Downtown-based CBRE Group Inc. has agreed to acquire project management, design and engineering company Heery International Inc. in Atlanta for $57 million. Heery is a unit of London-based infrastructure firm Balfour Beatty and provides project management, design and commissioning services across the U.S., with a wide range of corporate, government, health care, sports, aviation and education clients, according to CBRE, the largest commercial real estate brokerage in Los Angeles County. CBRE executives said acquiring Heery would allow their firm to deepen its relationships in the public and educational sectors, grow its position in aviation and sports and add expertise in design and engineering services. The transaction is expected to close during the fourth quarter, subject to customary closing conditions.

– Neil Nisperos


Ritter Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Century City biotech company that develops therapies for gastrointestinal diseases, has raised $23 million to fund a Phase 3 clinical trial for its lactose intolerance treatment, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing last week.

The offering will fund the launch of its clinical program for RP-G28, a microbiome modulator designed to stimulate the growth of lactose-metabolizing bacteria in the colon, according to the document. If Ritter can adapt the gut microbiome to help digest the lactose that reaches the large intestine, it would become the first treatment approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for lactose intolerance, a condition that affects millions worldwide.

The company, valued at $5.5 million, saw its stock close at 37 cents Oct. 4, up 31.6 percent from a week earlier.

– Dana Bartholomew


Larta Institute, a downtown Los Angeles accelerator for small businesses in the health care, agriculture and energy sectors, announced last week that its Larta Inc. subsidiary had been granted an exclusive Department of Energy contract to aid small businesses across the country. The DOE selected Larta to manage its Commercialization Assistance Program, or CAP, for the year that began last month. The value of the contract to Larta was not disclosed. Larta Inc. will handle management of the program for Small Business Innovation Research, or SBIR, awardees under CAP. Larta brings together entrepreneur advisers to help small businesses, helping with a range of issues, from marketing plans to partnership prospects.

– Shwanika Narayan


Peter Chernin is sinking his teeth into sports gambling and fantasy sports. His Santa Monica holding company, Chernin Group, has announced the acquisition of three companies that were merged to form what it is calling the Action Network. The acquisitions, terms of which were not disclosed, include FantasyLabs, a provider of data and tools to test daily fantasy sports theories to help build team lineups; Sports Insights, a betting enterprise that tracks real-time scores and gives betting line analysis; and SportsAction, an app featuring live scores, betting odds and gambling advice. Chernin is billing Action Network as a data analytics company that will sell premium analysis in the gambling and fantasy sports markets.

– Josh Niv

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