Stories for January 2015

Friday, January 30

Mattel Earnings: Playtime Over

Mattel Inc.’s interim chief executive told investors on Friday the toymaker will make needed changes “with a heightened sense of urgency” as the company reported weak sales and earnings for the final quarter of last year.

Briefs: IPC, Signature Group, Capstone

IPC acquires Florida doctors group. Signature Group prices offering. Capstone Turbine announced order.

Thursday, January 29

Valley Duo Accused of Insurance Fraud

Two Valley residents suspected of leading an insurance fraud ring were arrested Thursday along with 13 others for allegedly staging auto collisions and filing for half a million dollars in bogus claims.

AHF Demands County Enforce Condom Law

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation sent a letter this week to Los Angeles County officials asking that the county begin enforcing mandatory condom usage for adult film shoots – or face legal action.

Ryland Group Beats Street

Ryland Group Inc. reported fourth-quarter and full-year earnings on Thursday that beat Wall Street estimates as the company benefited from higher home sales and pricing.

Briefs: Teledyne, Nickelodeon

Teledyne Technologies beats net income estimates. Nickelodeon to launch online programming.

Wednesday, January 28

OSI Closing Camarillo Plant

Hawthorne manufacturer OSI Systems Inc. will vacate its Camarillo plant by April 30 to consolidate operations at its headquarters, company officials reported to the state’s Employment Development Department earlier this month.

Sears Will Close at Westfield Topanga

The Sears store at Westfield Topanga will close in May – the second major closing of an anchor store at a Westfield Group mall in the West Valley this month.

Disney Doubles Down on Accelerator

Walt Disney Co. is looking for tech startups to participate in its second Disney accelerator program.

Tuesday, January 27

L.A. Hotels Seek to Halt Wage Law

Two trade groups representing large hotels in Los Angeles announced they have filed for a preliminary injunction to block the city from implementing its law raising hotel wages until their lawsuit against the city is resolved.

Amgen Earnings Top Wall Street

Amgen Inc. reported fourth-quarter and full-year financial results on Tuesday that topped analysts’ estimates as the company reaped the benefits of previously announced layoffs, a tax credit and strong drug sales.

T.O. Shopping Center in $109 Million Portfolio Deal

Park Oaks, a Thousand Oaks retail center, has changed hands as part of a $109 million portfolio sale of three shopping centers.

Monday, January 26

Disney Launches 'Frozen' Cruises

This summer travelers can spend time with Elsa, Anna and other characters from the hit animated film “Frozen” on Disney Cruise Lines.

Mattel's Chief Executive Resigns

Toymaker Mattel Inc. announced Monday that Bryan Stockton has resigned as chief executive and Christopher A. Sinclair, who has served on the toy company’s board since 1996, is the new chairman and interim chief executive.

Cynvenio Signs Distribution Deal

Cynvenio Biosystems Inc. has signed an agreement giving Thermo Fisher Scientific the right to sell its LiquidBiopsy technology.

Short Circuit Hits Electronic Medical Records

Health Care & Biotech: Anthem-backed Cal Index chided over patient privacy concerns.

Cal Index is a simple concept: Make electronic medical records universally available for qualified personnel.

Haggen Counting On Shoppers to Check It Out

Retail & Hospitality: Washington chain taking over 13 Valley-area supermarkets.

Supermarket shoppers in the greater Valley should prepare for new competitors at old, familiar locations.

Post Office Project Not Delivering

Development: Critics pan idea for housing at Woodland Hills site.

Development: A proposal to turn a post office into an apartment building delivers big surprises.

Tease photo

A Great Business Leader for Any Age

Op-Ed: Churchill’s lessons on leadership.

An Investment Worth Making

President Obama’s plan to provide free community college education will pay economic dividends.

Op-Ed: The ROI of community college.

A Ride on the Circus Train

From the Newsroom: High-speed rail requires high-gear politicking.


Market Watch Summary

Stocks showed minimal improvement for the two-week period ended Jan. 21, during which markets were volatile because of oil prices.


Calendar of Events

around the valleys

News and notes from around the greater San Fernando Valley

A U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel unanimously recommended the agency approve a “biosimilar” version of Amgen Inc.’s cancer drug Neupogen.

Small Deals Fail to Heat Up High Desert Real Estate Industry

Reports: Major office and industrial deals in Valley-area submarkets. (Antelope Valley)

Single Building Casts Shadow Over Improving Office Market

Reports: Major office and industrial deals in Valley-area submarkets. (Santa Clarita Valley)

Quick Turnaround Spins Heads of Tri-Cities Real Estate Insiders

Reports: Major office and industrial deals in Valley-area submarkets. (Burbank and Glendale)

Supply Crunch Feared as Conejo Valley Rapidly Absorbs Space

Reports: Major office and industrial deals in Valley-area submarkets. (Conejo Valley)

Brokers Like What They See in the Valley Despite Weak Quarter

Reports: Major office and industrial deals in Valley-area submarkets. (San Fernando Valley)

Desert Development

There are multiple industrial and office projects in varying stages of completion throughout the Antelope Valley. Here are some prominent examples.

Examples of industrial and office projects in varying stages of completion throughout the Antelope Valley.

Desert Business Park Has Been Hot – And Cold

Lancaster Business Park still has space for new occupants 30 years after it opened.

Profile: Lancaster Business Park exemplifies the challenges of high desert real estate.

Let’s Make A Deal

Cities and developers in the Antelope Valley are beckoning companies to come to the desert, but will cheap and plentiful land be enough of a draw?

Industry: Antelope Valley developers and city officials try to match industrial properties with specific clients.

Room At the Inn

Hospitality: Planned Hampton Inn would add to meager hotel base in Simi Valley.

Hospitality: Will a bell tower call travelers to Simi Valley’s Hampton Inn?

The Number

The Number: Passenger counts rise, but don’t soar, at Bob Hope Airport.

Swamped With Fishing Boats

Indian Ocean tragedy creates unusual wood source for furniture.

Innovation: Old wood from fishing boats finds new life in home decor.

How to Say Discount in Japanese

Daiso outlet a hit with shoppers who favor Asian flavor.

Retail: Daiso combines the dollar store concept with Japanese merchandise.

Where the Wild Ones Will Roam

Biotech executive, wife donate development land to Santa Clarita.

Real Estate: Santa Clarita entrepreneur donates land for open space.

La Brea Bakery Rising in Valley

Manufacturing: La Brea Bakery opens a high-volume factory for artisan bread.

CEO Proves Mettle in Deal

Acquisitions: Signature chief sees Fortune 500 future.

Acquisitions: Signature’s $525 million buy of a metal recycler sets a model for future deals.

Friday, January 23

DreamWorks Shares Fall on Restructuring

Shares in DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. dropped nearly 8 percent on Friday, the day after announcing a restructuring of the feature film division that includes 500 layoffs and scaling back the number of movies released.

Preview: Post Office Project Not Delivering

Amcal Multi-Housing Inc. ran into a firestorm of questions this month from residents concerned about its plan to redevelop the Woodland Hills post office site with 335 luxury apartments.

Preview: Desert Development in the Antelope Valley

When it comes to industrial and office development in the Antelope Valley, Lancaster and Palmdale have had their share of home runs - but whiffs as well. We run down the action in our fourth quarter real estate special report.

L.A. County Unemployment Under 8 Percent

L.A. County’s unemployment rate fell to 7.9 percent in December, the first time it was below 8 percent since mid-2008, state figures released Friday show.

Thursday, January 22

DreamWorks Execs Leaving Amid 500 Layoffs

Two top executives are leaving DreamWorks Animation SKG and 500 employees - or nearly a quarter of its workforce - are being laid off, after yet another poor box office showing.

Signature Details Rights Offering

Signature Group Holdings Inc. intends to sell subscription rights to existing shareholders so they can purchase new shares, raising up to $55 million for an acquisition.

City National Acquired by Canadian Bank

City National Bank of Los Angeles has been acquired by Royal Bank of Canada for $5.4 billion, or $93.80 a share, in a cash-and-stock deal, the two firms announced Thursday.

Wednesday, January 21

Valley Execs Plead Guilty to $100 Million Ponzi Scheme

The president of a Calabasas company accused of orchestrating a 13-year-long Ponzi scheme pleaded guilty Wednesday.

Tarzana Offices Sell for $28.6 Million

A three-building office campus across the street from Providence Tarzana Medical Center has changed hands.

AV College to Offer Bachelor’s Degree

Antelope Valley College is one of 15 community colleges in California chosen to develop a program offering bachelor’s degrees.

Briefs: Cherokee, Dick's Sporting Goods

Cherokee signs licensing agreement with U.K. retail chain, Dick's Sporting Goods moves into Glendale Galleria.

Tuesday, January 20

On Assignment Sells Vista for $123 Million

On Assignment Inc. announced Tuesday that it will sell its physician staffing segment, Vista Staffing Solutions Inc., for $123 million.

Mandalay Changes Ticker, Leaves State

Mandalay Digital Inc.’s stock began trading under the ticker symbol “APPS” on Tuesday as the company settled into its new headquarters in Texas.

Update: DreamWorks May Trim Payroll

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. is planning layoffs of several hundred employees as box office troubles continue to plague the company, according to media reports.

Earthquake Insurance Firm Acquired

Glendale insurance firm SIU Managers, which specializes in the earthquake market, has been acquired by Newport Beach-based Alliant Insurance Services Inc.

Monday, January 19

Big Pay Raise for Disney CEO

Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Robert Iger received a 35.5 percent increase in his total compensation last year, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Briefs: ElectroRent, Superior

Electro Rent Corp. reports earnings, Superior Industries looks ahead.

Friday, January 16

Valley-Area Firms Raise $25 Million in VC Funding

Four Valley-area firms raised a total of $25 million in venture capital money in the fourth quarter, according to a report released Friday by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association.

Virgin Galactic Joins Outer Space Internet Venture

Virgin Galactic has been named as the launch provider for OneWeb Ltd., a satellite technology startup proposing to create a satellite network to supply high-speed Internet connections.

Thursday, January 15

Health Care Special Report: Bedside Tales

Health care consultant Steven Valentine has seen it all.

Schiff Opposing High Speed Rail Tunnel Route

Rep. Adam Schiff came out in opposition on Thursday to a proposed alignment of the state’s high-speed rail project that would burrow a tunnel beneath the Angeles National Forest.

L.A. County Foreclosures Rise in December

L.A. County foreclosures jumped significantly in December, but despite the month-over-month increase, last year’s foreclosure rate was down from 2013, according to a report released Thursday.

Health Care Special Report: Even High Tech Needs Human Touch

CEO of maintenance firm laments lack of qualified technicians, other obstacles.

Regulation, manpower issues could slow IT adoption.

Semtech Makes Bay Area Acquisition

Camarillo semiconductor maker Semtech Corp. has acquired EnVerv Inc., a Bay Area supplier of components used in smart electrical grids.

Health Care Special Report: Trying to Untangle the Red Tape in Health Care

Accountable care groups aim to make treatment more effective and efficient.

Can accountable care organizations shake up how providers work together?

Health Care Special Report: Hospitals Flash Forward

High-tech advances are about to revolutionize patient care, but it will take challenging the status quo.

Local executives describe their vision for the “Hospital of the Future.”

CicLAvia Valley Route Announced

The popular CicLAvia cycling event is coming to the San Fernando Valley on March 22 with a route that will send cyclists through the area’s major business thoroughfares, organizers announced on Thursday.

Briefs: Second Sight, Simulations Plus

Second Sight Medicals Product 's prosthetic sight system has been approved for use in Canada. Simulations Plus Inc. announces quarterly cash dividend

Wednesday, January 14

BizFed Opposing L.A. Minimum-Wage Increase

The Los Angeles County Business Federation on Wednesday formally announced its opposition to proposals to hike the minimum wage in Los Angeles to at least $13.25 an hour.

Amgen Licenses Oncology Drug to L.A. Billionaire

Amgen Inc. has inked a licensing deal with a new immuno-oncology company launched by NantWorks, L.A. billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong’s holding company.

Valley College Kicks Off $66 Million Construction Projects

Los Angeles Valley College broke ground Wednesday on an expansion that will include new administrative offices, a jobs center and athletic facilities.

SeaPort Airline Expands Burbank Service

SeaPort Airlines Inc. is expanding service from Burbank Bob Hope Airport to the San Joaquin Valley, which will provide passengers easier access to the state capitol.

Briefs: Warner Music, Interlink Electronics

Briefs: Warner Music acquires Westlake Village firm. Interlink Electronics strikes sales deals.

Tuesday, January 13

Location Shooting Up in Los Angeles

On-location filming in the Los Angeles area increased nearly 10 last year with television dramas showing the biggest leap, according to a report released Tuesday by FilmL.A.

Disney, DreamWorks Receive Animation Nominations

“Big Hero 6” from Walt Disney Animation Studios and "How to Train Your Dragon 2” from DreamWorks Animation SKG received multiple nominations on Tuesday from the Visual Effects Society in Sherman Oaks.

Thousand Oaks Business Park Sells for $13 Million

The 5-acre Thousand Oaks business park near Westlake Boulevard received multiple offers.

Monday, January 12

Burbank Airport Marriott Sale Tops $100 Million

The Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport hotel, the second-largest in the Valley at 488 rooms, has changed hands for more than $100 million, the buyer announced on Monday.

Mann Steps Down as MannKind's CEO

MannKind Corp. announced on Monday that Alfred Mann, its chairman and founder, stepped down as chief executive on Jan. 9 and was replaced by Hakan Edstrom, the company’s president.

DreamWorks Nabs Surprise Globes Win

“How To Train Your Dragon 2” from DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. won the best animated feature film award on Sunday at the Golden Globes besting "The Lego Movie."

Movie and TV Production Up in Santa Clarita

Santa Clarita saw an 8 percent increase in the number of permits issued in 2014 for television and feature film production, the city announced on Monday.

Signature Group Sells Notes, Business

Signature Group Holdings Inc. said Monday it has sold $305 million in secured notes and an operating subsidiary to help finance an acquisition.

Startup Music Service Gives Off Alternative Vibe

Entertainment: Lyynks Music targets independent artists to carve out market niche.

Independent performers, music venues and record labels have a new channel to distribute their content to fans.

Natrol Getting Healthy Again

Acquisition: Nutritional supplement maker Natrol is bought out of bankruptcy.

Tease photo

around the valleys

News and notes from around the greater San Fernando Valley

Haggen Food & Pharmacy, a Bellingham, Wash. grocery chain, is buying more than 83 Albertsons, Pavilions and Vons stores in California, of which there are more than 30 in the greater Valley.

7 Over Seventy - Clay Lacy

Profiles - Clay Lacy: Look into the lives of local executives who still work into their seventh decade and beyond.

7 Over Seventy - Bert Boeckmann

Profiles - Bert Boeckmann: Look into the lives of local executives who still work into their seventh decade and beyond.

7 Over Seventy - Sanford P. Paris

Profiles - Sanford P. Paris: Look into the lives of local executives who still work into their seventh decade and beyond.

7 Over Seventy - Judy Weber

Profiles - Judy Weber: Look into the lives of local executives who still work into their seventh decade and beyond.

7 Over Seventy - Stuart Solomon

Profiles - Stuart Solomon: Look into the lives of local executives who still work into their seventh decade and beyond.

7 Over Seventy - Ron Tutor

Profiles - Ron Tutor: Look into the lives of local executives who still work into their seventh decade and beyond.

7 Over Seventy - Jim Dunn

Profiles - Jim Dunn: Look into the lives of local executives who still work into their seventh decade and beyond.

Aspiring Entrepreneurs Raise Funds – for Charity

Giving & Non-Profits: Charter school students lead campaign for Make-A-Wish group.

This past holiday season students from Granada Hills Charter High School were so occupied with giving that they didn’t have time to daydream about their own Christmas presents.

New ObamaCare Suits Making Insurers Queasy

Law: Narrow networks prompt both class action and individual complaints.

In response to the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies have lowered the cost of health coverage by limiting the number of doctors in their payment networks.

Aircraft Parts Firm Carries Investors on Wild Ride

Aerospace: Shares of Wesco have hit 52-week highs and lows recently.

Aerospace: Wesco’s stock has soared high and slumped low since October.

A Company With Sole

Footwear: Gravity Defyer’s comfort shoes are taking off despite premium pricing.

Footwear: After a wobbly start, Gravity Defyer seeks to open a branded store in the Valley.

The Number

The Number: Bill Watkins thinks voters stymie growth in Ventura County.

When Droning On Is Preferred

Former military crafts give Channel Islands school academic edge.

Innovation: Drones fly into the classroom at Cal State Channel Islands.

Moat? That’s So Medieval. It’s Bollards!

Security: Delta Scientific sells traffic control gear to Windsor Castle.

Santa Clarita College at Head of Class

Job training programs boost enrollment at College of the Canyons.

Education: Last year, College of the Canyons trained 5,000 workers for local companies.

Networking Company Wired Up

Technology: New Ixia CEO lays out ambitious recovery agenda.

Technology: Ixia hopes Hewlett-Packard veteran Bethany Mayer can engineer a turnaround.

Cannabis Firm Bakes Up Plan

Retail: Woodland Hills startup wants to be “Marlboro” of pot.

Retail: Aquarius Cannabis wants to establish a national brand for marijuana.

Toymaker Building Block in Valley

development: New MGA headquarters to feature live-work.

Development: MGA’s Isaac Larian plans to build a campus headquarters in Chatsworth.

Building on a Solid Foundation

Op-Ed: Business agenda gets proactive.

Tarnished Golden State Still Shines

The Valley is in for a good year, as the California economy will grow despite anti-business public policies.

Op-Ed: Despite politicians, California prospers.

A Millennium of Debt

From the Newsroom: Worrisome student debt.


Market Watch Summary

Stocks were relatively flat for the four-week period ended Jan. 7, which saw less trading activity due to the holidays and some volatility as oil prices dropped.


Calendar of Events

Friday, January 9

Two Macy's Closing at Westfield Promenade

Two Macy’s stores will close at the Westfield Promenade mall in the spring as part a larger series of closures announced this week by the Cincinnati-based department store chain.

Preview: Toymaker Plans Massive Live-Work Headquarters Complex

MGA Entertainment Inc. is developing one of the Valley’s most ambitious real estate projects: a 1.2 million-square-foot headquarter's project in Chatsworth featuring live-work apartments.

Preview: Woodland Hills Firm to Be 'Marlboro' of Pot?

Aquarius Cannabis Inc. in Woodland Hills wants to become the first national marijuana brand, and last month it took a step toward that goal by filing paperwork to sell its shares publicly.

Briefs: Ceres, Public Storage

Ceres Inc. announces sharp yield increases for its genetically modified corn. Glendale REIT Public Storage names chief counsel.

Thursday, January 8

MannKind Receives $50 Million Milestone Payment

MannKind Corp. announced on Thursday that it has earned $50 million in milestone payments in connection with its licensing agreement with Sanofi for production of the drug Afrezza.

Encino Office Building Sold for $89 Million

A six-story, 222,000-square-foot Encino office building is changing hands in a deal expected to close in the first quarter.

Briefs: Warner Bros., Capstone Turbine

Warner Bros. names new chief of interactive entertainment. Capstone Turbine receives additional Mexican orders.

Wednesday, January 7

LegalZoom to Sell Services in U.K. Inc. said on Wednesday it was approved to provide legal services with lawyers in the United Kingdom.

FDA Panel Approves Drug to Compete With Amgen’s Neupogen

A U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Wednesday unanimously recommended the agency approve a “biosimilar” version of Amgen Inc.’s cancer drug Neupogen.

Briefs: Galpin Motors, Everbridge

Galpin retains title as top Ford dealership, Everbridge makes strategic acquisition.

Tuesday, January 6

Santa Clarita Building Trades Hands for $96 Million

An office-and-lab facility on 14 acres near the 5 Freeway that houses Quest Diagnostics has sold for $96 million.

99 Cents Hit With Pricey Fine

Discount chain 99 Cents Only Stores is paying more than $2.3 million to settle a hazardous waste disposal suit brought by California district and city attorneys.

Briefs: Health Net, Salem Communications

Health Net Inc. forms accountable care organization. Salem Communications expands new marketing strategy.

Monday, January 5

Disney Exec to Lead TV Station KCET

A former Walt Disney Co. executive was named on Monday as chief executive of KCETLink Media Group, owner of independent public television station KCET.

DreamWorks Shakes Up Management

The producers of two of the most successful film franchises at DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. have been named as co-presidents of feature animation, replacing the former animation chief at the Glendale studio, which has suffered poor box-office results.

Amgen in Partnership With L.A.'s Kite

Amgen Inc. announced a new cancer research collaboration on Monday, even as another pharma giant moved toward production of a drug that would compete against the company’s white blood cell treatment Neupogen.

Briefs: IPC, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

IPC The Hospitalist Co. changes name. Warner Bros. releasing home-entertainment films in new Dolby format.

Friday, January 2

Greater Valley Firms Shine at Rose Parade

Princess Cruises debuts its first Rose Parade float. Dole Packaged Foods wins the top prize again.

Briefs: American Homes, LTC Properties

American Homes 4 Rent buys 900 houses. LTC Properties opens Colorado memory care home.