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Week in Review

Friday, Nov. 14

Cymer Slims Down: Cymer, the San Diego maker of laser equipment used to manufacture chips, said it is cutting its work force by 8 percent or 85 employees, blaming the slowdown in the economy and semiconductor industry.

, Mike Allen

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Moores Gives More: San Diego Padres owner and businessman John Moores gave The Scripps Research Institute a $2.1 million gift that will be used for recruiting researchers and supporting the work of existing scientists. Moores has contributed more than $22 million to the institute to date.

, Heather Chambers

Monday, Nov. 17

Gaylord Retreats After Spending $5M: After more than two years of talks, Gaylord Entertainment gave up on its proposed $1 billion convention center/hotel at the Chula Vista bay front. The Nashville, Tenn.-based company said it was taking a non-cash impairment charge of $5 million in the fourth quarter for costs incurred to date.

Gaylord told the city of Chula Vista and the San Diego Unified Port District, its partners in the project, of its decision in a letter. The two agencies had agreed to spend $308 million on the project.

Gaylord cited escalating costs for infrastructure, and complexity of approvals needed from 10 different regulatory agencies before the project could begin.

, Mike Allen

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Seeing Yahoo In Court: DivX, a San Diego maker of video compression software, said it filed a lawsuit against Yahoo, alleging the Internet services provider breached its two-year advertising contract.

, Mike Allen

Tuesday, Nov. 18

Burger Bucks: Jack in the Box, the San Diego-based quick-service eatery chain, reported earnings of $26.9 million or 47 cents per share for the fourth quarter that ended Sept. 28, or basically flat compared with $26.8 million, or 43 cents per share in the same quarter of 2007.

Earnings for the year amounted to $119.3 million or $2.01 a share versus $125.6 million or $1.87 a share in 2007.

Fourth quarter 2008 revenues stood at $582.6 million and in the fourth quarter of 2007 they were $588 million.

, Connie Lewis

Wednesday, Nov. 19

Tuna Deal: Bumble Bee Foods, headquartered in San Diego, was acquired as part of a larger purchase of Connors Bros. Income Fund of Canada by Centre Partners, a New York private investment bank, the buyers said.

Chris Lischewski, Bubble Bee/Connors chief executive, would not disclose the price paid for Bumble Bee, but said the total price for Connors Income Fund was about $600 million. The fund also includes seafood brands such as Clover Leaf, Brunswick, Snow’s and Beach Cliff.

Centre acquired Bumble Bee in 2003 from ConAgra Foods and then sold the canned tuna maker to Connors in 2004.

Centre will keep Bumble Bee’s headquarters in San Diego where it has 130 employees. Worldwide employment is 2,000.

, Mike Allen

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Retailer Spurns Takeover Bid: Jennifer Salopek, chairwoman of women’s clothier Charlotte Russe Holding, responded negatively to a takeover bid. On Nov. 12 KarpReilly Capital Partners and H.I.G Capital proposed to pay from $9 to $9.50 a share, which would amount to $187.8 million at the low end and $198.2 million at the high end for 21 million outstanding shares. But a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Salopek said, “makes it clear to the board that it is not in the best interest of shareholders to enter into discussions with you.”

, Connie Lewis

Thursday, Nov. 20

Toward A Better Border: The U.S. State Department approved a presidential permit for the new Otay Mesa East port of entry. The permit should be final in December.

, Brad Graves

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Staccato Merges, VCs Pile On: In what is likely a harbinger of a difficult winter for emerging growth companies, two startups developing next-generation USB technology announced a merger and pulled $20 million from existing investors.

San Diego’s Staccato Communications, which develops next-generation USB chips, merged with Artimi Inc. of Mountain View.

The merger will result in an undisclosed amount of layoffs.

Staccato, founded in 2002, has 75 workers, said Staccato spokesman Jeff Chang. The combined headcount for the two companies will be 85 employees.

The combined entity will be called Staccato Communications. Marty Colombatto will maintain the role of CEO for Staccato, and Andrew Vought, previously CEO of Artimi, will be COO.

, Ned Randolph

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