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News of the Week

FTC SETTLEMENT: Skechers USA Inc. has agreed to pay about $45 million to settle charges by the Federal Trade Commission and state regulators that the Manhattan Beach shoe company made overhyped advertising claims that its Shape-ups shoes would help people lose weight and tone muscles faster. The settlement with the FTC and states bars Skechers from misrepresenting any tests, studies or research on its curved-sole shoes in the future. The company disputes the charges, but said it settled in order to avoid protracted legal proceedings.

IPO FILING: LegalZoom.com Inc., which provides online legal services, filed with regulators to raise up to $120 million in an initial public offering. The Glendale company, which provides legal documents such as living wills and real estate leases to consumers and small businesses, plans to use net proceeds from the IPO to scale up operations, technology and infrastructure. The company was co-founded 10 years ago by O.J. Simpson defense attorney Robert Shapiro. It intends to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “LGZ.”

IPO PLANNED: Kythera Biopharmaceutical Inc., which is developing prescription beauty treatments, has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to raise up to $86 million in an initial public offering. The Calabasas biotech, which was founded in 2005, said it plans to use IPO proceeds to finance late-stage clinical trials for its lead drug candidate, an injectable treatment to reduce chin fat. Kythera last year raised $37.4 million in a Series D funding round, which brought the total raised to date to $108 million. Kythera plans to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol “KYTH.”

PUBLIC OFFERING: Western Asset Mortgage Capital Corp. has raised $160 million from an initial public offering of 8 million shares priced at $20. Shares of the Pasadena real estate investment trust opened at $18.70 on May 17 and closed down 17 cents to $18.55 on the New York Stock Exchange. Western Asset buys residential mortgage-backed securities. The stock trades under the ticker symbol “WMC.”

LOGISTICS BUY: Platinum Equity LLC has agreed to acquire a 65 percent stake in Caterpillar Logistics Services LLC, the third-party logistics division of Caterpillar Inc., for about $750 million. The division helps clients cut their distribution costs. Peoria, Ill.- based Caterpillar, the world’s largest maker of construction and mining equipment, will retain a 35 percent interest in the business. Platinum Equity is a Beverly Hills private-equity firm controlled by billionaire Tom Gores.

PORT TRAFFIC: The Port of Los Angeles had the busiest April in its history, with nearly 15 percent more goods passing through than the same month the prior year. Imports were up 17 percent from the same period a year earlier and exports rose 12 percent. Conversely, the Port of Long Beach continued to see the impact of California United Terminals’ move to the L.A. port in late 2010. Imports were down 9.7 percent and exports down 10 percent. Overall container traffic was down 9.7 percent compared with the year before.

BANK ORDINANCE: The Los Angeles City Council passed an ordinance requiring banks that do business in the city to disclose their lending practices to communities within the city. Banks receiving city contracts must disclose data on the loans they make and other services they provide to communities with few financial institutions. Large banks opposed this, saying it would be too costly to break out specific information on L.A. neighborhoods from the lending data they submit to federal and state agencies. The unanimous vote represents a victory for unions and other organizations that have been pushing for banking ordinances.

MULTIFAMILY BUY: Kennedy Wilson Holdings Inc. and partners acquired an apartment community in the central business district of Sacramento in a $64 million deal. The community, Capitol Towers, covers a four-block area with 203 units in one 15-story tower and 206 villa units surrounding the tower. The Beverly Hills real estate investment and services company said it will invest 50 percent of the equity in the deal, which includes financing from HFF/Freddie Mac. The partners were not named.

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