Stories for May 2012

Thursday, May 31

Disney Turns To Warner Bros. Exec as new Studios Chairman

The Walt Disney Co. plucked from a rival film studio in Burbank for its new chairman of The Walt Disney Studios.

Teledyne Adds to Marine Instruments with Acquisition

A subsidiary of Thousand Oaks-based Teledyne Technologies Inc. that serves the marine market has acquired a Seattle company that makes acoustic imaging and measurement devices.

Dialogue Improving On Runway Repair Project

Management and tenants at Van Nuys Airport are getting closer to agreeing on how long to close the airport’s main runway during a planned repair project.

CLU To Offer Sustainable Business Track

California Lutheran University plans to offer a new Sustainable Business professional track in its MBA program and is looking to collaborate with area companies and organizations to provide research, consulting and internship opportunities for students enrolled in the new program, which will begin in the fall.

Luxury Apartment Building in Studio City Sold for More Than $12 million

A 35-unit apartment building in upscale Studio City has sold for $12.6 million, according to the brokerage involved with the deal.

Wednesday, May 30

VEDC Opens Second Valley BusinessSource Center

The Valley Economic Development Center is opening a new business source center in the west San Fernando Valley for business attraction and retention.

North Hollywood Nonprofit Launches iPad Application

North Hollywood nonprofit, The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF), announced the launch of the Myeloma Post, a comprehensive disease-specific cancer iPad application for patients, doctors and caregivers.

BioSolar Picks Manufacturer of Solar Panel Parts

BioSolar Inc. has chosen a Massachusetts company to manufacture components used in solar panels.

Tuesday, May 29

Reagan Foundation Buys 140 Acres to Preserve View

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation in Simi Valley has entered talks to purchase 140-acres of undeveloped land near the Ronald Reagan Library and Museum, foundation officials confirmed.

THQ Names New President, Chief Strategy Officer

Video game publisher THQ Inc. has restructured its management with a new president and chief strategy officer to help turn around the struggling game maker.

Teledyne Buys Instrument Maker for $291 Million

Teledyne Technologies Inc. will acquire a New York manufacturer of measurement equipment in a deal valued at $291 million.

Northridge Hospital CEO to Retire

Michael L. Wall, who has been CEO of Northridge Hospital Medical Center for 11.5 years, is retiring effective July 2.

DineEquity Announces Sale of 33 Applebee’s Restaurants

DineEquity, Inc., a Glendale-based franchisor and operator of Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar and IHOP restaurants, announced the sale of 33 company operated Applebee’s.

Monday, May 28

MICHAEL KEHOE

Craft services coordinator, director and writer - STUDIO CITY

Q&As with Valley film crew workers

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The MANN

Battery technology, solar power, insulin drugs and medical devices are just part of Alfred Mann’s legacy

Alfred E. Mann discusses his lifetime achievements in innovation

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LENNY BENT

Cookin’ With Lenny, Owner - SYLMAR

Q&As with Valley film crew workers

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Productions Flee to Other States, Crew Workers Follow

As film and TV workers leave state, some say tax credit bill is solution to keeping work in Valley.

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Area Brokerages Benefit from Rising Insurance Rates

Service: Valley insurance firms say they’re working harder to find deals for clients.

Rising rates help insurance firms boost revenues

GoConcierge Adds Qatar to Its International Portfolio

Online: Sherman Oaks firm caters to the hotel industry with web-based guest services.

Web-based GoConcierge expands into Gulf nation of Qatar

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Hilton in Woodland Hills Prepares for Major Remodel

HOTEL: The renovation, which may cost up to $30 million, will include new lobby.

Hilton in Woodland Hills prepares for major renovation

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Woodland Hills Firm Launches New Mobile Service

TECH: Gumiyo’s new service aims to usher small businesses into the mobile marketplace.

Tech firm Gumiyo launches new mobile service targeting small businesses

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Viking Embarks on New Adventure in Ocean Cruising

Tourism: The river cruising company’s new venture could be risky, industry experts say.

Viking River Cruises enters the ocean cruising business.

Giggles N’ Hugs to Serve Families at Westfield Topanga

RETAIL: New location is first of many as the kid-friendly eatery plans Valley expansion.

Kid-friendly eatery Giggles N’ Hugs to open in Westfield Topanga.

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Medical Office Project Meets Demand for New Space

REAL ESTATE: Pacoima developer says new Tarzana project offers doctors flexibilty.

Mega medical office complex proposed in Tarzana

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Fabric Company Expands with New Building, Website

MOVE: Dazian’s new Sun Valley facility will accomodate future growth, officials say.

New Sun Valley facility signals growth for fabric company Dazian

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Hostess Warns Three Valley Outlet Stores May Close

Food: Snack maker cutting expenses as it works through bankruptcy plan.

Hostess may close three Valley stores and lay off 65 workers

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Valley GM Dealers Improve Facilities, Add Amenities

Autos: Domestic car sellers lag behind luxury imports in offering shoppers fancy stores.

Three Valley GM dealerships plan upgrades under national sales program

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Legal Zoom Files for IPO, Plans to Expand Reach

Online: Valley law firms weigh possible impact of Glendale company’s growth.

LegalZoom files for initial public offering

Growing Pains

Hospital: Under new leadership, Palmdale Regional Medical Center implements three-year growth strategy.

Under new leadership, Palmdale hospital puts together expansion plan

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Doctor Has a Case of Puppy Love

Dr. Grossman offers his medical expertise to help treat burned pups.

Grossman Burn Center helps in the treatment of severely burned puppies

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Publisher Bids Farewell to Business Journal

LEADER: Pegi Matsuda of San Fernando Valley Business Journal resigns for new post.

LEADER: Pegi Matsuda of San Fernando Valley Business Journal resigns for new post.

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Galpin Unleashes The Beast

The auto customizer revamps Ford truck for Modesto manufacturer.

Galpin Auto Sports modifies F-450 truck for equipment manufacturer

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Insurance Rate Hikes Hurt Valley

COST: Workers’ compensation rate increases stymie recovery.

Local businesses impacted by rising workers’ compensation rates

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Investor Picks Fight at Qualstar

LEADERSHIP: BKF Capital wages proxy battle on Valley firm.

Qualstar investor makes a bid to take over the company

First California May Be Target

BANKS: Analysts say PacWest and other banks may place bids.

First California Bank may be the target of an acquisition

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STATE of the STUDIO

They are your neighbors

SPECIAL REPORT stories by Mark Madler

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Sweet Fortune

Lady Fortunes serves up edible treats for corporate clients and big-name retailers

Canoga Park-based Lady Fortunes is a gourmet cookie maker

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JOHN HERMANN

Line producer, producer, actor - STUDIO CITY

Q&As with Valley film crew workers

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PAM GILLES

Casting director, acting coach - SHERMAN OAKS

Q&As with Valley film crew workers

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VALLEY BIZ SEEN - May 28, 2012

Photographs of recent business-related events in the valleys, including parties, awards dinners, benefits and other celebrations.

Keep the Cameras Rolling in the Valley

Billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs are at stake

Westlake Village Nonprofit Stuffs Bags for Foster Kids

Support: MyStuffBags Foundation and Toy Industry Association assemble gifts.

Westlake Village-based nonprofit MyStuffBags Foundation partnered with the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) for its Fourth Annual Do Good Stuff-a-thon

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Cal Lutheran Gets New, $15 Million Dining Commons

Investment: University to break ground on new facility in late fall for spring 2014 opening.

The talk on most college campuses

Tax Situation for Domestic Partners Can Be a Headache

Money: Conflict between state and federal requirements a challenge for tax preparers.

Tax problems for same sex couples

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Friday, May 25

On Assignment Announces Management Changes

On Assignment Inc. is reshuffling its management in the wake of its recent purchase of IT staffing firm Apex Systems.

Cinedigm Entering Home Theater Market

Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp. will provide independent feature films, documentaries, and alternative programming to PRIMA Cinema, a startup that streams content to the home on the same day as theatrical release.

Former Woodland Hills Chamber President and Community Leader Dies

Gerald Curry, Valley attorney and former president of the Woodland Hills-Tarzana Chamber of Commerce and the United Chambers of Commerce, died in a car accident on May 19.

Thursday, May 24

Wesco Acquires Canadian Aircraft Parts Distributor

Aerospace parts distributor and supply chain services provider Wesco Aircraft Holdings Inc. has acquired a Canadian company as part of an effort to sell to the aircraft maintenance and repair market.

Internet Retailer to Move Fulfillment Facility Out of the Valley

Nasty Gal, Inc. a Los Angeles-based internet retailer of women’s apparel, is planning to relocate its fulfillment center in Arleta to a new space in Kentucky.

Valley Businesses Could Be Impacted By Possible Hostess Layoffs

Three Valley businesses face an uncertain future as Hostess Brands Inc. plans its bankruptcy restructuring.

Wednesday, May 23

Hearing Scheduled on Draft EIR of Disney Ranch Project

A June 4th public hearing date has been set for The Walt Disney Co.’s Golden Oak Ranch project in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Shareholders Elect New Amgen CEO

Amgen Inc.’s board of directors voted today to appoint Robert A. Bradway as the company’s fourth CEO at the company’s annual meeting of stockholders, held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake Village.

Lawmakers: FAA Should Take Lead in Helicopter Noise Issue

Three congressmen serving the San Fernando Valley are urging the Federal Aviation Administration to take the lead in gathering the opinions of those interested in the debate surrounding excessive helicopter noise.

Tuesday, May 22

Cal Lutheran Begins Work on $15 Million Dining Commons

California Lutheran University (CLU) has commenced work on a $15 million Dining Commons for its Thousand Oaks campus.

Florida Company Acquires E-Commerce Site for Music Artists

Music industry e-commerce company Audiolife has been acquired by Alliance Entertainment, a distributor of home entertainment products.

Northridge Hospital Wins Environmental Award

Northridge Hospital Medical Center is the recipient of the 2012 “Partner for Change” Award from Practice Greenhealth, a national membership organization for health care facilities committed to environmentally responsible operations.

J.H. Cohn, Reznick Group to Merger

Accounting firm J.H. Cohn LLP will add offices on the East Coast following a completion of a merger with Reznick Group, P.C.

Monday, May 21

Qualstar Facing Take Over Bid by Investor

One of the largest shareholders of Simi Valley-based Qualstar Corp. is making an attempt to take over the company’s board of directors.

Providence Saint Joseph Launches New Ambulance for Stroke and Cardiac Patients

Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center is launching a first-of-its-kind critical care ambulance to transfer stroke and cardiac patients from community hospital emergency rooms to the hospital’s specialists.

IHOP’s New Ad Campaign Targets Growing Breakfast Business

Family restaurant chain, IHOP is responding to the growing breakfast trend in the restaurant industry by launching a new advertising campaign that highlights its breakfast offerings.

Thursday, May 17

Kythera Biopharmaceuticals Files for IPO

Kythera Biopharmaceuticals Inc., a Calabasas-based biopharmaceutical company, announced plans to raise funds through an initial public offering.

CSUN Film Student Invited to Cannes Film Festival

A California State University, Northridge, cinema and arts student was invited to screen his senior film project at the Cannes Film Festival in France.

Berman Sponsors Film Tax Credit Bill

Congressman Howard Berman has co-sponsored a bill to extend a federal tax credit program aimed at keeping film production in the U.S.

Wednesday, May 16

Avita Medical Commences FDA Approval of ReCell Product

Avita Medical, a Northridge-based regenerative medicine company, announced it has initiated an FDA study of its ReCell Spray-On-Skin product for the treatment of raised or discolored scars.

Great American Sets Date for Auto Parts Manufacturer Auction

Great American Group will auction off in June the manufacturing equipment of Flo-Pro Inc., a New Hampshire automotive component maker.

Ryland Closes on New Debt to Finance Growth

The Ryland Group Inc. has closed on a $225 million loan that will help the Westlake Village homebuilder pay off more expensive debt due next year and fuel the company’s growth as new opportunities become available.

Tuesday, May 15

On Assignment Closes Purchase of Apex; Raises Earnings Guidance

Professional staffing company On Assignment Inc. closed on its $600 million purchase of Apex Systems today and raised its second quarter outlook to reflect the acquisition.

THQ Widens Loss in Q4

Video game publisher THQ Inc. widened its net loss in the fourth quarter compared to the same period a year ago.

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Begins Week Long Test Schedule

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne today began testing its rocket engines in Mississippi and Florida.

Moorpark College Foundation Awards $120,000 in Scholarships

The Moorpark College Foundation is awarding $120,000 in scholarships this school year to 168 students.

Talon Sales Drop; Losses Narrow

Woodland Hills-based Talon International Inc. reported narrowed losses in the first quarter despite a drop in sales.

Monday, May 14

Pilot Program to Help Valley Kids Ward Off Obesity

Health: Facey Medical Group and Anthem Blue Cross partner to offer preventative care.

Anthem Blue Cross and Facey Medical Group join forces

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As Executive Travel Returns, Hotel Occupancy Rises

HOSPITALITY: Valley hotel properties invest in renovations and hire new employees.

Business travel a boosts Valley region hotel industry. Includes SFVBJ's 2012 LARGEST HOTELS list for download (pdf)

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Master of Savings

Access Purchasing Network of Canoga Park buys in bulk and passes savings on to clients.

Access Purchasing Network offers integrated purchasing solutions

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Distressed for Success

Mike Adler of Adler Realty Investments discusses how he got started in the real estate business and why’s he’s selling off top-quality properties to gain capital to acquire and refurbish distressed p

Mike Adler of Adler Realty Investments

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City Takes Strides to Keep Up Pace With Tech

Lawmakers' slow response to new technology

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Wood Ranch BBQ Campaigns to Fight Childhood Hunger

Food: Agoura Hills chain donating portion of checks to the Share Our Strength movement.

Agoura Hills chain donates

Pam MacD’s Strives to Be a Gluten-Free Gold Mine

FOOD: Market plans to roll out e-commerce site and considers opening additional stores.

Gluten-free market Pam MacD’s looking to expand

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Financial Advisor Develops Safety Alarm App for iPhone

Software: White House honors Sun Valley entrepreneur for her personal safety product.

Sun Valley financial advisor develops safety alarm application

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With Pressure On, Aerospace Suppliers Make Changes

MANUFACTURE: Small companies can still compete but need to innovate and invest.

Local suppliers change business strategies to stay competitive

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Startup Putting Electric Vehicle Chargers to the Test

TeCH: Gridtest Systems moves to Westlake Village after getting angel investor funding.

Investor funds allows Gridtest Systems to move to Westlake Village

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Dole Spin-off May Improve Business, Analysts Say

PRODUCE: Food grower’s board of directors reviewing options on corporate structure.

Dole considers spin-off of one or more of its businesses

Burbank Firm Casts Eye on Post-Production Services

FILMS: MyEyeMedia plans to bring quality control expertise to new post-production offerings.

MyEyeMedia ventures into post-production business

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Simi Valley Hospital Partners to Advance Cancer Care

HEALTH: Hospital aims to keep patients closer to their homes, reduce lengthy travel.

Simi Valley Hospital partners to improve cancer care

Research Group Selects Name for Next Generation

BRAND: The Pluralists are the last white majority generation in the U.S., says Sherman Oaks firm.

Sherman Oaks research firm names the new generation

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Playboy Digital and TV Channel Coming to Burbank

Media: Playboy Plus brings 250 jobs to Burbank and helps to improve office vacancies.

Playboy Plus sets up shop in Burbank

Peak Time Chills

Energy: Ice Energy relocates headquarters to Glendale to be near its largest utility clients and prospective clients.

Ice Energy moves burgeoning business to Glendale

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Lancaster Launches Shuttle Project

Free rides take visitors from city’s hotels to the downtown district.

Lancaster launches free shuttle program to help boost local business

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Four-Legged Stress Relief for Students

California Lutheran finds that puppies help students relax for finals.

Cal Lutheran brings in puppies to help students relax

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IHOP Syrup Available at Retail Stores

Restaurant chain brings most popular flavors to conumer goods market.

IHOP’s new syrup line hits retail shelves nationwide

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Live TV on Princess Cruises

Cruise line adds first-of-its kind television studio for daily broadcasts.

Princess Cruises to debut live television on new ship

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NoHo Studio Busts a Move

ARTS: Millennium to open franchise locations.

NoHo dance studio launches franchise program

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Medtronic Pushes Forward

HEALTH: Diabetes unit explores automated devices.

Medtronic works toward creating an artificial pancreas

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Drone On

Valley Aerospace Companies Spot Opportunity in Unmanned Aircraft

Aviation suppliers plan to tap into growing drones market

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Banks Opening Valley Branches, Stirring Competition

EXPANSION: Banks target affluent markets.

A wave of new Valley banks makes for some stiff competition

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Matadors Bullish on Making Home Improvement Loans

Matador Credit Union offers loans for energy efficiency program

Historic Weider Publications Building Hits the Market

SPACE: Publisher of fitness magazines exited last year; local office gem now up for lease.

Historic Weider building for lease

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Drone Regulations Shouldn’t Hamper Business Opportunities

Many uses for unmanned aircraft

VALLEY BIZ SEEN - May 14, 2012

Photographs of recent business-related events in the valleys, including parties, awards dinners, benefits and other celebrations.

Friday, May 11

Tix Corp. May Put Exhibit Merchandising Division Up For Sale

The potential loss of providing merchandising services for two exhibits on King Tut has Tix Corp. considering selling off its exhibit merchandising division.

Simi Valley Hospital Taps New CEO

Simi Valley Hospital chose a new CEO today, replacing Darwin Remboldt, who retired in February.

Palmdale Regional Medical Center Announces New CEO

Larry Coomes was appointed the new CEO of Palmdale Regional Medical Center.

Local Betsey Johnson Stores Begin Liquidating Inventory

Three Betsey Johnson LLC retail stores in Camarillo, Sherman Oaks and Canoga Park began liquidation sales today.

Thursday, May 10

Staff Reduction Helps MannKind Narrow Losses

A workforce reduction helped Valencia-based MannKind Corp. reduce costs and narrow losses in the first quarter ended March 31.

Qualstar Names New CEO

Storage and power supply product manufacturer Qualstar Corp. tapped the chief financial officer of a Colorado company as its new CEO.

Lockheed Credit Union Announced Name Change

Lockheed Federal Credit Union will change its name to Logix in an effort to bring in new customers.

CSUN Signs Agreement to Admit Chinese Music Students

California State University, Northridge signed an agreement that will allow students at Shanghai Normal University to complete an accelerated master’s degree in the school’s music program.

Wednesday, May 9

First California Rejects Acquisition Offer

First California Financial Group turned down an acquisition offer from PacWest Bancorp over the lack of clarifying information about the proposed deal.

Glendale Donors Fund State-of-the Art CT Scanner

Thanks to donors, Glendale Adventist Medical Center was able to purchase a new premier CT scanner that will make for faster diagnosis.

Viking Signs Agreement for 2 New Ocean Cruise Ships

Viking Ocean Cruises, a sister company of Woodland Hills based Viking River Cruises, recently announced an agreement with Fincantieri, to build two new luxury ocean cruise ships.

Tuesday, May 8

Despite “John Carter” Loss, Disney Has Strong Q2

Second-quarter earnings revealed just how big a financial hit the science fiction film “John Carter” cost The Walt Disney Co.

Princess Cruises Consolidates Shore and Fleet Operations

Princess Cruises announced senior management changes bringing fleet and shore operations under one umbrella to achieve efficiencies and better alignment between the divisions.

Munchkin Honored by Toys “R” Us

Munchkin Inc., a North Hills developer of infant and toddler products, was recognized as Toys “R” Us Inc.’s Vendor of the Year for 2011.

AeroVironment Reshuffles Senior Management

AeroVironment Inc. realigned its senior management ranks to support its continuing growth plans.

Monday, May 7

XTend to Buy Entertainment Firm

Sun Valley-based XTend Medical Corporation announced it has signed a letter of intent to purchase entertainment company JoyFull Genius.

Wesco Aircraft Decreases Revenue Guidance

Aerospace parts distributor and supply chain services provider Wesco Aircraft Holdings Inc. lowered its full-year revenue guidance after finding that its customers had more inventory on hand than the company originally thought.

Row 44 Bringing Broadband Service to Russian Airline

Row 44 has signed a deal with a private airline in Russia to provide in-flight broadband entertainment services.

Ixia to Acquire Anue Systems for $145 Million

Seeking to benefit from growing business of cloud computing, Calabasas-based Ixia—a provider of test systems for Internet Protocol (IP) and wireless networks—has agreed to acquire Anue Systems Inc. for $145 million.

Friday, May 4

Simi Valley Hospital Begins Construction on New Labs

Simi Valley Hospital has begun construction on its new GI lab and the city's first cardiac catheterization lab.

Health Net Shares Remain Depressed After Sharp Drop

Shares of Woodland Hills based Health Net Inc. stayed down May 4 after plunging 25 percent to $27.26 a day earlier on a shortfall in earnings. The company reported lower than expected earnings for the quarter, prompting a 25 percent cut in projected 2012 earnings by the company.

Image Adds to Catalog with Amity Entertainment Purchase

Image Entertainment Inc. added 100 new titles to its catalog following the purchase of the Amity Entertainment library.

Dole Reviewing Spin Off of Business Divisions

The Dole Food Co. Inc. is reviewing its business operations that could lead to a spin off or other transaction of its divisions, the company announced.

Thursday, May 3

Public Storage Sees Gains in Operations; Hurt by Foreign Exchange Rates

Currency exchange rates and noncash charges hurt Public Storage in the first quarter ended March 31, even though self storage revenues grew 5 percent to $442.6 million.

Palmdale Regional Announces Wound Care Board Certification

Palmdale Regional Medical Center announced that its Center for Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine has received physician board-certification in wound care.

K-Swiss Revenues Drop in the First Quarter

Westlake Village-based K-Swiss Inc. experienced a dip in revenues in the first quarter as a result of poor domestic sales.

Taxes Affect Q1 at Crown Media

Net income dropped by 80 percent at Crown Media Holdings Inc. in the first quarter compared to the same period from a year ago.

Wednesday, May 2

DineEquity Reports Improved Income in First Quarter

Glendale-based DineEquity Inc. reported improved net income in the first quarter thanks to lower interest expenses and impairment charges, company officials said.

ValueClick Reports Jump in Profits, Revenue

Digital marketing company ValueClick Inc. of Westlake Village today reported a 28 percent increase in first-quarter earnings on a 31 percent increase in revenue.

Medical Diagnostics Company Reports Sales, Profit Increase

Medical diagnostics maker IRIS International Inc. reported an 80 percent increase in net income to $900,000 in the first quarter ended March 31 on an 11 percent increase in revenue.

“Puss” Highlights Q1 for DreamWorks Animation

International box office and home entertainment sales of “Puss in Boots” helped DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. increase net income by 3 percent in the first quarter.

Tuesday, May 1

Lennar Opening New Valencia Community With Multigenerational Homes

Homebuilder Lennar Corp. will hold a grand opening for its new Valencia community, which will include Lennar’s multigenerational model.

Software Developer Adds Foreign Resellers

Manufacturing software developer Surfware Inc. in Camarillo has signed on two resellers to handle the markets in Chile and the Ukraine.

ReachLocal Reports Increased Revenues; Raises Guidance for the Year

ReachLocal Inc. of Woodland Hills, the online marketing company for small- and medium-sized businesses, reported a 24 percent increase in revenue and smaller losses for its first quarter ended March. 31.