Stories for October 2013

Thursday, October 31

Public Storage Gains on Rents, Occupancy

Public Storage Inc. on Thursday reported third quarter funds from operations that beat analysts’ estimates, citing higher rents and occupancy rates at its storage facilities.

Marcus & Millichap Shares Gain in IPO

The initial public offering of Marcus & Millichap Inc. went to market at a lower price than expected on Thursday, but then the Calabasas real estate brokerage saw its shares gain nearly 12 percent on their first day of trading.

Slim Majority Approve Dole Sale

By the narrowest of margins, Dole Food Co. stockholders approved the sale of the company Thursday to its 90-year-old chairman and chief executive.

Wednesday, October 30

Superman Flying to Burbank

DC Comics will move its operations from New York City to the Warner Bros Studios lot in Burbank in 2015, according to media reports.

BYD Hires Law Firm in Probe

Chinese electric bus manufacturer BYD Co. Ltd. has hired an international law firm to represent its U.S. division in an ongoing investigation by the California Department of Industrial Relations into workplace violations, the company said Wednesday.

FDA Receives MannKind’s Afrezza Application

MannKind Corp. said Wednesday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has accepted its second drug application for Afrezza, an inhalable insulin powder.

United Online Reports Mixed Quarter

Internet service provider and flower and gifts retailer United Online Inc. reported mixed results for the third quarter, beating analyst estimates on revenue but falling short on earnings per share, the company reported Wednesday.

Tuesday, October 29

Quallion Acquired by Battery Maker

Billionaire entrepreneur Al Mann has sold his Sylmar battery technology company, Quallion LLC, for $30 million to EnerSys, an industrial battery maker in Reading, Pa.

Ixia to Buy Net Optics for $190 Million

Ixia has agreed to purchase Net Optics Inc., a network monitoring software company, for $190 million in cash.

DreamWorks Revenue Drops on ‘Turbo’

Revenue and earnings fell at DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. in the third quarter, as the high-profile movie “Turbo” failed to meet expectations.

Lancaster BYD Plant Under Investigation

The BYD Co. Ltd. electric-bus manufacturing plant in Lancaster is the subject of a continuing investigation into workplace violations by the California Department of Industrial Relations

DineEquity Hits All-Time High After Strong Quarter

Shares of DineEquity Inc. hit an all-time high on Tuesday as the restaurant operator beat analysts’ earnings estimates and saw same-store sales rise at its IHOP chain.

Ryland Revenues Rise 61 Percent

Ryland Group Inc. on Tuesday announced net income that beat analysts’ expectations as the home-buying market continues to surge.

Monday, October 28

Natrol Awarded $3.3 Million in Contract Suit

Nutritional supplement maker Natrol Inc. has been awarded $3.3 million by a federal court jury in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. in a case that stemmed from an FDA product recall of protein powder in 2011.

Ixia CEO Resigns Over Resume Flap

Vic Alston has resigned as chief executive of computer network equipment manufacturer Ixia after a board committee found he had falsified his resume, the company said.

Valley Home Prices Rise by a Third

The median price of a San Fernando Valley home climbed 33 percent in September to $520,000, according to a report from the Southland Regional Association of Realtors on Monday.

PS Business Parks Reports Solid Quarter, New Purchase

PS Business Parks Inc. on Monday announced third quarter earnings in line with analysts’ expectations, while narrowly missing on revenue.

Blue Ribbon Special

Entertainment: Royer Labs has advanced the old-fashioned ‘ribbon’ microphone for the digital age, winning a Technical Grammy.

Entertainment: Old-fashioned microphones have new appeal at Royer Labs.

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Busy Broker Hopes Voters Buy His Story

Mario Guerra seeks to trade Downey mayoral post for Senate seat.

Politics: Mario Guerra wants to add senator to his list of job titles.

Prop House Does Heady Business

Dapper Cadaver shop stakes retail reputation on Halloween sales.

Holiday: Dapper Cadaver sells professional quality Halloween gear.

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Capsule Lands at L.A. Museum

Skydive platform built by Lancaster firm in Science Center exhibit.

Aerospace: Felix Baumgartner’s free-fall capsule is on display.

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Crowning Achievement For Local Trio

King of Rock blankie on sale at Wal-Mart after entrepreneurs win.

Retail: Seen Elvis in Wal-Mart? Legend Home Bedding hopes you will.

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Lofty Living

A new wave of urban-style apartments that cater to young professionals is going up. The trend doesn’t please everyone.

Development: Apartment buildings and mass transit defines the new urban lifestyle.

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No Sweat for Clothes Maker

Acquisition: Private equity firm bulks up Organized SportsWear.

AcquisItion: Organized Sportswear prepares to go fashion forward.

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Pet Food Firm Shedding Plant

Manufacturing: Natural Balance moving operations to Georgia.

Manufacturing: Pet food maker Natural Balance closes its Pacoima plant.

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VALLEY BIZ SEEN - October 28, 2013

Photographs of recent business-related events in the valleys, including parties, awards dinners, benefits and other celebrations.


Editorial Cartoon SFVBJ - October 28, 2013

TAKE TWO - This week's Editorial Cartoon by Steve Greenberg

Success in Moderation

VICA Local Update - Valley Business Issues That Matter


Market Watch Summary

The Valley 50 moved up along with the broader market for the two-week period ended Oct. 23.


Calendar of Events

Around the Valleys

News and notes from around the greater San Fernando Valley

Steven Borick will retire as chief executive of aluminum wheel manufacturer Superior Industries International Inc. on March 31.

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Clay Lacy Nails Landing at Vegas Convention

Event: Van Nuys firm makes announcements at industry trade show.

Nearly 30 aviation-related businesses exhibited at the National Business Aviation Association Convention in LasVegas, including the Valley’s own Clay Lacy Aviation. Includes SFVBJ's 2013 VALLEY'S AVIATION CO's list for download (pdf)

Valley Bar Leader Judges Need for Mediation

Litigation: Court cutbacks prompt association to start non-profit to hear cases.

In the midst of widespread cutbacks at county courts, Adam Grant plans to shift some of that work to a new non-profit.

Could Sunkist Deal Spread Some Sunshine on Grim Santa Clarita?

The office market in the Santa Clarita Valley continues to have a lackluster year, though a high-profile sale could boost optimism going forward.

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High Desert Market in Recovery Mode After Hitting Rock Bottom

The Antelope Valley industrial market had a relatively fair quarter, recovering from an abysmal second quarter.

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Everyone Gets a Trophy (Building) During Valley’s Strong Quarter

The San Fernando Valley office market saw strong movement in the third quarter, highlighted by big sales and trophy buildings changing hands.

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Landlords Get Stingy With Concessions as Conejo Valley Tightens

The oversupply of office space in the Conejo Valley is gradually shrinking, thanks to new tenants moving into the market.

Universal Sale Has Impact All the Way to Burbank Media District

REPORTS: Analysis and major events in the region’s submarkets.

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New Wave

A spate of urban-style condo and apartment projects are being developed in the greater San Fernando Valley, often situated near mass transit and with appeal to younger residents.

Map: Six urban projects in the Valley region.

Suburban Santa Clarita Gets Urban-Style Living

Housing: In Valencia, the Metrolink station is close to home.

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Poor Harvests Yield Layoffs for Seed Developer

Biotech: Energy crop company Ceres Inc. letting workers go.

Biotech: Layoffs loom at seed research firm Ceres Inc.

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Pumped Up?

Santa Clarita field could be sold, expanded

Energy: The Placerita Canyon oil field may have new owners.

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Friday, October 25

Amgen Lays Off 100

Amgen Inc. said Friday that 100 employees had been notified earlier this week that their jobs were being eliminated due to the company’s restructuring or outsourcing efforts.

Ryland Opens Texas Development

Ryland Group Inc. announced Friday that it has opened a residential development in Texas.

Television-Pilot Ordinance Receives Mayor's Signature

Mayor Garcetti has signed an ordinance to waive fees for the filming of television pilots in Los Angeles, the mayor’s office announced Friday.

Video Game Publisher Closing Northridge Facility

Video game publisher 2K Games Inc. is closing its Northridge quality-assurance studio later this year and transferring the work to Las Vegas, eliminating 48 local jobs.

Thursday, October 24

IPC Meets Quarterly Expectations, Makes Acquisition

IPC The Hospitalist Co. Inc. gave analysts exactly what they expected on Thursday with its third-quarter earnings, and then announced yet more acquisitions.

Three Years in Prison Sought for Former KPMG Auditor

Scott London, the former KPMG auditor who has pled guilty to insider trading, deserves three years in prison and a $100,000 fine, according to a confidential report from the U.S. Probation Office.

BofA's Countrywide Unit Found Liable

The Countrywide Financial mortgage lender unit now owned by Bank of America Corp. was found liable for selling thousands of defective loans by a federal jury in New York.

Wednesday, October 23

Teledyne Wins Boeing Contract

Teledyne Technologies Inc. on Wednesday said that it signed a contract with Boeing Co. for avionics data and an information management system for updated versions of the 737, 747 and 777 jetliners.

Warner Center Plan Approved by City Council

The Los Angeles City Council gave final approval on Wednesday for the Warner Center 2035 Specific plan.

Elite Aviation Lands $50 Million

Charter flight firm Elite Aviation received $50 million that will go toward global expansion, fleet growth and acquisitions to complement its business.

Cheesecake Reports Solid Quarter

Cheesecake Factory Inc. on Wednesday reported financial results in line with analysts’ expectations for its fiscal third quarter.

Filmtools, Paladin Capital in Strategic Investment Deal

Film and television production supply business Filmtools Inc. will accelerate its growth plans after signing a strategic relationship agreement with Paladin Capital Partners LLC.

Tuesday, October 22

Teledyne Buys Scottish Manufacturer

Teledyne Technologies Inc. on Tuesday said that it acquired C.D. Ltd., a marine engineering company in Aberdeen, Scotland.

Amgen Posts Solid Quarter, Raises Guidance

Amgen Inc. reported a 25-percent profit increase in the third quarter on Tuesday, boosted by a jump in sales of its infection-fighting drugs. The biotech giant also raised its full-year revenue forecast.

Ontic Signs Licensing Agreement

Aerospace supplier Ontic has signed a licensing agreement with Curtiss-Wright Controls Inc. for heat and thermal management products used on missiles, blimps, and other military and commercial aircraft.

Monday, October 21

Proxy Advisor OK’s Dole Deal

An independent advisory firm has given its stamp of approval to the offer by Dole Food Co. Chairman and Chief Executive David Murdock’s to take the company private for $13.50 a share.

Tutor Perini Gains Guam Projects

Tutor Perini Corp. of Sylmar has won new projects in the U.S. territory of Guam totaling $77 million, the company announced Monday.

Friday, October 18

Valley Contractor Target of LAX Lawsuit

A joint venture that includes Tutor-Saliba Corp. has been sued by the city over the alleged shoddy reconstruction of a Los Angeles International Airport runway.

Valley Firms Raise Venture Capital

Venture capital into Los Angeles saw a noticeable uptick during the third quarter, according to a report released Friday by accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association. Valley-area firms accounted for half of the top ten firms that raised money.

Entertainment Fund Buys Headquarters for $10 Million

An entertainment fund has purchased a Valley Village office building that will become the group’s headquarters.

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Update: Ceres Announces Layoffs

Energy crop company Ceres Inc. will lay off 17 workers and terminate the employment of a high-level executive, according to a filing on Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

American Homes Prices Offering

American Homes 4 Rent said Friday that it intends to charge $25 a share for its previously announced secondary offering of preferred stock.

Thursday, October 17

CoreLogic Closing Two Offices

Real estate data and consulting services provider CoreLogic is laying off about 150 employees in Lancaster and Simi Valley amid a slowdown in mortgage refinancing.

Disney Unveils Marvel-Branded Fruits

Walt Disney Co. will showcase new selections of its Disney-branded fruits and vegetables at a trade show this week featuring Marvel and other characters, the company announced Thursday.

Hulu Appoints New CEO

Former Fox executive Mike Hopkins was named Thursday as chief executive of video-streaming service Hulu, as had been widely expected.

Unico Completes Calabasas Building Acquisition

Unico American Corp., now based in Woodland Hills, has purchased a two-story Calabasas office building with plans to make it the company’s headquarters.

Wednesday, October 16

DreamWorks Makes Awesome Seventeen Magazine Deal

DreamWorks Animation SKG's AwesomenessTV and Hearst Corp. have formed a joint venture for a YouTube channel aimed at readers of Seventeen magazine.

L.A. Council Waives Television Pilot Fees

The Los Angeles City Council has passed an ordinance waiving fees for the on-location filming of television pilots.

Corporate Notes: Amgen, Ryland

Amgen names new director, declares dividend. Ryland Group opens Indiana development.

Tuesday, October 15

Valley Patch Editors Announce Departures

Two of AOL Patch’s local editors in the San Fernando Valley announced their departure from the site on Tuesday.

Disney Asks Shareholders to Reject Offer

Walt Disney Co. asked its shareholders on Tuesday to disregard a tender offer from TRC Capital Corp.

Sport Chalet Founders’ Son Resigns from Board

The son of Sport Chalet Inc. founders Norbert and Irene Olberz has stepped down as a director amid a review by the La Canada Flintridge sporting goods chain of its strategic alternatives.

Garcetti Promotes L.A. Manufacturing

The Los Angeles region is poised to create more manufacturing jobs but more needs to be done to get potential workers ready for those jobs, Mayor Eric Garcetti said Tuesday at the opening of the Westec manufacturing expo.

Monday, October 14

MannKind Submits New Insulin Application to FDA

MannKind Corp on Monday said it had submitted a revised application to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to allow the company to market its inhaled diabetes drug Afrezza.

Superior Industries CEO to Retire

Steven Borick will retire as chief executive of aluminum wheel manufacturer Superior Industries International Inc. effective March 31 of next year.

Buffalo’s Cafe to Open in Palmdale

Buffalo’s Café will open its first store in California tomorrow in Palmdale.

IPC Buys South Texas Doctors Group

IPC The Hospitalist Co. Inc. announced Monday it has acquired three affiliated doctor groups in South Texas.

Kaiser Says Yes to NoHo Medical Office Building

Development: Non-profit HMO opens latest center on Lankershim Boulevard.

Kaiser Permanente has new medical offices in North Hollywood that it’s working to bring up to full capacity.

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Sage Knows Success Formula in Arcane Business

Publishing: Academic printer has outside CEO, offers rich benefits.

Story: Sage Publications treats its employees like family.

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Tallest Valley Office Tower Sells for $420 Million

media: Comcast purchase of 35-story building called a sign of market strength.

Media: The tallest building in the Valley sells for $420 million.

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Downhill Run?

Retail: Sport Chalet has been unprofitable and is considering its strategic options, including a sale.

Retail: Sport Chalet seeks a winning strategy with new partners.

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Everything Flies Round in Circles

Air Force One project design team returns to Valley after decades.

Design: After years on the Westside, CSA Architects has moved back to Woodland Hills.

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Like Football, It’s A Game of Inches

Ouch! Doctor breaks bones to lift patients’ height, self-esteem.

Health Care: Short men with lots of money can have an operation to increase their height.

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Oh Baby, Are These Some Bottles

Mother of preemie designs line that is sturdy, chemical-free.

Startup: Christine Barlow wants mothers to use her toxin-free baby bottles made of glass.

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Rising Market Squeezes Firm

Real Estate: American Homes posts loss as housing recovers.

Real Estate: Will the business model of American Homes 4 Rent make money long term?

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Media Buyer Goes Belly Up

Advertising: Encino firm alleges controller’s fraud led to demise.

Advertising: An alleged insider finance fraud contributed to KSL Media’s bankruptcy.

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Real Estate Brokerage Making Bid to Trade Up

Finance: Marcus & Millichap files $104 million IPO on the NYSE.

Finance: Apartment brokerage Marcus & Millichap has big plans to go public.

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Prognosis: Terminal

Burbank airport renews effort for modern facility

Aviation: At a time of shrinking passenger counts, Burbank Bob Hope Airport wants a new terminal.

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Does Getting Tipsy Make You Artsy?

Pinot’s Palette is latest franchise in the ‘paint-and-sip’ craze.

Entertainment: At Pinot’s Palette, you can sip wine and create art with friends.

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Political Cents

Larry Levine has been a campaign consultant for five decades, and he’s still going at an age when many have left the business.

Q&A: Political consultant Larry Levine started his career as a news reporter.

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Crowdsourcing Craze Hits Local Biotech Scene

Health Care: Two Conejo firms seek funding to help finance their R&D.

Crowdsourcing has been used to finance everything from independent movies and comic books to novels and consumer products.

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To Work and Volunteer in the Valley

We really are all products of our environment.

Can Twelve Oaks Remain Standing?

Local philanthropic organization takes issue with Glendale group’s closure and sale of senior home.

As recently as July, took out ads in local publications that boasted of the charm of Twelve Oaks, a unique haven for seniors nestled in a grove of majestic oak trees.

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Editorial Cartoon SFVBJ - September 30, 2013

TAKE TWO - This week's Editorial Cartoon by Steve Greenberg

Blinded by the (iPad) Hype

Editor: LAUSD and the sour Apple.


Market Watch Summary, Oct. 14, 2013

Stock prices of the Valley 50 moved lower along with the broader market for the two-week period ended Oct. 9.


Issue October 14, 2013

Calendar of Events

Around the Valleys

News and notes from around the greater San Fernando Valley

United Online Inc. named Francis Lobo its next president and chief executive.

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$47 Million Shopping Center Sale Sets Record

Retail: High price makes Woodland Hills property likely for development.

The Woodland Hills Shopping Center, a fully leased block-long retail strip, has been sold to new owners who are considering a complete tear-down of the property.

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Conejo Boys & Girls Club Settles Into New Digs

Construction: Branch dedication celebrates contributions of founders.

The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Conejo Valley celebrated a new branch in honor of founders Cal and Marje Johnston last month.

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Friday, October 11

Hulu Close to Naming New CEO

An executive with 21st Century Fox is expected to be named as the new chief executive of video-streaming service Hulu, according to a news report on Friday.

Drug Developer Files for IPO

Xencor Inc., a San Gabriel Valley company developing antibody-based drugs, filed for an initial public offering on Friday. Amgen Inc. has rights to commercialize one of the drugs.

Thursday, October 10

Disney Stock Less Animated

Stock certificates with depictions of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and other characters will no longer be issued by Walt Disney Co. as the quaint practice falls victim to the digital age.

Health Net Signs Prime Healthcare Deal

Health Net Inc. has signed a contract with Prime Healthcare Services to add 14 hospitals to its network.

Home Foreclosure Rate Drops

Home foreclosures fell sharply in Southern California in September, with the rates in the greater Valley varying widely, according to a report released Thursday.

Ryland Opens Colorado Development

Ryland Group Inc. announced Thursday that it has opened a residential development in Colorado.

Glendale Apartment Fetches $12.5 Million

The Glenoaks Apartments, a 63-unit building in Glendale, has sold for about $12.5 million to a San Francisco firm.

Wednesday, October 9

UCLA to Operate Motion Picture & TV Clinics

UCLA Health System and the Motion Picture & Television Fund on Wednesday said UCLA plans to take over operations and leases on six Fund health clinics that now serve entertainment industry workers.

Glendale Mega-Development Moves Forward

Amidi Group has received stage one approval for its massive live-work proposal for downtown Glendale.

City of Hope, Providence Partner on Cancer Practice

City of Hope and Providence Health & Services announced a partnership today to bring comprehensive cancer patient care to Providence’s Southern California area hospitals, including three San Fernando Valley area hospitals.

Juicy Name Sells for $195 Million

Juicy Couture’s plush days of velour track suits and crown logos are over.

Cargo Ships Target of Capstone Growth

Capstone Turbine Corp. is targeting cargo ships using U.S. waterways as its next big growth area for its liquid natural gas micro-turbines, the company announced Wednesday.

Tuesday, October 8

American Homes Offers $15 Million in Preferred Shares

American Homes 4 Rent is conducting a $15 million secondary offering of preferred shares, according to a Tuesday regulatory filing.

LTC to Build Memory-Care Communities

LTC Properties Inc. announced on Tuesday that it has agreed to spend $19.6 million to construct communities in Colorado for elderly patients with memory disorders.

Movie Production Boosts Location Filming

A sharp increase in feature film production helped boost location filming in Los Angeles during the third quarter, even as local television production lagged, according to statistics released Tuesday.

Monday, October 7

Kythera Unveils $100 Million Stock Offering

Kythera Biopharmaceuticals Inc. announced on Monday a $100 million secondary stock offering as it prepares to seek FDA approval of its groundbreaking drug that reduces double chins.

IPC Buys Orlando Doctors Group

IPC The Hospitalist Co. Inc. has acquired Greater Orlando Hospitalists P.A., a doctors group in Altamonte Springs, a suburb of Orlando, Fla.

Cherokee to Buy Back Stock

Cherokee Inc. announced on Monday that it has approved a stock repurchase program of up to 1 million shares.

Friday, October 4

NBC, Virgin Galactic Sign Up for 'Space Race'

NBC Entertainment has signed an exclusive deal to develop a reality show featuring contestants competing to take a sub-orbital flight aboard Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo space vehicle.

Capstone Gains 6 Percent on Analyst Coverage

The stock price of Capstone Turbine Corp. went up 7 cents Friday after research firm Cowen & Co. initiated coverage with an outperform rating.

Thursday, October 3

Comcast Buys NBCUniversal Headquarters for $420 Million

The tallest office building in the San Fernando Valley has sold for $420 million.

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Apollo F-1 Engine Moves to Chatsworth

A mock-up of the engine that helped take humans to the moon was installed on Thursday outside the Aerojet Rocketdyne campus on DeSoto Avenue in Chatsworth after standing for decades along Canoga Avenue.

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United Online Names CEO

United Online Inc. announced on Thursday that Francis Lobo would become president and chief executive of the company next month.

Disney Loses 3-D Case

Walt Disney Co. has lost a federal court challenge to the sale of 3-D conversion technology used in its films “G-Force” and “Alice In Wonderland” – a development that could complicate future conversions of its feature films.

Corporate Briefs: DineEquity, Electro Rent

DineEquity declares 75 cent dividend. Electro Rent misses on earnings.

Wednesday, October 2

Southeast Valley Sees Strong Job Growth

The Los Angeles economy, including parts of the Valley, grew at a faster rate than the nation last year, according to a report released by the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday.

Amgen Whistleblower Suit Thrown Out

A lawsuit filed by a doctor who has brought repeated whistle-blower lawsuits against different companies had his case against Amgen Inc. thrown out of court, according to a news report on Tuesday.

Cheesecake Opens at Westfield Topanga

Cheesecake Factory opened up a new Valley restaurant on Wednesday at the Westfield Topanga mall in Canoga Park.

Universal Studios Executive Dies

Long-time Universal Studios executive Rick Finkelstein died on Tuesday after a long battle with cancer. He was 64 years old.

Construction Starts on Entrepreneurship Center

Construction has started on a new center to provide small business assistance and workforce development services in the Pacoima area.

Tuesday, October 1

Amgen Completes Onyx Tender Offer

Amgen Inc. has completed its tender offer to purchase all outstanding shares of Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc. at $125 a share, or a total price of $9.7 billion.

REIT News: American Homes, LTC

American Homes 4 Rent of Agoura Hills has bumped up its credit facility by $300 million. Health-care REIT LTC Properties of Westlake Village has increased its monthly dividend.

Calabasas Investors Buy Big

A pair of private investors from Calabasas purchased a $60 million portfolio of apartments.

Qualstar’s Loss Widens During Transition

Qualstar Corp. missed an analyst’s estimate on earnings in the fiscal fourth quarter as the Simi Valley company goes through a transition to a new executive team.