Los Angeles Business Journal

LABJ WEEKLY EDITION

Wrong Brand of Awkwardness

It can be hard to know you’re wearing a designer knockoff, unless the designer points it out.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Safco Capital Corp., a West L.A. investment firm, has acquired a Hawthorne retail property for $15.3 million from downtown L.A.’s Primestor Development Inc.

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Cloudy Future

SMOKING: Fate of e-cigarette business up in air as federal, state regulations could drive up costs for vaping vendors.

E-cigarette business owners fear looming regulations could drive up costs and snuff out the industry.

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.

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Raising Image

New blockbusters’ use of film spurs some projects to roll with format over digital.

Use of celluloid in “The Hateful Eight” and “The Force Awakens” plays lead role in directing productions away from digital.

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Trainer Sees Pilates Machines as Healthy Pursuit

FITNESS: Latest creation of Sebastien Lagree designed for mind-body connection.

Sebastien Lagree aims to pump up his exercise business with a new studio and high-tech Pilates machine.

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Businesses Work to Cover Losses From Rainy Days

RETAIL: Outdoor operators particularly exposed with string of storms on way.

El Nino’s first storms point to a cloudy future for businesses that rely on an outdoors component.

Small Firms Could Get Line on High-Speed Rail

GOVERNMENT: Workshops aim to assist businesses in landing jobs with project.

Small businesses in the L.A. area can get on the fast track to revenue from the state’s high-speed rail project.

Nonunion Contractors Still Don’t Work for L.A.

CONSTRUCTION: City’s Public Works Department renews labor-favoring deal.

Nonunion contractors are once again frozen out as the city of L.A.’s Public Works Department has renewed its project labor agreement with the Los Angeles and Orange County Building and Construction Trades Council for five years.

Restaurateur Offers Tip to Patrons: No Gratuities

DINING: Eatery owner raises menu prices to help cover minimum-wage hike.

When the California minimum wage jumped from $9 to $10 on Jan. 1, Susan Disney Lord decided the time was right to introduce a new policy at her Bel Air Bar + Grill: no tipping.

Four Held in Embezzlement of Industrial Laundry

FASHION: Complaint says CM lost over $8 million in years of fraudulent billing.

The seams have unraveled for four Southern California men arrested on charges of embezzling more than $8 million from CM Laundry, a Gardena launderer owned by denim maker Citizens of Humanity.

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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.

Calendar

Calendar of events

Conventions

Upcoming conventions

L.A.’s Oldest Operating Hotel Welcomes Bidders

LISTING: Broker expects buyer to reposition Barclay similar to boutique Ace.

The oldest L.A. hotel in continuous operation, downtown’s Barclay Hotel, has been listed for sale.

Life Left in Biotech?

Charles Crumpley doesn’t think it’s too giant a leap for MannKind to find success, despite last week’s breathtaking news.

Labor Exam

High court case on fair-share fees could upend working relationship between union, health system.

Dr. Mitch Katz warns that a Supreme Court case could get in the way of management nursing positive relationships with unions.

Divorcing Couples Court High Legal Fees

Divorcing couples might want to rule out heading to court with its crushing fees, counsels Steve Mindel.

Publisher Makes Play for E-Sports

Activision Blizzard looks to score more e-sports opportunities with pickup of Major League Gaming.

IP Focus Ruled Positive Pursuit

LAW: National firm chooses Glendale boutique for merger.

Christie Parker & Hale made a case for its IP focus after drawing interest from national firm Lewis Roca Rothgerber.

Tapping In

Arts District bottling up craft breweries

Brewers crowding into downtown L.A.’s Arts District aren’t worried about tapping out the craft trend.

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Pollution Firm Cleans Up at Ports

TECHNOLOGY: Company rides wave of work from state rules.

Emissions-control rules for seafaring ships have buoyed business for Advanced Cleanup Technologies.

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.

Clothing Firm Forges Ties With Africa

American Apparel’s colorful T-shirts to aid Sierra Leone artisans.

American Apparel says its new philanthropic shirt line fits the company to a T.

Local Firms Take Pride In Company Joy

Amgen, Parsons make list of 50 happiest businesses in U.S.

Biotech giant Amgen and engineering firm Parsons are pleased to crack list of happiest places to work.

Mount Rainier Climb Gets a Little Hairy

When Coby King, 55-year-old chief executive of downtown L.A. PR firm High Point Strategies was planning to scale the tallest mountain in Washington state, he didn’t need much help.