Stories for December 2014
Wednesday, December 31
San Fernando Valley movie studios grossed more than $4.2 billion at the domestic box office in 2014, or 41 percent of Hollywood’s market share.
The median price of a San Fernando Valley home rose nearly 12 percent in November, slowing sales significantly, according to the Southland Regional Association of Realtors.
Tuesday, December 30
The California Department of Public Health has recommended that production companies require on-set condom usage after a performer tested positive for HIV and infected at least one other performer at a Nevada film shoot.
Five Star Electric, a Tutor Perini Corp. specialty electrical and mechanical contractor, has received three contracts in New York valued at $141 million, the company announced on Tuesday.
Monday, December 29
Warner Bros. exceeded $3 billion in international box office for the second consecutive year in 2014 as the Burbank studio benefited from large tent-pole films that drew foreign audiences.
Los Angeles International Airport is on pace to set a new record this year for passenger traffic, according to figures released by Los Angeles World Airports.
Wednesday, December 24
Walt Disney Co. and DirecTV have renewed an agreement on distributing ABC, Disney and ESPN content live and through video-on-demand on television and mobile devices.
CW Network has reached an affiliation agreement with broadcaster Media General Inc. that covers 16 markets in the U.S.
Home sales slow in the Valley, Signature prices its debt offering and Ixia replaces a corporate officer.
Tuesday, December 23
The Woodland Hills location of the upscale Kate Mantilini restaurant is scheduled to close Tuesday, according to media reports.
Superior Industries International Inc. closed a $100 million credit line on Tuesday for growth and working capital.
Haggen Food & Pharmacy grocery chain is buying more than 83 Albertson’s, Pavilions and Vons stores in California, 28 of which are located in Los Angeles County.
Monday, December 22
Amgen Inc. announced an agreement Monday to become a sponsor of LabCentral, a biotech incubator in Cambridge, Mass.
Friday, December 19
LTC Properties Inc. is raising $24.5 million through a private offering amid a big expansion by the health care real estate investment trust with a strategic partner.
L.A. County’s unemployment rate remained stuck at 8 percent in November even as employers added nearly 30,000 jobs to their payrolls, mostly in seasonal retail hiring, according to state figures released on Friday.
Thursday, December 18
Health Net Inc. announced new guidance on Thursday that increases its 2015 earnings outlook by 30 percent compared to this year.
After 16 years of service, Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Leigh Nixon announced on Thursday that she is stepping down this spring.
Superior Industries names director. American Homes founder buys shares. Amgen ups dividend.
Wednesday, December 17
Sony Pictures decided on Wednesday not to release the controversial film "The Interview” in theaters on Christmas Day.
Tutor Perini Corp. will receive a nearly $190 million settlement from the owners of the CityCenter project in Las Vegas over a hotel that never opened due to alleged construction flaws.
On-demand home-services provider Serviz received a second round of funding led by a Silicon Valley venture capital firm.
Burbank Bob Hope Airport hires marketing firm to improve awareness of the airfield's proximity to tourist and business destinations. Metro tests 60-foot buses on the Orange Line.
Tuesday, December 16
Hotel industry groups on Tuesday sued the city of Los Angeles in federal court over the city’s enactment of a minimum wage ordinance.
Larry J. Cano, founder of the El Torito Mexican restaurant chain which started in the San Fernando Valley, died Dec. 10 from cancer.
Two Woodland Hills men accused of orchestrating a 15-year-long Ponzi scheme that defrauded nearly 2,000 investors of more than $100 million were charged Tuesday.
MRV approves share-repurchase program. Signature Group prices secondary offering.
Monday, December 15
A federal appeals court rejected on Monday arguments by adult film production company Vivid Entertainment to strike down the Los Angeles County condom law and instead upheld its key elements.
MRV Communications Inc. announced on Monday that Mark J. Bonney was appointed chief executive and president, and Stephen Krulik chief financial officer.
YouTube music administrative service AdRev announced on Monday that it has acquired DashGo Inc., a digital-music distribution and marketing firm for record labels, podcasters and recording artists.
Nurses, technicians and other workers at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital have voted to join the SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West, the union announced on Monday.
Surf Air started service on Monday to Oakland International Airport, the eighth destination for the local aviation startup that largely serves executives and professionals.
The year brought major victories to Valley-area businesses, but the minimum-wage increase hurt.
Op-Ed: Business scores some political victories..
Deals: For both buyers and sellers, high stocks and low interest rates created a favorable M&A market.
Prominent companies joined or left the Valley 50 index this year, as acquisitions, relocations and an IPO changed the landscape of the local economy.
Aerospace: AeroVironment seeks funding for Global Observer.
Aerospace: AeroVironment’s high-altitude drone is a project in search of funding.
Production: Can Panavision provide filmmakers a movie-in-a-box package?
Kaiser’s sponsored event offers domestic violence booth.
Health Care: Kaiser hosts a domestic violence advocate at its farmer’s market.
Boeing’s rich local heritage documented in new photo library.
Aviation: Boeing’s new website sells historical photos to air enthusiasts.
Cellist Alex Bozman, a former engineer, is now an entrepreneur.
Innovation: Santa Clarita has a tech incubator with a knack for learning.
Retail: DreamWorks Animation partners with Glendale Galleria on holiday attraction.
Retail: DreamWorks sponsors “trips” to see Santa at the Glendale Galleria.
Retail & Hospitality: Dallas owner signs multiple tenants for Marketplace.
It appears Glendale Marketplace is on the mend.
Technology: Agoura Hills startup makes 27-pound vehicle that can be folded.
Grant Delgatty, founder of URB-E, an Agoura Hills startup that makes light, electric scooters for use by urban commuters, has been named to the 2014 socalTECH 50 list.
Giving & Non-Profits: Community center expands offerings after multiple fundraisers.
The Burbank Community YMCA recently celebrated its 90th anniversary, but unlike most nonagenarians it’s had a very busy year.
Health Care & Biotech: Trade group promotes biotech classes to beef up worker base.
Attendance for a biotechnology class at Ventura College is getting a boost from the Bio Science Alliance, a Conejo Valley trade group that’s in the midst of a renaissance.
Howard “Buck” McKeon is leaving Congress after 22 years. He reflects on his long career serving north L.A. County and how to keep the local defense industry strong.
Q&A: Next month Buck McKeon will retire from Congress, but he won’t miss the politics.
A look at some of the greater Valley’s biggest business stories.
Timeline: Land grabs, lawsuits and labor agreements involving companies in the greater Valley.
News and notes from around the greater San Fernando Valley
Warner Bros. Entertainment will make 152 staff reductions in January across all divisions, with nearly all at the San Fernando Valley lot, according to notices filed last month with the state Employment Development Department.
Market Watch Summary
Stocks see-sawed slightly lower during the two-week period ending Dec. 10, with optimistic jobs data and slumping oil sending mixed signals to investors.
From the Newsroon: The Anti-Top Ten List looks back at some standout stories in the Valley.
Stocks: In entertainment, biotech and health care, it was an up year for Valley stocks – with a few exceptions.
Friday, December 12
Two new Metro commuter bus lines serving the San Fernando Valley will begin service on Monday.
ReachLocal Inc. has named a new chairman and two board members as it continues to pursue its turnaround.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear an appeal of a case by a man who invented a popular Spider-Man toy and alleged that Walt Disney Co.’s Marvel Entertainment Co. cheated him out of royalties.
The Business Journal's end-of-year stock wrap-up found that investors who had the fortitude to wait out the ups and downs were pleasantly rewarded.
AeroVironment's Simi Valley drone unit is looking for funding to finish testing and development of the Global Observer, the company's largest unmanned aircraft.
Thursday, December 11
Hearst Corp. has acquired a 25 percent interest in DreamWorks Animation SKG’s AwesomenessTV for $81.3 million, strengthening an online partnership in the YouTube network, the companies announced on Thursday.
Federal legislation to block the opening of a sand-and-gravel mine in the Santa Clarita Valley took a big step forward on Thursday when the House unanimously passed a bill on the issue.
A day after naming a new vice chairman, Warner Bros. Entertainment has selected a new chief financial officer.
Wednesday, December 10
DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. plans to launch a TV channel in 19 Asian countries next year, the Glendale studio announced.
Cherokee Global Brands announced third-quarter financials significantly higher than expectations, causing shares to jump nearly 11 percent.
Tuesday, December 9
The curtain will rise at the 14th annual Valley Film Festival Wednesday at the Laemmle NoHo 7 theatre in the North Hollywood Arts District.
Local employers plan to hire at a solid, steady pace during the first quarter of next year, according to a survey released Tuesday from Manpower Inc.
The soundtrack of Disney's "Frozen" ranks as the year's top-selling album, Ryland launches two developments and Cheesecake opens new restaurants.
Monday, December 8
Wesco Aircraft Holdings Inc. announced on Monday that Randy Snyder will retire as chief executive but continue in the role of chairman, effective immediately.
Natrol Inc., a Chatworth maker of vitamins and supplements in bankruptcy, has sold most of its assets to an Indian generic drug maker for $133 million plus assumed liabilities, the company announced Monday.
Amgen Inc. has released detailed positive results from a study on cancer treatment Kyprolis, a key drug for the biopharmaceutical company that disappointed investors with earlier trial results.
Friday, December 5
NASA successfully tested the first flight of the Orion space crew capsule on Friday morning – a program that is intended to once again take humans into deep space.
Yes, yet another site is entering the L.A. region’s pro football stadium derby, and this time it’s a county park and golf course in Carson.
Vitesse Semiconductor narrowed its quarterly loss, Wesco Aircraft appointed a new board member and Camarillo Plaza landed an anchor tenant.
Thursday, December 4
AeroVironment receives a $4.3 million contract; Superior Industries declares quarterly cash dividend.
Wednesday, December 3
Panavision acquired post-production house Light Iron on Wednesday in a move that will allow the Woodland Hills camera manufacturer to offer a complete suite of digital production services.
PennyMac Financial Services Inc. announced Wednesday it has formed a new division to focus on loans that finance multifamily and other commercial real estate.
The health insurer formerly known as WellPoint Inc. officially changed its name to Anthem Inc. on Wednesday.
The FDA gives expedited approval to Amgen leukemia drug. Merged ValleyCrest changes its name.
Tuesday, December 2
Warner Bros. Entertainment will lay off 152 employees in January as part of previously announced cutbacks amid pressure by parent Time Warner Inc. to reduce expenses.
The founder of Princess Cruises, who pioneered many industry innovations and made his ships stars on “The Love Boat,” has died. He was 94 years old.
The L.A. City Council on Tuesday approved a host of measures sought by Valley Councilman Paul Krekorian aimed at curbing runaway film production.
Interlink Electronics forms partnership. Salem Communications increases its dividend. Ryland Homes opens Maryland development.
Monday, December 1
Shares in DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. fell more than 5 percent on Monday, reflecting the weak box office results for “Penguins of Madagascar ” – which could become the latest bomb for the struggling studio unless ticket sales pick up.
The parent of California United Bank announced on Monday that it has acquired 1st Enterprise Bank in a deal valued at $112 million.
Signature Group launches $300 million private placement. Rexford Industrial buys Van Nuys Airport adjacent building.
Development: Apartments eyed for Woodland Hills location.
Development: The Woodland Hills post office could become an apartment complex.
Finance: Second Sight smash IPO may have been underpriced.
Finance: Second Sight took a low view when pricing shares for its initial public offering.
In its nearly 20 year existence, Applied LNG has been known by multiple names, which reflects the company’s complicated history.
Even as Alfred Mann calculates his monetary stake in Second Sight Medical Products Inc., he has raised additional capital by selling both of his Valley commercial real estate assets.
Mobile: Mandalay Digital forks over $65 million for mobile installer.
Mobile: A $65 million acquisition puts Mandalay Digital in the market for Apple phone apps.
MBA scraps suit and tie for second career as house painter.
Careers: White-collar executive John Villar tries his hand at running a painting service.
Dealmaker for Valley theme park firm to star in cable movie.
Entertainment: What did you do during your vacation? Mardy Ma acted in a TV movie.
Company gets grants to makes soy-based sealants for wood.
Innovation: A federal grant could help develop waterproof wood coatings from soybeans.
The Number: A new report finds L.A. and Orange counties are leaders in advanced transportation technologies.
Tetail: Greg Nomura channeled his passion for pricey sneakers into a Studio City retail store.
Retail: Old sneakers are big merchandise at this Studio City consignment store.
Retail & Hospitality: Center, built in 2005, will receive $87 million reconstruction.
Get ready for a major makeover at the struggling Simi Valley Town Center.
Giving: Calabasas coach starts non-profit to interest inner-city kids in the sport.
Leon Abravanel has been playing soccer since he could hold a ball, including a stint as a club player.
Real Estate: Bobrick moving into build-to-suit 500 yards away in NoHo.
As company sales recover from the downturn in commercial construction, Bobrick Washroom Equipment Inc. is getting ready to move into its new build-to-suit headquarters.
Market Watch Summary
Stocks showed modest improvement in the two-week period ended Nov. 25.
News and notes from around the greater San Fernando Valley
Tutor Perini Corp. announced its subsidiary Fisk Electric Co. has won an $87 million contract for work on the Transbay Transit Center in San Francisco.
Voters passed Prop 30 as a temporary tax measure to avoid automatic cuts but now there is talk to extend it.
Op-Ed: The perils of Prop 30
Westlake Village firm building Texas LNG plant
Energy: Applied LNG in Westlake Village is building a liquefied natural gas production plant in Texas.