Amp’d Mobile, Inc., a Santa Monica-based wireless company whose handsets deliver multimedia to the youth market, received the largest venture capital investment in the nation in 2006, according to a report produced by Dow Jones VentureOne for accounting firm Ernst & Young. The company’s third round of funding totaling approximately $150 million pushed its initial capitalization past the $250 million mark, according to chief executive officer Peter Adderton. The round featured participation from several new investors including Tudor Investments, Intel Capital, Rho Ventures, Quilvest Ventures, Polygon Investment Partners and Heights Capital Management. All previous investors, which include QUALCOMM, MTV, Universal Music Group, Highland Capital Partners, Columbia Capital and Redpoint Ventures also participated in the round. “This is a significant milestone that will allow us to quickly ramp up Amp’d Mobile and fulfill our goal of delivering a completely unique, broadband wireless experience,” Adderton said in a company release in April. ampd.com.
NTH Advisory Group, LLC of Santa Monica announced January 19 that an investment group that it leads has entered into a letter of intent to acquire the company that owns Hooters Casino Hotel in Las Vegas. The property, with 696 rooms and an approximately 29,000 square-foot casino, is located one-half block from Tropicana Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard, a major intersection on the Las Vegas Strip. Under the terms of the letter, the group led by NTH has offered to purchase all of the outstanding membership interests in 155 East Tropicana, LLC for a purchase price of $95 million in cash and the payment of certain accrued royalties; the investors will also be responsible for any repurchases, and related costs, of the acquired company’s $130 million in principal amount of 8 3/4 percent Senior Secured Notes due 2012 as a result of the proposed change of control of the company. NTH, formed in March 2005, is a casino and hotel development and advisory firm led by Richard Bosworth, its principal and president. nthadvisory.com.
Yahoo! Finance launched a new personal finance website, Yahoo! Personal Finance, to help consumers manage their personal finances, offering consumers a suite of new financial centers ranging from “Banking & Budgeting” to “Retirement.” In making the announcement January 19 from Yahoo’s Santa Monica offices, Peggy White, general manager, said, “Not all of our users manage an investment portfolio, but we all manage a checkbook. This presents a huge opportunity for Yahoo! Finance to expand beyond our core investing-focused offerings.” Among other features, the website includes 25 content providers, including CNNMoney.com, Consumer Reports, Kiplinger, The Motley Fool, Smart Money and The Wall Street Journal, as well as a new personal finance glossary from Lightbulb Press, a leading financial literacy publisher. The website is at finance.yahoo.com/personal-finance.
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