Los Angeles Business Journal

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Luxury Offerings, Chinese Buyers Rev Up Car Sales

Low interest rates and Chinese investors have helped put L.A. dealerships on the road to a record year.

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Clippers Deal Took Six Days of Sleepless Nights

LAW: Dealmaker gives play by play of fast-break NBA team sale.

Attorney Bob Baradaran worked like mad for days to shepherd Shelly Sterling’s sale of the Clippers to Steve Ballmer.

Clippers Deal Took Six Days of Sleepless Nights

It started with a phone call Friday night at the opening of Memorial Day weekend.

Drink Maker’s Shares Bubble Up on Wall Street

BEVERAGES: Reed’s stock reverses course on basis of strong second quarter.

Investors see soft-drink maker Reed’s glass as half-full after strong second quarter.

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Niche Focus

INVESTMENT: VentureOut looks to back LGBT entrepreneurs but some investors may question breadth of opportunity.

VentureOut sees an untapped niche in LGBT entrepreneurs.

Public Utilities Commission Fines Edison $24.5 Million

The California Public Utilities Commission announced Thursday that it has fined utility giant Southern California Edison $24.5 million for violations involving two 2011 incidents that left three people dead and more than 400,000 without power for as long as eight days.

Ares Management Reports Rise in Net Income

Century City private equity firm Ares Management reported strong second-quarter growth in profits and managed assets on Wednesday.

Newegg Expands in Asia and Europe

Online electronics seller Newegg.com Inc. announced Tuesday that its e-commerce website is now accessible to shoppers in India, Ireland, Singapore, New Zealand, Poland and the Netherlands.

Demand Acquires Saatchi Art, Names New CEO

Santa Monica digital media company Demand Media announced Monday that it bought online art gallery Saatchi Art for $17 million in cash and stock. Demand also hired Saatchi Chief Executive Sean Moriarty for the same position at Demand.

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Nut Shop Still Buttering Up Customers

Magee’s merchant touts family’s history at farmers market.

Customers still shell out for peanut butter from Magee’s House of Nuts at the Original Farmers Market.

Tourism in Las Vegas Has Ticket Dealer Sitting Pretty

ENTERTAINMENT: Tix’s shares also receive boost as legal troubles fade.

Spike in Las Vegas tourism has Wall Street betting on ticket company Tix Corp.

Financial Firms Fill Up on Hunger for Food Sector

INVESTMENT: Creo eyes IPO for bundled businesses while Trinity serves up deals.

Creo Capital and Trinity Capital look to feast on investor appetite for food businesses.

Vance Street Buys Irish Aviation Firm

West L.A. private equity firm Vance Street Capital announced Wednesday that it had bought aviation coating company Eirtech Aviation in Shannon, Ireland. Vance plans to combine the new business with two existing portfolio companies to create a major international player in aircraft painting and interior care. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Discount Chain May Be On-the-Money Acquisition

RETAIL: 99 Cents Only seen as possible target for pickup after recent deal in sector.

Consolidation in deep-discount sector could make the 99 Cents Only chain a high-value target.

Investors Run for Shelter As New-Home Starts Slow

CONSTRUCTION: Shares of KB Home, Ryland Group tumble about 10 percent.

Investors move out of homebuilders’ stocks as new-home starts continue to ebb.

High-Flying Bonds

Most people find a packed flight to be a disappointment, robbing them of the chance at being next to an empty seat. But Drew Zager sees a silver lining.

Trial Results Give Healthy Boost to Drug Maker

BIOTECH: Puma’s shares rise in what one analyst calls best-case scenario.

Puma has the right R/x for investors after a positive trial performance for its breast cancer drug.

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Defeasance Firm in Debt To Hot Real Estate Market

FINANCE: AST expects business boom to continue as interest rates rise.

Hot real estate market lights fire under firms providing debt-clearing defeasance services.

PacWest Beats Expectations on Earnings

PacWest Bancorp in Westwood on Tuesday reported strong second quarter earnings, beating analyst estimates in the first quarter since the company closed its merger with CapitalSource, another Los Angeles bank.

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Seaside Resort Clicks With Technology Conference

hospitality: Terranea has channeled Code into boosting hotel’s profile.

Terranea Resort touts its link to Code Conference to promote itself beyond the Internet industry.

Jeans Maker Back in Fashion After Acquisition

CLOTHING: Revenue, cost savings from Hudson deal boost shares of Joe’s.

Joe’s Jeans buttons up more investors on the strength of its earnings report.

Smart & Final Going Public

Smart & Final Stores Inc. has filed for an initial public offering.

Investors Arrive Seeking Returns

investment: Face time seen as key to cracking L.A. market.

Firms hope the value of having a physical presence in Los Angeles will show up in more business.

Software Maker Backs Up Strategy With Earnings

TECHNOLOGY: Shares of Simulations Plus climb as firm plans more growth.

Investors stock up on Simulations Plus after the software maker’s strong earnings report.

American Apparel Agrees to Rescue Deal

American Apparel cut a deal that with its main investor that will allow the downtown Los Angeles clothing manufacturer to pay off a loan and avoid a default and potential bankruptcy, the company announced Wednesday.

Investors No Longer Like Look of Lens Maker

bIOTECH: Staar shares fall after company receives FDA warning on records.

FDA warning blindsides investors in implantable-lens maker Staar Surgical.

Saying ‘Da’ to Business

Ilya Kuntsevich studied economics as a college student in Russia, but his training wasn’t exactly the industry standard for employees of big international companies.

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Two L.A. Firms Start to Clean Out Some Junk

FINANCE: Bond buyers at TCW and DoubleLine see risks outweighing rewards.

Two local portfolio managers are breaking their bonds with the riskiest of junk offerings.

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Hitting Hard

Hard-money lending – loans against hard assets such as real estate – is on the rise in Los Angeles.

Hard-money lending is on the rise because banks can’t make certain types of loans and investors are looking for high returns.

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Data Security Company Locks Up Ex-NSA Official

SOFTWARE: Securonix hires federal insider to tout need for tracking behavior.

Securonix brings in former NSA official to help lock down customers for the company’s security products.

Hard-Money Lender Is Now Serving Hard Time

Hard-money lender Ezri Namvar illustrates the risks of getting overleveraged.

School Furniture Maker Sits Well With Investors

MANUFACTURING: Virco shares climb on strength of healthy earnings report.

School furniture maker’s latest earnings report makes the grade with investors.

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New Energy Fund Looks to Clean Up in China

INVESTMENT: Renewables execs eye alternative tech for growing market.

U.S. Renewables Group’s new fund looks to power up clean-energy companies for the Chinese market.

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Venturing Into A New Model

FINANCE: Shares in startups boost UCLA investment fund.

The UCLA Venture Capital Fund is taking a novel approach to engage tech entrepreneurs to step up as donors and investors.

Venturing Into A New Model

The UCLA Venture Capital Fund is taking a novel approach to engage tech entrepreneurs to step up as donors and investors.

Ares Management Reports First Quarter Earnings

Century City private equity firm Ares Management on Tuesday reported substantial growth in assets under management and a downturn in profitability in its first earnings release as a public company.

Not Following Dad’s Footsteps

As a college student in the late 1970s, Darell Krasnoff dreamed of getting a job with a company where he could climb the ranks and eventually become a top executive.

Toymaker’s Game Plan Fails to Please Investors

MANUFACTURING: Jakks’ shares tumble on news of convertible notes issuance.

Shares of Jakks fall after the toymaker makes a play for $100 million in convertible notes.

Ares Management Acquires N.Y. Lender

Century City private equity firm Ares Management announced Thursday that it had bought Tarrytown, N.Y. lender Keltic Financial and would be using the acquisition to make more asset-based loans to small and mid-sized companies.

Online Publisher Clicks as Value Buy With Investors

INTERNET: Demand also boosted by future spin-off of domain-name business.

Demand Media shares rise as some investors read the online publisher as a value buy.

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L.A. Managers Stock Up Funds

INVESTMENT: New offerings look to share in hot market.

L.A. money managers pace their industry peers in establishing new mutual funds.

Attorney Denies Sterling Is Mentally Incompetent

An attorney representing Donald Sterling rejected the claim the Clippers owner is mentally incompetent, setting the stage for a legal showdown over the sale of the team.

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Hedge Fund Operator Says Oil Man Pumped Up Career

INVESTMENT: Willem Mesdag still gushes over Marvin Davis.

Willem Mesdag credits his friendship with oil man Marvin Davis for making him a slick hedge fund operator.

Museum Left Hanging On Home

Architecture institution hopes to build case for permanent location.

On-the-move architecture museum has designs on making its fifth home permanent.

Investors Share in Big Bounce in Stock Markets

L.A.’s wealthiest share in the good fortune of rebounding stock markets.

Diagnostic Test Maker Misses Mark With Investors

BIOTECH: Shares tumble after Response Genetics’ poor earnings, revenue.

Response Genetics draws a negative reaction on Wall Street after missing earnings expectations.

Architect Ken Liu Dies at 62

Architect Ken Liu, who was instrumental in improving the earthquake safety of California’s hospitals, has died. He was 62 years old.

Daily Journal Reports Loss

Downtown Los Angeles legal publisher Daily Journal Corp. company reported a loss of $473,000 (-27 cents) for six months ended March 31, compared with net income of $2.9 million ($1.44) for the same period a year earlier. Revenue was $20.8 million, up 20 percent.

Conference Resists Ukrainian Chill

Monica Dodi is a managing director of the Women’s Venture Capital Fund on the Miracle Mile and co-founder of MTV Europe.

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Old-Guard Fund Sees Investors Bond With Rival

INVESTMENT: DoubleLine has Pimco at loss for now.

Rival DoubleLine may be pulling in investor dollars but advisers aren’t ready to cash out of Pimco just yet.