Stories for October 2015

Friday, October 30

Second Sight Reports Revenue Increase

Visual prosthetics manufacturer Second Sight Medical Products Inc. reported its third-quarter financial results on Thursday.

Preview: Martini Maker Juices Up Bars

As a bartender, you’re juggling a dozen orders, chatting with customers over background music and keeping track of cash and cards sliding back and forth across the counter. But in the end, you’re only as good as your drinks.

Preview: Insurer Peddles New Online Policy

Hixme Insurance Solutions Inc. has a vision for the future of health insurance and it has found a few wealthy investors who share it.

Thursday, October 29

New SBA Office for Panorama City

Partnership with nonprofit brings satellite location that will cater to underserved East Valley entrepreneurs.

Briefs: Teledyne Tech, DineEquity

Teledyne falls short on revenues. DineEquity outperforms on third quarter earnings.

Wednesday, October 28

Drug Prices Drive Amgen Higher

Amgen Inc. beat Wall Street expectations with its third-quarter financial results on Wednesday.

DreamWorks Director Brings Telecom Expertise

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. named a telecommunications executive to serve on its board of directors.

PS Business Parks Beats Forecasts

PS Business Parks narrowly beat Wall Street expectations for funds from operations in the third quarter.

Tuesday, October 27

Northrop Wins $60 Billion Bomber Contract

At least some of the 80 to 100 new stealth bombers will be built at the aerospace company's Plant 42 in Palmdale.

Health Net Shareholders Okay Merger

The Woodland Hills health insurance provider plans to merge with St. Louis-based Centene Corp early next year.

Valley Home Sales Post Surprising Gain

Defying the typical seasonal slowdown, home and condo sales increased in September, though median prices continued their slide from summer peaks.

Prominent Valley CPA Dies at 74

Mel Kohn, former managing partner at Kirsch, Kohn and Bridge LLP in Woodland Hills, held leadership roles on several Valley boards and city commissions.

Ixia Expands Sales Into the Middle East, Africa

Calabasas software developer signs a deal to make its security and network visibility products available to international customers.

Monday, October 26

Cheesecake Barely Beats Wall St. Expectations

Cheesecake Factory Inc. on Monday reported third-quarter earnings that slightly beat analysts’ expectations but missed on revenue forecasts.

SunBrite TV Sold to SnapAV

Outdoor television and digital signage manufacturer SunBriteTV has been sold to SnapAV, a manufacturer and distributor of audio and video products.

MannKind Takes Back 9 Million Shares

MannKind Corp. announced Monday that 9 million shares of its common stock were returned by Bank of America according to a stock lending agreement from 2010.

Friday, October 23

MannKind Shares to Trade on Israeli Exchange

MannKind Corp. announced Friday that its stock is approved for listing on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

Mission Valley Bank Reports Strong Quarter

Mission Valley Bancorp posted strong results in the third quarter and is on pace for a record year, it announced Friday.

Thursday, October 22

Triton Digital to Measure iHeart Radio Sites

Triton Digital will provide its audience measurement service to the streaming audio content of national broadcaster IHeartMedia Inc., the companies announced Thursday.

Mental Health Clinic to Open in Northridge

Topanga West, an assisted-living facility in Canoga Park, plans to open a new mental health clinic Friday.

Update: NoHo-Pasadena Bus Route Approved

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority board voted Thursday to launch a pilot bus route to connect the North Hollywood Red Line subway station with the Gold Line in Pasadena.

Wednesday, October 21

Fresh & Easy to Close Business

Fresh & Easy, the El Segundo grocery chain that debuted in 2007 to much fanfare as British supermarket giant Tesco’s entrée into the United States, is shutting down.

Warner Bros. Fills Top Gamer Post

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has promoted David Haddad to be president of the division responsible for video and mobile games.

Selleck Buys Chatsworth Building for $5.2 Million

A Chatsworth manufacturing facility that served as the headquarters of the Tamrac company for the past 25 years has been sold to Selleck Development Group of Westlake Village.

Local Businesses Buy Santa Clarita Office Buildings

Two local businesses have purchased headquarters buildings in Santa Clarita’s Tourney Place office complex in separate deals.

Tuesday, October 20

Former Valley Broker Sentenced for Fraud

A former securities broker at a defunct Sherman Oaks investment firm was sentenced to prison Tuesday for wire fraud associated with a real estate investment scam that cost victims about $4 million.

Disney Shows ‘Star Wars’ Trailer on China’s Great Wall

Walt Disney Co. projected the trailer for its new “Star Wars” film on the Great Wall of China on Tuesday night, the company announced.

Software Developer Connects Devices Online

DATA: Garbage cans and light switches communicate via Internet of Things.

Calabasas software developer myDevices released a product this month with hopes of connecting to a big piece of the Internet of Things.

Monday, October 19

Cherokee Buys Flip Flop Shops

Cherokee Global Brands announced Monday that it has acquired the sandal retail franchise Flip Flop Shops.

Simi Valley Center Sells for Nearly $16 Million

Brokerage CBRE Group Inc. announced today the sale of a Simi Valley shopping center for nearly $16 million.

REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY: Office Market Returned Space While Industrial Scene Remained Flat

Major office and industrial deals in Valley-area submarkets.

HQ Booked By Educator

EDUCATION: Operator of charter schools relocates in Lancaster.

Charter school moves into a former Bank of America call center in Lancaster.

Audio Firm On the Move

TECHNOLOGY: DTS looks to car, mobile markets with pickup.

Home stereo company moves into auto and mobile markets.

Halloween Uncovers Sexy Styles

Roma Costume aims to scare up sales for its pricey offerings.

Burbank costumer appeals to Halloween fantasies.

ID Theft Comes to Health Fairs

Chiropractor scammed insurance information, prosecutors allege.

Chiropractor is accused of identity theft at health fairs.

Surgeons Tap into Spinal Kits

Disposable tools save hospitals money and avoid infection risks.

Thousand Oaks company makes disposable spine implant tools.

The Number

Filming is up in the Valley.

Homebuilder’s Move Leaves Workers in Lurch

HOUSING: Former Ryland employees’ futures decided on ‘case-by-case basis.’

Former Ryland employees lose their jobs after merger.

Operation Hope Banks on Need for Business Skills

TRAINING: Guest teachers explain credit scoring, management to adults.

Operation Hope is looking for San Fernando Valley residents and entrepreneurs who want to improve their credit score or receive small-business management training.


Arts-rich, transit-oriented NoHo is now a hip destination for developers after years of struggling to launch transformative projects.

Construction flourishes in the NoHo Arts District as developers jump on infill opportunities.

REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY: Rare Rise for Vacancy Rate; Sales Activity Up for Smaller Properties

Major office and industrial deals in Valley-area submarkets.

REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY: Mixed Bag on Tenancy But Investors Score Buildings in Both Cities

Major office and industrial deals in Valley-area submarkets.

REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY: Landlords Look to Accommodate Businesses Without Raising Rents

Major office and industrial deals in Valley-area submarkets.

REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY: Lower Prices, Large Spaces Draw Tenants From Nearby Areas

Major office and industrial deals in Valley-area submarkets.

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley

Hixme Insurance Solutions Inc. has raised $10.4 million in Series A funding led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm.


Calendar of events

A Repeatable Experiment?

NoHo’s transformation inspires, but can it be done in Reseda?

Buying In

Mall developer grows in Glendale with temple project

Caruso Affiliated grows its presence around Glendale’s Americana at Brand.

Tease photo

Lighting Fire Under Pot

MARIJUANA: Speed Weed partners with doctors to help potential customers secure cannabis cards.

Pot delivery service adds online doctor consultations.

Tease photo

Homeless to Get Place to Recover

NONPROFIT: Mission’s center hopes to curb dumping of patients on streets.

Rescue mission will give hospitals an alternative to “patient dumping.”

Tease photo

Friday, October 16

Cherokee Licenses Hawk Brand to Walmart Canada

The Sherman Oaks apparel company signs an agreement that will bring Tony Hawk's clothing and shoes to Canada's largest retailer.

New Product Launch from Simulations Plus

Lancaster software firm sees potential in standalone program that evaluates clinical trial data.

For Sale: Warner Center Site With a View

Retail parcel directly across from the Village at Topanga is being marketed as a potential 300-unit multifamily project.

Thursday, October 15

Woodbury University Names New President

Woodbury University announced today that international business leader David M. Steele-Figueredo, is the school’s new president.

Northrop Reorganizes Business Sectors

Northrop Grumman Corp. has announced a corporate restructuring that includes streamlining its business sectors.

Apollo Medical Secures $10 Million Investment

Apollo Medical Holdings Inc. announced Thursday that it has received a $10 million equity investment from Network Medical Management Inc. in Alhambra.

Citizens Business Bank to Acquire Ventura County Lender

CVB Financial Corp., parent company of Ontario’s Citizens Business Bank, announced late Wednesday that it has agreed to acquire County Commerce Bank in Ventura for $41.3 million.

Wednesday, October 14

Flagship Food to Lay Off 123

Flagship Food Group is closing its San Fernando Valley location and laying off 123 employees.

Avita's ReCell Helps Disaster Victims

Doctors have found that Avita Medical Ltd.’s ReCell, a device that allows physicians to quickly regenerate skin by using a small sample of the patient’s skin, has been effective in treating burn victims from the Taiwan waterpark disaster.

Tuesday, October 13

Kythera Lays Off 117 Workers

Kythera Biopharmaceuticals Inc. is permanently laying off 117 of its employees.

AeroVironment Lands $18.5 Million Contract

AeroVironment Inc. received an $18.5 million contract from the U.S. Army to supply its Raven unmanned aircraft to seven allied nations.

Monday, October 12

Woodland Hills Brokerage Acquires Competitor

Woodland Hills-based real estate brokerage Century 21 Peak, part of the Peak Corporate Network group of companies, has acquired Granada Hills residential brokerage Century 21 All Moves and its affiliated real estate school and escrow company for an undisclosed price.

New Princess Ship to Sail from China

Princess Cruises has announced that a sister ship to its fleet of Royal Princess and Regal Princess will be named Majestic Princess and will cater to the Chinese market.

Woodbury Board Adds Four Members

The head of a Glendale bank is one of new four members appointed to the board of trustees at Woodbury University.

Ixia Chief Rings Nasdaq Bell

Ixia Chief Executive Bethany Mayer rang the closing bell on Monday at the Nasdaq in New York City.

Friday, October 9

Hixme Insurance Raises $10.4 Million

Hixme Insurance Solutions Inc. announced Wednesday that it has raised $10.4 million in a Series A funding led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a venture capital firm based in Silicon Valley.

Warner Center Developer Reorganizes

Voit Real Estate Services, the development company that built Warner Center, has restructured into a brokerage firm and replaced founder Bob Voit with a new chief executive.

Electro Rent Revenue Declines

A drop in new product sales resulted in Electro Rent Corp. posting lower revenue and earnings for the fiscal first quarter.

Thursday, October 8

McCarthy Withdraws from Speaker Election

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, has withdrawn from being considered as the next Speaker of the House of Representatives, according to media reports Thursday.

Calabasas Office Sells for $24 Million

Adler Realty Investments Inc. of Woodland Hills has purchased a 100,000-square-foot office building in Calabasas for $24 million.

Simi Valley Portfolio Sells for $6.1 Million

A Boston real estate investment firm has purchased two Simi Valley industrial buildings for a total of $6.1 million, or $103 a square foot.

Wednesday, October 7

Ryland Staff to Lose Jobs

All 50 employees – except the chief executive – of Westlake Village home builder Ryland Group Inc. appear likely to lose their jobs in the aftermath of the company’s $5.2 billion merger with Irvine-based Standard Pacific Corp.

Teledyne Names COO

Teledyne Technologies Inc. promoted Al Pichelli from executive vice president to chief operating officer effective immediately.

Amgen's Repatha, Competitor Gain Formulary Listing

Amgen Inc.’s new cholesterol treatment Repatha will be on the list of formulary drugs at one of the nation’s largest pharmacy benefit managers.

Tuesday, October 6

TV, Commercials Push Up Location Filming

Television and commercial production contributed to on-location filming increasing in the third quarter, according to a report released Tuesday by FilmL.A.

Sundance Cinemas Sold to Carmike

The Sundance Cinemas chain will be acquired by Carmike Cinemas Inc. in a deal valued at $36 million, the companies announced Tuesday.

Capstone Secures Orders for 20 Turbines

Capstone Turbine Corp. has sold 20 micoturbines to a German customer, the company announced Tuesday.

Monday, October 5

Gelson's to Buy Haggen Stores

High-end grocer Gelson’s Markets of Encino has signed a purchase agreement for eight stores being closed by Haggen Food & Pharmacy, including one in Thousand Oaks.

AwesomenessTV Signs Endemol Distribution Deal

Teen YouTube network AwesomenessTV will extend its international reach through a partnership with content creator and distributor Endemol Shine Group, the companies announced Monday.

DTS Finalizes iBiquity Purchase

DTS Inc. completed on Monday its previously announced acquisition of iBiquity Digital Corp., a developer for high-definition radio technology, in a deal valued at $172 million.

Teledyne Sales Lower Than Expected

Teledyne Technologies Inc. on Monday reduced its outlook for the third quarter and full year as orders of marine and electronic equipment declined more than expected.


Calendar of events

Electric Bus Maker Buzzing Over Orders From States

AUTOMOTIVE: Oregon, Washington deal pushing BYD to speed up.

Lancaster manufacturer BYD wins big with a huge contract for electric buses.

Debt Weighs Down California Resources’ Stock

ENERGY: Chatsworth oil company’s shares drop more than competitors.

In the last three months, California Resources Corp.’s stock has dropped nearly 60 percent.

Success Feeds Expansion Moves by Snack Maker

FOOD: Lenny & Larry’s relocates to larger facility in Panorama City, hires staff.

Since the Business Journal last wrote about Lenny & Larry’s 10 months ago in the Fastest Growing Private Companies report, the maker of all-natural snacks has proved it’s not a flash in the pan.

Disney’s Virtual Reality Play Isn’t the Only Player

TECHNOLOGY: Investment in Jaunt could presage 360-degree ‘Star Wars’ trailer.

When Walt Disney Co. became an investor in Jaunt, a Silicon Valley startup developing virtual reality technology, it made a high-stakes bet on what might be the next big thing in entertainment.

Antelope Valley Hospital Sues County Over Funds

GOVERNMENT: Facility says it is being shorted on share of Measure B money.

Antelope Valley Hospital has filed a lawsuit against Los Angeles County and its board of supervisors, alleging the misallocation of millions of dollars tagged for health care.

Making the Cuts

Michael Levine took over his family’s Monty’s Steakhouse, merging business approaches of his father and uncle.

Michael Levine, third-generation restaurateur, talks about how he keeps customers happy at Monty’s Steakhouse.

Office, Hotel Deals Take Off by Burbank Airport

ACQUISITION: $19.8 million paid for property pushed as spot for creative tenants.

Expansion plans for Burbank Bob Hope Airport seem to be on hold for now, but property surrounding the airport is selling briskly.

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley

Unico American Corp. is moving all its operations and headquarters to Calabasas from Woodland Hills.

Working for Small Business, Jobs

How business fared this year in Sacramento.

Stranded at Mall?

Bar owner claims Westfield allowing Promenade’s decay

Promenade bar owner sues Westfield, alleging the landlord let the property languish.

Clinic Shopped Around for Home

HEALTH CARE: UCLA Health likes prognosis for site at retail complex.

A UCLA Health clinic opens at Westfield’s Village at Topanga, part of a trend bringing medicine to malls.

Realty Firm Sees Future in Family

Pinnacle Estate Properties celebrates 30 years in business with a new generation of family aboard.

Fan of D&D Rolls Dice On Exercise

Andrew Deutsch turns sci-fi-fantasy passion into Nerdstrong gym.

Nerdstrong gym in NoHo caters to the Dungeons & Dragons crowd.

Brewery Has Big Plans For Micro Craze

Kinetic looks to grow from Lancaster pub to $6 million facility.

Lancaster microbrewery’s $6 million expansion will include a tasting room.

Romance at Sea Fit For a Princess

Cruise line partners with Amazon for short fiction series.

Princess Cruises hooks up with Amazon to promote romance stories at sea.

The Number

Office space is getting short shrift, but what’s the impact on workers – and the boss?

Taking a Seat At the Table

HOSPITALITY: Art Manask’s niche consultancy feasts on guiding nonprofits on food service.

Burbank consultant Art Manask advises cultural institutions on how to run their food service operations.

Friday, October 2

Amgen Could Face Second Biosimilar Competitor

The Food and Drug Administration on Friday accepted paperwork for a biosimilar version of Amgen Inc.’s popular arthritis medication Enbrel.

Valley Apartments Sell High on Condo Potential

A Sherman Oaks apartment complex with 33 units individually deeded as condominiums has sold for $19.5 million, or nearly $600,000 a unit.

Preview: Stranded at Mall?

The Rack, a nightclub at the Promenade mall, is suing Westfield Corp. for alleged breach of contract.

Preview: Electric Bus Maker Buzzing Over Orders

In a hangarlike building on the north end of Lancaster, 13 electric buses move through the assembly line at BYD Coach & Bus.

Thursday, October 1

Exelis Wins $38 Million Radar Contract

Exelis Inc. has received a $38 million contract from the Pentagon to supply radar modification kits for the U.S. Navy.

Van Nuys Apartments Sell for $10.5 Million

Two Van Nuys apartment buildings, totaling 53 units, have sold for $10.5 million, or just over $198,000 per unit, according to brokerage Marcus & Millichap.

Ryland, Standard Pacific Complete Merger

Westlake Village home builder Ryland Group Inc. announced Thursday that it has completed its planned merger with Irvine-based home builder Standard Pacific Corp.