Stories for August 2015

Monday, August 31

California Resources Soars on Higher Oil Prices

Shares of California Resources Corp. gained 13 percent Monday in step with climbing crude oil prices.

Travel Increase Expected for Labor Day Weekend

Local travel is expected to increase slightly during Labor Day weekend, the Automobile Club of Southern California said Monday.

Friday, August 28

Federal Officials End Cemex Contracts in Soledad Canyon

The Bureau of Land Management told Cemex Corp. on Friday that the agency is terminating two 10-year contracts to mine in Soledad Canyon near Santa Clarita, citing non-performance by the cement company.

FDA Approves Amgen Cholesterol Drug Repatha

Amgen Inc. has received approval to market its cholesterol drug Repatha in the United States.

Salem Rebrands Radio News Program

Salem Media Group will rename its hourly news show for radio stations in conjunction with the blog site, the company announced Friday.

Thursday, August 27

Dole Executives Liable for $148 Million in Buyout Lawsuit

David Murdock, former chief executive of Dole Food Co., and another former executive were ordered to pay $148 million to shareholders Thursday because they breached their fiduciary duties during a buyout.

DreamWorks Chief Brand Officer Resigns

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. announced Thursday that its chief global brand officer will step down in December.

Wednesday, August 26

Burbank Office Buildings Sold for $80 Million

A two-property office building portfolio off the 5 Freeway in Burbank has traded hands for more than $80 million.

Cherokee Licenses Everyday California Brand

Cherokee Global Brands announced Wednesday it has entered a license agreement with 5 Horizons Group to sell products from its recently acquired brand, Everyday California.

Former Elsevier CEO to Chair Research Solutions Board

Research Solutions Inc. has appointed John Regazzi, formerly chief executive at Elsevier, as non-executive chairman of the board, the company announced Wednesday.

Tuesday, August 25

PS Business Park Appoints New President

PS Business Parks Inc. announced Tuesday that Maria R. Hawthorne has been promoted to president, effective immediately.

Encino Man Arrested for Insider Trading

An analyst at J.P. Morgan Securities and two co-conspirators were arrested Tuesday, charged with an insider trading scheme that netted more than $600,000 in illegal profits.

Amgen Seeks Approval for Parathyroid Drug

Amgen Inc. has applied to the Food and Drug Administration for permission to sell etelcalcetide, a treatment for hyperparathyroidism in patients on dialysis, the company announced Tuesday.

Monday, August 24

Universal Breaks Global Box Office Record

Universal Pictures International has set a new record for the most successful year ever at the global box office for a Hollywood studio.

Two Valley Apartments Sell for $11 Million

Two Valley multifamily complexes located within a mile of each other have sold for a total of $11.2 million. The two buildings, at 6115 Whitsett Ave. in North Hollywood and 13019 Oxnard St. in Van Nuys, comprise 62 total units.

AeroVironment Secures Drone Orders for $47 Million

AeroVironment Inc. has received orders for drones worth $47.1 million, the company announced Monday.

‘Fertigation’ Makes Waves in Water Bills

Ted Howard Gardens taps fertilizer to trim lawns’ H2O use.

Still want a lush lawn without watering much? An invention called fertigation may be your answer.

How Government Should Work

Businesses as well as governments can advance themselves by embracing change, Sen. Bob Hertzberg writes.


Calendar of events

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley

Lutz Klingmann resigned as chief executive of Golden Queen Mining Co. Ltd., which is currently preparing to open a gold and silver mine in Mojave.

Stone, Tile Maker Looks to Rock Out at New HQ

LEASE: Walker Zanger spent $2.5 million on built-to-suit office space in North Hills.

It will take 225 truck trips, but in about a month luxury stone and tile maker Walker Zanger Inc. plans to be settled into its new built-to-suit headquarters in North Hills.

Building Out

Scott Ehrlich’s interests have taken him beyond development to launching candy shops and producing a musical and movie based on his life.

Scott Ehrlich has no time for hobbies because he’s been busy building hundreds of affordable housing units, founding a chain of ice cream shops and virtually rebuilding downtown Lancaster.

Disintegration Tester Coming Together for Firm

PHARMACEUTICAL: Hanson upgrading device that tests how pills dissolve in bodies.

Hanson Research is wrapping up development on an updated piece of test equipment used in the pharmaceutical industry.

Clothing Designer Fashions Cystic Fibrosis Benefit

FUNDRAISER: 12-year-old Grace Rose Bauer’s event brings in stars, $30,000.

The saying “and a child shall lead them” accurately describes entrepreneur Grace Rose Bauer’s efforts.

Shoring Up Overseas

FINANCE: NetSol looks to reboot software’s rocky launch with pursuit of Asian markets.

NetSol Technologies’ new auto-finance software sputtered at first, but sales are finally accelerating – particularly in China, where the CEO believes huge numbers of cars will be sold.

New Editor Takes Reins At Paper

Joel Russell ready to get down to business with Valley coverage.

Joel Russell takes over as the new editor of the Business Journal.

Business Boom Brings Booster Move

VICA to get busier on behalf of commerce at bigger Van Nuys office.

The Valley Industry and Commerce Association will soon move to more spacious quarters in Van Nuys.

Wells Fargo Supersizes For Service

Bank’s new outpost to make large push into aiding small business.

Wells Fargo has opened what it calls a superstore in Sherman Oaks to serve the many needs of small businesses.

Distance Grows Between Two Plazas

REAL ESTATE: Developer looks to revive Laurel as Valley languishes.

San Diego developer takes on renovation of Laurel Plaza in North Hollywood but not the nearby Valley Plaza.

Taking Off

Building projects wing way to Van Nuys Airport

Development at Van Nuys Airport is taking off, with several projects lined up on the runway.

Future Without Nostalgia Site

ONLINE: United Online sells to tighten focus.

Woodland Hills’ United Online decided it was time to step off Memory Lane and sell its nostalgia-inducing Classmates unit.

Acute Interest In Hospitalists

HEALTH CARE: IPC bought by Team Health for $1.6 billion.

North Hollywood’s IPC became an acquisition target because its specialty – providing so-called hospitalist doctors – became more valuable under Obamacare.

Saturday, August 22

Porter Ranch Office Building Sold

Investor pays $4.9 million for fully-leased Northridge Professional Park at Wilbur Avenue and Rinaldi Street.

Friday, August 21

Easton Baseball Moving to Conejo Valley

Longtime Van Nuys sports equipment manufacturer will establish 90,000-square-foot headquarters in the former Teradyne Inc. building in Westlake Village.

New Flyaway Bus Station Approved

The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners okays shelter construction in Van Nuys along the Orange Line busway.

Thursday, August 20

Layoffs at Semtech Lead to Net Loss

Camarillo semiconductor manufacturer reports decline in revenue after an 8 percent cut in its workforce.

PizzaRev Moving South of the Border

Westlake Village fast-casual pizzeria signs agreement with Mexican franchise operator.

AeroVironment Wins $3.4 Million Drone Contract

The Simi Valley-manufactured unmanned aircraft will be sold to the Spanish Ministry of Defense.

Valley Median Home Price Hits $600,000

Pace of residential sales increases by 15.4 percent to reach highest level in 27 months.

Wednesday, August 19

Tutor Perini Will Renovate Miami Towers

The Sylmar firm has won a $140 million contract to refurbish two luxury multifamily properties.

New Rules for Cigarette Retailers

Los Angeles City Council approves tougher penalties on shops that sell tobacco to minors.

Van Nuys Firm Wins Cockpit Display Contract

Industrial Electronic Engineers Inc. has been chosen as a subcontractor on the F-15E fighter.

Tuesday, August 18

Amgen Settles Claims for $71 Million

The Thousand Oaks company was alleged to have violated consumer protection laws in 48 states and the District of Columbia.

Lancaster Signs Solar Deal

City will buy 10 megawatts of renewable power annually from Salt Lake City firm sPower.

Credit Union to Move to Valencia

Logix Federal Credit Union, the largest in L.A. County, says it has outgrown its headquarters in Burbank.

Valley Film Projects Get Tax Credits

Warner Bros. Pictures, S&K Pictures Inc. and Newsub 76 Productions Inc. are among eight studios getting state funds.

Monday, August 17

Haggen to Sell or Close Valley Stores

Haggen Food & Pharmacy, a Washington state grocery chain that has struggled locally since taking over dozens of California Albertsons, Vons and Pavilions stores earlier this year, will close or sell 16 locations in the state, including four in the Valley.

'Compton' Rules Weekend Box Office

Legendary Entertainment and Universal Pictures put out another summer blockbuster with "Straight Outta Compton."

Criminal Charges Filed Against Van Nuys Towing Business

Predatory practices, including overcharging and illegally towing cars, alleged against owner of Valley Impound Garage.

Friday, August 14

Disney Fan Fest Focuses on Star Wars

With Walt Disney Co.’s hot property Star Wars very much the focus of the Burbank company's D23 Expo fan festival, the three-day event launched Friday with an award for the space saga’s creator, George Lucas.

Briefs: Electro Rent, Interlink

Electro Rent Corp. beats expectations, Interlink Electronics shows improved results.

Thursday, August 13

L.A. Bid for Summer Olympics Impresses

Poll shows 81 percent public support for an L.A. 2024 summer Olympic bid.

Aerojet Rocketdyne Tests Engine for NASA

Mississippi's Stennis Space Center is the site for the sixth in a seven-test series that began in January.

Burbank's Entertainment Partners Makes Acquisition

Long-time payroll provider for Hollywood productions pays an undisclosed amount for Ease Entertainment.

Rexford Industrial Buys Oxnard Business Park

The Hueneme Road Industrial Center is sold for nearly $10 million.

Wednesday, August 12 Sold for $30 Million

United Online Inc. sold off its social media business to Intelius Holdings Inc. in a deal valued at $30 million.

Ceres Soars on New Patent Approval

Shares of Ceres Inc. more than doubled in value Wednesday after the company announced it had secured a U.S. patent for its iCODE multi-gene trait development system.

Tuesday, August 11

Canoga Park Apartments Sell for $11.5 Million

A 49-unit apartment complex in Canoga Park has changed hands for $11.5 million, or about $235,000 a unit.

DTS Lowers Guidance, Shares Fall

DTS Inc. reported lower earnings and expects lower revenue for the year due to delays in the release of new electronic devices, leading to a double-digit decline in the company’s stock price on Tuesday.

Monday, August 10

Berkshire Hathaway Purchase Includes Valley Companies

Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s proposed $37.2 billion acquisition of Precision Castparts Corp. will see some 30 Southern California Precision subsidiaries land in Warren Buffett’s portfolio.

Golden Queen CEO Resigns

Lutz Klingmann resigned on Monday as chief executive of Golden Queen Mining Co. Ltd., which is currently preparing to open a gold and silver mine in the Antelope Valley.

MRV Trims Losses, Sells Subsidiary

MRV Communications Inc. narrowed its net loss in the second quarter while revenue stayed just about flat, the company said Monday.

MannKind Beats Expectations, Hires Chief Doctor

MannKind Corp. on Monday reported a quarterly loss that beat analyst expectations, as well as the hiring of a chief medical officer.

App Helps Nail Down Home Repair

ServiceTitan founders created software to help dads’ businesses.

Software that helps home repair companies track jobs lands $18 million investment.

SPECIAL REPORT: Attraction to Design

LAProPoint’s Mark Riddlesperger takes projects from a range of clients, from musuems to theme parks.

LA ProPoint’s Mark Riddlesperger builds theme park attractions and museum displays.

Scaling Retail

Westfield’s outdoor Village to bridge two malls

Westfield’s Village at Topanga will upend West Valley shopping when it opens next month.

Tease photo


Calendar of events

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley

The National Transportation Safety Board determined last year’s crash in the Mojave Desert was caused by the builder of SpaceShipTwo not taking into account that human error could result in a catastrophic hazard to the space vehicle.

Three Firms Head Outside State for Triple Play

ACQUISITIONS: Investors score properties in Utah, Arizona, Washington state.

Valley-area real estate investors are enjoying a hot summer, with a trio of local firms making major investments in the office, multifamily and industrial sectors.

SPECIAL REPORT: High-Tech Workforce Lifts Companies Higher

EMPLOYMENT: Creative tech manufacturers thrive, while food makers languish.

High-tech, high-skill Valley manufacturing firms are thriving while others disappear.


Lockheed Martin’s classified Skunk Works facility, the Valley area’s largest manufacturing employer, hopes to land work on the next Air Force bomber.

A new bomber contract could boost Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works in Palmdale.

Burbank Director Injects Cancer Tale With Comedy

FILM: ‘Quality Problems’ portrays the disease’s effect on quirky family.

Independent filmmaker Brooke Purdy wants to get some laughs out of a serious topic – cancer.

Sushi Chef Releases ‘Sea Monster’ in Sherman Oaks

DINING: Go Nakabayashi’s Kaiju hopes to hook fans with good fish, low prices.

Ventura Boulevard’s food scene has turned toward the east with the addition of sushi restaurant Kaiju in Sherman Oaks.

Trafficking In Convenience

INTERNET: GetDismissed’s app connects users with obscure process to avoid paying tickets.

Westlake Village entrepreneur develops app to get traffic tickets dismissed.

The Number

How did hosting the Special Olympics impact the L.A. economy?

Mounts Help Productions Hit Road

Matthews’ devices let film, TV shoots attach cameras to cars.

Matthew Studio Equipment debuts a new camera mounting system.

Investor All Aboard For Nasdaq Index

Real Industry expects boosted profile from joining Russell 2000.

Real Industries in Sherman Oaks gets listed on the Russell 2000 stock index.

PennyMac Latest HQ to Conejo

REAL ESTATE: New office construction lures financial, corporate tenants.

Publicly traded mortgage lender PennyMac is moving its headquarters to Westlake Village.

Valley Lands Plane Parts

AVIATION: Pacific Air leaves Santa Monica after 55 years.

Airplane parts supplier Pacific Air Industries leaves Santa Monica for Chatsworth.

Drug Backers Feel Queasy

BIOTECH: MannKind’s debt-for-equity swap hurts shareholders.

With sales stagnating, MannKind tries debt-for-equity swap to avoid $100 million payout.

All Signs Point to New Rules

It’s L.A.’s turn to create a balanced billboard and sign policy.

Friday, August 7

Tutor Perini Slumps After Reporting Hudson Yards Loss

Tutor Perini Corp. missed Wall Street forecasts on net income in the second quarter and blamed the shortfall on the Hudson Yards development in New York, resulting in a 15 percent drop in the company’s share price.

American Homes Reports Higher Occupancy

American Homes 4 Rent met analyst expectations for income the second quarter and said it had more than 90 percent of its properties leased.

Preview: Manufacturing Report: Highest Flier

A new bomber contract could boost Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works facility in Palmdale.

Preview: Scaling Retail

Westfield's Village at Topanga will connect two malls.

Marcus & Millichap Beats Expectations

Commercial real estate brokerage Marcus & Millichap Inc. reported second-quarter financial results that beat analysts’ estimates on income and revenue.

Thursday, August 6

Valley Home Prices Rise 5.5 Percent in June

San Fernando Valley home sales rose 13.4 percent in June and median home prices rose 5.5 percent as the summer home-buying season got off to a strong start.

California Resources Stock Surges Before Report of Loss

Shares of California Resources Corp. gained more than 10 percent Thursday before the company reported a loss.

Wesco Misses on Revenue, Income

Wesco Aircraft Holdings Inc. missed analyst estimates on earnings and revenue in the fiscal third quarter due to foreign currency exchange rates and a contract that ended in the spring.

LTC Revenue Rises

LTC Properties Inc. reported a modest decline in its second-quarter earnings despite rising revenue.

Capstone Trims Losses

Capstone Turbine Corp. trimmed its net loss during the fiscal first quarter and beat Wall Street estimates for revenue, the company announced Thursday.

Wednesday, August 5

Dunkin’ Donuts Comes to Santa Clarita

The first Dunkin’ Donuts in Santa Clarita opened Wednesday, the first of several coming to the region.

Earnings: United Online, Superior Industries

United Online missed Wall Street estimates, while Superior Industries beat expectations on earnings and missed on revenue.

North Hills Ambulance Operator Acquired

PRN Ambulance, a North Hills ambulance service company, has been acquired by a rival patient transport service company.

Tuesday, August 4

Disney Films Lift Earnings

Walt Disney Co. had a mixed third quarter with a strong performance in feature films but only single-digit growth in the media networks and theme park businesses.

IPC Healthcare Acquired for $1.6 Billion

IPC Healthcare has agreed to be acquired by Team Health Holdings Inc. for $1.6 billion in cash, both companies announced Tuesday.

DreamWorks Loss Widens

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. had a wider net loss than anticipated in the second quarter, but beat analyst expectations for revenue.

Health Net Reports Lower Earnings

Health Net Inc. reported sharply lower earnings for the second quarter that nevertheless exceeded analyst expectations.

Monday, August 3

Ryland Merger Sparks Name Change

Westlake Village home builder Ryland Group Inc. and Irvine-based home builder Standard Pacific Corp. will be known as CalAtlantic Group Inc. once their previously announced merger is complete, the companies announced Monday.

Crown Media Quarterly Ad Revenue Jumps 18 Percent

Double-digit advertising revenue contributed to Crown Media Holdings Inc. showing strong results in the second quarter, the company announced Monday.

Newbury Park Office Sold for $19 Million

A single-tenant Newbury Park office building, fully leased to Anthem Blue Cross of California, has changed hands for $19.1 million, or about $178 a square foot.

OneWest-CIT Merger to Create County's Largest Bank

CIT Group Inc. in Livingston, N.J. announced Monday it has completed its previously announced acquisition of Pasadena’s OneWest Bank for about $3.4 billion in cash and stock.

Burbank Airport Traffic Increases in June

Passenger traffic at Burbank Bob Hope Airport rose again in June, the fifth straight month at the San Fernando Valley’s only commercial airfield.