Stories for April 2016

Friday, April 29

Layoffs Loom at Van Nuys Plant

Clover Imaging Group is eliminating the second shift at its Van Nuys toner cartridge manufacturing plant as the work has been relocated to Mexico.

Sienna Gets Financing

Sienna Biopharmaceuticals Inc. of Westlake Village on Friday announced that it has completed a Series A financing that raised $34 million.

Second Sight Sees Bigger Loss

Second Sight Medical Products Inc. has reported a bigger loss in its first quarter.

Preview: Camarillo Rising

Camarillo is kind of like Ventura County’s middle child, bypassed by housing and retail developers for its bigger, denser neighboring cities to the east and west.

Thursday, April 28

Comcast Acquires DreamWorks for $3.8 Billion

Comcast Corp. made it official Thursday that it will acquire DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. in a deal valued at $3.8 billion.

Amgen Beats First Quarter Forecasts

Amgen Inc. on Thursday reported first-quarter financial results that exceeded Wall Street’s expectations.

UCLA Buys Thousand Oaks Building

The UCLA Board of Regents has bought a Thousand Oaks medical office building that the school's health organization has been renting for about three years at a price of more than $10 million.

St. Jude Medical Acquired for $19 Billion

Abbott Laboratories of Abbott Park, Ill. on Thursday announced it will spend $19.3 billion to buy St. Jude Medical Inc. of St. Paul, Minn., a medical device company with a large manufacturing facility in Sylmar.

Public Storage, PS Business Parks Report Quarterly Growth

Two Glendale real estate investment trusts reported improved results in first-quarter earnings this week.

Mission Valley Bank Reports Record Q1

Mission Valley Bancorp reported record first-quarter profits late Wednesday.

Wednesday, April 27

DreamWorks Stock Jumps on Buyout Report

The stock of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. soared Wednesday following reports that the Glendale studio had attracted the interest of Comcast Corp.

Avery Dennison Reports Merger, Earnings Surprise

Avery Dennison Corp. on Wednesday announced first quarter earnings that beat expectations as well as an acquisition of a European company with Beverly Hills-based Platinum Equity.

On Assignment Beats Expectations

On Assignment Inc. on Wednesday announced first quarter earnings that beat analysts’ expectations.

Valley Hospital Gets Boost

Valley Presbyterian Hospital has announced that it received a $250,000 grant from the Henry L. Guenther Foundation, which will go toward the hospital’s $8.4 million project to expand its emergency department.

Universal Studios Books Deal with Local Hotels

Universal Studios Hollywood has partnered with more than 20 Los Angeles hotels to roll out its Preferred Hotel Program, the company has announced.

Cheesecake Factory Beats the Street

The Cheesecake Factory Inc. on Wednesday reported first-quarter earnings that beat expectations.

Tuesday, April 26

Oak Park Plaza Sells for $12 Million

Oak Park Plaza, a 29,950-square-foot shopping center at 702-706 Lindero Canyon Road in Oak Park, has sold for nearly $12 million, according to Lee & Associates-LA North/Ventura.

Acre Sells for $11 Million in Sherman Oaks

A 1-acre development site in Sherman Oaks has sold to investors for $11.4 million.

Ceres Secures Crop Patents

Ceres Inc. has secured two patents for genetic plant traits that can help increase crop yields, the company announced Tuesday.

United Online Sells

United Online closed on the sale of its loyalty marketing service in an all-cash deal of $13 million.

Monday, April 25

Gannett Offers to Buy Tribune for $815 Million

Gannett Co. on Monday offered to buy Tribune Publishing Co. for about $815 million, including the assumption of $390 million in Tribune debt.

NetSol Installs Software for U.K. Financier

NetSol Technologies Inc. has completed a major installation of its financing and leasing software for Aldermore Asset Finance in the United Kingdom.

Friday, April 22

Interlink Electronics Approved to Trade on the Nasdaq

Computer products maker Interlink Electronics Inc. has been approved to have its shares listed on the Nasdaq Capital Market, the company announced Thursday.

Cherokee Global Brands Expands Market Presence to Czech Republic

Cherokee Global Brands will enter the Czech Republic this fall through one of the country’s large retailers, the company recently announced.

Metro Awarded $4.3 Million to Add Electric Buses to Valley’s Orange Line

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority received a $4.3 million federal grant to purchase electric buses for use on the Orange Line busway through the San Fernando Valley.

Thursday, April 21

Santa Clarita Retail Center Changes Hands

A nearly fully-occupied Santa Clarita Valley retail center has sold for $72.5 million, according to its buyer, InvenTrust Properties Corp., a real estate investment trust in Oak Brook, Ill.

Calabasas Development Gets First Tenant, Debuts Model Homes

New Home Co. Inc. said it has leased its first tenant for its new residential and retail development in Calabasas and will open model homes to the public this weekend.

Students Tune In to Radio Startup in Camarillo

California State University Channel Islands and its communications program launched a student-run Internet radio station this month that will teach students the basics of running a radio station.

Wednesday, April 20

CrowdGather Debt Swap Opens Door to Equity Finance

Calabasas seller of advertising space on cannabis forums CrowdGather Inc. said it is undergoing a corporate restructuring that includes an agreement with its creditor allowing it to obtain equity financing.

Study: Amgen’s Nplate Effective for Child Patients

A Phase 3 study has shown that Amgen Inc.’s drug Nplate helped a majority of children with a bleeding disorder called immune thrombocytopenia, the company announced Wednesday.

Bank Appoints Manager for Valley Region

First Banks Inc. has appointed a regional manager for its Central Coast and San Fernando Valley locations, the bank announced earlier this week.

Tuesday, April 19

Developer Gets Funding to Build Apartments in Glendale

L.A.-based CBRE Group Inc. said its finance arm has arranged funding for the construction of a nearly 500-unit new apartment complex in Glendale.

MannKind Appoints Key Execs

MannKind Corp. announced Tuesday that it has appointed Joseph Saldanha as its vice president of marketing and Agustin Quintero as the company’s vice president of market value, access and trade.

Return of ‘Action!’: Filming Up 11% in L.A.

On-location filming for feature films and television increased in the first quarter, according to a report released Tuesday by FilmL.A., showing the continuing influence of the state’s production tax credit program.

Monday, April 18

Sport Chalet to Close All Stores in Bankruptcy

Sport Chalet Inc. will close all existing stores in the coming weeks and has ceased its online operations effective immediately, parent company Vestis Retail Group announced Monday.

Burbank Airport Begins Exec Search

The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority has started a nationwide search for a new executive director for Burbank Bob Hope Airport.

Appraisal Software Techie Turns Expert Witness

LITIGATION: Aftermath of financial crisis generates suits over home valuation.

Lee Kennedy has found a way to bring his technical savvy to the courtroom, helping defend lenders in the aftermath of the financial crisis – and launching a second career as an expert witness.

Will Pot Forums Fuel CrowdGather Comeback?

INTERNET: Company sells game studio, switches to marijuana-related ads.

Forum buyer CrowdGather Inc. shifts its business model – again – to lure cannabis-focused advertisers.

Rams Seek Green Pasture

SPORTS: NFL team’s relocation to Conejo will impact local real estate and economy.

Thousand Oaks and Cal Lutheran expect to score big from L.A. Rams’ new training facilities.

The Number

Want the cost of an MRI? It’s harder to find than you think.

Developer Buys Into Mall’s Rebirth

REAL ESTATE: Primestor to sink $30 million into renovation plan.

Remodeling Mission Hills Plaza could tap millions of consumer dollars while saving on construction costs.

Premium Placed on Insurer’s HQ

INSURANCE: Centene must nurture Health Net’s future in California.

The impact of Health Net’s conditional acquisition on the local economy.

Disney Ladder A Mouse Trap?

How will Disney continue making the magic now that its heir apparent is leaving?

Camarillo Technology in A Cow’s Ear

Semtech cattle tags monitor location, health of livestock.

Semtech’s long-range technology finds new use monitoring cattle health.

Cosmetics Firm Plays Name Game

Skincare line called Eclair Naturals to connote purity, luxury.

What’s in a name? For new Éclair Naturals skincare line, it conveys decadent food at everyday prices.

Hospital on Target to Hit $80 Million

Donor gives St. John’s biggest gift ever to build surgical center.

Camarillo hospital’s largest donation – and perk to name its suites – helps $80 million expansion.

Feeling Heat

Eatery cooks up new roles for staff amid wage hikes

Encino restaurant cuts wait staff to mitigate rising labor costs.

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Porn’s Insider

Tony Rios, new publisher at adult film trade magazine AVN, sees production gains as the industry goes mainstream.

Meet Tony Rios, the porn industry trade magazine’s new publisher.

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Why the Arts Matter to Business

Partnering with the arts boosts business creativity, problem-solving, team-building, market share, brand recognition and jobs.


Calendar of events

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley

Salem Media Group announced it has acquired finance newsletter and website Retirement Watch.

Sisters Set Direction for Industrial Brokerage

MANAGEMENT: Siblings run CBRE team that secured deals worth $8 billion.

The high-powered team of Darla Longo and Barbara Emmons are an anomaly in the industrial real estate profession.

Vaccination Documentary Shot Down at Festivals

FILM: Burbank distributor finds alternate screening locations for ‘Vaxxed.’

Cinema Libre Studios is no stranger to distributing controversial films but the response to its latest release, “Vaxxed: From Cover-up to Catastrophe” has taken talk to a whole other level.

Executive Helps Students Further Education

MENTORING: James Castro’s future nonprofit will help youth get into college.

It’s a demanding time of year for high school seniors. Most are filling out college applications, taking mind-numbing standardized tests and waiting to hear back from their first-choice universities.

Friday, April 15

County Unemployment Falls, Approaches National Average

L.A. County’s unemployment rate continued its rapid descent in March, falling to 5.4 percent, closing most of the unemployment gap with the rest of the nation.

Sorghum Seeds Narrows Ceres' Quarterly Loss

Ceres Inc. reported a 57 percent decrease in operating expenses for its second fiscal quarter but nevertheless recorded a net loss, the company announced Thursday.

Thursday, April 14

Metro Officials Ride New Bus Line

Representatives from Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority were aboard a new bus line Thursday morning to promote its use for commuters traveling between the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys.

Women-Owned Valley Firms Make Fast-Growth List

Two San Fernando Valley companies made it on the Women Presidents’ Organization’s 50-fastest growing women-owned businesses list this year.

Condos Hit High Marks in Valley

San Fernando Valley condominiums hit their highest median sales price in March since September 2007, according to monthly data from the Southland Regional Association of Realtors Inc.

Cherokee’s Earnings Down but Beat Expectations

Cherokee Global Brands reported quarterly earnings that beat analyst estimates, attributing the gain in part to the recent acquisition of retailer Flip Flop Shops.

Software Firm Reports Earnings Boost

Simulations Plus Inc. reported an increase in net income as well as net revenue for its second fiscal quarter, which the company partly credits to growth in license sales and consulting revenues.

Wednesday, April 13

Teledyne Buys Another Testing Firm

A subsidiary of Teledyne Technologies Inc. has acquired an electronic test and measurement business, the company announced Wednesday.

Spiral Toys Gets Institutional Backing

Entertainment technology company Spiral Toys Inc. on Wednesday announced it was receiving $1.18 million in financing from institutional investors.

Tuesday, April 12

One Giant Leap for MannKind Stock

MannKind Corp.’s stock is up 46 percent so far this week after the company announced it has scheduled an analyst call Tuesday to discuss its commercialization plans for Afrezza Inhalation Powder.

Biggest Lease in Years Signed in Valencia

The Automobile Club of Southern California has signed a lease to move its insurance claims division to a different location in Valencia, according to commercial real estate brokerage California Realty Group.

Monday, April 11

Simi Industrial Building Sold

Cabot Properties Inc. has acquired a 97,000-square-foot building in Simi Valley, it was announced on Monday.

Provision Interactive Unveils Big-Screen Kiosks

Provision Interactive Technologies Inc. has unveiled a new 66-inch tall 3D screen for promotional displays in stores and malls, the company announced Monday.

HemaCare Turns Profit, Increases Revenue

HemaCare Corp. increased revenue and narrowed its loss in 2015, the company announced Monday.

Friday, April 8

Teledyne Dives into Ocean Mapping

Teledyne Technologies Inc. added to its digital imaging segment with the acquisition of a Canadian company that develops marine mapping software, the company announced Friday.

Camarillo Electronics Manufacturer Acquired

Electronics systems and components manufacturer Interconnect Systems Inc. has been acquired by Molex LLC, the companies announced Friday.

Electro Rent Stumbles in Quarter

Electro Rent Corp. announced its quarterly results Friday, blaming the expiration of a big contract for falling income and revenue.

Thursday, April 7

Teledyne Acquires Frontline Test Equipment

A subsidiary of Teledyne Technologies Inc. has acquired an electronics test and measurement instrumentation business, it was announced Thursday.

City National Bank Opens New Conejo Valley Office

City National Bank in Los Angeles, a subsidiary of Toronto-based Royal Bank of Canada, announced it has opened an office in Westlake Village to provide wealth management services to individuals and business owners.

Wednesday, April 6

Verizon Buys Into DreamWorks’ New Media Venture

Verizon Communications Inc. has acquired a stake in multi-platform media company AwesomenessTV, it was announced Wednesday.

Porter Ranch Home Sales Take Hit From Gas Leak

Home sales in Porter Ranch community of Northridge were hit from the Aliso Canyon gas leak that lasted for three months last fall and winter, according to data analyzed by real estate research firms.

Research Solutions Appoints Banker to Board

Research Solutions Inc. has appointed investment banker Chad Cooper to its board, the company announced Wednesday.

Tuesday, April 5

MannKind Regains Rights to Afrezza

MannKind Corp. on Tuesday announced that it has regained the worldwide manufacturing and marketing rights to Afrezza Inhalation Powder, the company’s sole commercial product, from French pharma giant Sanofi.

JetSuite Charters to Fly From Burbank

Private aircraft charter firm JetSuite will begin service this month between Burbank Bob Hope Airport and the San Francisco area, the company announced Tuesday.

Monday, April 4

Iger’s Heir Apparent Leaving Mouse House

Thomas Staggs, considered the likely successor to Chief Executive Robert Iger at the Walt Disney Co., is stepping down as Chief Operating Officer, it was announced Monday.

AeroVironment’s Longtime CEO Leaving

Tim Conver is retiring as AeroVironment Inc.’s chief executive next month and will be replaced by the current president and chief operating officer, Wahid Nawabi.

Salem Media Buys Another Finance Website

Salem Media Group on Monday announced it has acquired finance newsletter Retirement Watch, a website that offers advice and resources to retirees.

Calabasas Insurer Undergoes ‘Strategic Review’

Unico American Corp. on Monday announced that its directors have appointed a special committee to review the company’s strategic alternatives with the ultimate goal of increasing shareholder value.

Cal Lu Starts Startup Program

California Lutheran University on Monday announced that its Center for Entrepreneurship in Westlake Village is launching its startup incubator program next week.

Riders’ Virtual Future

Six Flags looks to VR tech to shake up coasters

Magic Mountain and Samsung collaborate on virtual reality-enhanced roller coaster.

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Industrial-Size Space Shortage

REAL ESTATE: Buyers, tenants pay for dearth of properties.

No room in the Valley ­— businesses face hardships from lack of industrial space.

Porn Industry Widens Focus

ENTERTAINMENT: Producers try new strategies to lure revenue.

Porn industry’s post-Internet revenue strategies.

Pot Shops Suffer Bank Withdrawal

MARIJUANA: Lack of services leaves businesses with cash, higher risks.

Valley pot companies compensate for federal rules banning banks from taking their money.

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Hessam Nadji brings experience in research, finance and marketing to the top job at brokerage Marcus & Millichap.

Hessam Nadji takes the helm at fast-growing brokerage Marcus & Millichap Inc.

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The Number

Increasingly, popular credit unions call the Valley home.

Home Broker Puts Property On Camera

Former producer uses professional videos to attract buyers.

Real estate brokerage turns home listings into movies.

Wallet Maker Gets Glam With Oscars

Zekkle slips product into gift bags for award nominees.

Those pricey Oscar night gift bags includes Zekkle’s $39 wallets.

Mechanic, TV Host Lands Garage Gig

Bodie Stroud fits into ‘American Restoration’ on History Channel.

Sun Valley auto restorer lands starring role on History Channel.

New Routes for Valley’s Future

Voter-approved funding for transportation could determine the Valley’s economic future.

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley

The California High-Speed Rail Authority has proposed three new routes between Palmdale and Burbank that would be less disruptive because much of the tracks would be underground.


Calendar of events

High-Profile Pickup Pumps Up Firm’s Portfolio

ACQUISITION: Oxnard office building boosts Johnston’s Class A realignment plan.

Johnston Group in Agoura Hills has raised the profile of its portfolio of office and industrial properties by trading out a lower-quality industrial and office park for one of Ventura County’s most recognizable office buildings.

Accounting Startup Looks Far Afield for Funds

FINANCE: FloQast locates venture capital investors in Boston and Bay Area.

When raising money for his software firm, Michael Whitmire knew his unsexy product would be a hard sell for investors in Los Angeles.

Lancaster Hospital Seeks Stability in Bond Issue

FINANCE: $140 million float will lower annual debt load and pay for seismic retrofit.

The Antelope Valley Hospital District, owner of Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster, has refinanced its debt with a fixed-rate, long-term public bond issue that eliminated a $55 million balloon payment that was due in September of next year.

Chefs Shape Cuisine Transformation at the Stand

RESTAURANTS: Encino chain encourages customers to try out-of-the-box flavors.

The Stand, a restaurant chain with a focus on American cuisine, has jumped on the trend of chef-driven menus and hopes to reap the rewards at its new San Fernando Valley location.

Financial Software Firm Moves into Map Apps

TECHNOLOGY: NetSol invests $1.1 million for 15 percent equity in eeGeo.

Auto leasing software company NetSol Technologies Inc. partners with mapping software developer.

New Model For Success

NONPROFIT: Engineer Roberta Gleiter looks to grow women’s careers in STEM fields.

After facing workplace gender discrimination, Roberta Gleiter promotes engineering and related careers to female students.

Friday, April 1

United Online Sells StayFriends for $18 Million

United Online Inc. has sold off its last social media business to a German company in a deal valued at about $18.3 million.

ApolloMed Receives $5 Million Investment

Apollo Medical Holdings Inc. announced on Thursday that it has received a $5 million equity investment from health care management service Network Medical Management Inc. in Alhambra.

Preview: Riders' Virtual Future

Soon roller-coaster enthusiasts will be soaring through the air on fighter jets and shooting alien targets at Six Flags Magic Mountain.

Preview: Porn Industry Widens Focus

For decades, the San Fernando Valley was the epicenter of pornographic film production, taking on nicknames such as “the porn capital of the world,” “the San Pornando Valley” or simply “Porn Valley.” But today, much of the industry has evaporated.