium and its retail, residential and office components.

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Saban Real Estate Buys Student Housing for $508 Million

Saban Real Estate just loaded up its portfolio with 19 student housing projects for $508 million. The deal, which counted Austin-based management company Campus Advantage as a partner, makes Saban one of the country’s largest holders of off-campus student housing, said Saban Managing Director Bowen Hsu. The Century-City based real estate investor, a subsidiary of billionaire Haim Saban’s Saban Capital Group Inc., also focuses on the self-storage and federal office sectors, aiming to focus on properties that generate strong cash flow over time, even during weak economic cycles.

Stocks Continue to Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 36 points in Thursday trading to 18,904. The S&P 500 rose 10 points to 2,187. The Nasdaq rose 39 points to 5,334. The LABJ stock index rose one point to 228.

Univision Announces Staff Reduction

Univision Communication is eliminating about 6 percent of its workforce, or nearly 250 workers, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Spanish-language media company reported a third-quarter net loss of nearly $30.5 million, compared with a profit of nearly $109.8 million during the same period last year and blames the decrease partially on fewer political ad dollars than anticipated during the election.

L.A. Has Largest Homeless Population in Nation

Los Angeles reported the largest number of chronically homeless people for the second year in a row, the Los Angeles Times reports. Nearly 13,000 percent of them live outdoors in cars, tents, and encampments. Nearly 2,700 are veterans and 3,000 are youth, a report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said.

Millennials Leaving L.A. at Third Highest Rate in the Country

A report from the U.S. Census Bureau says millennials are leaving Los Angeles at one of the highest rates in the country, LA Weekly reports. The analysis found that residents between the ages of 18 and 35 decreased by 7.4 percent over the last 10 years, a decrease of 780,000 people, making it the third-worst city for millennial population loss.

Work on Faraday Future’s Electric Car Factory Halted

After failing to pay millions of dollars in bills, Faraday Future’s contractor, Los Angeles-based engineering giant Aecom, halted work on its $1 billion North Las Vegas car factory, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Gardena-based start-up is planning on building an automated electric car that will rival Tesla.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 25 points in Thursday trading to 18,893. The S&P 500 rose 7 points to 2,183. The Nasdaq rose 14 points to 5,308. The LABJ stock stayed steady at 228.

Wednesday, November 16

Silicon Beach Report Nov. 16: Snap Signs Deal with Foursquare to Improve Geofilter Targeting

Snap signs deal with Foursquare to improve geofilter targeting, Aecom halts construction on Faraday Future’s Las Vegas factory, and WaiveCar expands fleet with electric vehicles from Hyundai.

Aecom Halts Construction on Faraday Future’s Las Vegas Factory

Aecom has halted construction on Faraday Future’s Las Vegas electric car factory after the Chinese-backed firm reportedly missed several payments for the project. A Faraday spokesman told Fortune that the company is “refocusing its resources” on preparing its first production vehicle for introduction at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January. The company is reportedly behind on tens of millions of dollars in payments for the last three months’ worth of construction.

Univision to Cut Up to 250 Employees

Univision Communications will cut six percent of its workforce, around 200 to 250 people, the Washington Post reports. The cuts come after the Spanish-language media giant fell into the red last quarter with a net loss of $30.5 million, down from a profit of $109.8 million last year, a 8.3 percent dip in revenues falling to $734.8 million.

Bank of America Study Shows Small Business Optimism Growing

A new study release by Bank of America Corp. shows small business owners in Los Angeles are becoming more optimistic about local and national economic conditions. The study, which surveyed businesses with revenues from $100,000 to $5 million, showed 47 percent of entrepreneurs believed the Los Angeles economy would improve in the next year – up from 40 percent in a spring survey. Of those surveyed, 39 percent felt the national economy would improve, a 10 percent gain from the spring.

USC Debuts New Transnational Law Center

USC’s Gould School of Law has launched a new center aimed at training attorneys to navigate an increasingly complex global business economy. The USC Center for Transnational Law and Business is led by director Brian Peck, who previously served as deputy director of international affairs and business development for Gov. Jerry Brown and has worked as a USC adjunct professor for the past seven years. The center will focus on teaching new generations of attorneys how to navigate international trade and compliance policies, and will bring together trade and business law and policy to discover better ways for companies to conduct business across borders, said Peck.

Stocks Mixed Again

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 55 points in Wednesday trading to 18,868. The S&P 500 fell 3 points to 2,177. The Nasdaq rose 19 points to 5,295. The LABJ stock index rose one point to 228.

Boeing to Move 1,600 Jobs to L.A.

Boeing Co. plans to move 1,600 jobs from its Huntington Beach facility to locations in Los Angeles County over the next four years, the Los Angeles Times reports. The moves are part of Boeing’s larger efforts to consolidate its defense and space operations, and the positions will move to either the company’s El Segundo satellite design and manufacturing facility or its Long Beach plant, which provides commercial airplane support.

Le Eco Raises $600 Million

Chinese technology and entertainment group Le Eco has raised $600 million in fresh capital, Variety reports. The company, the principal financier of Gardena electric car maker Faraday Future, will direct half of the funding towards its electric car-making operations.

Goldman May Take Hit on American Apparel

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and three other investors could lose as much as $123 million after buying 94 percent of American Apparel Inc.’s debt when it filed for bankruptcy 13 months ago, Bloomberg reports. Goldman, Monarch Alternative Capital, Coliseum Capital Management, and Pentwater Capital Management hold $189.2 million of its senior debt, and so far American Apparel has only attracted a limited $66 million bid from Canadian T-shirt company Gildan Activewear Inc. after filing for bankruptcy protection earlier this week.

Viacom to Buy Argentina’s Television Federal for $345 Million

Viacom has made a deal to buy Argentina’s largest broadcast network, Television Federal, for $345 million, The New York Times reports. The acquisition will help the media giant reach 95 percent of Argentina’s households and become the first American firm to operate a free-to-air channel in Argentina in almost 50 years.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 52 points in early Wednesday trading to 18,871. The S&P 500 fell 5 points to 2,175. The Nasdaq fell 4 points to 5,272. The LABJ stock index stayed steady at 227.

Tuesday, November 15

Snap Inc. Files for IPO

Snap Inc., parent company and developer of messaging app Snapchat, has confidentially filed for an initial public offering of its stock with the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to multiple press reports. The Venice-based company would likely initiate its IPO in March, an offering which would value the company between $20 billion and $25 billion, according to sources cited by Reuters and The Wall Street Journal. It was also reported last month that startup is seeking to raise up to $4 billion from its offering. The firm was valued at $17.8 billion by private investors during a fundraising round in May.

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AMC Networks Acquires Minority Ownership Stake in Funny or Die

AMC Networks Inc. today announced it had acquired a minority ownership stake in the comedy website Funny or Die Inc., based in Hollywood. The undisclosed investment will allow Funny or Die and AMC – which owns and operates the comedy network IFC – to expand their collaborations so the companies can work together on larger business and creative initiatives that will leverage IFC’s strength in the linear space and Funny or Die’s digital and social presence.

Silicon Beach Report Nov. 15: Snap Inc. Files for IPO

Snap Inc. files for IPO, Aecom halts construction on Faraday Future’s factory, Spaceship Co. partners to develop supersonic aircraft, and more.

Port of Long Beach Cargo Figures Drop Amid Fallout from Hanjin Bankruptcy

October cargo container volumes fell 6 percent at the Port of Long Beach compared to the same month last year, as fallout from the bankruptcy filing of Hanjin Shipping Co. continued. A total of 581,808 twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) moved through docks last month, down 6.2 percent from October 2015 levels. Total imports dropped 3.7 percent from last October, to 296,711 TEUs. Export TEUs were down 1.2 percent from last October to 126,770 TEUs.

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Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 54 in Tuesday trading to 18,923. The S&P 500 rose 16 points to 2,180. The Nasdaq rose 57 points to 5,276. The LABJ stock index stayed steady at 227.

Estee Lauder to Buy Too Faced for $1.45 Billion

Estee Lauder Cosmetics has agreed to buy Los Angeles-based cosmetic company Too Faced for about $1.45 billion, Bloomberg reports. Too Faced will help Estee Lauder expand in e-commerce and specialty stores, and will be the biggest acquisition in the beauty brand’s history.

AEG Partners with Toshiba in Multimillion-Dollar L.A. Live Deal

Fans visiting L.A. Live will get to witness a new look at the downtown sports and entertainment center. Anschutz Entertainment Group and Toshiba announced a global multiyear deal on Tuesday that gives the downtown sports and entertainment presenter a chance to offer fans interactive installations and LED digital screens across venues in North America and Europe. Financial terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Wanda Group to Compete with Disney in China

Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group will be spending nearly $15 billion on a theme park and more than a dozen malls in China’s Hunan province that will compete with Walt Disney Co.’s new $5.5 billion theme park in Shanghai, the Los Angeles Times reports. The company will spend more than $7 billion on a Wanda City theme park and another $7 billion on 15 shopping plazas.

Porsche Opens $60 Million L.A. Experience Center

Porsche Motorsports North America has opened their 53-acre driving course in Carson, the Los Angeles Times reports. The $60 million “Experience Center” includes a 4.1-mile track that features water hazards and a slalom driving area, and the building includes a restaurant, car museum, conference center, and Porsche “laboratory.”

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 41 in early Tuesday trading to 18,828. The S&P 500 fell 6 points to 2,170. The Nasdaq rose 44 points to 5,263. The LABJ stock index stayed steady at 227.

Monday, November 14

Silicon Beach Report Nov. 14: Breitbart’s Former Exec Chairman Steven Bannon to Become White House Chief Strategist

Breitbart’s former Executive Chairman Steven Bannon to become White House chief strategist, Peter Csathy argues Disney should buy Netflix and hire Reed Hastings as its next CEO, and marketers grumble about Snapchat’s ad measurement features.

UPDATE: American Apparel Files for Protection, Warns of Further Layoffs

Less than a year after emerging from bankruptcy under new leadership, American Apparel has again filed for Chapter 11 protection, and this time the specter of large-scale layoffs is looming. The filing came just after midnight Eastern Standard Time Monday morning. American Apparel faced a $2 million payment due Tuesday to FTI Consulting Inc. that likely spurred the filing, according to several sources who asked not to be named because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly. The company had been exploring a sale to several branding firms in recent weeks, but couldn’t find a buyer.

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Port of L.A. Sees Busiest Cargo Month Ever in Western Hemisphere

The Port of Los Angeles had the busiest month ever at a Western Hemisphere container port in October, officials announced Monday. Cargo volumes at the port increased nearly 16 percent last month compared to the same period last year, officials said in a news release, citing data collected by the American Association of Port Authorities.

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Content Firm Draws Suitors

INTERNET: Zealot execs may move to acquire firm.

Two years after Maker Studios co-founder Danny Zappin was ousted as head of the online video firm, a group of former and current executives at his new venture, Zealot Networks, is trying to acquire the branded content company and replace him as chief executive. Zealot co-founder Robert Vanech, the firm’s former chairman and chief financial officer, said he had approached Zappin about the deal and was seeking the backing of private investors and a publicly traded media company to back the bid.

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Stocks Mixed Again

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 21 points in Monday trading to 18,869. The S&P 500 stayed steady at 2,164. The Nasdaq fell 19 points to 5,218. The LABJ stock index stayed steady at 227.

American Apparel Again Files for Bankruptcy Protection

Less than a year after emerging from bankruptcy under new leadership, American Apparel has again filed for Chapter 11 protection.

‘Strange’ and ‘Trolls’ Continue to Dominate BO

“Doctor Strange” retained the top spot at the box office for the second weekend in a row, adding $43 million in the U.S. and Canada to its gross of $153 million domestically and $493 million worldwide, the Los Angeles Times reports. DreamWorks Animation’s “Trolls” took in an additional $35.1 million, bringing its total gross to $94 million at the domestic box office since its opening last week.

Sumner Redstone’s Grandchildren Take the Reigns

Previously undisclosed conversations between media mogul Sumner Redstone’s 30-year-old grandson Tyler Korff and ousted Viacom Chief Executive Philippe Dauman set the stage for a peaceful transfer of power when the company’s board was overhauled in August, The Wall Street Journal reports. Other younger family members have also taken more prominent roles in the family business.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 42 in early Monday trading to 18,890. The S&P 500 rose 4 points to 2,167. The Nasdaq fell 3 points to 5,234. The LABJ stock index stayed steady at 226.

Friday, November 11

Silicon Beach Report Nov. 11: Zealot Networks Draws Suitors

Zealot Networks draws suitors, Nevada official concerned Faraday Future caught in Ponzi scheme, and Rubicon reports record video advertising surrounding election.

Santa Clarita and Pico Rivera Named Most Business-Friendly L.A. Cities

Santa Clarita and Pico Rivera have been named this year’s most business-friendly cities in Los Angeles County by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp at the 21st Annual LAEDC Eddy Awards on Thursday night. Santa Clarita stood out for its programs and incentives aimed at specific industries, workforce development with the College of the Canyons, having a Film Friendly ordinance, and its Economic Development Element. Pico Rivera’s business friendly efforts included a new economic development division and developing strategies to attract new businesses and keep existing businesses in the city. Both cities were finalists last year.

Panda Restaurant Group Brings Famed Ramen Shop to L.A.

The first branch of Japanese ramen restaurant Ippudo in Southern California is scheduled to open in Santa Monica next year. Panda Express owner Panda Restaurant Group, which generated $2.5 billion in sales last year, is working in partnership with Chikaranomoto Co., a Japanese company whose primary holding is Ippudo, and which had sales of over $103 million in 2013, to expand the brand.

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Regulations Still Hazy After Pot Legalization

While Proposition 64’s passage this week legalized adult-use recreational marijuana in California, business interests looking to cash in on cannabis still face a rocky regulatory landscape with piecemeal local laws and new uncertainties at the federal level. In addition to the statewide ballot measure, some Los Angeles County voters also pondered local marijuana-related initiatives. Long Beach implemented several taxes on marijuana businesses and repealed the city’s ban on pot shops. Carson voted to implement taxes on marijuana businesses should the city decide to allow them there. Avalon, meanwhile, rejected a measure that would have allowed two dispensaries to operate in the city and taxed them.

Clinton Defeat Enlivens Outlook on Inheritance Tax

Heading into the election, one of the top concerns for high-net-worth individuals was the prospect of an inheritance tax hike. With Hillary Clinton the overwhelming favorite to be elected president leading up to Nov. 8, the prevailing wisdom was that estate takings could rise as high as 65 percent under her administration based on promises made by the Democratic nominee during the campaign. That possible bump, up from a current 40 percent inheritance tax rate for top earners, was enough to make at least a few investors pony up for higher life-insurance policies that would guarantee the bulk of their estates went to their heirs.

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Movers for Week Ending Nov. 11, 2016

The week’s biggest gainer was Westwood-based Puma Biotechnologies Inc., which was up 46 percent to end at $50.40. Aerospace manufacturer Ducommun Inc in Carson was also up big, gaining 36 percent to close at $25.48. The week’s biggest laggard was Pasadena-based Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Inc., which lost 24 percent to close at $4.18.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 40 points in Friday trading to 18,848. The S&P 500 fell 3 points to 2,164. The Nasdaq rose 28 points to 5,237. The LABJ stock index rose 2 points to 226.

Stocks Fall Again

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 15 points in early Friday trading to 18,793. The S&P 500 fell 6 points to 2,161. The Nasdaq fell 16 points to 5,192. The LABJ stock index rose 1 point to 225.

Los Angeles Has Competition for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

The Los Angeles City Board of Supervisors voted Wednesday to support building Star Wars creator George Lucas’ futuristic-looking Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Exposition Park, The Mercury News reports. The Bay Area is also interested in the museum and San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors have already thrown their support behind building the five-story museum on Treasure Island.

Snapchat Debuts Video Camera Sunglasses

Hundreds of people lined up for hours on Thursday to buy a pair of Snapchat Spectacles out of a pop-up vending machine called Snapbot after their debut on Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reports. The $130 video camera sunglasses are the Venice company’s first attempt at wearable technology and include a camera that takes circular-cropped videos up to 30 seconds each that can be transferred wirelessly to the Snapchat smartphone app.

ESPN Cable Revenue Declines

Operating income for Walt Disney Co.’s cable networks segment, which includes ESPN, fell 13 percent to $1.45 billion, The Wall Street Journal reports. A 13 percent fall in ESPN ad revenue was driven by more money flowing to advertising during the Olympic Games on rival NBCUniversal, as well as a decrease in fantasy-sports advertising, and loss in cable and satellite-television subscribers.

Villaraigosa to Run for Governor

Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is running for governor in 2018 after taking a break from politics since leaving City Hall three years ago, the Daily Mail reports. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, state Treasurer John Chiang, and Delaine Eastin, former state schools’ chief, have also announced their intention to run.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 15 points in early Friday trading to 18,793. The S&P 500 fell 6 points to 2,161. The Nasdaq fell 16 points to 5,192. The LABJ stock index rose 1 point to 225.

Judge Green-Lights Suit Against Car-Pricing Site

AUTOMOTIVE: Dealership group contends TrueCar flouting industry rules.

Online car-pricing website TrueCar Inc. has hit a bump in the road that could force it to comply with many of the same rules as traditional car dealers.

Can Paper Bag Billionaire?

MEDIA: Tronc Investor Patrick Soon-Shiong May Be Best Positioned to Pick Up L.A. Times

Speculation has turned to the prospect of Patrick Soon-Shiong scooping up the L.A. Times.

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Retained Ban Proves Boon, Bane to Bag Makers

POLITICS: Future of two companies may hinge on use of recycled plastic.

When 52 percent of California voters last week upheld a ban on plastic bags at supermarkets, they created some business winners and losers in Los Angeles.

Deals of the Week: A look at the companies that signed on the dotted line last week

Soon-Shiong’s nantomics takes stake in genetic testing company genos

NantOmics, an individualized cancer treatment company that is a subsidiary of Patrick Soon-Shiong’s NantHealth, has invested $6 million in a new genetic sequencing startup, Genos.


Calendar of events


Upcoming Conventions

Looking Ahead

So what is there now, other than a deep sense of relief that the campaign season has come to an end?

Legal Weed Lights Fire Under Regulatory Drive

MARIJUANA: Businesses get to work on compliance system for city of L.A.

Legalization of pot has L.A. businesses abuzz over setting up a regulatory regime by 2018.

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Treat Maker Sinks Teeth Into Wholesale Business

FOOD: Pauline Marasek pursues solid returns for her brittle beyond retail.

Treat maker Pauline Marasek hopes to sweeten her pot by expanding from retailer to wholesale supplier.

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Middle East Feast

Plan Check Kitchen + Bar joins restaurants looking to give Dubai taste of Los Angeles.

Dubai has become a hot spot for restaurateurs to serve up L.A. concepts in the Middle East.

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Apartment Deal Linked to Chinese Food Chain

ACQUISITION: Cherngs of Panda Express could be behind Pasadena pickup.

A Pasadena multifamily property has traded into local hands for $154 million.

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Whole New Level For Car Garage

Helms Bakery owner looks to automated facility to lift shopping at retail complex.

Walter N. Marks hopes an automated parking garage stacks up at its Helms Bakery complex.

Ad Exec Scores Side Gig as Sports Mentor

Executives often take someone under their wing to mentor.

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

AUTOMOTIVE: Car expo to ride popularity of SUVs, attraction of new tech.

SUVs, plug-in hybrids, and the increasing convergence of technology and vehicles will dominate the 109th annual LA Auto Show this week at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Firm Makes Courting Diversity Full-Time Focus

LAW: Nixon Peabody among those making case for hiring more minorities.

Nixon Peabody has put a full-time staffer on the case of diversifying the firm.

Sales Levies to Move Up With Transit Measure

TAXES: Some cities face losing retail business as rates reach double digits.

Approval of transit-supporting Measure M will drive some cities’ sales levies into double digits.

Business Defeats Santa Monica Building Measure

DEVELOPMENT: City of L.A. voters pass initiative on subsidized housing.

Defeat of Santa Monica measure may offer blueprint for business groups going forward.

Thursday, November 10

Silicon Beach Report Nov. 10: Nasty Gal Files for Bankruptcy

Nasty Gal files for bankruptcy, Snapchat to launch roving vending machines for its Spectacles, and Greenfly raises $6.2 million.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 218 points in Thursday trading to 18,808. The S&P 500 rose 4 points to 2,167. The Nasdaq fell 42 points to 5,209. The LABJ stock index rose 2 point to 225.

Some Local Sales Taxes to Hit New Highs After Election

How high is too high? That’s the question that will be confronting retailers around Los Angeles County in the summer after voters on Tuesday approved Measure M, a half-cent sales tax increase for transportation projects. Combined with other sales tax hikes approved by voters in several cities this week and in recent elections, the measure will push the sales tax to 10.25 percent in July in seven cities: Compton, La Mirada, Long Beach, Lynwood, South Gate, Pico Rivera, and Santa Monica. The tax rate will be among the highest in the country, matching the rate in Chicago, according to figures from the Tax Foundation, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit.

Development by Ballot Box Reveals Pros and Pitfalls

Development by ballot box delivered mixed results for developers this week. Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, and Calabasas all had development-related measures on the ballot Tuesday: Developers prevailed in Santa Monica but lost in the other three cities. Santa Monica developers and their business allies successfully fought off an attempt to clamp down on building projects. Measure LV, which was defeated by a margin of 56-44, would have required all projects at least three stories tall to be put to voters. But in Los Angeles, developers and business groups were unable to stop a labor-backed measure requiring most major projects to set aside up to 20 percent of units as subsidized housing and to pay construction workers union-scale wages. Measure JJJ passed with 64 percent approval.

Trump’s Election Prompts Local Economic Forecasters to Boost Odds for Recession

Donald Trump’s election as president has caused local economic consulting firm Beacon Economics to revise its national forecast to include an increased probability of a national recession.

Nasty Gal Retailer Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Nasty Gal Inc., an online fashion retailer that recently launched a chain of brick-and-mortar stores in L.A., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Wednesday citing an effort to restructure its balance sheet and “position the company for the future.” Nasty Gal has been considering strategic partnerships with other brands and is currently looking to take on a new equity partner or sponsor. The company’s founder, Sophia Amoruso, has become a brand herself in recent years, writing two books, hosting a podcast, creating the #GIRLBOSS foundation and serving as executive producer on an upcoming Netflix series based on her life.

San Diego Voters Reject Chargers Referendum

San Diego voters rejected a referendum that would have raised hundreds of millions of tax dollars to replace the aging Qualcomm Stadium and build a new stadium downtown for the Chargers, The New York Times reports. The team now must decide whether to pay for the stadium itself, look for an alternative site in San Diego, or move to Los Angeles where it would move into the stadium being built by Rams owner Stan Kroenke.

Garcetti Says Trump Presidency Hurts L.A. Olympic Hopes

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said a Trump presidency was one of the main topics of conversation among the International Olympic Committee executives this summer, and his victory could hurt the campaign to bring the event to Los Angeles in 2024, Bloomberg reports. In a statement Wednesday, the L.A. 2024 committee congratulated Trump on his win, but executives have said earlier that they are worried that his comments denigrating minorities and women during the campaign could hurt the fight to bring the games to the United States.

Viacom Quarterly Profits Fall

Viacom Inc. reported a fiscal fourth-quarter profited that plummeted 71 percent compared with a year ago, the Los Angeles Times reports. Dragged down by poor performance at its Paramount Pictures unit, For revenue in the quarter ended Sept. 30 declined 15 percent from a year ago to $3.23 billion, and net income fell to $254 million, or 64 cents a share.

Nasty Gal to File for Bankruptcy

Online fashion retailer Nasty Gal is preparing to restructure and file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Fortune reports. Founder Sophia Amoruso will also reportedly be resigning as executive chairwoman, and Index Ventures partner Danny Rimer may step down from the board.

Wednesday, November 9

Santa Monica Turns Away from Anti-Growth LUVE Initiative

Developers seeking to build in Santa Monica can take a sigh of relief after voters on Tuesday rejected the anti-growth Land Use Voter Empowerment initiative, also known as LUVE.

Recreational Cannabis Legalization Has Investors Riding High

Californians gave a decisive tip of the cap to legal marijuana Tuesday, with the electorate voting 54 percent to 46 percent to approve the adult use recreational cannabis initiative Prop. 64.

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Beverly Hills Voters Reject Measure HH’s Tall Condo Tower

Voters struck a blow to hotelier Beny Alagem's proposal to build the tallest building in Beverly Hills.

Labor-Backed Housing Initiative Measure JJJ Passes

Voters in Los Angeles have approved a labor-backed initiative that creates affordable housing set-asides for major residential development projects that need zoning changes and require those projects to adhere to prevailing wage standards.

Ballot Measure to Fight Homelessness Passes in L.A.

Facing record numbers of homeless on city streets, voters in the city of Los Angeles approved a $1.2 billion bond measure to build thousands of housing units for the homeless.

Los Angeles County Voters Approve Measure M

Voters in Los Angeles County have approved a sales tax hike to raise tens of billions of dollars for an array of rail and road improvement projects, election results early Wednesday morning indicated.

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Tuesday, November 8

Activision Blizzard Plans E-Sports League with City-Based Teams

Snapchat launches rewind feature, Hyperloop One studying Dubai for possible first route, and Activision Blizzard plans e-sports league with city-based teams.

Santa Monica Lantana Complex Sold for $400 Million

In a sign of boom times for Santa Monica, the Lantana office campus sold on Monday for $400 million, or about $825 a square foot.

MWD OKs $44M for Recycled Water Projects

The Metropolitan Water District’s Board of Directors approved $44 million in financial incentives for four water recycling projects Tuesday that will treat and deliver nearly 5.3 billion gallons of water a year, officials announced.

Monday, November 7

Electric Car Company Faraday Future’s Parent Pulls Back

LeEco, the Chinese parent company of South Los Angeles-based electric car startup company Faraday Future, announced today that it would cut back on costs and slow its expansion, according to Bloomberg.

Silicon Beach Report Nov. 7: Soylent Believes Algae Ingredient Made Customers Sick

Soylent believes algae ingredient made customers sick, Google invested in Snapchat, and Faraday Future’s financier facing cash crunch.

Ares Management Beats 3Q Estimates

Century City’s Ares Management reported a third quarter profit of $43.3 million on Monday, or 43 cents a share, for the period ending Sept. 30.

Maersk Shipping Line to Monitor Emissions from Upgraded Vessels

Shipping company Maersk Line on Monday announced an agreement with the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to monitor emissions from 12 recently upgraded container vessels that use the ports.

Election Central: Results and In-Depth Coverage of the 2016 Campaign

Keep tabs on Los Angeles-area election results with the Los Angeles Business Journal's election homepage

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Friday, November 4

Silicon Beach Report Nov. 4: Snapchat Founders Add Share to Maintain Control After IPO

Snapchat founders add class of shares to maintain control after IPO, website optimizer Zarget raises $6 million, and Snapchat launches a ‘Snapshow’ with Jimmy Fallon.

Movers for Week Ending November 4, 2016

Carson-based manufacturer Ducommun Inc was the biggest mover this week, gaining 15.6 percent to close at $22.09. El Segundo retailer Big 5 Sporting Goods Corporation was also a big gainer, up 14.3 percent to $17.55. The week’s biggest loser was Santa Monica-based tech firm Cornerstone OnDemand Inc., which was down 23.9 percent to $31.55.

Lionsgate Revenue Grows 34 Percent

Lionsgate reported a 34 percent increase in revenue from last year in its third quarter earnings report on Wednesday, likely the last before the consummation of its merger with Starz.

Fastest Growing Private Companies #7 LA Solar Group

Fastest Growing Private Companies #7 LA Solar Group

Hotel Project Would Dig Deep for Beverly Hills

DEVELOPMENT: China’s Dalian Wanda OK with additional taxes, fees.

Chinese developer Dalian Wanda Group is poised to pay megabucks to the city of Beverly Hills in an unprecedented development deal for the construction of its elite condo-hotel project, One Beverly Hills.

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Dodgers’ Accelerator Goes to Bat for Growth-Stage Companies

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

While the Los Angeles Dodgers’ baseball season ended last month, the second season of the club’s three-month accelerator program is nearing its grand finale.

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Retailers Sold On Boulevard?

REAL ESTATE: Coffee store may stoke heat for Robertson.

Landlords are hoping tenants will buy in to a retail revival on Robertson Boulevard.

Fastest Growing Private Companies #2 Mobile Majority

Fastest Growing Private Companies #2 Mobile Majority

Fund Roots for Plant-Based Foods

Powerplant Ventures’ fund looks to plow money into plant-based food.

Game Company Aims to Assist Vets Score Jobs

Activision Blizzard gets to work with nonprofits on hiring opportunities.

“Call of Duty” publisher Activision Blizzard looks to fire up job opportunities for military veterans.

SPECIAL REPORT: Contractors at Home With Energy

NuQuest Industries has built a booming business out of home-energy upgrades.

Public TV Station Signals Changes With New Moves

PBS SoCal settles on home in West Los Angeles in bid to tune in bigger audience.

PBS SoCal moves its broadcast hub to West Los Angeles to get better reception from viewers.

Who’s Next Adviser Checks In

Four years ago, the front men from legendary rock band the Who were struggling to build out their U.S. charitable organization, Teen Cancer America.

Bigger Picture

FOTV hopes to tap crowdfunding to bolster media-streaming service, list with Nasdaq.

FOTV’s wealthy owner turns to crowdfunding to channel money into his media-streaming service.

Former Content Producer to Let Go of Handle

INTERNET: Demand takes Leaf Group as new name as part of retooling effort.

Demand Media is turning over a new leaf.

SPECIAL REPORT: Vertical Integration Powers Up Solar Development Firm

Coronal’s solar panels have proved to be hot sellers.

Main Museum Ready to Hang With Art Lovers

NONPROFIT: Institution’s ‘beta phase’ offers visitors early look at development.

The Main Museum of Los Angeles Art is offering visitors a sneak peek at the $50 million work-in-progress after launching in a “beta stage” last month.

Deals of the Week: A look at the companies that signed on the dotted line last week

Singapore investor assumes major role in struggling studio

Don’t count Ryan Kavanaugh out just yet.


Calendar of events


Upcoming conventions

On the Rise

What does it take to grow rapidly?

Fastest Growing Private Companies #7 Battery

Fastest Growing Private Companies #7 Battery

SPECIAL REPORT: Out of the Box

Berkley boxed up the No. 1 spot with a speedy ramp-up of its packaging design and retail display business.

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Fastest Growing Private Companies #7 Render Media Inc.

Fastest Growing Private Companies #7 Render Media Inc.

Fastest Growing Private Companies #6 Blazed Fast-Fire'd Pizza

Fastest Growing Private Companies #6 Blazed Fast-Fire'd Pizza

Payment Processor Puts Money on Compliance

MARIJUANA: PayQwick rolls up lenders willing to work with pot businesses.

PayQwick is banking on its compliance service to score pot-friendly lenders for customers.

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Stars’ Media Sites Draw Major Players Into Orbit

INTERNET: Acquisition of celebrity-guided ventures can bring niche audiences.

Mainstream media companies hope to tap star power by picking up celebrity-run websites.

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Fastest Growing Private Companies #5 Beyond Vape

Fastest Growing Private Companies #5 Beyond Vape

Cap-Trade’s Future Looks Cloudy

POLLUTION: Participating firms fear losing credits worth millions of dollars.

Scrapping the Reclaim cap-and-trade program may strip businesses of millions of dollars in air credits.

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Fastest Growing Private Companies #4 Loot Crate

Fastest Growing Private Companies #4 Loot Crate

Thursday, November 3

Port of Long Beach to Use Cargo Ship to Clear Hanjin Containers

The Port of Long Beach is bringing in an unused container ship to help clear a backlog of empty cargo containers left behind by Hanjin Shipping Co.’s bankruptcy.

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Houlihan Announces Strong Second Quarter Earnings

Century City investment bank Houlihan Lokey Inc’s second quarter earnings report showed revenues were up 18 percent over the same period last year with the company bringing in $187 million in the second quarter.

Silicon Beach Report Nov. 3: Online Discount Store Hollar Raises $30 Million

Pathmatics’ technology leveraged to help Neilsen rating, Rubicon lowers revenue expectations and will lay off 125 workers, and Replicated raises $5 million.

New Queen Mary Lease to Speed Repairs

In a deal that will speed up repairs to the aging Queen Mary and spur development on the surrounding 43 acres, the Long Beach City Council on Tuesday approved a new lease with real estate investment firm Urban Commons.

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Wednesday, November 2

Silicon Beach Report Nov. 2: Rubicon Lowers Revenue Expectations and Will Lay Off 125 Workers

Pathmatics’ technology leveraged to help Neilsen rating, Rubicon lowers revenue expectations and will lay off 125 workers, and Replicated raises $5 million.

Rubicon Lowers Revenue Expectations and Will Lay Off 125 Workers

After lowering its guidance for the year, digital advertising marketplace Rubicon Project of Playa Vista announced that it would lay off 125 workers, or 19 percent of its workforce.

Herbalife CEO Michael Johnson to Step Down After 13 Years

Herbalife Ltd. Chief Executive Michael Johnson will step down next May, and be replaced by Chief Operating Officer Richard Goudis.

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Justice Department Sues AT&T, DirecTV for Collusion in Dodgers Negotiations

Angelenos aren’t the only ones upset that they were blocked from watching Dodger baseball for the last three seasons. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed an antitrust suit in federal court on Wednesday against DirecTV Group Holdings LLC and AT&T Inc., alleging that the companies illegally shared information with competitors during negotiations to carry SportsNet LA, the exclusive Dodgers broadcast launched by the team and Time Warner Cable in 2014.

Tuesday, November 1

L.A. City Council Signs Off on Frank Gehry Project

A Frank Gehry-designed project headed for Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood won Los Angeles City Council approval on Tuesday after a two-year planning process that dramatically reduced its scale.

Silicon Beach Report Nov. 1: Snapchat Ramping Up Hiring Ahead of IPO

Snapchat ramping up hiring ahead of IPO, Woven Digital names new chief executive, and Hulu to add live TV streaming service.