Stories for January 2014

Friday, January 31

Wesco Makes $550 Million Acquisition

Wesco Aircraft Holdings Inc. has acquired a supply chain management firm serving the aerospace industry in a deal valued at $550 million.

Aerojet Rocketdyne Laying Off Workers

Aerospace manufacturer Aerojet Rocketdyne is laying off 5 percent of its workforce including positions at it Chatsworth rocket engine plant, according to media reports published Friday.

Nasdaq Approves Ixia Compliance Plan

A plan by Ixia for regaining compliance with Nasdaq listing rules has been accepted by the exchange.

Restructuring Costs Clip Avery Dennison

Avery Dennison Corp. on Friday announced fiscal fourth quarter and full year results that missed Wall Street expectations for profit, as the company continues its restructuring.

New Line Decamps for Burbank

New Line Cinemas, the mini major film studio behind the blockbuster “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, is moving to the Warner Bros. Studios lot in Burbank this summer from West Hollywood.

Thursday, January 30

Cal Lutheran Opening Business Incubator

California Lutheran University is opening an off-campus business incubator this summer in Westlake Village as part of an expansion of its School of Management, the college announced on Thursday.

Ryland Beats Wall Street Estimates

Ryland Group Inc. on Thursday announced strong fourth quarter results as the company rides the resurgent residential real estate market.

Wednesday, January 29

NBCUniversal Laying Off 164 in Burbank

The move of “The Tonight Show” to New York City will result in the elimination of 164 positions at NBCUniversal's Burbank studio.

Briefs: Avery Dennison, Bank of Santa Clarita.

Avery Dennison declares dividend. Bank of Santa Clarita earnings.

Tuesday, January 28

BYD Wage Violations Withdrawn

Minimum wage violation charges against Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer BYD Co. Ltd. were withdrawn Tuesday by the California Department of Labor Standards and Enforcement, according to the law firm representing BYD.

Amgen Reports Earnings Growth

Amgen on Tuesday reported fourth-quarter results that beat earnings expectations on a pro forma basis that excludes acquisition costs.

Semtech Lays Off 6 Percent of Workforce

The Camarillo semiconductor maker said demand was soft for its chips used in smartphones and other devices.

Valley Presbyterian Diversifies Board

Valley Presbyterian Hospital has announced the appointment of five new board members – including Cal State Northridge President Dianne Harrison – in an effort to diversity its leadership.

Monday, January 27

Ceres Announced Secondary Offering

Agricultural biotech Ceres Inc. is planning a secondary offering of its common stock that could bring in up to $20 million.

Great American Sells U.K. Shoe Retailer

Great American Group has sold its ownership interest in the U.K. footwear retail chain Shoon to two entrepreneurs, the company announced Monday.

Rexford Buys Van Nuys Property

Los Angeles real estate investment firm Rexford Industrial Realty Inc. announced on Monday it has added to its fast-growing Valley portfolio with a nearly $9 million purchase in Van Nuys.

Urban Suburban

Warner Center’s new specific plan has led to denser development proposals that could transform the office and residential neighborhood.

Development: Woodland Hills Specific Plan 2035 sets the stage for a building boom.

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Call Center Lays off 175 Employees in Valencia

Services: Arvato’s loss of contract prompts job cuts despite lease renewal.

Services: Loss of a contract at Arvato will put 175 people out of work in Valencia.

Ramping It Up

Apparel: Cherokee Inc. buys Tony Hawk clothing brand for $19 million from Quiksilver and prepares line for international launch.

Apparel: Cherokee’s purchase of Tony Hawk matches with its international strategy.

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Hard-Won Hard-Court Wisdom

Resident of Encino had lessons for business, says writer.

Publishing: New biography of John Wooden looks as his Valley-based public speaking career.

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Alfred Mann And the Missing Link

Tiny sensor allows brains to communicate with robotic limbs.

Biotech: Alfred Mann Foundation pioneers robotic limb control.

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Stones, Brooms and Some Ice

Curling enthusiasts learn Olympic sport at Panorama City rink.

Fitness: The Sochi Olympics puts the sport of curling back in play.

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Bratz v. Barbie: Rematch Set

Manufacturing: MGA files new lawsuit against Mattel.

Manufacturing: Toy maker MGA launches another lawsuit against rival Mattel Inc.

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LegalZoom Pulls Back IPO

Law: Online services firm to expand using private equity.

Law: With $200 million in fresh capital, LegalZoom is primed to grow.

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Hollywood Comeback

Boutique renewal set for faded Beverly Garland

Hospitality: Will a $20 million facelift bring Hollywood stars to the Beverly Garland hotel?

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Editorial Cartoon SFVBJ - January 27, 2014

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

Glendale Bank Branches Out to Antelope Valley

Expansion: Americas United buys outpost held by San Diego-area bank.

The acquisition of the Lancaster office of Silvergate Bank by Americas United Bank this month is a deal that has its roots deep in the shifting demographics of the Antelope Valley.

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Laying It On Thick With 3-D

New manufacturing process subject of local printing expo.

Event: Burbank trade show highlights the future of 3-D printing.

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A Third World (Fiscal) Prescription

Op-Eds: How cities can survive the debt deluge.

The Hollywood Retreat at Sundance

What’s wrong with this picture? Leading independent films at festival were made outside Callifornia.

Op-Eds: Film tax credits in the Valley.

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A Lesson Not Learned

Editor: A lesson not learned.

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Market Watch Summary

The stock market got the new year off to a sluggish start in the two-week period ended Jan. 22, with the Dow Jones Industrial index declining 0.5 percent.


Calendar of Events

Around the Valleys

News and notes from around the greater San Fernando Valley

Allied Beverages Inc., a major Southern California beer distributor, is now a unit of the nation’s largest beer distributor.

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Low Job Creation Means Slow Leasing During Final Quarter

Submarket Reports: Major trends and deals during the quarter. Conejo Valley

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Brokers Count on Housing Boom to Lift Busted Office Market

Submarket Reports: Major trends and deals during the quarter. Santa Clarita Valley

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Big Bang Theory at Play in Core San Fernando Valley Market

Submarket Reports: Major trends and deals during the quarter. San Fernando Valley

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Talk of High Rise Conversion Raises Hopes in Flagging Market

Submarket Reports: Major trends and deals during the quarter. Burbank and Glendale

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High Desert Activity Expected to Heat Up as Summer Approaches

Submarket Reports: Major trends and deals during the quarter. Antelope Valley

The Coming Boom

The Warner Center 2035 Specific Plan has flexible building-height regulations and streamlined entitlements, but zoning varies by neighborhood. Several projects are already planned.

Map: The eight districts of Woodland Hills.

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Getting Detailed on Warner Center Specific Plan

With the passing of the new Warner Center 2035 Specific Plan, the floodgates are indeed open for large development.

Special report real estate quarterly

Urban Suburban

Get ready for some big changes at Warner Center.

Friday, January 24

Traffic Up at Van Nuys Airport

Van Nuys Airport reported an increase of 3.6 percent in aircraft operations last year after a turndown in 2012, officials said Friday.

Unemployment Rate, Labor Force Shrinks

Los Angeles County’s unemployment rate fell to 9.2 percent in December, its lowest point in more than five years, according to state figures released Friday.

Thursday, January 23

Los Robles Hospital Names CEO

Natalie Mussi has been appointed chief executive of Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center after five years at the Hospital Corp. of America facility

Tenants Sign $17.6 Million Camarillo Leases

The Camarillo Business Center, a seven building, 400,000-square-foot office park, has signed two new tenants to leases valued at $17.6 million.

Boeing Contract Lifts Teledyne

Aerospace, marine and energy products manufacturer Teledyne Technologies Inc. beat analysts' estimates on revenue and earnings for the fourth quarter, the company reported Thursday.

Wednesday, January 22

Kennedy Wilson Buys NoHo Shopping Center

Kennedy Wilson on Wednesday said it has acquired an aging 132,995-square-foot retail center in North Hollywood that includes undeveloped property.

Film Payroll Company Launches Incentive-Backed Loan Unit

Cast & Crew Entertainment Services has started a new division to provide government incentive-backed financing for film and television productions.

Burbank Firm to Finance Audio Gear Purchases

Private financing firm Quail Capital Corp. has formed a business unit to provide funding for customers wanting to purchase audio and lighting products from Harman International Industries Inc.

Tuesday, January 21

Moving Company Buys Headquarters Parcel

A moving company has purchased a 124,000-square-foot land parcel in San Fernando with plans to build a new headquarters.

Albertson’s Closing Four Local Stores

Mid-range grocer Albertson’s is closing 11 markets in Southern California, including four in the Valley area, a company spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Monday, January 20

FutureLogic Inc. Names CEO

Thermal ticket and receipt printer manufacturer FutureLogic Inc. has named a new chief executive and made other changes to its senior management.

Simi Industrial Building Fetches $4 Million

A company that manufactures and distributes wood flooring has purchased a corporate headquarters in Simi Valley for nearly $4 million.

Friday, January 17

Reyes Completes Allied Beverage Acquisition

Reyes Beverage Group's estimated $225 million acquisition of Sylmar beer distributor Allied Beverages Inc. closed Friday afternoon.

L.A. Venture Capital Falls

Venture capital activity in the United States increased overall last quarter and last year, but that trend skipped Los Angeles and the Valley.

Dryden Center Renamed for Armstrong

The name change of Dryden Flight Research Center has become official following President Barack Obama signing of a congressional resolution to rename the center after late Apollo astronaut Neil Armstrong.

Conejo Office Market on Rebound

The commercial office market in the Conejo Valley and Ventura County should show marked improvements this year, according to CBRE Group Inc.

Briefs: Capstone Turbine, Rexford

Capstone Turbine rises on orders. Rexford picks up Valley property.

Thursday, January 16

Antelope Valley Loses Defense Industry Advocate

The Antelope Valley is losing a strong advocate for the aerospace industry with the retirement of Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon

Valley Home Prices Climb

San Fernando Valley home prices soared in December, with the median price reaching $475,000, a 22 percent increase over a year earlier, according to a report released on Thursday by the Southland Regional Association of Realtors.

Home Foreclosure Rates Continue Decline

Home foreclosures continued to drop last month in Southern California, with rates in the greater Valley varying widely, according to a report released Thursday.

Valley Pastor Arrested in Ponzi Scheme

A Chatsworth man was arrested Thursday on charges of running a nearly $4 million Ponzi scheme that targeted Latinos, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Ameriflight Acquired by Florida Firm

Air charter and cargo services provider Ameriflight LLC has been acquired by Pebbles Aviation LLC, an investment group in Sarasota, Fla., the companies announced on Thursday.

Amgen Enters Drug Partnerships

Amgen Inc. has announced two partnerships that the Thousand Oaks biotech hopes will eventually expand its product offerings to treat bowel disorders and colorectal cancer.

Wednesday, January 15

Briefs: MRV Communications, Ontic

MRV Communications Inc. in Chatsworth will supply networking equipment to the newest data center in New York City. Aerospace parts supplier Ontic in Chatsworth has signed a licensing agreement for parts used on military helicopters and commercial airliners.

Pizza Rev Signs Multistate Franchise Agreements

Fast-casual pizza chain PizzaRev has signed franchise agreements for more than 20 new outlets in five states.

Burbank Ikea Moves Forward

Home furnishings retailer Ikea has moved one step closer to opening a new Burbank outlet that will be the largest for the chain in the United States.

Tuesday, January 14

On-Location Filming Up in L.A.

More TV shows, movies and digital videos were filmed on location in Los Angeles last year than in 2012, according to a report released Tuesday by FilmL.A. But the long-term trends aren’t as encouraging.

Update: House Passes Helicopter Noise Legislation

The House of Representatives passed a yearlong spending package on Wednesday that includes a provision requiring the FAA to take more action to reduce helicopter noise in Los Angeles County generated by operators based at Van Nuys Airport and elsewhere .

Businesswoman Guilty in Medicare Fraud

A North Hollywood businesswoman has pleaded guilty to defrauding Medicare of nearly $10 million.

LTC Seeks New Operator

LTC Properties Inc. announced on Tuesday it will not renew leases with two Wisconsin firms that operate more than a third of its assisted living facilities.

Light Rail Bill Moves Forward

The California Assembly Transportation Committee has approved a bill that can pave the way for light rail in one section of the San Fernando Valley.

Monday, January 13

MGA Again Sues Mattel, Claiming $1 Billion in Damages

MGA Entertainment Inc. on Monday said that it has again sued rival toymaker Mattel Inc. for trade-secret theft related to the two companies’ longstanding battle over MGA’s popular Bratz doll line.

Cherokee Buys Tony Hawk Brand

Van Nuys apparel brand licensing company Cherokee Inc. announced Monday it has purchased the brands associated with legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk.

NTS Signs Testing Contract with PG&E

National Technical Systems Inc. announced Monday it will provide testing for devices connected to Pacific Gas & Electric SmartMeters.

Briefs: Salem, CBRE

Salem Communications Corp. has purchased the assets of Eagle Publishing, a conservative book and Internet publisher.

Rising From the Rubble

Editor: Northridge Earthquake, 20 years later.

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Gelson’s Ripe for Big Expansion Following Sale

Grocery: Acquisition by Texas firm expected to accelerate store openings.

Grocery: Gelson’s has new owners with deep pockets, but can it compete?


Market Watch Summary

The stock market finished strong the three-week period ended Jan. 8.


Calendar of Events

Around the Valleys

News and notes from around the greater San Fernando Valley

Technicolor SA has closed down its film lab, the last of the entertainment service company units operating in the country.

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Glendale Dealership to Introduce New Model

Automotive: Star Ford Lincoln breaking ground on $10 million renovation.

The Star Ford Lincoln dealership on the “Brand Boulevard of Cars” in Glendale is getting a $10 million makeover.

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Valley Burn Center Wraps Midwest Expansion

Medical: Grossman expands to Kansas City through deal with HCA.

Grossman Burn Center has opened an office in Kansas City, Mo., the organization’s first presence in the Midwest and a move in contrast to national trends.

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Hold the Neon on That Double Double Says City

Development: In ‘N’ Out agrees to build toned down outlet in Westlake Village.

The neon red-and-yellow arrow signs that have helped make In-N-Out Burger a landmark will get a makeover when the burger chain opens at the new Shoppes at Westlake Village.

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Glendale Cuts Red Tape to Attract More Filming

Production: City creates liaison position to speed issuance of film permits.

The Glendale City Clerk’s office wants to send a message to the entertainment industry: film in the city and there will be someone on your side to make the process smooth.

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Photo essay valley shopping

Retail Redux

Call it a tale of two retail centers.

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Retail Redux

Been to the Glendale Galleria lately?

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Still Cluckin’

The creator of the ‘Chickenman’ radio spoof is still doing voice work at 80, while his Famous Radio Ranch in Sherman Oaks remains a leading studio.

Q&A: After 40 years of writing radio ads, Dick Orkin’s humor still sells.

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Alternative Financier

Investments: Westside banker looks beyond serious illness to advise Valley companies.

Investments: Alexander Cappello advises two Valley corporations – Cheesecake Factory and Sport Chalet.

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Game Maker Strategizes With X’s, O’s

Hidden Variable’s latest offering based on tic-tac-toe.

Telecom: Glendale game studio releases “Tic Tactics” for mobile phones.

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Raffle Homes In On Big Prize

Special Olympics to test meddle with high participant plateau.

Philanthropy: This charity event will raffle off a Calabasas home – if enough tickets sell.

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Hamlet Destined For Tragic End?

Longtime burger chain down to last location in Los Angeles.

Restaurant: The Hamburger Hamlet chain has shrunk to its last outlet.

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Taking Role In Hollywood History

Warner Bros. casts new archivist to care for props, wardrobe.

ENTERTAINMENT: The archivist at Warner Bros. makes the studio’s past accessible.

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Area Cooks Up New Incubators

Technology: Two of the centers opening in greater Valley region.

Technology: Incubators and accelerators hope to speed up local economic growth.

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Medical Offices Rx for Desert?

Development: Spec builder bets ObamaCare will bring buyers.

Development: Toneman Development bets doctors will want to own, not lease, office space.

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Local farmer is sole pepper supplier for Sriracha

Agriculture: A farm in Ventura County grows the chilies causing the big stink at Sriracha hot sauce.

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The Musical Path to Brilliance and Jobs

Oo-ed: Money for music education.

Channel Island Dreams for Everyone

Operator of charter flight service calls on the National Park Service to reopen Santa Cruz Island airstrip.

Op-ed: Opening up Santa Cruz Island.


Editorial Cartoon SFVBJ - January 13, 2014

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

Friday, January 10

FDA Sets Afrezza Meeting Date

Mannkind Corp. announced on Friday that a Food and Drug Administration committee is scheduled on April 1 to review the application for its Afrezza brand of inhalable insulin.

Signature Closes Maguire Airport Deal

Signature Flight Support Corp. closed this month on its deal to acquire the assets of Maguire Aviation Group LLC at Van Nuys Airport.

Amgen CFO Resigns

Jonathan Peacock, the chief financial officer of Amgen Inc., stepped down from his position Friday but will remain with the company until May to assist in the transition.

Successful Test Flight for Virgin Galactic

Sub-orbital space vehicle SpaceShipTwo made its third rocket-powered flight Friday at the Mojave Air & Space Port.

DreamWorks Teams With YouTube

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. has teamed up with YouTube to create a new series, “YouTube Nation,” according to media reports on Friday.

Thursday, January 9

DWP Chief Ron Nichols Resigns

Ron Nichols, the embattled Department of Water and Power chief, announced on Thursday his resignation amid growing financial and administrative controversies at the Los Angeles city agency.

Amgen Workers Injured

Two workers suffered injuries in an explosion at an Amgen Inc. lab in South San Francisco on Wednesday.

SolarWorld Shutting Down Camarillo Offices

SolarWorld USA will close its Camarillo administrative and research facility next month, a move that will eliminate 59 employees

Corporate Briefs: Ceres, Simulations Plus

Ceres Inc. and Simulations Plus report earings.

Wednesday, January 8

Clay Lacy Hangar Project Moves Forward

The Van Nuys Airport Citizens Advisory Council on Tuesday voted to recommend acceptance of a report that a new hangar project would not cause any environmental impacts.

Briefs: DineEquity, Everbridge, DTS

DineEquity Inc. announced Wednesday its subsidiary, Applebee’s, revamped its kid's menu to include healthier choices.

Tuesday, January 7

Ludwig Charity Donates $540 Million

A foundation established by the late Daniel Ludwig, a shipping magnate and founder of Westlake Village, has donated $540 million to six cancer programs.

Villaraigosa Connects With Burbank Network

Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has become a senior adviser for Estrella TV, a Spanish-language broadcaster based in Burbank, according to media reports.

Briefs: Talon, Community Bank

Zipper maker Talon refinances. New CEO for Community Bank.

Monday, January 6

Briefs: Exelis, Prospect, Capstone

Exelis contract. Prospect Mortgage acquisition. Capstone order.

LegalZoom in $200 Million Private Equity Deal

LegalZoom plans to sell $200 million worth of its privately held shares to an affiliate of a British private equity fund, rather than go public as previously announced, the company said Monday.

Flight Delays Hit Burbank Airport

Heavy snow and frigid temperatures in the Midwest and East Coast are affecting some flights at Burbank Bob Hope Airport on Monday.

Friday, January 3

Star Wars Comics Fly Home

Marvel Entertainment will publish “Star Wars” comics and graphic novels starting next year, the company announced Friday.

Briefs: Qualstar, United Online, Ryland

Bronson ups Qualstar stake. United Online hires general counsel. Ryland Group opens luxury development.

Thursday, January 2

Yamaha Acquires Line 6

Audio product manufacturer Line 6 Inc. of Calabasas has been acquired by Yamaha Corp.

Valley Dominates Silver Screen

Valley movie studios produced some huge box office returns last year, with Warner Bros. leading the pack with $4.95 billion in worldwide box office.

Briefs: Amgen, LTC, Rose Parade

Amgen announces positive study results. LTC declares monthly dividends. Public Storage and Dole floats win at Rose Parade.