Los Angeles Business Journal

LABJ WEEKLY EDITION

Bigger Better

Burtek merges three firms to pursue aerospace workBurtek Holdings hopes sales take off by combining suppliers and design companies into one entity.

By Carol Lawrence March 30, 2015 midnight   $$ Share

L.A.’s Oldest Firm Losing Appeal for Lawyers?

LAW: O’Melveny & Myers hit with departures as revenue slides.

O’Melveny & Myers loses lawyers to the hire power of rival firms stoked by a rebounding economy.

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Now Tech Firms Are Being Recruited To Cheaper Locales

Developer Stockdale Capital Partners plugs Scottsdale, Ariz., as a support center for Silicon Beach firms.

Furniture Brand Hopes It Has Legs

Shabby Chic founder couches revival plan in terms of caution.

Furniture brand Shabby Chic Couture hopes a cautious approach to growth will cushion any setbacks.

Street Race Comes With Built-In Buzz

FIA Formula E event to run electric cars around Long Beach.

New Long Beach race looks to electrify fans with battery-powered cars.

Coffee Maker Heats Up Machine War

Touch looks to crack Keurig’s dominance with speed, quality.

Touch looks to push rival Keurig’s buttons with a brewing machine built for speedy, tasty cups of joe.

Passing Propane Torch

When Julie Johnson entered the propane business founded by her father 30 years ago, she stood out as one of the few women in a male-dominated industry. And it was her father who had to mentor her so she could take over one day, making sure the men in the industry respected her.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Tetra Tech Inc., a Pasadena engineering services company, has been awarded a five-year, $62 million contract by the U.S. Agency for International Development to support the provincial government system in Afghanistan.

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High on Dry

LANDSCAPING: Sales of drought-resistant plants blossom at nurseries with help from government subsidies to cut back on grass.

Drought-resistant plants become hot items at nurseries, boosted by government subsidies to trim lawn space.

Latest Offer for Mall Operator Proves Tough Sell

DEVELOPMENT: Shares slide as Macerich investors question chance of deal.

Wall Street isn’t sold on rival mall operator’s latest offer for deal-averse Macerich.

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Medium-Sized Businesses Face Big Obamacare Bill

INSURANCE: Analysts warn failing to properly document this year will bring fines.

Analysts fear Obamacare filing requirements for 2015 could do a number on unprepared employers next year.

University Aims to Make Waves in Silicon Beach

TECHNOLOGY: Venture by Arizona State seeks to link to new class of entrepreneurs.

Alumnus helps Arizona State University teach L.A. tech entrepreneurs how to launch a business.

Vet Publicist Owns Up to Mistake of Selling Firm

PR: Michael Levine talks brief retirement, returning to 30-plus-year career.

Industry vet Michael Levine has reworked his retirement plan after returning to the helm of his namesake firm.

Union Looks to Fold In Garment Maker’s Workers

CLOTHING: Former CEO Dov Charney backs labor effort at American Apparel.

Immigrants’ rights group works with American Apparel employees in labor drive.

Online Postage Provider Hopes New Deal Delivers

INTERNET: Stamps.com acquires competitor Endicia to expand customer base.

Online postage provider Stamps.com addresses new client markets with acquisition of Endicia.

New Late-Night Host Has Trouble Securing Fame

TV: James Corden bailed out by billboard when proving his bona fides to CBS guard.

The new late-night TV talk-show host on CBS knew he faced a challenge being recognized by the American public – though maybe not by those at his own studio.

Obamacare Exchange Falls Short on Commissions

INSURANCE: Brokers say they still await payment for aiding small businesses.

Insurance agents have been Covered California’s foot soldiers, helping individuals and businesses navigate the chaos of the insurance exchange’s early days.

LAX Freight to Take Off With Middle East Airline

SHIPPING: Qatar Airways’ cargo expected to include oil-rich residents’ art.

Fruit, pharmaceuticals, priceless art. That’s just some of the cargo that will soon be moving between Southern California and Qatar on Saturday when Qatar Airways starts air freight service between Los Angeles International Airport and the airport in the Qatari capital of Doha.

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Investment Firm Looks North to Tap Into Tech

EXPANSION: Bel Air opens outpost in San Francisco to help connect to startups.

From its office on Avenue of the Stars, Bel Air Investment Advisors has built a reputation as wealth manager to the stars. But today’s young A-listers are often found in Bay Area tech incubators, not Hollywood hot spots.

Calendar

Calendar of events

Conventions

Upcoming conventions

Pasadena Hotel Deal Checks In With Hefty Price

ACQUISITION: New York buyer pays $143 million for Westin property.

In what Bruce Baltin of downtown L.A.’s CBRE Group Inc.’s hospitality consulting firm PFK Consulting USA said was one of the biggest hotel deals in Los Angeles County this year, Carey Watermark Investors Inc., a New York real estate investment trust, bought the Westin Pasadena for $143 million, or about $408,000 a room, last week.

Fracking Challenge Shows Cracks

Aubry Stone wants to break up junk-science claims about fracking.

Closing Transit Gap

Carsharing, bikesharing services taking steps to solve L.A.’s ‘first, last mile’ transit challenge.

Sharing services help Los Angeles make up ground on the “first and last mile” challenge, writes Ruben Gonzalez.

Empowered Patent System Will Work in L.A.’s Favor

Patent protections help ensure an innovative future for California, according to Scott Dunbar.

Card Clubs Bet On Online Bill

GAMBLING: Casinos expect legal Internet poker to boost draw.

Local card clubs wager that they will draw more players if California OKs online poker.