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Wednesday, Nov 29, 2023

The Digest

Airport Lease: The Los Angeles City Council has asked the Airport Commission to delay approval of a lease at Van Nuys Airport. The commission is scheduled to vote June 26, four days before Mayor Richard Riordan leaves office, to approve a lease of 5.8 acres of undeveloped land to be used for a new aviation business. Among those who have taken out bidding papers is Jerry Perenchio, a businessman who is close to Riordan. Unilab Returns to Market Investors bid up Tarzana-based Unilab’s stock price by 44 percent on its first day of trading June 6. The stock, which started the day priced at $16, closed at $23. Unilab, a provider of laboratory-testing services to physicians, managed-care groups and hospitals in California, sold 6.7 million shares in its initial public offering, raising $107.2 million. The money will be used to help the company pay down debt. The IPO returned the company to the public sector less than two years after it was taken private by an investment company. The company now trades under ticker symbol ULAB on Nasdaq. The offering was led by Salomon Smith Barney and Credit Suisse First Boston. For the first quarter, Unilab’s revenue rose 20 percent to $95.3 million from $79.3 million a year earlier. For 2000, Unilab had net income of $41.5 million on revenue of $337.5 million, compared with a net loss of $13.9 million on $285.1 million in revenue for the prior year. Bank Gets New Name The Bank of Granada Hills, one of the San Fernando Valley’s oldest banking institutions, has announced that its name is changing to First State Bank. President and CEO Richard Taylor said the bank is also purchasing First Coastal Bank’s Burbank branch, with assets of more than $18 million, increasing the Bank of Granada Hills’ total assets from $92 million to more than $110 million. The acquisition was valued at $1.2 million. Scott Rife will continue to serve as vice president and business development officer of the Burbank branch of the new First State Bank. The branch is at 333 N. Glen Oaks Blvd. The acquisition is subject to the approval of the regulatory authorities as well as the shareholders of both institutions. Founded in 1983, the Bank of Granada Hills is the oldest independent community bank based in the northern San Fernando Valley. K-Swiss Adds License K-Swiss Inc. has formed a joint venture with Rugged Shark, a designer and manufacturer of active-oriented footwear, to license, produce and market a collection of National Geographic outdoor-oriented and casual footwear. The joint venture will launch a full-scale line of outdoor and casual footwear in fall 2002. K-Swiss will own 75 percent of the new company. Rugged Shark, founded by footwear designer Jonathan Werman, will own 25 percent of the venture and provide its design and development expertise. Over the next 15 months, K-Swiss expects to incur expenses estimated at $1 million, or 10 cents per share, related to the full-scale launch of this product line in fall 2002. DIC Buys Golden Books DIC Entertainment Holdings of Burbank will purchase the assets of New York-based Golden Books Family Entertainment. The sale, valued at $170 million, will transfer Golden Books’ 500,000-title library, bringing well-known titles and characters like “Pat the Bunny,” Lassie and Underdog in its popular Little Golden Books series to DIC in the next two months. Golden Books declared bankruptcy in February 1999, which caused the Nasdaq to delist its stock, and is currently trading over the counter near 3 cents per share. Though its library remains strong, boasting both classic titles and contemporary favorites such as Pokemon and SpongeBob Square Pants, Golden Books has long found itself foundering in dire financial straits. In its most recent quarterly filing, in November 2000, it reported net losses of $5.8 million with revenues of $34 million. Litex Sues Delphi Litex Inc. has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Delphi Automotive Systems. Sherman Oaks-based Litex has said Delphi caused substantial adverse impact on Litex’s efforts to license its technology to the automotive industry. It includes allegations that Delphi infringes at least one of Litex’s patents. Litex has been in discussions with Delphi for several years regarding the Litex NTP assisted catalysis technology. Litex holds seven U.S. patents which cover the treatment of exhaust gases from internal combustion engines including diesel and gasoline with NTP assisted catalysis. Three patents are assigned to the Lockheed Martin Corp. with exclusive, worldwide license, with right to sublicense held by Litex. The remaining four patents are assigned to Litex. Lockheed Martin is not a party to this lawsuit.

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