Los Angeles Business Journal

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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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.

Smart & Final Going Public

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

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.

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.

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.

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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.

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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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.

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.

Investors Share in Big Bounce in Stock Markets

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

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.

Poor Quarter Envelopes Internet Postage Business

Online: Stamps.com’s shares tumble after missing on earnings, revenue.

Stamps.com’s shares fall after online postage business fails to deliver in first quarter.

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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.

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.

Shoemaker Gets on Track With New Running Lines

FOOTWEAR: Skechers’ stock climbs on strong earnings, Boston Marathon buzz.

Strong earnings report for shoemaker Skechers comes on heels of Boston Marathon victory.

Pepperdine Alums Aim to Help Business Classes Fly

EDUCATION: M.B.A. grads volunteer to guide students in executive programs.

Business school alumni volunteer to help Pepperdine produce a better class of M.B.A. students.

Gores Group Completes Joint Venture With Premier Foods

West Los Angeles private equity firm Gores Group announced Tuesday that it had finalized a joint venture with British food manufacturer Premier Foods to control Hovis, Premier’s branded line of bread and flour.

Home-Grown

Cleveland High, CSUN alumnus Scott Beiser now schools middle-market investment industry as CEO of top performer Houlihan Lokey.

L.A. native Scott Beiser’s love of numbers has added up to a healthy career at investment bank Houlihan Lokey.

Debit Card Provider Faces Another Wal-Mart Rival

FINANCE: Green Dot shares fall after retailer signs deal with American Express.

FINANCE: Shares fall as Green Dot investors fear a competing prepaid debit card at Wal-Mart may swipe business.

Homebuilder On Move Into Cities

real estate: KB refocuses from suburbs to transit hubs.

KB Home shifts its focus to urban infill residences and away from its traditional suburban roots.

Equity Firm Puts Money on Loans

INVESTMENT: Shackled banks open up market for Ares.

Equity firm Ares Management stepped into direct lending after new regulations handcuffed banks.

Online Ad Agency’s IPO Connects With Investors

INTERNET: Rubicon stock flourishes in contrast to other recent flotations.

Online ad company Rubicon bucks trend and clicks with investors.

MIKE JONES

Investment: Science incubated Dollar Shave Club and participated in the online razor club’s $1 million seed round in March 2012. Dollar Shave Club has since become one of L.A.’s hottest startups.

It began with a viral video. As soon as Mike Jones saw Michael Dubin swinging a tennis racket and riding a forklift through Dollar Shave Club’s downtown L.A. warehouse, he was intrigued.

BUCK JORDAN

Investment: Canyon Creek put a total of $530,000 in retail services tech company Bridg in April and October funding rounds.

Buck Jordan, managing partner at Canyon Creek Capital, says his firm is a “bridge fund” that targets companies between the seed and Series A stages.

YVES SISTERON

Investment: Upfront Ventures provided $500,000 in seed funding last April to downtown L.A.’s DailyLook, an online fashion retailer. Upfront followed that up by investing in DailyLook’s Series A round

Yves Sisteron didn’t get caught up in analysis paralysis when he decided to invest in DailyLook.

ERIK RANNALA

Investment: Mucker participated in online tuxedo rental company Black Tux’s $2.6 million February seed round.

Everyone loves a wedding.

TIANXIANG ZHUO

Investment: Karlin Ventures invested in Santa Monica mobile advertising company NearWoo’s $1.2 million seed round last August.

About half of Karlin Ventures’ portfolio companies are found through incubators.

Document Finder’s Not Looking Good on Paper

PUBLISHING: Investors shed Research Solutions over plan for reverse stock split.

Document-finding company Research Solutions at a loss with investors after planning a reverse stock split.

Gores Group Invests in Tweedle

West Los Angeles private equity firm Gores Group announced Tuesday that it has made an equity investment in Clinton Township, Mich. automotive publishing company Tweddle Group Inc.

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