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Marni Usheroff

Stories by Marni

PE Roundup: Private Equity Deals Announced This Week

Century City private equity firm OpenGate Capital announced Tuesday it has completed the acquisition of French distributor of building materials Bois & Materiaux from Zug, Switzerland-based plumbing and heating products distributor Wolseley. Terms were not disclosed, but OpenGate has said it will invest $28 million into the business in addition to the purchase price.

1st Century Bank Being Bought

Century City’s 1st Century Bank, announced late Thursday it will be bought by privately held Midland Financial Co. of Oklahoma City.

Fund Has Rooting Interest In Agricultural Technology

INVESTMENT: Pontifax fund looks to reap returns from growing industry.

Pontifax fund co-founders see agricultural tech as a ripe field to produce healthy returns.

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Bottling Up Funds

ALCOHOL: Fireman’s Brew hopes to tap growing enthusiasm for craft brews.

Fireman’s Brew hopes the craft beer craze spills over into more investor dollars.

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Health Firm Scores With Dating App

Flap over STD ads prompts Tinder to tap Healthvana services.

Healthvana helps users of dating site Tinder hook up with STD tests.

PE Roundup: Private Equity Deals Announced This Week

Mid-city lender and private equity firm Hankey Capital announced Monday that it joined Edison, N.J. nonprofit Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation and Lewisville, Texas medical device company OrthoFix Holdings Inc. in financing a $5.75 million funding round for Boston regenerative medicine firm Bone Biologics. Further details were not disclosed.

Survey Reports Big Concerns for Small Business

ECONOMY: Owners dislike national outlook but voice confidence in own firms.

With global markets in disarray, election year uncertainty and central banks entertaining negative interest rates, the only people feeling certain about the national economy likely don’t read the news.

PE Roundup: Private Equity Deals Announced This Week

West L.A. private equity firm Vance Street Capital announced Thursday that it has acquired A&E Medical Corp., a Farmingdale, N.J. medical device designer and contract manufacturer. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Recast as Rentals

Modernica’s co-founders say state tax credits for film, TV projects spurred new business.

Rentals for TV and film productions are playing a bigger role in Modernica’s furniture business.

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Bruin Strikes Deal with Branson Company

Westwood medical device developer Bruin Biometrics announced Thursday that its lead product, a handheld scanner that detects pressure ulcers, will be used by U.K. medical provider Virgin Care, owned by Richard Branson’s Virgin Group.

SPECIAL REPORT: Plugging Into Tech

Though Jae Whan Yoo lived in South Korea for the majority of his life, his first bank job came from an American lender and would lay the groundwork for a career that’s seen him crisscrossing the Pacific.


Bank executives give their accounts on how to serve an ethnic niche clientele and grow business.

SPECIAL REPORT: Unlocking Homes

Pursuing computer programming in addition to business studies allowed Noor Menai to get his finance career started at some of the biggest banks in the world.


Kevin Kim started his career as an accountant for “big eight” accounting firms, but he wanted something less predictable.

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SPECIAL REPORT: Dealing With Data

Though he’s a physicist by training, banking caught Dunson Cheng’s eye when he saw the impact it could have on Chinese emigrants in Los Angeles.

SPECIAL REPORT: Broad Perspective

South Korean-born Chong Guk Kum has been a banker for four decades, but he’d never worked for a Korean-American bank until he joined Hanmi Bank three years ago.


Li Yu has a background in accounting and finance, but he got into banking by chance.

PE Roundup: Private Equity Deals Announced This Week

Cheviot Hills health care-focused private equity firm Varsity Healthcare Partners announced Thursday it has sold its majority interest in Manitowoc, Wisc.-based Forefront Dermatology, a network of dermatology practices, to OMERS Private Equity, the Toronto investment arm of a Canadian pension plan. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Lender Puts Its Money on Olympic Games in L.A.

SPORTS: Bid committee pursues event with backing from Banc of California.

While some Angelenos might be banking on Los Angeles being chosen to host the 2024 Summer Olympic Games, Banc of California will be banking the actual effort.

PE Roundup: Private Equity Deals Announced This Week

Brentwood private equity firm Angeles Equity Partners announced Wednesday that its affiliate has acquired U.G.N. Inc., an automotive noise damping products maker headquartered in Chicago Heights, Ill. The business will now operate under the name Applied Acoustics International. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Fresh Money In Old Shows

TV: Revenue from streaming alters big picture for some.

Streaming services can prove a lucrative new financial channel for old programs.

PE Roundup: Private Equity Deals Announced This Week

West L.A. private equity firm Brentwood Associates announced Thursday that its portfolio company, Monterey-based maker of pre-Kindergarten and grade school educational products Excelligence Learning Corp., has acquired Really Good Stuff Inc. of Monroe, Conn., a marketer of primarily grade school classroom tools. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Game Maker’s House Home To Big Score

Creator of ‘Minecraft’ to donate $400,000 in furniture to charities.

Video-game maker Markus Persson has homed in on nonprofits in giving away more than $400,000 in furniture from his new mansion.

Investors Take Shine to Silver, Gold Wholesaler

METALS: A-Mark has seen shares soar despite overall turmoil in stock markets.

A-Mark’s stock has soared as the gold and silver wholesaler has raised the bars with investors.

New Fund to Put Its Dollars on Foreign Currencies

INVESTMENT: DoubleLine to pursue debt issued by governments across globe.

Downtown L.A. investment manager DoubleLine Capital has been getting attention for all the investor cash its funds have been garnering – its open-end mutual funds posted net inflows of $1.03 billion last month, marking 23 straight months of inflows.

PE Roundup: Private Equity Deals Announced This Week

Century City private equity firm OpenGate Capital announced Tuesday it has acquired power transformer manufacturer Power Partners Inc. of Athens, Ga. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Foreign Affairs

Tennenbaum Capital Partners steps into Germany, Canada to pluck fruitful exits.

Tennenbaum Capital Partners sidestepped turmoil in U.S. markets with lucrative foreign investments.

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Formerly Struggling Bank Now Touted as Asset

LENDING: Pan American of East L.A. picked up by Oakland’s Beneficial State.

Once-struggling Pan American Bank now finds itself in Beneficial State after acquisition.

PE Roundup: Private Equity Deals Announced This Week

Real estate private equity firm Ethika Investments announced Friday the acquisition of Vail Cascade Resort and Spa in Colorado. The Century City firm added it will allocate additional capital as part of an expansive $35 million property renovation that will begin in the second quarter of 2016. No other financial terms were disclosed.

Air Goes Out of Inhalable Insulin on Wall Street

BIOTECH: MannKind’s shares plunge 51 percent as drug licensee ditches deal.

The loss of its inhalable-insulin marketing deal leaves MannKind with little breathing room to recover.

SPECIAL REPORT: Biggest Deals of the Year

Los Angeles saw $439 billion in M&A activity in 2015 – the most in 8 years. ‘It’s a go-go market,’ expert says.

Local businesses joined in a record year of U.S. dealmaking, including the $6.8 billion purchase of Health Net by Centene.

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Private Equity Deals Announced This Week

Kayne Partners, a growth private equity division of Century City’s Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, announced Thursday it has invested $17.5 million in Carlsbad’s Source Intelligence, maker of a platform to support supply chain compliance. Levine Leichtman Capital Partners of Beverly Hills announced Thursday it had completed the sale of London private education provider Mander Portman Woodward Limited to Kaplan International, a division of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-based education and career services company Kaplan Inc., which is owned by Graham Holdings Co. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Local Banks Vault to Top on Forbes List

Forbes came out with its 2016 list of America’s Best Banks on Thursday, and local banks fared well.

Hospital Checkup

New chief exec gives his prognosis for making Daughters of Charity still work as nonprofit.

New chief exec discusses nursing the former Daughters of Charity hospitals back to health.

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Story of Boy Meeting Girl A Real Treat

Romantic relationship results in business of frozen-pudding cups.

Jason Kessler and Hannah Canvasser’s picnic date led to the hot idea of launching a frozen-pudding business.

Wealthy Investors Looked High, Low Before Hike

LENDING: Jets, farm land among properties targeted in anticipation of rate spike.

Everyone’s been buzzing about the minor interest rate hike last week, but how did the previous low-rate world affect investments this past year?

Brain Firm Gets Head Start With Chinese Money

BIOTECH: Neural Analytics also sees investors helping open that country’s market.

Neural Analytics has foreign money on the brain after a $15 million investment from two Chinese backers.

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PE Roundup: Private Equity Deals Announced This Week

Levine Leichtman Capital Partners of Beverly Hills announced Monday that one of its portfolio companies, luxury linens maker SFERRA Fine Linens of Edison, N.J., had completed the acquisition of Kaufman Holdings of Freeport, Maine.

Two L.A. Banks to Merge

Little Tokyo’s Pacific Commerce Bank and ProAmérica Bank in downtown Los Angeles announced Thursday that they have agreed to merge. Pacific Commerce will be the surviving bank.

Hanmi Drops Bid for BBCN

Hanmi Bank parent Hanmi Financial Corp. announced Thursday it has dropped its bid to merge with fellow Korean-American bank BBCN Bancorp Inc., apparently ending a tug-of-war for dominance of the Koreatown banking market.

SPECIAL REPORT: Lender OK Taking Less

FINANCIAL: Credit union rules allow Nix to provide cheaper ‘payday’ loans.

Kinecta Federal Credit Union’s Nix Neighborhood Lending banks on different payday-style products.


Already squeezed by compliance rules and online rivals, payday lenders fear next year’s federal regulations could sink industry.

Some payday lenders fear upcoming federal regulations will place more checks on their ability to operate.

‘Big’ Deal for Banks

LENDING: After buyout, L.A. gets new No. 1 bank, ousting City National.

CIT now claims the title of L.A.’s biggest bank but analysts are still sizing up what the new entity’s impact will be.

PE Roundup: Private Equity Deals Announced This Week

Beverly Hills-based Levine Leichtman Capital Partners announced Tuesday that one of its portfolio companies, aircraft ground support equipment maker Tronair, Inc. of Holland, Ohio, bought Eagle Industrial Truck Manufacturing of Taylor, Mich., a provider of aviation tow tractors.

Medbox Founder Sells Shares and Cuts Ties

Medbox Inc. founder Vincent Mehdizadeh is done with his old company.

Deal Approved for Daughters of Charity hospitals

California Attorney General Kamala Harris late Thursday granted conditional approval of Daughters of Charity Health System’s deal to transfer control of its six ailing hospitals, including two in Los Angeles County, to New York private investment firm BlueMountain Capital Management, along with a long list of conditions.

Actress Stages Kitchen Revival

Sarah Michelle Gellar aims to light fire under parents, children with cooking kits.

“Vampire Slayer” Sarah Michelle Gellar has staked out the kitchen as a place to bring families together.

Veteran Auto Exec Picks Up Stock at Pricing Site

INTERNET: TrueCar taps Chip Perry as CEO as firm breaks with Scott Painter.

Naming a new CEO revs up shares of vehicle-pricing site TrueCar.

Five Charged in Medical Fraud Scheme

Five people, including a former Long Beach hospital executive, have been charged by the Justice Department in related, long-running alleged kickback schemes involving almost $600 million in fraudulent billings by L.A. County hospitals.

Web Business In Sticky Spot

INTERNET: Pay practice raises investors’ ire at United Online.

Execs and board members could pay for United Online’s compensation practices as shareholders revolt.