by Andrew Ross at SFGate.com | July 18 2010
I haven’t had my nails done in a while, so I’m thinking of showing up for a free manicure on Tuesday at the International College of Cosmetology in San Francisco.
Adding to the incentive, I’m assured that nail polish, should I choose to have some applied, will be free of the worst chemicals.
I don’t know if San Francisco Board of Supervisors President David Chiu will also be taking advantage – he’s probably wondering how it might affect his political future – but he’ll be there, pushing an ordinance to create a Nail Salon Recognition Program that would encourage salons to use safer nail polish.
The event, sponsored by Environment California, Asian Law Caucus and the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative, is aimed at what advocates call the “toxic trio” of chemicals used in nail polish – dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde and toluene.
They cite a 2007 study of Vietnamese American nail salon workers showing an elevated number of respiratory and skin problems, and headaches. Europe has banned dibutyl phthalate for use in cosmetics, and a number of U.S. firms have already gotten the message. According to a National Healthy Nail Salon Alliance survey, a large number of products are already “three free” ( www.nailsalonalliance.org).
There are an estimated 200 licensed nail salons in San Francisco.
“Californians are overexposed to toxic chemicals and here’s an easy way to make nail salons safer for workers and patrons,” said Pamela King Palitz of Environment California.
KKR’s future: Challenges ahead: As of Friday’s close, stock belonging to the Bay Area’s George Roberts, one day after the premiere of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. on the New York Stock Exchange, was worth about $840 million.
That was about $100 million lower than its worth at the stock’s opening, and an order of magnitude less than had it gone out, when it originally wanted to, in the rock ‘n’ roll days of private equity in the middle of the decade.
Still, when you’re managing $55 billion in assets, who’s really counting? Neither Roberts nor his cousin, Henry Kravis, have commented publicly on the firm’s long-awaited listing, described as “subdued,” perhaps preferring to focus on new avenues of investment to explore.
Last month, as we noted, the firm announced a $400 million investment in a Houston shale gas producer, and is looking to financially drill for more business in the “unconventional energy” business, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. “We’re going to see a lot more private equity flow into this space,” said Ralph Eads, chairman of energy investment banking at Jefferies Group Inc.
While the abundance of shale gas, in the United States and overseas, has been touted as a potential replacement for oil, environmental and health concerns have been raised of late. Last week, Range Resource Corp., a Fort Worth energy company, announced it will disclose the chemical additives it uses in the “hydraulic fracturing” process employed in drilling for shale gas in Pennsylvania, the focus of a recent documentary critical of shale gas drilling.
KKR, which works with the Environmental Defense Fund on a “green portfolio program” involving a number of its companies, is not unaware of the controversy.
“Due to the potential for environmental impacts, shale gas is at the top of the list and we are currently working with KKR to explore environmental best practices for this sector,” said Thomas Murray, EDF’s managing director of corporate partnerships. “Our work in this area is in the early stages.”
Getting what you wished for: Joe Lacob’s biggest challenge won’t be ensuring the Warriors are a financial win when the Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers partner takes ownership of the also-ran team. The Golden State Warriors are one of the few profitable franchises in the NBA – which explains the record $450 million paid for a team whose last playoff appearance was in 2007.
“I’m sure he wouldn’t be doing it unless it was a good investment. But, for him, I don’t think it’s just about economics,” said Geoff Yang, founding partner of Redpoint Ventures, and a long time friend of Lacob. In other words it’s about having Champagne poured down your back by joyfully triumphant players, but that won’t happen unless Lacob, who is keeping his day job at Kleiner Perkins, fixes the Warrior’s on-court performance.
“He’s got to build a management team that makes sure they’re a triple-A investment both on and off the court,” said George Foster, a professor of sports management at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.
– Among those watching Lacob’s progress with interest, as noted by the online private equity newsletter PE Hubwire, will be fellow Silicon Valley VCs Jim Breyer of Accel Partners, Mark Wan of Three Arch Partners and David Roux, co-founder of Silver Lake Partners. The three were co-investors with Lacob in the Boston Celtics, from which Lacob will have to divest when he takes over the Warriors.
More Tiger losses: We don’t know if today’s last round of the British Open will have raised the flagging fortunes of Tiger Woods.
We do know that sales of “Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11,” the latest version of the Tiger-branded video game produced by Redwood City’s Electronic Arts Inc., are in double-bogey territory. According to a survey by NPD Group, June sales of the game are off by two-thirds compared with the equivalent monthly sale of last year’s version.
Woods’ once perennial best-seller didn’t even make the top 10 list.
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This article appeared on page D – 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle