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Mediha DiMartino

Stories by Mediha

Covid, Airline Challenges Drive Up Demand for Business Jet Flights in LA

Local demand for business jet flights spiked during the last two months of 2021, a likely result of an increase in infections from omicron variant and the onslaught of delays and cancellations of commercial flights across the nation.

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Virtual Brand Group Demystifies Metaverse

Virtual Brand Group acquires the rights to represent brands in the metaverse and creates for them ongoing opportunities to engage with consumers.

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Autonomy Turns to Tesla to Launch Subscription Service

Scott Painter’s betting on Tesla. His Santa Monica-based company — NextCar Holding Co. Inc., doing business as Autonomy — which specializes in offering short-term vehicle subscriptions, will focus on providing the popular Model 3 to consumers in the Los Angeles area.

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Parallel Systems Raises $50 Million in Series A

Parallel Systems, an electric rail vehicle maker founded by three SpaceX veterans, picked up nearly $50 million in Series A funding last week.

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Forever 21 Names Winnie Park Chief Executive

F21 OpCo., which does business as Forever 21, replaced Daniel Kulle with Winnie Park as retailer’s chief executive.

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Ports Move Record Amounts of Cargo in 2021

Cargo volume that passed through the San Pedro Bay last year broke previous annual records by double digits.

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Boosted Acquires Hair Care Brand FoxyBae.com

Boosted Commerce Inc. in Beverly Hills acquired FoxyBae.com last week for $35 million.

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Beauty Health Names Andrew Stanleick CEO

Stanleick replaces Clint Carnell, who left the company on Dec. 31.

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Forme Advances Athletic Wear as Medical Device

Sports bras and T-shirts designed by Stephen Liu will set you back about $159 a piece, topping the prices commanded by Lululemon and other high-end activewear brands.

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New and Converted Warehouses Across LA Provide Business Owners With More Options

In the last five years, more than 185 new warehouses sprung up in Los Angeles County, providing some 14.8 million square feet of additional space to the local logistic chain, according to data aggregated by Reonomy, a New York City-based analytics company specializing in commercial real estate.

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Beyond Meat Plans R&D Center in Shanghai

El Segundo-based Beyond Meat Inc.’s version of plant-based fried chicken will be available this week at more than 4,000 KFC restaurants nationwide.

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Honda Sales Steady Despite Supply Chain Challenges

Torrance-based American Honda Motor Co. Inc. sold nearly 1.5 million vehicles last year despite a global semiconductor chip shortage and other supply chain issues.

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Kitchen United Tests Grocery Location With Plans to Expand

Kitchen United Inc.’s cooking sites are usually tucked away from the public eye with the pickup window serving as the sole point of contact with customers and delivery drivers.

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Skechers Brings Philippines Operations In-House

Skechers USA Inc. said it took back its operations in the Philippines from a third-party distributor, Trendworks International Corp., and assigned it to a newly formed subsidiary, Skechers USA Philippines Inc.

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VinFast Unveils New Line of EVs

Playa Vista-based VinFast used the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas as a backdrop to introduce three new vehicles and rename its first two models from VF e35 and VF e36 to VF8 and VF9 respectively.

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Port of Long Beach Outlines Spending Plan for $52M Federal Grant

About 20% of grant funding doled out by the U.S. Department of Transportation last month will go to the Port of Long Beach.

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Curling Center Reflects Vernon’s Push to Grow Beyond Industrial Reputation

Peter Dohm’s list of top places to build an ice curling facility in 2019 did not include Vernon.

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LASEC’s CEO Works to Bring Every Major Sporting Event to LA in the Next Decade

The Lists 2022

Learn about what Kathryn Schloessman and the team at the Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Commission are doing to bring more events to Los Angeles.

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Supply Chain Issues Will Continue Through First Half of 2022

Dray Alliance Inc. last week announced it picked up $40 million in Series B funding, bringing its total raised to $55 million.

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Local Companies Diversify Boards Ahead of Deadline

While state laws requiring public corporations to add underrepresented people to their boards continue to be challenged in courts, many local firms have already adopted the bills’ provisions ahead of the Dec. 31 deadline.

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Forever 21, JCPenney Team Up for Post-Bankruptcy Campaign

In addition to some 540 of its own brick-and-mortar shops, F21 OpCo., which does business as Forever 21, has started selling apparel and accessories at Penney OpCo.’s (doing business as JCPenney) 100 department stores.

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EVe Mobility Launches With $250 Million IPO

Scott Painter, a prolific entrepreneur whose portfolio of current and past ventures include Santa Monica-based NextCar Holding Co. Inc., Fair Financial Corp. and TrueCar Inc., and El Segundo-based CarsDirect.com, is at it again.

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Retailer narrows revenue guidance going into 2022

The shares of Torrid Holdings Inc. have dipped 30% since Dec. 8 and stabilized at around $11 last week after the plus-size women’s apparel brand posted mixed financial results for the third quarter.

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Flavor-Maker T. Hasegawa Moves Manufacturing to Rancho Cucamonga

T. Hasegawa USA Inc., the maker of sweet and savory flavors for food and drinks, has outgrown its manufacturing facility in Corona and is moving operations some 20 miles north.

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San Pedro Bay Ports on Track for Record Year

Both the ports of L.A. and Long Beach continue to set records despite a dip in imports in November compared to November 2020.

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SEA Electric JV to Replace School Bus Engines With Electric Power Systems

SEA Electric Holdings in Torrance announced it’s working with an Illinois-based bus and van dealer on modernizing approximately 10,000 used school buses by replacing their diesel engines with its proprietary battery electric power system.

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ExxonMobil Division Acquires Pasadena-Based Resin Manufacturer Materia

A division of ExxonMobil Corp. has picked up Pasadena-based Materia Inc. on undisclosed terms.

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How A-Sha Foods Went From Side Hustle to Walmart

A-Sha Foods USA Co. Inc. started out as Young Chang’s side hustle — his brother-in-law, Henry Liao, bought a Taiwan-based ramen noodle company in 2011 and was looking for a partner to expand the business to the United States.

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Luxury Shoemaker Keeps Manufacturing Operations Local to Stay a Step Ahead

On a recent Tuesday, Sofi Newmyer stopped by Lalaland Production and Design Inc.’s factory in downtown and watched her new line of ankle boots get glued, stitched and boxed, just in time for the holiday shopping season.

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Santa Monica-based NextCar Plans to Rebrand as Autonomy

NextCar Holding Co. Inc. is going to market as Autonomy.

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FDH Aero Acquires Unical Defense to Expand Supplier Partnership Strategy

El Segundo-based Fastener Distribution Holdings, doing business as FDH Aero, acquired Unical Defense Inc. in the City of Industry on undisclosed terms.

Rocket Lab Unveils Neutron Reusable Rocket

Rocket Lab USA Inc. founder and Chief Executive Peter Beck last week provided a sneak peek at the Long Beach-based company’s newest rocket, Neutron.

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CMA CGM Group Makes Moves to Reduce Shipping Container Buildup in LA and Long Beach

CMA CGM Group, in a bid to help ease congestion at the local ports, is giving out monetary rewards to importers that pick up their containers within eight days of unloading.

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Tapatio Pandemic Losses Offset by Strong Retail Sales

Luis Saavedra grew up in 1970s helping his father make hot sauce out of Tapatio Foods’ 700-square-foot shop in Maywood, all the while dreaming of one day becoming a doctor.

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Toymaker Bandai America Plans Return to Orange County in 2022

El Segundo-based Bandai America Inc. is moving back to Orange County come April.

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Local EV-Makers Unveil New Designs at LA Auto Show

Led by Fisker Inc., local automakers have a strong presence at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show.

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Scrubs-Maker Figs Reports 34% Year-Over-Year Revenue Increase

Scrubs-maker Figs Inc. raised its 2021 full-year revenue outlook to $410 million from $395 million, citing strong third-quarter results and ongoing business momentum.

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Skims, Fendi Partner on Rodeo Drive Pop-Up Boutique

Ecommerce brand Skims Body Inc. has set up a temporary pop-up boutique on Rodeo Drive in partnership with Fendi, an Italian luxury fashion house.

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EV-Maker VinFast Moves to Playa Vista, Plans US Expansion

Last week was a busy one for VinFast. The EV-maker, a subsidiary of Vietnam-based VinFast Trading and Service Co., moved into a 15,000-square-foot space in Playa Vista to set up its U.S. headquarters.

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Ports of LA and Long Beach Take New Steps to Reduce Congestion Amid Record Amounts of Cargo

Several measures recently implemented to ease congestion at the San Pedro Bay port complex, coupled with the winding down of the busy holiday season for the shipping industry, appear to be paying off.

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Kellogg Garden Products Focuses Growth Plan on Organic Soil

Kathy Kellogg Johnson has put aside most of her Fridays to write a book about Kellogg’s Supply Inc., doing business as Kellogg Garden Products, a Carson-based garden soil company her grandfather started nearly 100 years ago.

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Bonduelle’s US Expansion to Focus on Providing Healthy, Convenient Foods

Bonduelle plans to expand the Irwindale-based company’s product categories.

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Sweetgreen IPO Shows Company on Track to Double in Size Within 5 Years

Sweetgreen Inc.’s initial public offering may value the company at about $2.7 billion should the price per share target of $23 to $25 hold.

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EVgo Doubles Market Value to $4.7B, Partners With GM and Uber

EVgo Inc.’s market value doubled to about $4.7 billion with EV charging station network’s quarterly results along with news of expanded collaborations.

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EV Startup Biliti Electric to Receive $400 Million in Funding

EV startup Biliti Electric Inc. is on track to receive $400 million in funding from the Global Emerging Markets Group.

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Skechers Reports Record-Breaking Sales, $1.6B Revenue in Third Quarter

Skechers USA Inc.’s third-quarter sales — although record-breaking — might have been even better if some of its merchandise wasn’t stuck on container ships.

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Alliance Environmental Group to Reorganize Its Indoor Air Services

Alliance Environmental Group in Azusa is reshaping its portfolio of services.

FAT Brands Acquires Fazoli’s System Management in $130M Deal

FAT Brands Inc.’s got another one — the Beverly Hills-based company picked up Fazoli’s System Management in Kentucky for $130 million from Sentinel Capital Partners, FAT Brands’ fourth acquisition in the past 12 months.

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AAA Flag & Banner Manufacturing Launches Division Focused on Custom Visual Experiences

AAA Flag & Banner Manufacturing, a Mid-City-based maker of signs installed at major sporting and entertainment events, has consolidated its experiential and digital services into a new division — A3 Visual.

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Fenix Marine Services Sells for $2.3 Billion

The deal marks Fenix Marine’s return to the CMA CGM fold — the terminal started operating in 1997 as a CMA CGM subsidiary.

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