Los Angeles Business Journal


Judge Amends Ruling, Adds Attorneys’ Fees in Real Estate Spat

After ruling last month that Santa Monica developer Neil Shekhter forged documents in a dispute over a joint property venture, a judge Friday ordered the real estate mogul to cede all control of the projects to AEW Capital Management. The nine properties at issue in the dispute include Luxe apartment developments in West Hollywood, Santa Monica, and Culver City. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Suzane Bruguera also handed AEW’s attorneys at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher more than $6 million in attorneys’ fees and costs.

Hospitality Firm SBE Officially Acquires Morgans Hotel Group

Los Angeles hospitality firm SBE Entertainment Group completed a $82 acquisition of Morgans Hotel Group, the New York City company behind iconic hotel brands such as the Delano in Miami Beach and West Hollywood’s Mondrian, SBE announced on Dec. 1. SBE, which owns the SLS hotel chain that includes hotels in Beverly Hills and Las Vegas, will now have 22 hotels internationally and be worth around $805 million. The deal was originally announced in May.

Silicon Beach Report Dec. 2: Bam Ventures Launches Incubator for Brian Lee’s Ideas

Bam Ventures launches incubator for Brian Lee’s ideas, Bankrupt Nasty Gal may have a suitor, Annapurna Pictures launches video game division, and more.

Bam Ventures Launching Incubator for Honest Co. CEO Brian Lee's Ideas

Bam Venture Partners has started raising a second $30 million fund which it will use, in part, to invest in and incubate startup ideas thought of by Brian Lee, co-founder of the fund and chief executive of the Honest Co. of Playa Vista. What capital isn’t used for the incubator will be invested in seed and early stage deals, similar to the sort of investments made by the first Bam Ventures fund, said Lee. The Playa Vista venture firm’s first fund was $6 million.

Bankrupt Women Retailer Nasty Gal May Have a Suitor

A British online retailer has reportedly put in a bid for L.A. women’s retailer Nasty Gal Inc., which filed for bankruptcy last month. Boohoo, founded in Manchester in 2006, registered a company with the name “Nasty Gal Limited” with the British government on Nov. 21, according to online records. Nasty Gal, which began as an eBay business in 2006, had been looking for a buyer as far back as 2014, but was unable to find one due to its debt and other issues, according to its bankruptcy filing.

Movers for Week Ending December 2, 2016

The week’s biggest gainer was Manhattan Beach casual shoe brand Skechers USA Inc., which shot up 18.2 percent to close at $26.16. Fulgent Genetics Inc. of Temple City also saw big gains, adding 6.8 percent to its stock price to close at $9.88. The week’s biggest laggard was Pasadena’s Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Inc., which plunged 69.2 percent to close at $1.44.

Stocks Mixed Again

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 22 points in Friday trading to 19,170. The S&P 500 rose 1 point to 2,192. The Nasdaq rose 5 points to 5,256. The LABJ stock index rose 1 point to 225.

Transamerica to Close California Offices

Transamerica announced Thursday that it will be closing its offices in Los Angeles and Folsom and cut 345 jobs on the West Coast starting next year, the Los Angeles Times reports.The financial services and insurance company will no longer have operations in California, except for the Transamerica Pyramid it still owns in San Francisco, and will be eliminating 800 total positions nationwide.

Could New Movie Rental be Offered in the Future?

Some Hollywood studios are considering offering high-priced home rentals of new films shortly after they debut in theaters, Bloomberg reports. Rental prices would range from $25 to $50 per film and would be available on streaming platforms. The idea could trigger a fight with theater operators who previously enjoyed as much as six months of exclusive rights to new releases.

Becerra Named California Attorney General

Rep. Xavier Becerra, the head of the House Democratic Caucus and former state deputy attorney general, has been named California’s next attorney general by Gov. Jerry Brown, Politico reports. The office will be vacated in January when Kamala Harris is sworn in as a U.S. senator and a special election will be held for Becerra’s congressional seat after his appointment.

Chargers May Move to L.A.

The San Diego Chargers may be moving to Los Angeles in 2017 after a ballot measure regarding a new $1.8 billion San Diego stadium failed to pass in November, ESPN reports. The Chargers were granted the option to relocate and have until the Jan. 15, 2017 NFL owners meeting to alert the league about their plans.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 22 points in early Friday trading to 19,170. The S&P 500 rose 4 points to 2,195. The Nasdaq rose 10 points to 5,261. The LABJ stock index rose 1 point to 226.

Silicon Beach Report Dec. 1: SpaceX Aims to Resume Flights on Dec. 16

SpaceX aims to resume flights on Dec. 16, Breitbart hits back against boycotting advertisers, and 21st Century Fox invests in augmented and virtual reality glasses company.

Fandango Acquires Latin American Online Movie Ticketer Cinepapaya

Online ticket seller Fandango announced today it is expanding its business in Latin America with the acquisition of online movie ticket platform Cinepapaya. The deal will nearly double Fandango’s reach in the region, extending its ticketing business to include Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Ecuador, and Bolivia. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Pepperdine’s Graziadio School to Launch Business Incubator

Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management is launching a business incubator with a donation from a local venture capital investor, the Malibu university announced Thursday. Dan and Coco Peate made a “multimillion dollar” to launch the incubator, which will be called the Peate Institute for Entrepreneurship. The exact amount of the donation was not disclosed. It will operate at a yet-to-be-chosen site in the Conejo Valley, near Pepperdine’s Thousand Oaks campus and the Ventura headquarters of Dan Peate’s venture capital firm, Peate Ventures.

After $583M Sale, Howard Hughes Center to Get Makeover

The 1.3-million-square-foot Howard Hughes Center in Westchester is going to get an upgrade after it was purchased last month for $583 million. The Blackstone Group acquired the office complex near Los Angeles International Airport as part of its purchase of 20 properties in California and Washington for $1.16 billion in a fire sale from Hines REIT Inc. over the summer. That sale was completed in November, according to CoStar Realty Information Inc.

Stocks Mixed Again

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 68 points in Thursday trading to 19,192. The S&P 500 fell 8 points to 2,191. The Nasdaq fell 73 points to 5,251. The LABJ stock index fell 2 points to 225.

Arrowhead Falls as Trials Halted

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Inc. is firing 30 percent of its staff, halting all human trials, and going back to the lab after a seeing troubling safety concerns in a technology to cure liver disease, Bloomberg reports. Shares plunged 66 percent on Wednesday, and the once billion-dollar company’s market cap is now down to about $100 million.

Breitbart News Fights Back after Advertisers Flee

Some major advertisers at Breitbart News Network are leaving after Donald Trump’s victory, and Breitbart is fighting back, the Los Angeles Times reports. The site called some departures “un-American” and a war “against conservative customers whose values propelled Donald Trump into the White House.”

DGA Begins Contract Negotiations Early

The Directors Guild of America will begin contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers more than six months before the current contract expires on June 30, Variety reports. Negotiations are expected to focus on an increase in contributions from the studios to health and pension plans and bringing residual fees for pay cable and basic cable reruns up to par with broadcast fees.