Stories for January 2018

Wednesday, January 31

On Assignment Stock Soars on Acquisition

ECS Federal LLC announced Wednesday that it has signed a final agreement to be acquired by On Assignment Inc. for $775 million. On Assignment’s stock surged after the announcement.

Avery Dennison Beats Earnings Expectations

Avery Dennison Corp. on Wednesday announced fourth quarter adjusted earnings of $1.33 a share, beating expectations by 8 cents. The stock went up after the announcement.

Tuesday, January 30

Applebee's Hires Chief Marketing Officer

Applebee's Neighborhood Grill and Bar announced Tuesday that Joel Yashinsky has joined the brand's leadership team as chief marketing officer.

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Monster Digital Completes Reverse Merger

Monster Digital Inc. completed on Tuesday its reverse merger with a North Carolina drug maker.

Report: Zine in Race for Dababneh Seat

Former Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine is running for an Assembly seat representing the west San Fernando Valley, according to media reports.

Monday, January 29

Sherman Oaks Office Building Sold for $3.8 Million

The 5,100-square foot medical office building at 15450 Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks has sold for $3.8 million, according to Calabasas brokerage Marcus & Millichap.

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Chatsworth Retail Portfolio Sold for Nearly $4.9 Million

A portfolio of four retail properties at 9110 De Soto Ave. in Chatsworth has sold for $4.85 million, according to Costar Group.

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Cal Lutheran Entrepreneurship Center Receives $300,000 Donation

California Lutheran University’s Center for Entrepreneurship has received a $300,000 donation from a Camarillo couple, the university announced Monday.

Monster Digital Resets Reverse Merger Deadline

Monster Digital Inc. has extended until Monday the closing date of its planned reverse merger with a North Carolina drug maker.

Friday, January 26

New Ownership at Delphi Business Properties

Broker Jeff Puffer has taken over ownership of Delphi Business Properties Inc. and assumed the role of chief executive, the company announced Friday.

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AMS Receives Certification as a Social Enterprise

Advantage Media Services Inc. announced Thursday the company has received certification from Los Angeles County as a Social Enterprise.

Apple Launches Medical Records App in L.A.

Apple Inc. has reached out to Cedars-Sinai and Dignity Health to debut a system to allow patients to securely access medical records on their iPhones.

Thursday, January 25

Could Valley’s Promenade Be Home to Amazon? Dodgers Affiliate?

The Westfield Group is moving ahead with plans to remake the Westfield Promenade shopping center into a big mixed-use complex, including a sports facility that could house a minor league baseball team. But there is a small possibility that Inc. could choose the site as its second headquarters, seriously changing those plans.

Westlake Village’s Townsgate Technology Center Sells for $12 Million

Townsgate Technology Center, a 60,478-square-foot office building in Westlake Village, has sold for $12 million, or $198 a square foot.

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B. Riley Runs $125 Million SPAC Offering

A subsidiary of B. Riley Financial Inc. in Woodland Hills has served as sole underwriter and book-running manager of a $125 million offering from Gordon Pointe Acquisition Corp., the company announced Thursday.

MannKind Shares Gain 41 Percent

Shares of MannKind Corp. rose more than 40 percent Thursday.

Capstone Sells Turbine to Toronto Apartment Tower

Capstone Turbine Corp. announced Wednesday receiving an order for one of its microturbines from a Canadian real estate investment trust.

Wednesday, January 24

Valencia Apartment Complex Sold for Nearly $46 Million

The Madison at Town Center, a 130-unit multifamily development in Valencia, sold for $45.9 million, or more than $350,000 per unit, according to Calabasas brokerage Marcus & Millichap Inc.

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Toys R Us Bankruptcy Results in Store Closures

Toys R Us announced that it will close 182 stores nationwide as part of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan.

Valley Home Prices Reach Record High

House and condo prices hit record highs in the San Fernando Valley and the cost of Santa Clarita Valley home ownership also rose in 2017, according to annual reports released by Southland Regional Association of Realtors.

Providence Tarzana Receives Record $4 Million Donation

Providence Tarzana Medical Center received a $4 million donation from Allison Clago, a member of the hospital’s board of governors, in a signing ceremony on Wednesday at the Providence Tarzana Foundation office.

Location Filming Falls in 2017

Feature film location filming went down by nearly 20 percent to 3,901 shoots days. Television decreased by 7.6 percent to 15,218 shoot days.

Tuesday, January 23

Layoffs Begin at Daily News

Newspapers of Southern California News Group have begun previously announced layoffs.

Disney Gives $1,000 Bonus to Employees

Walt Disney Co. announced Tuesday it was giving each of its 125,000 employees in the U.S. a $1,000 cash bonus.

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Glendale Office Portfolio Sold for $122 Million

A fund managed by CBRE Global Investors Ltd. has acquired two Glendale office buildings and a parking garage from Blackstone Group for $122 million, according to CoStar Group.

Drug Treatment Center Expands in Sherman Oaks

Addiction treatment center Cliffside Malibu has expanded its operations into the San Fernando Valley with a new outpatient facility in Sherman Oaks.

Avery Dennison Grows Sustainable Label Line

Avery Dennison Corp. has added two new label materials to its wine and spirits portfolio, the company announced Tuesday.

Monday, January 22

Endonovo Sells First 'Electroceutical' Device

Endonovo Therapeutics announced Monday the first commercial sales of its “electroceutical” wearable electronic device for pain relief.

Burbankwood? Study Suggests Second Hollywood Sign in Valley

Imagine looking out a Burbank window one morning and spotting the Hollywood Sign. A $120,000 study commissioned by L.A. City Councilman David Ryu has suggested just that.

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Marcus & Millichap Finance Division Head to Retire

William E. Hughes, head of Marcus & Millichap Capital Corp., will retire, parent company Marcus & Millichap Inc. announced Monday.

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley

Film Crews Keep Busy in Santa Clarita Valley

PRODUCTION: Variety of locations, soundstages and ranches lures projects.

Santa Clarita finished another strong year in 2017 with on-location film and television production.

Apartments, Retail Rise at Former Ikea Location

Construction: $400 million project will bring H&M, ice rink to consumers.

The former Ikea site in Burbank will be redeveloped to feature both retail and residential space, the City of Burbank Planning Division announced Jan 5.

New Assistant Chief Nurse at West Hills Hospital

Management: Position figures into medical center succession plans.

West Hills Hospital & Medical Center has appointed Elizabeth Reid to the post of assistant chief nursing officer, the health care center announced Jan. 8.

Recycle Plan Gone Wrong

TECHNOLOGY: Eric Lundgren’s attempt to save used PCs ran afoul of Microsoft’s copyrights.

Valley entrepreneur appeals his sentence for selling software that violated Microsoft copyrights.

Compassionate CEO

John Brauer brings a career of service — and business expertise — to New Horzons.

Q&A: John Bauer, the new head of New Horizons, talks about his career in nonprofits and work with the developmentally disabled.

Stiff Price for Trash

Mandatory recycling of organic waste comes with hefty bill for some Valley businesses.

Disney Drops CEO’s Salary, Shakes Up Board

Walt Disney Co. cuts salary for its top brass.

New Hope for Homeless

Development: Courtyard-centric design aims to foster community and stabilize lifestyle.

Scott Ehrlich casts his eye on helping the homeless in the Antelope Valley.

The Number

$44 Billion Insured losses of 1994 Northridge earthquake

Lawyer Hikes Antarctica’s Highest Peak

Practitioner says climbs sharpen legal problem-solving skills.

Glendale attorney Gary Nelson climbs tallest mountain in Antarctica.

Builders Fear State Gas Ban

Business organizations oppose a proposed moratorium on new natural gas hookups for the winter season.

Debt Rocks Guitar Center

RETAIL: Moody’s questions if chain can meet its obligations.

The bill is coming due for music retailer Guitar Center as credit agencies downgrade the company’s rating.

Viking Voyage Takes You From L.A. to London

Travel: Cruise company launches 141-day world tour.

Viking launches a new ship for a round-the-world route with a stop in Los Angeles.

Relationships Matter, Ex-Chief Learns

Former VICA chairman tells of lessons learned at the advocacy group.

How Creativity Helps Retailers Thrive

Retailers can succeed when they exercise a bit of creative marketing.


Calendar of Events

Tiff Over Hilton Tower

Hotel’s owner plans to build expansion despite objections from NBCUniversal.

Hotel owner and NBCUniversal disagree on new tower.

Buyer Bets on Higher Rents in Office Building

Acquisition: Ascentris plans renovations for Van Nuys’ Tri-Center Plaza.

Denver-based real estate private equity firm Ascentris has acquired Tri-Center Plaza, a six-story, 143,000 square-foot office building located at 5990 Sepulveda Blvd. in Van Nuys, for an as-of-yet undisclosed price.

Private High Schools Compete for Valley Students

LIST: Specialized curricula, extra programs spur enrollment growth.

Private high schools use specialized programs to compete for students in the Valley.

Friday, January 19

Most Expensive ZIP Codes Include Two in Valley

California has 77 entries on a list of the priciest ZIP codes, with two San Fernando Valley neighborhoods on the list.

Amgen Cancer Biosimilar Approved in Europe

Amgen Inc. and partner Allergan plc announced Thursday they were given marketing authorization by the European Commission for the drug Mvasi to treat certain types of cancers.

Eclipse Berry Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Eclipse Berry Farms has filed for bankruptcy, joining a growing list of Ventura County strawberry operators facing difficulties.

LAPD's Charlie Beck to Retire

Los Angeles Chief of Police Charlie Beck announced Friday that he plans to retire from his post at the beginning of the summer.

Thursday, January 18

Groundbreaking for $92 Million NoHo Water Treatment Plant

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti broke ground Wednesday at the North Hollywood West Groundwater Treatment Project, a plant to restore the use of groundwater for drinking in the San Fernando Valley.

Santa Clarita Leader Confident in Amazon’s L.A. Selection

Los Angeles made Amazon’s short list of potential sites for its second headquarters on Thursday, leaving Holly Schroeder, chief executive of the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corp., feels confident about L.A.’s prospects.

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Cinedigm to Distribute Insurrection Projects in North America

Cinedigm Corp. has made a deal with Insurrection Entertainment to distribute the independent production house’s content in North America, the company announced on Wednesday.

Wednesday, January 17

‘Hero Hire’ Job Fair Set for Feb. 15

The Valley Economic Alliance has announced its annual job fair for veterans will be held at the Los Angeles Valley College on Feb. 15.

Movie Mogul Lists Whopping $85 Million Thousand Oaks Home

Film producer Thomas Tull and his wife Alba Tull have listed their 33-acre compound in Thousand Oaks’ North Ranch community for a whopping $85 million.

CRC’s Stock Jumps, Thanks to Oil Prices

The stock of California Resources Corp. continued a three-day climb on Wednesday, rising nearly 8 percent during trading hours to its highest price in two years.

Tuesday, January 16

B. Riley Acquires Stake in Bebe Stores

B. Riley Financial Inc. has acquired 29 percent of Bebe Stores Inc. for $16.9 million, the company announced Tuesday.

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Stubbs Alderton Hires Litigation Partner

Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, the business law firm in Sherman Oaks, has hired Dan Rozansky to join its business litigation practice as a partner.

Report: Layoffs at Southern California News Group

Southern California News Group, which includes the Los Angeles Daily News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune and other newspapers, will reportedly face significant layoffs in coming months.

Monday, January 15

Disney Drops Iger’s Compensation by $7.6 Million

Robert Iger, the chief executive of Walt Disney Co., took home nearly $36.3 million last year, or $7.6 million less than he earned the previous year.

Dole Food Cancels Proposed IPO

Dole Food Co. has called off its proposed public offering after talks to sell the company to a Belgium firm broke down.

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Sylmar Sam’s Club to Close

Soon, San Fernando Valley shoppers will have one less Sam’s Club store to choose from.

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Friday, January 12

Atara Shares Soar on FDA Approval

Atara Biotherapeutics Inc. capped off a strong week with a soaring stock price on Friday, when shares of the biopharmaceutical firm rose nearly 30 percent to a two-year high.

Penthouse Files for Bankruptcy

Penthouse Global Media has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization to address its debt and other financial issues.

PennyMac Enters Broker Direct Market

PennyMac Financial Services Inc. will offer mortgage brokers access to its Power platform, the company announced Friday.

Studio City to Host IMDb Show

Entertainment industry website has launched its first-ever weekly news show through its site and mobile apps.

Thursday, January 11

Utilities Commission Postpones Vote on Gas Hookups

The California Public Utilities Commission on Wednesday postponed a planned vote on Thursday for a moratorium on new natural gas connections for businesses and commercial properties throughout most of Los Angeles County.

Hasserjian Joins NAI Capital as Property Management Chief

Eric Hasserjian has joined NAI Capital Management, the property management arm of brokerage NAI Capital Inc. in Encino, as the division’s chief executive.

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Interlink Rehires Chief Financial Officer

Interlink Electronics Inc. announced that David Burnett has rejoined the company as chief financial officer.

Endonovo Engages Firm to Monitor Share Trading

Endonovo Therapeutics Inc. has engaged a company to monitor trading of its shares, the company announced Thursday.

Wednesday, January 10

L.A. County Falls in Annual Economic Ranking

Los Angeles County fell sharply in an annual ranking of job growth and economic performance among metropolitan areas, according to a Milken Institute report released Wednesday.

NetSol Launches Point-of-Sale Finance System in China

NetSol Technologies Inc. has launched a point-of-sale system in China for client FCA Automotive Finance Co., the company announced Wednesday

Semtech Fills New Marketing Management Position

Semtech Corp. has created a new senior level position and named a veteran tech industry professional to fill it.

'Excessive Heat' Hurts Limoneira’s Quarter

Limoneira Co. has reported lower revenue and a net loss for the fiscal fourth quarter, blaming the results in part on excessive heat in Arizona.

Tuesday, January 9

West Hills Mobile Park Secures $33.6 Million Loan in Fannie Mae Program

A West Hills mobile park is the first such property to receive a loan under Fannie Mae’s Green Rewards Program, according to New York-based Hunt Mortgage Group.

Payscout Unveils First-Ever VR Donation at CES

Payscout Inc. has performed the first frictionless donation in virtual reality, the company announced Tuesday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Rex Lands $15 Million in Series B Funding

Rex Real Estate Exchange has secured $15 million in Series B funding.

Record Revenue at Simulations Plus

Simulations Plus Inc. had a strong start to fiscal 2018, with record-breaking revenue and an earnings jump of more than 20 percent compared to the first quarter of last year.

Monday, January 8

Crunch Fitness Building in Van Nuys Sold for $6.1 Million

The Crunch Fitness Building in Van Nuys has traded hands for $6.1 million, according to SRS Real Estate Partners’ National Net Lease Group.

VICA, Other Groups Oppose Moratorium on Natural Gas Hookups

Business opposition is mounting to a proposed three-month moratorium on new commercial natural gas hookups in Los Angeles County, with a vote by the state Public Utilities Commission set for Thursday.

B. Riley Hires Global Strategist

B. Riley FBR Inc. has appointed Mark J. Grant as managing director and chief global strategist, the company announced Monday.

Management Reorganization at Salem Media

Salem Media Group in Camarillo announced three management appointments on Monday, including one for its national operations and two in its local radio markets in Nashville and Philadelphia.

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Amgen Named Best Place to Work in Med Sales

pharma: Survey finds compensation is main factor for rep satisfaction.

What’s the best big biotech company for jobs in medical sales?

Financial Services Profile: Paul Baboolal

Valley financial professionals give advice about customer service.

Averting Eviction

Gelt Foundation wants to keep responsible tenants facing a financial emergency in their apartments, thus preventing homelessness.

A new foundation aims to help people in financial difficulties stay in their apartments.

Westfield’s New World

Future in Valley looks bright following mall owner’s acquisition by French company.

Westfield Corp., owner of Valley area shopping centers, is acquired by French company.

Property Managers Move into Retention Mode

LIST: Landlords want to keep tenants even as rents continue to climb.

Property managers juggle a market with low vacancies and rising rents.

Franchise Companies Find Retail Room to Grow

LIST: Business model’s advantages help Valley franchisers expand outlets.

Franchise companies find room to grow in and out of the Valley.

Financial Services Profile: Ray Vadalma

Valley financial professionals give advice about customer service.

Financial Services Profile: Chris Myers

Valley financial professionals give advice about customer service.

Financial Services Profile: Juan Ros

Valley financial professionals give advice about customer service.

Service at a Premium

Finance professionals share their secrets on how to treat clients and their money issues with respect.

What it takes to provide excellent customer experience in the banking industry.

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First Firms Graduate from Santa Clarita Incubator

Startups: City to extend support to music software developer Nuhubit.

After three years at the Santa Clarita Business Incubator, Alex Bozman is moving on.

Galpin’s Self Driver

Beau Boeckmann loves to market cars, but he suffered shyness when selling them face-to-face.

Galpin Motors Inc. President Beau Boeckmann has a family connection to cars.

Local-Focused Funder

Umbrella organization wants to give charitable contributions from Valley residents to local causes.

Mostly Good Year for Big Stocks on Valley 50

Investments: Large caps range from slight losses to double-digit gains.

A mixed year for the top companies on the Valley 50 stock index.

Talk Therapy For the Stars

Communication: Young actors and mature execs visit Achieve Speech Associates.

Achieve Speech Associates caters to a growing clientele of young actors and mature executives.

The Number

#1 Scorpion’s ranking among digital strategy agencies

Valley area companies make online research firm’s list of top advertising and marketing agencies.

Airport’s Pet Play Program Takes Flight

Woodbury student designs graphics and tagline for launch.

Service dog program at Hollywood Burbank Airport gets help from a Woodbury University student.

Thomas Fire Fallout

As the smoke clears, businesses face questions of loss and recovery

How businesses are suffering, benefiting and coping after the devastation of the Thomas Fire.

Bike Angels Bestow Fixed-Up Wheels to Needy

NONPROFIT: Burbank group collects and repairs 1,500 bicycles for the holidays.

The Burbank Bike Angels celebrated the display of 100 restored bikes in front of Burbank City Hall on Dec 13.

‘Moral Tsunami’ Hitting Businesses Here

Moral compass is needed in business, too.

Two New State Laws Bosses Can’t Ignore

Among 2018’s new employment rules: Employers can’t ask applicants what salary they earned in past jobs.

Two new laws that employers should pay attention to in 2018.

Your New Year’s To-Do List

As advocates for the business community, our work will never be finished in California.

2017? C’mon, It Was a Good Year

Despite media reports, 2017 was a good year.


Calendar of Events

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley

Food Rehab for Youth

Market research led firm to open its first eating disorder facility for teen girls in Agoura Hills.

Eating disorder clinic opens to treat teenage girls.

Friday, January 5

Cinedigm Secures $10 Million Loan From Bison Entertainment

Cinedigm Corp. announced today that on Dec. 29 the Sherman Oaks based entertainment company secured a $10 million loan from Bison Entertainment and Media Group.

Former Burbank Ikea Site Slated for $350 Million Rededevelopment

Owners of the Burbank Town Center announced Friday plans to convert the former IKEA store location into retail space and residential units in a $350 million construction project.

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FDA Expands Use of Amgen Drug Xgeva

The Food and Drug Administration has approved Amgen Inc.’s request to expand the indications of its drug Xgeva, a medication used to prevent fractures and other skeletal complications in patients with bone metastases from solid tumors.

Preview: Thomas Fire Fallout

Ash from the Thomas Fire may have stopped falling on Ventura County businesses, but the already-struggling local economy will be nursing the burn for some time to come.

Preview: Local-Focused Funder

The Community Foundation of the Valleys has a mission to encourage residents and businesses to give money for local organizations – a premise with particular relevance to the Valley region, its founders say.

Thursday, January 4

Atara Prices Secondary Offering to Raise $128 Million

Atara Biotherapeutics Inc. has priced its secondary stock offering to raise nearly $128 million, the company announced late Wednesday.

LAEDC Names New Chief Economist

The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. has hired local industry economic forecaster Steven Banks as its new chief economist, the nonprofit announced Thursday.

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Monster Digital Extends Deadline for Reverse Merger

Monster Digital Inc. has extended to Jan. 26 the closing of its reverse merger with a North Carolina biopharmaceutical company.

Wednesday, January 3

AeroVironment Lands Drone Venture

AeroVironment Inc. has entered into a joint venture with a Japanese company for the development of a solar-powered, high-altitude, long-endurance drone.

Vice Suspends Execs, Sets New Standards for Company Culture

Vice Media has suspended two executives while it conducts an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment against the men, the details of which were published on Dec. 23 in an in-depth report by the New York Times.

Luxury Units to be Built in Vista Canyon

JPI, a national developer of multifamily homes, on Wednesday announced that it plans to build luxury apartments in Vista Canyon.

Outbreak Makes 200 Sick on Princess Ship

The Sea Princess cruise ship, operated by Princess Cruises in Santa Clarita, on Wednesday confirmed a gastroenteritis outbreak that left 200 people sick.

LTC Enters First-of-Kind Joint Venture

LTC Properties Inc. has entered into a joint-venture relationship with the affiliates of a geriatric care provider and a senior facility developer to finance the construction of a $23 million senior living complex in Wisconsin, the first deal of its kind for the Westlake Village real estate investment trust.

Tuesday, January 2

Atara Proposes $100 Million Secondary Offering

Atara Biotherapeutics Inc. plans to raise $100 million through a secondary stock offering, the company announced Tuesday.

Dole Float Wins Grand Marshal Award at Rose Parade

Dole Packaged Foods took home the Grand Marshal award at the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Years Day for its “Sharing Nature’s Bounty” float.

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Airborne Wireless Network Signs Development Agreement

Airborne Wireless Network has entered into an agreement with iNTELLICOM Technologies Inc. to support development and advancement of the company’s Infinitus Super Highway.