Stories for August 2016

Wednesday, August 31

MannKind’s Stock Surges: May Make EpiPen Rival

Reports that MannKind Corp. is working on an alternative way to deliver the drug epinephrine into the body caused the company’s stock to soar.

Westlake Village Apartments Sold; Upgrades Planned

The IMT Westlake Village apartment complex has traded for more than $88 million, according to Calabasas commercial real estate firm Marcus & Millichap Inc.

Semtech Beats the Street

Semtech Corp. beat Wall Street estimates on adjusted earnings and revenue in its 2017 fiscal second quarter.

Farmers Appoints HR Chief

Farmers Insurance Group, based in Woodland Hills, has named Suzie Elliott its new head of human resources.

Tuesday, August 30

BlackLine Opens Office in Germany

Financial software developer BlackLine has opened a new office in Frankfurt, Germany, the company announced Tuesday.

AeroVironment Quarterly Losses Grow

AeroVironment Inc. missed Wall Street projections on earnings and revenue in the fiscal first quarter.

Pasadena Building Sells for $30 Million

A more than 60,000-square-feet office building in Pasadena has changed hands for $30 million.

Monday, August 29

VEDC Partners on Great Streets Program

Valley Economic Development Center is partnering with the city of Los Angeles on a loan program for businesses in conjunction with the Great Streets Initiative.

Talon Looks at Industrial Market for Flame-Resistant Zippers

Talon International Inc. has received UL certification for its flame-resistant zippers, opening up potential sales in the industrial garment market, the company announced Monday.

Friday, August 26

Immigration Scammer Convicted

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer on Friday announced that his office has convicted Gloria Dora Saucedo and her Panorama City business for illegally practicing law and providing paralegal services.

NoHo Portfolio Sold for $7 Million

A mixed-use retail and office center in North Hollywood has changed hands for $7 million, according to Calabasas commercial real estate brokerage Marcus & Millichap Inc.

Demolition Begins at Aerojet Rocketdyne Plant

Destruction of the 46-acre Aerojet Rocketdyne plant in Canoga Park started this week, with work expected to last up to a year.

Valley Condo Prices Rise 13 Percent

Rising condominium prices in the San Fernando Valley outpaced those of single-family homes in July, according to the Southland Regional Association of Realtors Inc.

Great American to Liquidate Australian Home Improvement Stores

Great American Group has secured an agreement to manage the closure of Masters Home Improvement Stores in Australia.

Thursday, August 25

FDA Rejects Amgen’s Parsabiv

Amgen Inc.’s application seeking approval for its drug Parsabiv has been rejected by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the company announced Thursday.

Interlink Names CFO

Interlink Electronics Inc. has named David S. Burnett as chief finance officer for the manufacturing company.Interlink Names New CFO

Simulations Plus Releases New Analysis Software

Simulations Plus Inc. on Thursday announced the launch of its version 1.0 PKPlus software, which is used to analyze preclinical and clinical trial data.

Wednesday, August 24

Bayless Manufacturing Sells Valencia Buildings for $12 Million

Two Valencia industrial buildings occupied by Bayless Manufacturing Inc. have sold for about $12 million, according to L.A. commercial real estate brokerage CBRE Group Inc.

Cherokee Launches Brand in Czech Republic

Cherokee Global Brands announced Wednesday the launch of Cherokee-branded apparel and accessories at 80 stores in the Czech Republic.

Tuesday, August 23

Kennedy Wilson Pays $81 Million for CSU Channel Islands Apartments

University Glen, a multifamily housing complex next to California State University Channel Islands in Camarillo, has been bought for $81 million by Kennedy Wilson, the Beverly Hills real estate investment company announced.

Comcast Completes DreamWorks Takeover

Comcast Corp. closed on its deal to acquire DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. on Monday, the final day of trading for DreamWorks shares on the Nasdaq.

Monday, August 22

Real Industry CEO Steps Down, Shares Fall

Craig Bouchard has stepped down as chief executive and chairman of Real Industry Inc., it was announced Monday.

Chick-fil-A to Open in West Hills

The former site of Orchard Supply Hardware in West Hills will become home to a new Chick-fil-A restaurant, according to an official from the West Hills Neighborhood Council.

Marcus & Millichap Announces Valley Sales Worth $6 Million

Calabasas commercial real estate brokerage Marcus & Millichap Inc. said it has recently arranged several apartment and retail space deals in the Valley this month.

Capstone Renews Russian Distributor Deal

Capstone Turbine Corp. has signed a new three-year agreement with BPC Engineering to distribute its microturbines in Russia and Belarus.

The Number

Why area small businesses are selling for more.

New Leadership in Tower at Van Nuys Airport

MANAGEMENT: Romo leaves, search for permanent replacement takes off.

Management change has arrived at Van Nuys Airport.

Debt Buyback Bumps Share Price for Oil Driller

ENERGY: Investors like financial maneuvers at California Resources.

As part of a deleveraging plan, California Resources Corp. has managed to pay off a good deal of debt – and raised its stock price as a byproduct.

On-Screen Psychiatrists

TELEMEDICINE: Hospitals don’t have enough mental health specialists. Here’s the solution.

Telepsychiatry firm raises VC money to grow on-screen counseling.

DWP Pays for Business Disruption

Pilot program gives checks to merchants near construction.

L.A.’s water and power utility turns on reimbursement program for merchants affected by construction.

How to Text ‘Diabetes’ in Chinese

Medtronic expands mobile app to address disease epidemic.

Medtronic partners with Chinese firm to expand diabetes app in growing market.

Flash Frozen Flavors for Home Chefs

Startup finds space in supermarket freezers for seasoning cubes.

Flash-freezing herbs helps startup cultivate success with supermarkets.

Budding Ad Sales for Pot Publisher

PUBLISHING: Mg hopes to become trade magazine for dispensaries.

Valley entrepreneur Darren Roberts pivots from the porn industry to cannabis.

Rebound Blvd.

Thousand Oaks wants a downtown with nightlife

Thousand Oaks plans to revitalize its main street with apartments and nightlife.

Hotels Rising in Antelope Valley

HOSPITALITY: Convention center, extended stays to meet demand.

Hotel industry capitalizes on growth in High Desert.

Rehab Recovers After Tragedy

HEALTH CARE: Sober College expands after co-founder dies.

New leadership and new location for substance abuse facility Sober College after founder’s death.

Saving Private Canyons

If the group Save the Canyon cancels a proposed hotel, it could result in more development.


Calendar of events

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation has given the world’s largest humanitarian award to an Atlanta nonprofit.

Post Office Site Receives Stamp of Approval

APARTMENTS: Neighborhood council OKs 335 units in Woodland Hills.

A controversial 335-unit apartment complex proposed to replace the Woodland Hills Post Office site is a step closer to reality.

Career Creative

How an advertising exec straight out of ‘Mad Men’ moved to Camarillo and opened an agency for small clients.

Advertising guru Bill Hamilton and his knack for pitching the right message.

Macy’s Closure Opens Door for NoHo West

DEVELOPMENT: Former department store could become office space.

Macy’s Inc. has announced it will close its North Hollywood location this fall, bringing an end to Laurel Plaza’s tenure as a shopping destination and opening the door for the development of NoHo West.

Valley Bar Association to Assist in Mediation

COURT: Growing backlog of civil cases spurs judge to ask for volunteer lawyers.

Judge Huey Cotton of the Los Angeles Superior Court’s Northwest Judicial District has asked the San Fernando Valley Bar Association to recruit volunteer attorneys to mediate civil cases at the Van Nuys Courthouse.

Friday, August 19

Rocket Engine Fired Up in Milestone Test

Aerojet Rocketdyne on Thursday test-fired its RS-25 rocket engine that will be used on the Space Launch System, the new heavy-lift rocket NASA has under development to power future manned missions to the moon and possibly to Mars.

Preview: Thousand Oaks Wants a Downtown with Nightlife

Suburban Thousand Oaks may never be confused for the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica or even downtown Glendale. But the city is taking action to make a three-mile stretch of Thousand Oaks Boulevard more like those places.

Preview: Rehab Recovers After Tragedy

Robert Pfeifer, founder of drug and alcohol rehabilitation center Sober College, unexpectedly died of a heart attack, leaving his wife and co-founder Mindi Levins Pfeifer to decide the fate of their business.

Thursday, August 18

Another Area Code Coming for the 805

The 805 is getting new digits, as the California Public Utilities Commission has begun a plan to introduce a second area code into the region over the next two years.

Apartments Change Hands

Sales of three apartment complexes in the San Fernando Valley have been closed by Marcus & Millichap Inc. (MMI), the Calabasas real estate firm announced Wednesday, including a record-setting sale of a property in Panorama City.

Wednesday, August 17

In a First, Warner Names Manager for China Operations

Warner Bros. Entertainment has named Gillian Zhao as executive vice president and managing director of Warner Bros. China.

Simi Hospital Dials Up Help Line

Simi Valley Hospital has rolled out a toll-free phone number for the public to use for physician referrals and finding out about hospital services.

Tuesday, August 16

Princess Survey Finds Sleep Replacing Vacations

Santa Clarita’s Princess Cruises on Monday released its 7th annual Relaxation Report, concluding that Americans are using their vacation time not for vacation but to catch up on sleep and errands.

Film Rental Firm Consolidates Operations

Entertainment industry production equipment rental firm VER has consolidated its operations into three locations in the San Fernando Valley.

Monday, August 15

Biotech Firm to Move Operations to Camarillo

Biotech products manufacturer SaniSure Inc. has signed a lease in a Camarillo industrial building for nearly double the space it has in Oxnard.

NoHo Tunnel Connects Red Line, Orange Line

A new pedestrian tunnel opened on Monday between the Red Line subway and the Orange Line busway in North Hollywood.

Earnings: Interlink, ApolloMed, Tix

Interlink Electronics improves performance, Apollo Medical narrows losses and Tix posts lower revenue from Las Vegas attraction ticket sales.

Friday, August 12

Refinancings in Van Nuys, Valencia Based on Strong Industrial Market

With demand rising for industrial space, brokers were able to secure new financing for properties in Valencia and Van Nuys.

Earnings: Qualstar, BNK

Qualstar narrows its losses, while BNK's grows wider on volatile oil prices.

Thursday, August 11

Glendale Apartments Sell for $1 Million

A four-unit apartment complex in Glendale has changed owners for more than $1 million after a flurry of interest from potential buyers, according to commercial real estate brokerage Stevenson Real Estate Services in Glendale.

AeroVironment Drone Deployed on Navy Destroyer

The U.S. Navy has tested and deployed small drones made by AeroVironment Inc. aboard a guided missile destroyer.

Medtronic Introduces New Insulin Pump

Medical device maker Medtronic on Thursday announced the U.S. commercial launch of its latest device, the MiniMed 630G Insulin Pump System.

Wednesday, August 10

Real Industry Narrows Loss, But Shares Drop 9 Percent

Real Industry Inc. beat Wall Street expectations on earnings for the fiscal second quarter, but the market reacted by sending the share price down nearly 9 percent.

Leadership Switch at Burbank Airport

Commissioners of the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority will vote Monday to approve Frank R. Miller as the new executive director of the Hollywood Burbank Airport.

Kaiser, AV Hospital Extend Care Contract

Antelope Valley Hospital and Kaiser Permanente Inc. on Wednesday announced a three-year contract for Kaiser physicians to continue to administer care to its members at the Lancaster hospital.

Tuesday, August 9

Disney Beats Estimates on Strong Movie Slate

Walt Disney Co. beat Wall Street estimates on adjusted earnings and revenue for the company’s fiscal third quarter.

Capstone Sells Turbine for Chinese Microgrid

Capstone Turbine Corp. received an order for one of its microturbines for a microgrid project in China.

Hilton Foundation Awards $2 Million Prize

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation in Agoura Hills has given the world’s largest humanitarian award to an Atlanta nonprofit.

Monday, August 8

California Resources Shares Jump 27 Percent

Shares of California Resources Corp. rose nearly 30 percent Monday after the company announced an expansion of its debt buyback program.

MannKind Barely Misses Estimates

MannKind Corp. (MNKD) announced its second quarter financial results on Monday, reporting an adjusted net loss of $30 million (-7 cents a share) for the second quarter ended June 30, compared with an adjusted net loss of $28.9 million (-7 cents) for the same quarter a year ago.

Glendale Medical Office Building Sold

Investors have purchased a Glendale medical office building for $11 million, according to commercial real estate brokerage CBRE Group Inc. in Los Angeles.

Interlink CEO Rings Nasdaq Bell

Interlink Electronics Inc. Chief Executive Steve Bronson rang the closing bell at the Nasdaq in Times Square on Monday.

Restaurant Cooks Up Anniversary Fundraiser

EVENT: Sharky’s donates $1,200 for beautification along Reseda Boulevard.

Sharky’s Woodfired Mexican Grill celebrated the one-year anniversary of its Northridge location on July 30 with a fundraiser benefitting Northridge Sparkle, a nonprofit that involves the local community in beautification efforts on Reseda Boulevard.


Calendar of events

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley

Amgen Inc. will pay $95 million to settle a class action lawsuit.

Apartment Owners Prefer Selling to Retrofitting

MULTIFAMILY: Costly seismic upgrades speed up sales by mom-and-pop landlords.

Apartment sales have soared this year in the San Fernando Valley and outpaced L.A. County overall in sales value and activity, according to a recent report by Marcus & Millichap Inc. in Calabasas.


Defense contracts dominate local manufacturing.


David Dickinson runs Delta Scientific, a company with the mission of halting vehicles that pose a threat to high-profile buildings and people.

David Dickinson runs barricade builder Delta Scientific.

Northridge Hospital Invests for Baby Boom

UPGRADE: A $90 million expansion focuses on neonatal, pediatric care.

Dignity Health – Northridge Hospital Medical Center recently spent close to $90 million on hospital upgrades, primarily in the newborn and pediatric sectors.

Customer Software Firm Fetches $215 Million

ACQUISITION: Agoura Hills’ TouchCommerce sold to Nuance Communications.

Customer service software provider TouchCommerce has been acquired by Nuance Communications in a deal valued at $215 million.

Local Control Works Best for the Valley

Sacramento’s plans for the Southern California Air Quality Management District.

With Luck, Movie Ranches Survive Sand Fire

FILM: Frantic soaking and spraying keep flames at bay – and businesses open.

Movie ranches collaborate against the Sand Fire.

The Number

The impact of thinking ahead about earthquakes.

Exec Doubles as Addiction Chaplain

Personal experience led to ministry call at treatment center.

Addiction recovery and insurance form the double life of a Cigna executive.

Second Life for Nonprofit Leadership

Training center moves under Cal Lutheran umbrella in the fall.

Center for Nonprofit Leadership is resurrected at Cal Lutheran University.

In Hot Valley, Iced Popcorn Tastes Cool

Frozen Poppers plans to expand beyond its West Hills origins.

Frozen popcorn business pops up in West Hills.

Will Voters Veto Hotel?

HOSPITALITY: Calabasas project could go to polls in November.

Environmental group stands in the way of proposed Calabasas hotel and housing.

PokeStop Shops Catch ’em All

MARKETING: Businesses get customers from game craze.

How businesses are piggybacking on the success of Pokemon Go.

Rare Campus Comes Up for Lease

REAL ESTATE: OPI’s exit will vacate 21 industrial buildings on 11 acres.

Future possibilities of nail polish maker OPI Products’ massive North Hollywood campus.

Gold Mine Times the Market

Golden Queen Mine has ramped up operations in the Antelope Valley at the right time.

Tease photo

Photo Booth of the Future

ENTERTAINMENT: Digital technology puts event attendees inside make-believe scenes.

LA Photo Party gives new life to the photo booth.

Tease photo

SPECIAL REPORT: Solar Frontier

A Sylmar company’s photovoltaic panels power satellites and spacecraft as far away as Jupiter, while also setting efficiency records for turning light into electricity.

Spectrolab’s efficient solar cells find their way to space.

Tease photo

City Attorney Fails to Make Case

VICA lunch with L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer falls short on substance; locally-based restaurant chains serve up opposite stories.

Conventional Fuels Still Drive the Economy

California imports more than half its crude oil while regulators insist on an unrealistic switch to alternatives.

Oil’s future is being plugged by politics.

Friday, August 5

NoHo Macy's to Close

Macy’s, Inc. is slated to close its North Hollywood location at Laurel Plaza this fall, the store has announced.

Humira Lawsuit Targets Amgen Biosimilar

Drugmaker AbbVie Inc. filed a lawsuit Thursday against Thousand Oaks biotech Amgen Inc. claiming patent infringement of its top-selling drug Humira, which brought in $14 billion in revenue in 2015.

Thousand Oaks Center Secures $10 Million Refi

A three-building retail and office park in Thousand Oaks has been refinanced, said Calabasas-based commercial real estate brokerage Marcus & Millichap Inc.

Thursday, August 4

Strong Quarter for Marcus & Millichap

Calabasas commercial real estate brokerage Marcus & Millichap Inc. reported second-quarter results that exceeded Wall Street estimates on both earnings and revenue.

Earnings Roundup: American Homes, Salem, Wesco, Capstone, MRV

A number of Valley area companies reported earnings Thursday. While several were disappointing, American Homes 4 Rent posted the best results in its three years as a public company and Salem beat earnings expectations.

Oil Producer’s Losses Double

California Resources Corp. (CRC), the state’s largest oil and gas producer, reported a widened net loss and much lower revenue. Both numbers missed analysts’ expectations as the company continued to sell off assets and reduce drilling in the second quarter amid low oil prices. The company’s stock slid on the disappointing news.

Teledyne’s Profits Beat Projections

Teledyne Technologies Inc. (TDY) beat Wall Street expectations on earnings for the second quarter but fell short on revenue.

Wednesday, August 3

DineEquity Serves Up Hard-to-Digest Earnings

DineEquity, the Glendale-based operator of Applebee’s and IHOP restaurants, on Wednesday reported a worse-than-expected dip in revenue in the second quarter amid disappointing same-restaurant sales.

Virgin Galactic Closer to Blast Off

Virgin Galactic received an operator license for its SpaceShipTwo space vehicle from the Federal Aviation Administration, the company announced.

DreamWorks Goes Out with Earnings Victory

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc., in the midst of being acquired, beat Wall Street estimates on earnings and revenue for the second quarter.

Tuesday, August 2

Disney Film Wins State Tax Credit

Twenty-eight feature film productions were chosen to receive financial help in the second year of the state’s California’s expanded Film & Television Tax Credit Program.

Burbank Airport Plan Goes to Voters

The Burbank City Council has set Nov. 8 as the date for a special election for residents to approve a replacement terminal at Hollywood Burbank Airport.

Tax Board Offers Help to Sand Fire Victims

The California Board of Equalization is offering business owners affected by the Sand Fire that swept through Santa Clarita last week extensions to file their tax returns, penalty relief and replacement copies of lost or damaged records.

Earnings: LTC, Tutor Perini, Ixia

Ixia beat analyst expectations for the second quarter, while LTC met expectations and Tutor Perini fell short.

Monday, August 1

California Resources Offers to Buy Back Debt

California Resources Corp. has offered to buy back debt notes at a price between 55 and 68 percent of their face value, the company announced Monday.

ApolloMed Wins Montebello Hospital Contract

Health management company Apollo Medical Holdings Inc. announced Monday that its affiliate medical group ApolloMed Hospitalists has been contracted to provide its services to Beverly Hospital in Montebello.