Stories for July 2015

Friday, July 31

Providence in Merger Talks With St. Joseph

Providence Health & Services, which operates three hospitals in the San Fernando Valley, is in talks about a strategic merger with St. Joseph Health System, a hospital chain with extensive holdings in Orange County.

Ventura County Infill Project Lands Tenants

A long-vacant Kmart store at a highly visible Oxnard intersection is finally getting leased up, with three new retail tenants set to open there next year.

Thursday, July 30

Amgen Delivers Record Revenue

Amgen Inc. beat analyst expectations Thursday with a combination of old and new drugs contributing to its sales increase.

Higher Rents Boost Public Storage Income

Benefitting from higher rents and recent acquisitions, Public Storage Inc. reported increased revenue and profits in the second quarter.

Ryland Beats Earnings Forecast as Home Prices Rise

Ryland Group Inc. reported second-quarter earnings on Thursday that topped Wall Street expectations even though revenue fell short of forecasts.

Strong Dollar Hurts Teledyne Revenue

Teledyne Technologies Inc. missed analyst expectations on revenue in the second quarter as the strong U.S. dollar cut into overseas results.

Wednesday, July 29

Avery Dennison Reports 'Pressure Sensitive' Results

Avery Dennison Corp. on Wednesday reported second-quarter results that exceeded analyst expectations on earnings and matched expectations on revenue, citing organic growth in its pressure-sensitive product label business.

IHOP Helps DineEquity Beat Expectations

Higher same-store sales at IHOP restaurants drove second-quarter earnings higher at DineEquity Inc., the company reported on Wednesday.

Great Streets Projects Come to Valley

Three projects in the San Fernando Valley were among eight receiving up to $20,000 in city grant funding as part of the Great Streets Challenge, the city of Los Angeles announced Wednesday.

Acquisition Impacts On Assignment Quarterly Results

On Assignment missed Wall Street expectations during the second quarter as costs associated with a large acquisition lowered its financial results.

PS Business Park Reports Lower Revenue

PS Business Parks reported lower revenue but beat Wall Street expectations for funds from operations in the second quarter.

Tuesday, July 28

Glendale Man Pleads Guilty in Medicare Scam

Glendale resident Khachatour Hakobyan pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering and filing a false tax return as part of a scam at an Echo Park medical clinic.

NTSB Blames Human Error, Lack of Safeguards for Mojave Crash

The builder of SpaceShipTwo had not considered human error could result in a catastrophic hazard to the space vehicle, the National Transportation Safety Board said Tuesday in determining the cause of last year’s crash in the Mojave Desert.

Mission Valley Bank Reports Higher Income

Mission Valley Bancorp reported first-half 2015 net income of $1.2 million Tuesday, capping what its chief executive called the strongest second quarter in the community bank’s history.

Monday, July 27

NBCUniversal Exec to Helm Deluxe

Deluxe Entertainment Services Inc. announced Monday that John Wallace, president of operations and technical services at NBCUniversal, will take over as chief executive in early September.

Kythera Wins Canadian Approval for Double-Chin Drug

Kythera Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. has received regulatory approval in Canada to sell its drug that dissolves chin fat, the company announced Monday.

Tetra Tech Secures Piece of $950 Million Contract

Tetra Tech Inc. is part of a group of companies that has secured a U.S. Air Force contract with a potential value of $950 million, the company said Monday.

Tour Expansion Targets Warner Bros. Fan Base

FILM: Studio lifts curtain on sound stages but retains small-group format.

Warner Bros. Studios completed a $13 million upgrade to its studio tour this month that will give visitors an even more immersive experience into the process of film and television production.

Junior Chamber Offers Wish Fulfillment for Youth

LEADERSHIP: Dreams Come True program is now accepting applications.

Somebody’s wish will come true this year, thanks to a local business organization.

Mars or Bust

Estate of Tarzan creator to relaunch ‘John Carter’ franchise

The family of Tarzan author Edgar Rice Burroughs pursues business opportunities based on the 100-year-old novel ‘John Carter.’

Tease photo

Glendale’s New Center of Attention

Glendale finds success in revitalizing its downtown.


Calendar of events

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley

A San Francisco financier specialized in alternative energy acquired a Tehachapi wind farm that has a power-purchase agreement with Pacific Gas & Electric Co.

REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY: High Desert’s Low Vacancy Could Mean Rising Industrial Rents

The office and industrial markets in the Antelope Valley showed signs of life during the second quarter, bolstered by activity in Palmdale including medical office buildings opening and the sale of one of the area’s largest vacant properties.

REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY: A-List Investors Fuel Industrial Buying Spree in Valencia

Following a few quarters of solid growth, the Santa Clarita Valley office market took a step backward in the last three months.

REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY: Tenant Migration Slows, But Investors Flock to 101 Corridor

Conejo Valley office and industrial vacancy and rent rates continued to move in the second quarter based on activity in other submarkets to the south and the east.

REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY: Price-Conscious Media Players Find East Valley Attractive

A number of deals last quarter helped the Burbank and Glendale office markets continue on the road to recovery.

REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY: Class A Tenants Go West in Search of Lower Lease Rates

Falling vacancy rates and strong sales and leasing volume characterized the second quarter in the San Fernando Valley, even as rising rents begin to push tenants out of premier buildings in Encino and Sherman Oaks toward the west.


Developers hungry for commercial property race to snap up former automobile dealerships for infill retail, mixed-use projects.

With developable sites at a premium, the land underneath rusted-out junkers is a sought-after commodity.

Psychiatric Robots in ER

HEALTH CARE: Video conferencing brings behavioral doctors to patients’ bedside.

Agoura Hills firm brings video psychiatric consults into emergency rooms that are crowded with mental health patients.

The Number

Hospitality customer service ratings don’t measure up.

Street Repair Gets Tech Treatment

Electromagnetic slurry application strengthens worn pavement.

City of Lancaster’s new slurry process improves street repair.

Cruise Line Channels Shark Week

Princess gets on board with Discovery fare to prey on passengers.

Princess Cruises embraces Discovery Channel’s Shark Week.

Flight School Lands Pilots From China

Camarillo business aims to help careers take off overseas.

Camarillo flight school trains Chinese pilots for general aviation.

Airbags’ Black Boxes ‘Speak Truth’

TRANSPORTATION: Wreck investigator reads data to determine who’s liable.

Accident-reconstruction firm Test Inc. has developed a business around airbag data.

Attorney Hires in Slow Mode

LAW: In sluggish sector, firms find growth with employment cases.

Valley law firms find expanded opportunities in employment law and workers’ compensation cases.

Cell Phone Dip Calls for Cuts

MANUFACTURING: Semtech trims 8% as Samsung orders shrink.

Semiconductor maker Semtech Inc. announces second round of layoffs.

Friday, July 24

Anthem to Acquire Cigna for $54 Billion

Health insurers Anthem Inc. and competitor Cigna Corp. announced Friday an agreement in which Anthem will buy Cigna in a cash and stock deal valued at $54.2 billion.

Briefs: Tutor Perini, Bank of Santa Clarita

Tutor Perini's CFO resigns, Bank of Santa Clarita reports results.

Preview: Mars or Bust

The family of Tarzan author Edgar Rice Burroughs pursues business opportunities based on the 100-year-old novel ‘John Carter.’

Preview: Airbags' Black Boxes 'Speak Truth'

Accident reconstruction firm Test Inc. has developed a business around airbag data.

Thursday, July 23

Reports: Anthem-Cigna Deal Coming Soon

Media reports indicate that a deal between Anthem Inc. and Cigna Corp. is close and will likely be announced Friday.

EU Alleges Hollywood Antitrust Conspiracy

Six major Hollywood movie studios stand accused of illegally restricting access to content in an antitrust case filed by European regulators.

DreamWorks Campus Flipped

Griffin Capital Essential Asset REIT of El Segundo has purchased the Glendale campus of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. for $215 million, the real estate investment trust announced Thursday. This is the second time the 14.7-acre campus has changed hands in the past six months.

Biden Promotes Minimum Wage Hike in Valley

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden made an appearance in the San Fernando Valley on Wednesday for a speech in support of raising the minimum wage. Biden was joined on stage at local manufacturer Bobrick Washroom Equipment Inc. in North Hollywood by L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Home Sales Pick Up in June

The San Fernando Valley summer home-buying season hit its stride last month, even as the torrid pace of price increases slowed, according to a Southland Regional Association of Realtors report released Thursday.

Wednesday, July 22

Second Sight Expands Patient Base

Second Sight Medical Products Inc. announced Wednesday it has successfully implanted and activated its vision-restoring system for the first time in a patient with age-related macular degeneration.

Cheesecake Beats Estimates on Strong Same-Store Sales

Cheesecake Factory Inc. on Wednesday reported second quarter earnings that beat analysts’ estimates on higher sales per restaurant.

LeBron James Signs Warner Bros. Deal

SpringHill Entertainment, the production company founded by NBA player LeBron James, has signed an agreement with Warner Bros. Entertainment to foster creative projects.

Tuesday, July 21

Amgen Gains EU Approval for Cholesterol Drug

The European Commission has authorized Amgen Inc. to sell its anti-cholesterol drug Repatha, the company announced Tuesday.

Investors Buy NoHo Block

An East Coast real estate firm has teamed up with a Woodland Hills property management company to buy a block of retail property along busy Lankershim Boulevard in the heart of the NoHo Arts District.

New Software Connects Cannabis Industry to Banks

Hollywood marijuana industry finance firm Kind Financial announced Tuesday that it has teamed up with former bank regulators to introduce software that the firm promises will allow cannabis businesses to remain compliant with bank regulations.

Monday, July 20

Teledyne Lands Space Station Contract

A subsidiary of Teledyne Technologies Inc. in Thousand Oaks received on Monday a $15 million contract from NASA for imagery services for an instrument aboard the International Space Station.

Electro Rent CFO Retires

Electro Rent Corp. announced Monday the retirement of Craig Jones, the company’s chief financial officer, effective Aug. 31.

Friday, July 17

Council Backs Valley Transit Projects

Valley officials endorse light rail conversion for Orange Line and Van Nuys Boulevard, plus train tunnel project to West L.A.

Condom Advocates Secure Signatures for State Ballot

Initiative to appear on November 2016 ballot would make condom use mandatory in adult productions filmed throughout California.

Jobs Up, Unemployment Down in County

June figures show unemployment rate dropping slightly while employer payrolls enjoyed modest gains in L.A.

Hackers Breach UCLA Health Data

Parts of the university's computer network containing 4.5 million individuals' personal and medical information may have been exposed.

Thursday, July 16

$29 Million Sylmar Townhome Development Announced

Williams Homes of Santa Clarita partners with San Diego investment firm on 74-unit project off 210 freeway.

Burbank Hotel Sells for $60 Million

A real estate investment trust has acquired the SpringHill Suites by Marriott hotel in Burbank for $60 million.

Film Permits Increase in Santa Clarita

Hollywood filming contributed $33.9 million to the local economy last year, a 1 percent increase over 2013, the city said.

LAX Ride Sharing to Take Off?

Airport commissioners approved a plan Thursday to allow Uber and Lyft to pick up passengers.

Wednesday, July 15

Haggen Grocery Cuts Jobs, Hours

Haggen Food & Pharmacy Grocery, a Washington state chain that expanded into California with much fanfare this year, has laid off workers and cut back employee hours at several area stores.

Smartphone Sales Slowdown Prompts Semtech Layoffs

Semtech Corp. said Wednesday that it is trimming its global workforce by 8 percent due to a decline in the demand for its chips by Korean smartphone makers.

Newest Disney Resort Will Have Chinese Flavor

Walt Disney Co. unveiled details of its newest theme park, which will open next year in Shanghai. It will include attractions based on “Star Wars,” “Frozen” and Marvel superheroes - and many drawing from the country's culture.

Briefs: Marcus & Millichap, Hydra-Electric Co.

Marcus & Millichap opens Baltimore office. Burbank company names chief executive.

Tuesday, July 14

Location Filming Falls on Fewer Commercials

Location filming in the Los Angeles area fell by 2 percent in the second quarter, driven by a sharp drop in the production of commercials, according to a report released Tuesday by FilmL.A.

B. Riley Achieves Nasdaq Listing

The West L.A. boutique investment bank and brokerage, which last year acquired Great American Group in Woodland Hills, is making the jump to the Nasdaq.

L.A. Billionaires Sell U.S. Education Business

Michael and Lowell Milken have struck a deal to sell their early-childhood education business, Knowledge Universe Education, to Swiss private equity firm Partners Group.

Monday, July 13

Hearing on Proposed Burbank Airport Terminal

The Burbank City Council and the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority board will meet Wednesday to discuss and take public comment on a proposed new terminal at Burbank Bob Hope Airport.

Little Minions Lift Universal Again

Universal Pictures continued its record year as “Minions” brought in $115 million over the weekend making it the second-biggest animated opening ever.

The Force Was With Comic-Con

Comic-Con is over for another year, but the buzz is still buzzing, especially for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” - the hotly anticipated blockbuster from Walt Disney Co. subsidiary Lucasfilm, which delivered the most anticipated presentation of the San Diego pop-culture fest.

Jacobs Engineering Names CEO

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. named Steven Demetriou, former chief executive of aluminum producer Aleris Corp., as its chief executive and president, on Monday.

Palmdale to Pluto – and Beyond

New Horizon craft relying on data from local NASA program.

A fly-by of Pluto uses data collected by an airborne telescope based in Palmdale.

An App Made for The Shade

Calabasas firm makes it a snap for women to choose makeup.

The ShadeScout app finds makeup that matches the color of everyday objects.

Trans-Pacific TV

Hollywood veteran finds niche with Chinese youth

A small Valley production company finds a niche in the big Chinese TV market.

Tease photo



Why the Litter Bug Should Bug Us Again

Return of the Litter Bug

Street Legal, but Unfair Competition

Making street vendors legal without restrictions would damage store owners burdened with regulations.

L.A.’s pending street vendor regulation

Merger Mania Clobbers Valley

Health Net loss, awards, farewell.

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley

Thomas Partners Properties plans to build a $200 million, senior care “wellness” community in the high desert.

Market Still Has Appetite for Residential Infill

MULTIFAMILY: Developers target Valley, but residents could trip up some deals.

Anyone who doubts that the multifamily development market has fully recovered from the recession need look no farther than the San Fernando Valley, where a spate of high-density, multifamily infill projects are getting underway this summer.

Health Insurer’s New Benefit: On-the-Job B.A.

TRAINING: Employees of Anthem Blue Cross can get online degree for free.

Anthem Blue Cross is getting into the education business.

Calibration Firm Takes Calculated Net Zero Risk

ENERGY: Palmdale business spends $85,000 to generate own power and sell to grid.

It’s been a year since Terry Norris started on an ambitious alternative energy project at his Palmdale business, Precision Labs.

Athletic Shoe Maker Jumps Into Retail Market

BRICK & MORTAR: Gravity Defyer to open its first store in Huntington Beach.

Gravity Defyer Corp. has decided to open its first brick-and-mortar location next month.

State GOP Sells Longtime Headquarters in Valley

REAL ESTATE: Republican Party leaves Burbank offices for Sacramento.

The California Republican Party leaves its Burbank roots.

Late to The Plate?

RESTAURANTS: Menchie’s executive rolls out super-fast pizza chain in crowded market.

Menchie’s chief executive has fast-growth plans for his new upscale pizza chain.

Business Journal Honored

Paper wins awards from business trade group, L.A. Press Club.

San Fernando Valley Business Journal wins awards for design and news coverage.

Snipping at Groupon’s Heel

Local entrepreneur takes on discount giant with startup.

An Agoura Hills entrepreneur seeks to improve on Groupon’s business model.

Movie Star Adding Glitz to Sale of Theater Chain

EXHIBITION: Oaktree unloading stake in Redford’s Sundance Cinemas.

Robert Redford’s arthouse theater chain Sundance Cinemas is up for sale.

Carrier Catches Merger Fever

INSURANCE: St. Louis rival makes bid for Health Net before layoffs.

The $6.8 billion buyout of Health Net raises questions for employees and investors.

Convention Plan Returns

HOSPITALITY: Camarillo officials approve meeting center, hotel.

Camarillo City Council clears the way to build a convention center and hotel.

Friday, July 10

'Star Wars' Film a Highlight at Comic-Con

Walt Disney Co.'s upcoming Star Wars installment, "The Force Awakens," drew huge interest on Friday at the Comic-Con convention in San Diego, where fans camped outside a hall where the film was expected to be previewed.

Executive Life Case Finally Closed

The final chapter appears to have closed in the quarter-century battle resulting from the collapse of L.A. insurance company Executive Life and an ensuing legal scuffle that stretched from Sacramento to Paris.

Issue Preview: Trans-Pacific TV

Industry veteran Larry Namer and his Woodland Hills production company are proving there is plenty of room for the little guys in China. They are getting ready to start filming a Chinese-language version of the television series “Gossip Girl,” which was a huge hit with Chinese women.

Issue Preview: Convention Plan Returns

A proposal to build a convention center and hotel is finally moving forward in Camarillo after the recession and the end of redevelopment statewide halted plans for years.

Thursday, July 9

Disney Names Accelerator Lineup

Walt Disney Co. announced on Thursday the 10 early-stage entertainment and technology companies that it has chosen to participate in the second class of its business accelerator program.

Nazarian Selling Katsu-Ya Restaurant Chain

Sam Nazarian’s SBE Entertainment Group is selling off its Katsu-Ya restaurant chain, which opened its first restaurant in 1997 in Studio City.

Briefs: Pacoima Entrepreneur Center Opened

VEDC opens Pacoima office. Real estate deals in Palmdale and Van Nuys.

Wednesday, July 8

Disneyland Expansion Deal Approved

The Anaheim City Council voted on Tuesday night to extend for 30 years a policy not to collect admission taxes for tickets sales to Walt Disney Co.’s Disneyland Resort in exchange for a $1 billion expansion of the theme park.

Glendale Apartments Sell for $20.4 Million

A 67-unit apartment complex in Glendale has sold to a private investor for $20.4 million.

Investor Buys Tehachapi Wind Farm

A San Francisco financier in alternative energy has acquired a Tehachapi wind farm which has a power purchase agreement with Pacific Gas & Electric Co.

Santa Clarita Subdivisions Open Saturday

The first of a half-dozen residential neighborhoods under construction as part of a master-planned Santa Clarita community will open to the public for the first time Saturday.

Tuesday, July 7

Study: Rival Cities Top L.A. In TV Pilot Production

Los Angeles’s share of television pilot production was less than 50 percent for a second development cycle in a row, according to a study released Tuesday by FilmL.A.

Labor to Protest Planned American Apparel Layoffs

Production workers nervous about Monday’s announcement of pending layoffs at American Apparel Inc. plan to protest at company headquarters Wednesday afternoon.

Monday, July 6

American Apparel Plans Store Closures

American Apparel Inc. announced Monday it will begin closing underperforming retail stores, shrinking its retail workforce and creating a new fall apparel line as it implements a turnaround plan.

Corporate Briefs: Salem, Teledyne

Salem acquires financial website. Teledyne ups stake in maker of unmanned marine vehicles.

Thursday, July 2

Health Net Acquired for $6.8 Billion

Health Net Inc. announced Thursday that it will be acquired by Centene Corp. in a cash and stock deal valued at $6.8 billion.

AeroVironment Investor Seeks Board Election Change

A private equity investor in AeroVironment Inc. is seeking a change in the how the company company’s board is elected.

'Revenge Porn' Hacker Pleads Guilty

A Studio City man faces up to seven years in prison after pleading guilty Wednesday of hacking into email accounts to obtain nude or explicit photos that were then posted at a “revenge porn” website.

Briefs: Providence Tarzana, Woodbury

Providence Tarzana Medical Center signs an agreement with Children's Hospital Los Angeles, while Woodbury University adds five members to its board.

Wednesday, July 1

$200 Million Palmdale Senior Community Proposed

Thomas Partners Properties announced on Wednesday plans to build a 420,000-square-foot senior care “wellness” community in Palmdale for more than $200 million.

Newhall Ranch Wins Dredging Lawsuit

A federal court judge in Los Angeles issued a ruling on Tuesday upholding the validity of dredging permits issued under the Clean Water Act to facilitate the development of the Newhall Ranch community in Santa Clarita.

Tarzana Firm Buys $67.5 Million Salt Lake Portfolio

Gelt Inc. has acquired a 628-unit apartment portfolio in Salt Lake City for $67.5 million, marking the Tarzana real estate firm's second foray into the market.

Report: Justice Department Blessing AT&T, DirecTV Deal

AT&T and DirecTV have moved a step closer to becoming the largest cable provider in the country.