Stories for December 2017

Friday, December 29

Forever 21 Finds Data Breach at Stores

Forever 21 Inc. has found a computer data breach that compromised customer data sporadically over an eight-month period.

Atara Biotherapeutics Shares Rise on FDA Approval

Shares of Atara Biotherapeutics Inc. rose nearly 19 percent Friday after the company announced approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to conduct Phase 3 clinical studies on its experimental drug tabelecleucel.

Talon International Files to Cease Quarterly Reports

Talon International Inc. has filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission to voluntarily deregister its common stock and cease filing quarterly and annual reports to shareholders, the company announced Thursday.

Thursday, December 28

Six Flags Magic Mountain Avoids Strike With Machinists Union Agreement

Six Flags Magic Mountain avoided a strike by reaching an agreement with the International Association of Machinists on Wednesday.

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Valley Studios Dominate 2017 Box Office

Valley film studios took the top three spots in 2017 box office market share, according to an analysis by Variety.

Point.360 Secures Funding in Bankruptcy

Post-production house Point.360 will receive up to $3 million in financing to help it through its bankruptcy.

Fresh Capital Will Fund BNK Drilling Program

BNK Petroleum Inc. announced Thursday it has secured an increase in its credit facility and plans to use some of the money to fund its 2018 drilling program.

Wednesday, December 27

Antelope Valley Mall to Sell in $3.2 Billion Portfolio

Forest City Realty Trust Inc. plans to sell the Antelope Valley Mall in Palmdale as part of a 10-property, $3.2 billion portfolio.

Capstone Sells Turbines in California Oilfields

Capstone Turbine Corp. has sold two C1000 Signature microturbines to an oil and gas well site in California.

Charter Firm Buys Long-Range Business Jet

CI Jets has added a Dassault Falcon 7X jet to its fleet, the first heavy jet for the Camarillo charter company.

Tuesday, December 26

Radio Personality Dick Orkin Dies at 84

Dick Orkin, a radio personality who created the popular “Chickenman” character before branching into radio advertising and voiceover work in the San Fernando Valley, died on Sunday following a stroke. He was 84.

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Amgen to Pay $6 Billion Tax Bill to Repatriate Cash

Amgen Inc. expects pay between $6 billion and $6.5 billion in taxes as it repatriates money from overseas operations, the company said Friday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Tutor Perini Wins Hurricane Sandy Recovery Project

Tutor Perini Corp.’s subsidiary WDF Inc. has won a contract with the New York City Housing Authority for the Sandy Recovery Program Restoration at Baruch Houses.

Friday, December 22

Canoga Park Company to Make Isotope Generators

US Nuclear Corp. has signed a letter of intent to be the exclusive manufacturer of medical isotope generators for a nuclear medicine company.

Some Six Flag Workers Threaten Strike

Some Six Flags Magic Mountain workers are threatening to go on strike if no agreement is reached soon on a new healthcare and paid leave agreement.

DineEquity: ‘Worst Restaurant Stock of Year’

There’s no doubt that Glendale’s DineEquity had a difficult 2017, what with unappetizing earnings, a departed chief executive and slowing traffic. Yet another low point was hit Friday when a leading stock-monitoring website put out a list showing that DineEquity was the worst-performing restaurant stock of the year.

Hands On Experience

2018 Book of Lists

This year’s ‘Valley Visionaries’ say our region can remain an ‘economic powerhouse’ – with some changes

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Thursday, December 21

Valencia’s Flavor Producers Gets New Owner

A joint venture company has made a majority investment in Valencia’s Flavor Producers Inc., the firms announced Wednesday.

Pepperdine: Small Business Confidence Up

Small business owners are optimistic about future growth in the new year as they finish 2017 with revenue increases, according to a report from Pepperdine University’s Graziadio Business School and Dun & Bradstreet Inc.

North Hollywood Building Gets Flexible Loan

J.H. Snyder Co., an L.A.-based real estate developer, has arranged $68 million in bridge financing from Meridian Capital Group for 5250 Lankershim Plaza in North Hollywood in anticipation of tenant turnover.

Wednesday, December 20

AV Hospital Selects COO

Colette Menzel will assume the role of chief operating officer at Antelope Valley Hospital effective immediately, the hospital announced Wednesday.

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Owner of Universal City Hilton Plans Second Tower

The owner of the Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City hotel was expected to file paperwork Wednesday with Los Angeles city officials to build a new tower at the complex.

Cal Lutheran Forecasts Narrowing of State’s ‘Growth Premium’

The U.S. economy will grow an average 2.2 percent during the next two years with California’s economy faring better for the next few quarters, according to California Lutheran University’s Center for Economic Research and Forecasting.

New Horizons Names Chief Executive

New Horizons has named John Brauer as chief executive effective Jan. 11.

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Tuesday, December 19

Cal/OSHA: Employers Must Protect Workers From Wildfire Smoke

Cal/OSHA issued an advisory to employers on Tuesday that they must protect their workers if working conditions include exposure to wildfire smoke.

Tutor Perini Names CEO of Gulf Coast Subsidiary

Tutor Perini Corp. has named J. Mark Smith as chief executive of its Gulf Coast subsidiary, Roy Anderson Corp.

Gas Leak Confirmed in Aliso Canyon

Residents near the Alison Canyon gas facility in Porter Ranch have reported the smell of natural gas.

Monday, December 18

Ventura County Retail Sales Suffer From Thomas Fire

The winter holidays are typically the jolliest time of the year for the region’s small businesses, but the Thomas Fire has dealt a setback to Ventura County’s retail and service sector that will likely spill over into the coming year.

Cherokee Announces New Chief Financial Officer

Cherokee Global Brands has appointed Steven Brink as the new chief financial officer following Jason Boling’s resignation, the company announced Monday.

Public Storage Opens Seventh Houston Facility This Year

Public Storage opened a new location in the Houston market on Friday, passing the 1 million square foot milestone for new self-storage space this year.

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FloQast Relocates to Larger Office

FloQast has relocated its corporate headquarters to Sherman Oaks due to accommodate rapid growth, the company announced Monday.

Friday, December 15

MGA's L.O.L. Dolls Become Year's Bestselling Toy

More than a decade after its pouty-lipped Bratz dolls were dubbed the world’s most popular doll, Van Nuys toy maker MGA Entertainment Inc. has scored another chart-topper with its L.O.L. Surprise Tots. The collectible playthings were the No. 1 best-selling toy year-to-date as of November, according to NPD Group Inc., a Port Washington, N.Y.-based retail market research firm.

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Limoneira Escapes Major Fire Damage

Limoneira Co. has issued a statement that its crops escaped substantial damage from the Southern California wildfires.

Monster Digital Trading Extended Until Jan. 3

Monster Digital Inc. has received an extension to continue listing its stock on the Nasdaq, according to the company.

Thursday, December 14

Gelt Foundation Launches to Prevent Homelessness

The co-founders of a residential real estate firm in Tarzana have established a foundation that they hope will keep some cash-strapped renters from becoming homeless.

Disney Buys 21st Century Fox for $52 Billion

Walt Disney Co. has agreed to buy 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion, Disney announced Thursday.

Tutor Perini Wins $238 Million Office Building Contract

A subsidiary of Tutor Perini Corp. has been selected by the California Department of General Services to construct a new $238 million office building in downtown Sacramento.

Downtown Burbank Opens Seasonal Ice Rink

Outdoor ice skating has returned to Burbank for the 2017 holidays.

Wednesday, December 13

Haawk’s Double Acquisition Brings New CEO

Music rights management firm Haawk has acquired two companies, the Studio City startup announced Wednesday.

Thor Debuts Electric Semi-Truck

Watch out, Elon Musk: A small San Fernando Valley startup is revving up to join the green truck movement with the debut of its new electric semi.

Kaiser Permanente Awards $250,000 to Valley Nonprofits

Kaiser Permanente Panorama City Medical Center has recognized 25 San Fernando Valley nonprofit organizations with $250,000 in grand funds.

Sony, Qualstar to Develop Optical Data Storage System

Qualstar Corp. has entered into an agreement with Sony Imaging Products & Solutions Inc. to develop an optical disc archive system for computer data, the company has announced.

Tuesday, December 12

Second Sight Stock Swings Up

Shares of Second Sight Medical Products Inc. made some major gains Tuesday, jumping more than 20 percent during trading hours before falling back to a nearly 18-percent gain by market close.

Westfield Corp. Acquired for $16 Billion

Westfield Corp., owner of the Westfield Topanga & the Village in Woodland Hills, was acquired by French commercial real estate firm Unibail-Rodamco for $16 billion, the companies announced Tuesday.

DineEquity Opens First Applebee’s in Panama

DineEquity Inc. opened its first Applebee’s Restaurant in Panama City on Dec 8.

Sienna Biopharmaceuticals Names Advisory Board Members

Leading medical minds from Harvard, Massachusetts General Hospital, the University of Miami and other major institutions will lend their expertise to Sienna Biopharmaceuticals Inc. as members of its newly established corporate advisory board.

Monday, December 11

Device from Small Biotech Gets Advanced by FDA

In what could be a breakthrough development for a small Valencia biotech, SetPoint Medical Corp. has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration to launch a pilot study on its main product.

MannKind Added to Nasdaq Biotech Index

The stock of MannKind Corp. – in danger of being delisted a year ago – got something of a vote of confidence Monday when it was announced the stock will be added to the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index effective Dec. 18.

Businesses Continue Helping with Fire Relief

Amgen and JP Morgan Chase & Co. are each donating $500,000 to support Southern California residents with wildfire relief.

Cold Caller

From Skid Row to brokering off-market property sales, Michael Koshet has learned how to hustle.

Off-market apartment sales broker and self-admitted hustler Michael Koshet.

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CSUN Alum’s Book Boosts Brain Power

Business owners learn to visualize company organization, products.

Cal State Northridge graduate pens book on unleashing the power of the brain.

Studio Rises in Sun Valley

DEVELOPMENT: Demand spurs plan for massive film complex.

Equipment rental company Line 204 plans large soundstage project to meet film demands.

Execs Vexed By Harassment

Sex allegations prompt companies to re-examine workplace culture

Companies face the threat of sexual harassment claims, but human resources, public relations and legal experts offer advice.

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Dance Hall For the Stars Opens Doors

Studio City rehearsal space starts classes for beginning hoofers.

Julz Tocker opens dance hall in Studio City to the public.

My Holiday Wish List

VICA President Stuart Waldman makes a wish list for the new year.

An Artful Way to Boost an Economy

Boosting the local economy through support of the arts.

The Deal’s In The Details

With a sitting president whose signature book bears the title “Trump: The Art of the Deal,” it seemed that deal-making came naturally in 2017. From the glamor of an NFL team to the grittiness of a manufacturing plant, Valley businesses had a good year for closing transactions. On these pages, the Business Journal focuses on the people who made significant deals happen. They include taking a company public, a billion-dollar high-tech buyout, an acquisition of one public company by another and a defense industry takeover.

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Upcoming events

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley

To Build Up or Out, That is the Question

CONSTRUCTION: Report posits mid-rise industrial could relieve shortage.

As industrial lease rates continue to rise and parcels of vacant land become smaller and harder to find, the Los Angeles and Orange County region could eventually see an increase in the development of multistory industrial facilities, according to a report from brokerage CBRE Inc.

Hospital Partnership to Benefit Paralysis Patients

PROVIDERS: Foundation finds ambassadors to promote program in Antelope Valley.

Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster and the Triumph Foundation in Santa Clarita have partnered to offer newly paralyzed patients the support they need to transition to life after an immobilizing injury.

Entrepreneur Plays the Odds With Traffic Tickets

LAW: Offender pays Tikd, which then settles with the local court.

A Florida startup is making it easier for residents of Los Angeles County to pay and manage traffic tickets.

Nanotech on Spec

Boeing invests in Gamma Alloys and its mixture of aluminum and ceramic with an eye toward using the material in aerospace manufacturing.

Gamma Alloys in Santa Clarita received funding from Boeing Co. for developing composite material using nanoparticles.

Friday, December 8

VICA Installs New Board, Chairwoman

Members of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association approved the business advocacy group’s 2018 board of directors, including new Chairwoman Lisa Gritzner, on Friday during its annual lunch meeting.

Eating Disorder Treatment Center Opens in Agoura Hills

A new treatment center for teenage girls with eating disorders has opened in Agoura Hills.

Preview: Nanotech on Spec

Gamma Alloys was notified last month that Boeing HorizonX Ventures, the venture investment arm of Boeing Co., would make an investment in the company and its composite material that Chief Executive Mark Sommer believes could one day replace regular structural aluminum in aircraft.

Preview: Execs Vexed by Harassment

Sex allegations prompt companies to re-examine workplace culture.

Thursday, December 7

Disney Expands Board to 14

Walt Disney Co. has added the head of a biotech firm and a computer technology executive to its board of directors.

Staffing Firm Finds Most Sought-After Tech Skills

CyberCoders, a subsidiary of On Assignment Inc. in Calabasas, has released research results on the most sought-after skills for professionals in information technology, accounting and construction.

Munchkin Names C-Level Officers

Munchkin Inc. has appointed Tom Emrey as chief operations office and Diana Barnes as chief Brand Officer, the company announced Wednesday.

Wednesday, December 6

Report: Iger May Stay On

The Walt Disney Co.’s possible purchase of the entertainment assets of 21st Century Fox may result in Robert Iger staying on as Disney’s chief executive, according to a report Wednesday in the Wall Street Journal.

Cherokee's Stock Plunges After Report

The stock of Cherokee Global Brands dropped more than 20 percent Wednesday after the company reported a third-quarter loss when Wall Street was expecting positive earnings.

Tuesday, December 5

Reports: Disney Closes in on Fox Deal

Walt Disney Co. is closing in on a deal to buy the media assets of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc., according to media reports Tuesday.

AeroVironment Climbs on Profitable Quarter

AeroVironment Inc. beat Wall Street expectations on earnings and revenue for the fiscal second quarter.

Updates: Wildfires Close Colleges, Universities

Wildfires in the eastern San Fernando Valley and Santa Clarita Valley have charred thousand of acres and closed major freeways.

Ventura County Thomas Fire Cancels Business Meeting

The Thomas Fire has caused the Ventura County Economic Development Association to cancel its annual holiday party.

Monday, December 4

Amgen to Support FDA Approval for Biocartis Cancer Test

Amgen Inc. in Thousand Oaks has agreed to provide operational and financial support to Belgium-based Biocartis Group in its pursuit of Food and Drug Administration approval for a test that compliments Amgen’s metastatic colon cancer drug Vectibix, or panitumumab.

Film Rental House to Auction Off Memorabilia, Equipment

North Hollywood film equipment rental house Birns & Sawyer Inc. plans to auction off equipment and Hollywood memorabilia, the company has announced.

Westlake Village IT Firm Acquired

Information technology company Independent Technology Group has been acquired by InterVision Systems, the companies have announced.

Friday, December 1

FDA Approves Label Expansion for Amgen's Repatha

The Food and Drug Administration has approved Amgen Inc.’s drug Repatha as a prevention for heart attacks in patients with cardiovascular disease, potentially enlarging the customer base for the drug.

Bethany Mayer Resigns as Ixia President

Bethany Mayer resigned as president of the Ixia Solutions Group of Keysight Technologies Inc. effective Friday.

Paralysis Partnership for Antelope Valley Hospital

The Antelope Valley Hospital has partnered with a local nonprofit to provide support to newly paralyzed patients.