Stories for June 2015

Tuesday, June 30

Disney Names New CFO

Walt Disney Co. on Tuesday named Christine McCarthy as its chief financial officer, replacing James A. “Jay” Rasulo, who is leaving the company after being passed over as a successor to Chief Executive Robert Iger.

Burbank Firm Acquired for Reported $700 Million

Payroll and accounting firm Cast & Crew Entertainment Services has been acquired by a private equity firm with a focus on technology investment.

Corporate Briefs: AeroVironment Earnings, Ixia Names Director

AeroVironment Inc. posted fiscal fourth quarter results on Tuesday that beat analysts’ estimates. Ixia has expanded its board of directors with the addition of Ilan Daskal as an independent director.

Monday, June 29

Santa Clarita Valley Businesswoman Sentenced to Federal Prison

The former owner of Ezcor Medical Supply in Valencia was sentenced Monday to eight years for defrauding the Medicare and Medi-Cal programs out of more than $1.9 million.

Disney Merges Interactive, Consumer Products Divisions

Walt Disney Co. announced Monday it was combining its lagging Disney Interactive video game division with its highly profitable Disney Consumer Products division amid the conversion of digital technology and games.

Canoga Park Apartments Sell for $26.3 Million

A Beverly Hills multifamily investment firm has acquired The Verandas, an upscale 81-unit apartment complex.

Former Disney Chief in TV Venture

Media mogul Michael Eisner is launching a new venture focused on syndicated TV shows.

NBC Universal to Trump: You're Fired!

The network said in a statement Monday it is “ending its business relationship” with the outspoken entrepreneur over his “recent derogatory statements” regarding immigrants.

Can Han Solo Rescue Game Unit?

Disney counting on new Star Wars figures to improve sales.

Disney leverages its “Star Wars” movies to revive its video game division.

Wall Street?

Public firm tries to sustain business from home rentals

Wall Street loves American Homes 4 Rent, despite a record of losses.

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Scaling Up Earthquake Response

Technology developed by Glendale company employed in crises.

If you need mass communication during a disaster, call Everbridge Inc.

Corporate Takeovers Roiling Conejo Valley

M&A: Ryland, Kythera acquired by OC rivals within days of each other.

Two publicly traded companies in Westlake Village strike deals.

Large Caps Riding Wave

STOCKS: Local publicly traded companies navigate recovery.

The largest public companies in the Valley find ways to grow their market capitalization.

Zipping Into The Future?

MANUFACTURING: Talon stakes more on fabric technology than its core fasteners business.

Can a new stretchy fabric turn around Talon International?

The Number

“Zombie foreclosures” are reported in the Ventura County home market.

Valley Gains Yet Another Fortune

Farmers Insurance makes Fortune 500 despite no public stock.

It’s not a public company, but Farmers Insurance has a place on the Fortune 500.

Full Dress Drill

West Point grad Todd Stevens is the CEO of the Valley’s newest public company – California Resources Corp. – and he’s looking for oil.

West Point graduate Todd Stevens assumes the leadership of California Resources Corp.

Reading the Fine Print

Michelle Leder makes a living by reading the fine print in stock filings.

The Valley’s Critical Summer

The next few months will decide the future of Valley public transit.

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley

Marvin Jay Caukin, 66, was sentenced to 11 years in prison for embezzling more than $10 million from Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. in Long Beach.

Veterans’ Subdivision Marches to Completion

RESIDENTIAL: Habitat for Humanity sponsors unusual Santa Clarita tract.

Finishing touches are being added over the next few weeks to an innovative Santa Clarita subdivision that will provide housing and support services to 78 low-income veterans and their families.

Search Engine Optimization Helps Land Clients

MARKETING: Valencia attorney hired for faraway case using new technology.

On June 3, attorney Gregory Owen held a press conference in Huntington Park to announce that children who attended a police-sponsored youth boot camp were physically and verbally abused during their week stay at the camp in May.

Non-Profits Link Up With New Media Platform

FUNDRAISING: MobileCause in Calabasas offers groups social and mobile access.

Most non-profits have two goals – to serve their communities and to raise enough money to stay afloat.

Calabasas Brokerage Timed IPO Perfectly in 2013

REAL ESTATE: Marcus & Millichap has seen stock rise fourfold since listing.

Apartment brokerage Marcus & Millichap went public just as the multifamily sector got hot.

Beaten Down DreamWorks Lifted by Investors

ENTERTAINMENT: Worries over movie flops give way to small-screen optimism.

DreamWorks Animation shrinks its film slate, but TV work picks up.

Van Nuys Equipment Lessor Sees Shares Spark

ELECTRONICS: Electro Rent replaces work lost after large contract expires.

Electro Rent rebounds after losing a major contract.

Friday, June 26

Warner Bros. Joins Billion-Dollar Club

Warner Bros. Pictures became the first Hollywood studio in history to reach $1 billion in domestic box office for 15 straight years, the company announced Friday.

Disney Proposes $1 Billion Anaheim Upgrade

Walt Disney Co. is proposing a $1 billion expansion at its Disneyland theme park in Anaheim that would include new attractions, parking and other infrastructure improvements.

Preview: Large Caps Riding Waves

In the economic recovery’s sixth year, the investment adage that “a rising tide lifts all boats” no longer applies.

Preview: Beaten Down DreamWorks Lifted by Investors

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. has been the corporate equivalent of a basket case over the last few years, but surprisingly the stock has bounced back.

Briefs: Disney, Crown Media

Disney settles "Frozen" suit, Crown Media secures credit facility.

Thursday, June 25

Second Sight Names New CEO

Second Sight Medical Products Inc. has appointed Will McGuire to become the company’s new chief executive.

Sperling Nursery Sold to Car Dealer

A 10.5-acre parcel in Calabasas long used by a nursery has been sold and will be developed as a car dealership.

Ventura County TBID Renewed

The Ventura County cities of Camarillo, Oxnard and Ventura each approved the renewal of the Tourism Business Improvement District Thursday, and will welcome Port Hueneme as the newest member.

Wednesday, June 24

Non-Profit Wage Exemption Moves Forward

A Los Angeles City Council committee recommended on Tuesday giving exemptions from the city’s new minimum wage ordinance to certain non-profit organizations.

Transport Committee Supports Valley Rail Projects

A committee of the San Fernando Valley Council of Governments has given its support to three public transit projects proposed by a coalition of business, political and community leaders.

Sherman Oaks Apartments Sell to Japanese Buyer

A Tokyo-based construction company has purchased Vista Modern, a four-story, 34-unit apartment complex in Sherman Oaks, for $16.5 million.

Tuesday, June 23

Budweiser Brewery Plans $20 Million Water Upgrade

Anheuser-Busch is investing $20 million at its Van Nuys brewery to improve water efficiency in the filtering, brewing and packaging operations.

Calabasas Accountant Sentenced for $10 Million Fraud

A Calabasas man was sentenced Monday to 11 years in prison for embezzling more than $10 million from Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. in Long Beach.

DreamWorks Hires Awesome Film Exec

DreamWorks Animation’s AwesomenessTV online teen network has created a feature film division and picked a veteran entertainment industry executive to run it.

Monday, June 22

Anthem Presses Cigna Deal

Health insurer Anthem Inc. on Monday stood by its offer to buy rival Cigna for $47 billion.

Universal Pictures Stomping Box Office

It's turning into a banner year for Universal Pictures as its “Jurassic World” blockbuster topped the box office for the second straight weekend with a take of $102 million - its fourth hit flick this year.

Tutor Perini to Build Philadelphia Hotel

Tutor Perini Corp. announced on Monday that it has won a $239 million contract to build a 755-room, dual-flagged W and Element hotel project.

Friday, June 19

Disney Consolidates Lease for Burbank Office

Walt Disney Co. has leased 110,000 square feet at Burbank’s Buena Vista Plaza in an 11-year deal valued at $51.5 million, according to a source familiar with the transaction.

Modest Job Gains Leave County Unemployment Unchanged

L.A. County’s unemployment rate was unchanged in May at 7.6 percent amid modest job gains that left the county just short of its all-time payroll peak, state figures released Friday show.

Thursday, June 18

Cynvenio Lands $25.5 Million for Expansion

Cynvenio Biosystems Inc. has secured $25.5 million in Series B financing to commercialize its LiquidBiopsy technology.

Tutor Perini Wins $600 Million R&D Project

A subsidiary of Tutor Perini Corp. has won a construction management contract for a confidential research facility in California.

Briefs: Teledyne, Seven Lakes

Teledyne recruits new board member, Seven Lakes Chief Executive Shiva Rajagopalan wins Entrepreneur of the Year award.

Wednesday, June 17

Kythera Acquired for $2.1 Billion

Kythera Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. will be acquired by Allergan plc in a $2.1 billion buyout announced Wednesday.

Developer Proposes New Porter Ranch Neighborhood

A real estate developer is proposing a 118-home equestrian community in the northwest San Fernando Valley to be called Hidden Creeks Estates and Preserve.

Tuesday, June 16

Billionaire Kirk Kerkorian Dies

Billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian, once ranked as the richest man in Los Angeles, has died.

Match Point

Housing coming to site of former Boeing fitness center

Former Boeing fitness center gets OK to become 90-home subdivision.

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Burbank Airport Puts Adjacent Land Up for Sale

The Burbank Bob Hope Airport officially put on the market Tuesday a 59-acre parcel of adjacent land for commercial and office development.

Briefs: ServiceTitan, IPC Healthcare

Software developer ServiceTitan secures $18 million in funding, while IPC Healthcare acquires a doctors group in North Carolina.

Monday, June 15

Ryland to Merge With Rival Home Builder

Westlake Village home builder Ryland Group Inc. will merge with Irvine-based home builder Standard Pacific Corp., forming the country’s fourth-largest residential U.S. home developer.

‘Jurassic’ Sets Box Office Record

Dinosaurs ruled the weekend box office with “Jurassic World” from NBCUniversal Inc. bringing in more than $209 million to make it the highest-grossing domestic opening weekend ever.

Briefs: Capstone, Ixia

Capstone Turbine misses analyst expectations, while Ixia hires a new chief marketing officer.

Measuring the Developer’s Index

Does Gov. Jerry Brown know something that the majority of economists don’t?

Hotel Developer Doubles Down

HOSPITALITY: PNK Group building second Ventura Boulevard boutique.

Sagar Kumar wants to build a new hotel – right next to the one he already owns.

Bulk Buys to Microloans

VEDC plans to leverage a grant into a national $20 million microlending program.

Putting the Genie Back In the Bottle

Startup offers brands real-time monitoring of social media.

Bottlenose, a media monitoring startup, lands $13.5 million in venture capital.

Not Brand New – but Valuable

Health Net, Amgen make list of corporate names with sizzle.

From Amgen to Warner Bros., billion-dollar brands abound in the Valley.

Clothing With a Real Silver Lining

Chatsworth apparel maker introduces antimicrobial scrubs.

Antimicrobial uniforms could solve a growing problem in health care.

Keeping Up With the Segals

RETAIL: Forget the Kardashians. Daughters of fashion icon Fred Segal open local boutique.

Fred Segal’s daughters open a boutique in Westlake Village, with a little help from Rick Caruso.

Condo Plan for Church Site May Not Have Prayer

KB Home’s multifamily project stumbles in Chatsworth.

Valencia Printer Turning Page With Relocation

REAL ESTATE: Bang buys Palmdale building vacated by defunct Senior Systems.

Bang Printing in Santa Clarita buys a long-vacant building in Palmdale.

Franchisee Says More Shops Are a Slam Dunk

RESTAURANTS: With first Dunkin’ Donuts in Valley open, two more coming.

Now that the San Fernando Valley’s first Dunkin’ Donuts is open for business in Encino, Aharon Aminpour is eager to lay down some frosting on more of the fried confections.

Former GM Offices Polished Up as Trophy

LEASING: Nearon shows off upgraded Thousand Oaks building to eager brokers.

There was a coming-out of sorts in Thousand Oaks last month, as 35 brokers gathered to glimpse the transformation of a dated former automobile headquarters that its landlord hopes to position as a landmark Conejo Valley office property.

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley

Amgen Inc. will end a partnership to develop a drug for psoriasis because it could face restrictive labeling over concerns that it might lead to suicidal thoughts.


Calendar of events

Exhibit Builder Brings Romance to Trade Show

FILM: Burbank’s BRC produces animated short for Expo Milan.

The latest short film from BRC Imagination Arts cannot be seen by U.S. audiences.

The Number

Howloud can give you a noise index rating for your home or business.

Rocket Engine Maker in Orbit Over Mars Mission

AEROSPACE: NASA program boosts Rocketdyne plant in Chatsworth.

A new NASA contract could heat up Rocketdyne’s engine factory in the Valley.

Friday, June 12

Preview: Rocket Engine Maker in Orbit Over Mars Mission

The Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc. campus in Chatsworth is about to get a huge boost from NASA’s planned multibillion-dollar mission to send a man to Mars.

Preview: Match Point

The Boeing Fitness Center in West Hills is slated to become a 90-home subdivision.

Retail Sale Sets Ventura County Record

A Minnesota investment company has purchased an Orchard Supply Hardware in Thousand Oaks for about $354 a square foot, a record price for such a property in Ventura County, according to the brokerage that handled the transaction.

Cherokee Shares Jump on Solid Earnings

Cherokee Global Brands announced first-quarter net income higher than expectations, causing shares to rise more than 10 percent on Friday.

Thursday, June 11

Heinz Closing Chatsworth Plant

H.J. Heinz Co. is shutting down its condiments and sauces plant in Chatsworth and laying off 145 employees.

Financial Services News: Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, RBZ

Private equity firm Ares Management is close to acquiring Century City money shop Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors. West L.A. accounting firm RBZ will join Armanino of San Ramon, the largest accounting and consulting firm based in California by revenue.

Wednesday, June 10

Disney Could Lose $140 Million on 'Tomorrowland'

Walt Disney Co. may take up to a $140 million write down on its latest live-action release “Tomorrowland,” according to media reports on Wednesday.

Sundance Cinema Seeks Buyer

Upscale theater chain Sundance Cinemas, founded by movie legend Robert Redford eight years ago, is putting itself up for sale.

FDA Panel Recommends Amgen Cholesterol Drug

A regulatory advisory panel on Wednesday recommended approval for Repatha, a new cholesterol drug from Amgen Inc., although use should be limited to patients with high risk of heart disease.

Briefs: DreamWorks, Minimum Wage

DreamWorks breaks ground on China center, City Council approve wage increase.

Tuesday, June 9

Chatsworth Warehouses Sell for $30 Million

Two industrial buildings in Chatsworth have sold for a combined $29.8 million to a San Francisco real estate investment trust.

Executive’s Estate Gives $2.3 Million to Cal Lutheran

The estate of a deceased engineer who worked at the predecessor company to Northrop Grumman Corp. has donated $2.3 million to California Lutheran University to fund programs in science, education and religion.

Briefs: IPC, United Online

IPC Healthcare signs a strategic alliance to reduce Medicare costs, while United Online elects a new board member.

Monday, June 8

On Assignment Closes Acquisition

Staffing firm On Assignment Inc. has closed its acquisition of Creative Circle LLC, a digital market and advertising staffing company, in a deal valued at $570 million.

FDA Panel to Weigh Amgen’s Repatha

Health regulators have decided a new drug from Amgen Inc. reduces “bad” cholesterol, but they aren’t sure it’s for everyone.

Friday, June 5

Senator Calls for Investigation of Disney

A Florida senator has called for on an investigation into potential misuses of a controversial visa program used by Walt Disney Co. and other companies that employ immigrants to fill engineering and tech positions.

DreamWorks Shares Surge to High

Shares of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. hit a 15-month high on Friday in response to an analyst upgrade.

Briefs: Teledyne, Interlink, AV Healthcare District

Teledyne Technologies acquires Belgian company. Interlink Electronics names chief financial officer. Antelope Valley Healthcare District elects chairman.

Thursday, June 4

Three Downtown Burbank Office Buildings Sold

Three high-profile Burbank buildings, with tenants that include Cartoon Network, Turner Broadcasting and MTV Networks, have been acquired by a Dallas real estate investment group that plans to reconfigure them into a walkable campus.

Report: High-Speed Rail Tunnels Still in the Mix

An analysis released Wednesday of the Palmdale-to-Burbank section of the state’s high-speed rail project recommends that routes requiring tunneling beneath the San Gabriel Mountain should remain in consideration.

LegalZoom Alleges Antitrust Violations Inc. has sued the North Carolina State Bar, accusing the body of violating federal antitrust laws by trying to prevent the company from selling its legal services plans in the state.

Dodgers Coming to Charter Cable

Good news for baseball fans and Charter cable customers: Los Angeles Dodgers channel SportsNet LA will start airing on Charter Tuesday, marking the first time in more than a year anyone other than Time Warner Cable customers will be able to regularly watch games.

Briefs: Spectrolab, Capstone Turbine

Spectrolab names president. Capstone Turbine reports large order from oil-and-gas producers.

Wednesday, June 3

Santa Clarita CEO Accused of Misusing Retirement Funds

A Santa Clarita supplier of processing and molding equipment and its chief executive face legal action for allegedly using employee retirement money to prop up the company, the government said Wednesday.

NoHo Theater Group Moving to Glendale

A North Hollywood classical theater company plans to transform a long-vacant downtown Glendale storefront into a new cultural arts center, boosting the city’s efforts to create a burgeoning entertainment arts district.

Minimum Wage Law Moves Along

L.A.’s minimum wage hike got one step closer Wednesday, but will need yet another approval from the City Council before going to Mayor Eric Garcetti.

USC Business School Namesake Dies

Gordon Marshall, the founder of electronics giant Marshall Industries and a University of Southern California trustee for whom the institution’s business school was named, died Tuesday in Pasadena at the age of 95.

Tuesday, June 2

Passenger Traffic Improves at Burbank Airport

Passenger traffic at Burbank Bob Hope Airport rose again in April and further improvements are likely as airlines add service at the San Fernando Valley’s only commercial airfield.

Sylmar Apartments Sell for Nearly $46 Million

A Tarzana real estate investment firm purchased Rockwood at the Cascades, an upscale 223-unit apartment complex.

Subsidies Draw Shows Back to California

"American Horror Story" is coming back to Los Angeles to take advantage of the state’s beefed-up tax credits for films and TV shows – and comedy hit "Veep" is moving west, too.

Briefs: Van Nuys Customs, Signature Group

Customs service for international travelers has returned to Van Nuys Airport after a nine-year absence. Signature Group Holdings shareholders approved the company’s name change to Real Industry Inc.

Monday, June 1

Disney CFO Resigns

James A. “Jay” Rasulo, chief financial officer at Walt Disney Co., is stepping down June 30 in a move that has been expected since February when Chief Executive Bob Iger passed him over as heir apparent.

Children’s Hospital Opens Valley Center

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles opened its first outpatient clinic in the San Fernando Valley on Monday.

IPC Appoints Chief Strategy Officer

IPC Healthcare Inc. has appointed Dr. Ron Greeno to the newly created position of chief strategy officer.

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley

The European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use issued a “positive opinion” to allow Amgen Inc. to market Repatha for patients who don’t respond or have intolerance to other cholesterol drugs.

Landlords Getting Granular With Water Usage

MULTIFAMILY: Owners group exploring legislation, grants for submetering units.

Nearly half of all Californians live in multifamily housing, but fewer than 20 percent of them ever see a water bill.

Developer 2.0

Tom DiPrima has led KB Home’s timely strategy to build Southern California homes that use little energy and water.

Homebuilder Tom DiPrima likes drought-resistant plants and low-flow faucets.

GO Campaign Event Gambles on Deluxe Strategy

FUNDRAISING: Exotic prizes help draw $103,000 for international charity.

ICON’s headquarters in Chatsworth resembled more of a set from a 1930s film on May 2 than the workshop of an automotive company that builds custom cars with a classic feel.

Fat-Burning Drug Moving to Sales Slow Lane

MARKETING: Firm behind Kybella to hold off on consumer ads for now.

Kythera Biopharmaceuticals Inc. has one of the hottest new biotech drugs around: an injectable that has been shown to markedly reduce skin fat.

Native Plant Nursery Finds Its Day in the Sun

The Theodore Payne Foundation sells native plants.

Old School Gardeners Brush Up on New Skills

The Salazar family has switched from mow-and-blow to desert gardening.

Irrigation Specialist Captures New Water Flow

The Rausdeen family has moved from irrigation gear to water tanks.

Contractor In Deep With Rush to Build Pools

Fears of a backyard moratorium have pumped new life into Fletcher Pools.

Desert Bloom In the Valley

REAL ESTATE: Anthem replaces 13-acre lawn at office complex with drought-tolerant plants.

Mulch, not lawn, will save Anthem 12 million gallons of water a year.

The Number

L.A.’s future requires high-wage, low-emission jobs.

Fresh Water From the Countertop?

Reverse osmosis system doesn’t require pricey visit from the plumber.

Peter Spiegel wants to put reverse osmosis on your countertop.

Watch Your Tone Around These Mics

Audio surveillance system said to detect anger prior to violence.

Louroe Electronics has a device to detect voice aggression.

The Green Green Grass Of Home

Why mow and blow? New drought service sprays color on thick.

Green dye covers up brown grass at Lawn Paint Pros.

Homegrown Roots

Businesses struggle, thrive amid drought

A four-year dry spell has produced winners and losers among Valley businesses.

Water Cutbacks Trim Ventura Crop Yields

Ventura County farmers grapple with dwindling groundwater supplies.

Cities Underplay Pay Advantage

EMPLOYMENT: L.A. neighbors not seizing on raised minimum.

As L.A.’s minimum wage hike looms, surrounding cities downplay their advantage.

Fight Threatens Studio City Plan

DEVELOPMENT: Parking woes hit Sportsmen’s Lodge project.

A landowner and a developer bicker over parking spots at Sportsmen’s Lodge.

Throwing a Flag for Piling On Business

The cumulative burden of red tape.

No Longer There Just for the Taking

If we want to sustain our paradise in Southern California, we must employ all our technological skills.

End of the Mulholland legacy.

Reinventing Southern California

Reinventing paradise.


Calendar of events