Los Angeles Business Journal


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Soon-Shiong and Ferro Stock Up on Additional Tronc Shares

Michael Ferro, chairman of L.A. Times owner tronc Inc., has purchased an additional 42,126 shares of stock in the company, according to a Nov. 28 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The stock was acquired through Ferro’s investment vehicle, Merrick Venture Management Holdings, at an average cost of $12.93 a share for a total transaction of about $545,000.

Long Beach Security Firm Sued by Co-Founder

The co-founder of Long Beach-based Access Control Related Enterprises (ACRE) sued the security systems company and a Philadelphia private equity stakeholder alleging he was forced out for opposing a management buyout plan. William West, who acted as chief financial officer and chief operating officer for the company he co-founded in 2012 with chief executive Joseph Grillo, filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court Monday asking for at least $15 million.

HBO’s ‘Ballers’ and Six Other Series Will Move Production to L.A. Area

HBO’s TV series “Ballers” will be moving production for its third season from Miami to Los Angeles, according to the California Film Commission’s Executive Director Amy Lemisch. “Ballers” is the seventh TV series to relocate to California by way of the expanded tax credit program that went into effect in 2015. The show is scheduled to shoot its next 10 episodes in the greater Los Angeles area, where it will employ 135 cast, 209 base crew and 5,700 extras. Production will generate an estimated $33.5 million in “qualified expenditures,” which the commission defines as wages paid to below-the-line workers on the crew, and payments to in-state vendors. Based on these figures, “Ballers” has been conditionally approved for a tax credit reservation of $8.3 million.

L.A. City Council Approves Sidewalk Repair Plan

After years of complaints from residents and businesses about crumbling sidewalks, the Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a $1.4 billion citywide sidewalk repair program, with rebates for residents and businesses that repair sidewalks on their own. The program represents a unique split-responsibility approach, with the city assuming most repair costs for the next 30 years and then turning over complete responsibility for repairs to adjacent residential or commercial property owners.

One Beverly Hills Cleared for Construction After City Council 4-1 Vote

Beverly Hills City Council voted 4-1 Tuesday to approve a lucrative development deal with luxury hotel-condo project, One Beverly Hills. Owned by Dalian Wanda Group, the project will feature residences, a 134-room “luxury boutique hotel,” rooftop pool, and restaurant. In addition to the estimated $820 million in revenue the project is expected to bring in for Beverly Hills over the next 30 years, Wanda Group has signed a massive development agreement that provides the city with an immediate payoff. It is this agreement the council voted to approve last night.

Stocks Mixed Again

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 2 points in Wednesday trading to 19,124. The S&P 500 fell 6 points to 2,199. The Nasdaq fell 56 points to 5,324. The LABJ stock index fell 2 points to 226.

AES May Build Largest Battery Facility in the World

Power company AES Corp. is planning on building a 300-megawatt battery facility in Long Beach, the Daily News reports. If approved by state regulators, the storage facility would be the capable of storing more electrical power than any facility previously constructed.

Are California Refineries Manipulating Gas Prices?

Consumer advocacy group Consumer Watchdog alleges that California refineries are holding down gasoline production to inflate prices at the pump, the Los Angeles Times reports. Gas prices in the Los Angeles area are an average of 50 cents higher than the national average. The Western States Petroleum Association says higher prices in California are due to higher taxes and fees as well as requirements for a more environmentally friendly blend of gas.

Southern California Home Prices Rise

Southern California home prices rose 6.9 percent from a year earlier to $465,000 in October, the Los Angeles Times reports. Nationwide prices have surpassed prices during the bubble peak in 2006, though the Los Angeles metro region is now 7.8 percent below the bubble peak numbers.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 76 points in early Wednesday trading to 19,198. The S&P 500 rose 6 points to 2,210. The Nasdaq fell 6 points to 5,375. The LABJ stock index stayed steady at 228.

Trump to Tap L.A. Financier Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary

President-elect Donald Trump is set to name L.A. financier Steven Mnuchin as his Treasury Secretary, numerous media reports said Tuesday afternoon. Mnuchin, 53, was Trump’s national campaign finance chairman and had been on the short list for the Treasury post. The Bel Air resident currently runs hedge fund Dune Capital Management.

Pritzker Group Increases Staff in Los Angeles to Hunt Early Stage Deals

Pritzker Group Venture Capital has expanded the number of personnel in its L.A. office in order to pursue more early-stage investments in local tech companies. Partner Gabe Greenbaum and Vice President Peter Liu have relocated from the firm’s Chicago office to Los Angeles. The company also recently hired Nico Gimenez, who joined as an associate. Pritzker is particularly interested in investing in enterprise, consumer tech, healthcare IT software, as well as emerging technologies such artificial intelligence, internet of things, virtual reality.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 24 points in Tuesday trading to 19,122. The S&P 500 rose 3 points to 2,205. The Nasdaq rose 11 points to 5,380. The LABJ stock index rose 1 point to 229.

LAX Breaks Thanksgiving Record

An estimated 2.3 million travelers passed through LAX this Thanksgiving holiday period, an increase of 8.4 percent over last year’s record of 2.1 million, KPCC reports. The busiest day at the airport was Nov. 18, the first day of the 11-day traveling period.

SpaceX Expected to Release Report on Rocket Explosion

SpaceX is expected to give federal authorities a preliminary investigative report next month pinpointing fueling procedures as the most likely cause of the September explosion of its unmanned Falcon 9 rocket, The Wall Street Journal reports. The company intends to resume launches before the end of 2016 if government agencies sign off on its major findings and give approval for operational changes to prevent a repeat of the same accident.

Metro to Pay Additional $300M for 405 Widening

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority will pay nearly $300 million more to Kiewit Corp., the contractor for the 405 widening project, after years of dispute over responsibility for cost overruns, the Los Angeles Times reports. The agreement will push the cost of the Sepulveda Pass project above $1.6 million, 55 percent higher than the original budget.

Beverly Hills Home Sells for $4M Over Asking

Jill Tavelman Collins, an ex-wife of musician Phil Collins, bought a house next door to her Beverly Hills home for nearly $4 million more than the asking price, The Wall Street Journal reports. A bidding war with about 17 offers sent the price up to $12.5 million.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 21 points in early Tuesday trading to 19,077. The S&P 500 fell 2 points to 2,199. The Nasdaq fell 5 points to 5,364. The LABJ stock index stayed steady at 228.

OpenGate Capital Acquires Belgian Zinc Supplier Umicore

Private equity firm OpenGate Capital announced Monday it purchased the zinc products wing of Belgian materials technology company Umicore for $150 million. OpenGate’s purchase of Umicore Zinc Chemicals - which has been rebranded as EverZinc - is the largest investment made by the Century City outfit since it was founded in 2005, and the fifth acquisition from its $305 million institutional fund.

Silicon Beach Report Nov. 28: Activision CEO Becomes One of Top-Paid U.S. Executives

Activision CEO becomes one of top-paid U.S. executives, Atom tickets partners with Disney for Star Wars Merchandise, and AT&T’s DirecTV launches streaming TV service.