October 1, 2013 |
Merck & Co., the second-largest drug maker by sales, said Tuesday it will lay off 8,500 employees in a strategy overhaul to revamp its research and development efforts. That's on top of a previous announcement that the Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based company would lay off 7,500 workers. The combined cuts amount to 20% of the company's global workforce. In a statement, the drug company said the strategy is expected to save $2.5 billion by the end of 2015; 40% of those savings would be realized by the end of next year.
September 30, 2013 |
Seymour Cohen, known for his innovations in the movie theater marquee industry, has listed his retreat in Santa Ynez at $1.349 million. The 3,182-square-foot home, built in 1930, sits behind gates on 1.69 acres. Offered fully furnished, the three-bedroom, two-bathroom house features a great room with a beamed ceiling. Also on the equestrian-zoned property, which is dotted with mature oaks, are a furnished guest house, corral and spa. Distinctive L.A. homes draw vacationers In addition to developing an instant marquee process, Cohen invented preview boxes for upcoming attractions to be displayed in theater lobbies and holds several patents.
September 23, 2013 |
In a last-ditch effort to salvage its business, BlackBerry has struck a tentative deal to be bought by a Canadian insurance company for $4.7 billion. An agreement is not complete and other bids could emerge, but already analysts are saying that the smartphone maker's lifeline may not be enough. "Nothing has changed about the direction of the company. The only thing in question is how long the company can be sustained by the new owners," said Roger Entner, founder of Recon Analytics.
September 17, 2013 |
Shares of nutritional products maker Herbalife Ltd. hit a 52-week high Tuesday, putting billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman deeper in the hole on his $1-billion bet that the stock will go to zero. Herbalife shares reached a one-year intra-day high of $73.91 and a closing high of $73.29 on speculation that the company may start aggressively repurchasing its shares. The Los Angeles company was one of the more volatile stocks on Wall Street after Ackman accused the company last December of operating a pyramid scheme and said he took a $1-billion short position in the stock, meaning he would profit from a price drop.
September 16, 2013 |
That didn't take long. A day after "Insidious: Chapter 2" killed it at the box office, the horror film's makers said they are planning to make a third installment in the franchise. Made for just $5 million, "Insidious: Chapter 2" sold an estimated $41.1 million of tickets in its opening weekend, more than three times the $13.3 million the first “Insidious” grossed in 2011. On Monday, the film's financiers -- Entertainment One, FilmDistrict and Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions -- said they were developing a third "Insidious" movie, written by Leigh Whannell, a screenwriter on the first two "Insidious" films.
September 15, 2013 |
For the last 18 years, Jakks Pacific Inc. has been a player in the ultra-competitive Southern California toy-making business, up against the likes of giant Mattel Inc. in El Segundo and others. But Jakks' roster of toys - including the Smurfs, Monsuno action figures and Winx Club fairy dolls - have not been pulling in the fun for investors. Sales have declined five straight years. In the most recent quarter, revenue fell 27% and the Malibu company lost $46.9 million compared with net income of $214,000 a year earlier.
September 12, 2013 |
Maker Studios, the digital media company, has raised $26 million to expand internationally, increase its staff and grow its technology offerings, the company said Thursday. Maker, based in Culver City, is the company behind YouTube successes such as " Epic Rap Battles of History ," Kassem G, the Shaytards and PewDiePie. The raise was the second part of its series C financing round, adding an array of European and Asian investors including French media company Canal+ Group, Malaysian firm Astro Overseas Limited and Singapore's SingTel Innov8.
September 12, 2013 |
Buffalo Studios, the creator of games played on social networks, such as "Bingo Blitz," will consolidate its multiple offices at Arboretum Courtyard in Santa Monica. The game creator was recently acquired by Caesars Interactive Entertainment Inc., which signed a 22,000-square-foot lease for Buffalo Studios in the Arboretum building at 2120 Colorado Ave., real estate brokerage Cresa Los Angeles said. Bingo Blitz is a bingo-style game played on Facebook, iOS, Android and Amazon Marketplace that awards prizes to winners.
September 9, 2013 |
Molex Inc., a maker of electronic components for Apple Inc.'s iPhone and other products, agreed to a $7.2-billion acquisition by Koch Industries Inc., the holding company controlled by the billionaire Koch brothers. Koch will buy Molex's shares for $38.50 apiece, a 31% premium over the publicly traded common stock, the companies said Monday. Koch, a closely held company that owns things as varied as biofuel, fertilizer makers and commodity-trading services, is using the acquisition to expand into connector components.
September 6, 2013 |
The digital media company Maker Studios has acquired Blip, a company best known for its technology for distributing original Web series. The Culver City studio behind such YouTube personalities as Lloyd Ahlquist (EpicLLOYD) and Peter Shukoff (Nice Peter), the creators of "Epic Rap Battles of History" ; Kassem G and the Shaytards will seek to take advantage of Blip's mobile and Web technology. Blip's software pushes Web content to smartphones, tablets and Microsoft's Xbox game console. It also makes a software used by video creators.