Stories for September 2017

Friday, September 29

Preview: Amgen's Slow Road to Profits

New cancer biosimilar faces lengthy run of litigation.

EPA Settlement Stipulates Rehab for NoHo Site

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached a $1 million settlement with CalMat Corp. that requires the North Hollywood company to design extraction wells and a treatment system to clean groundwater contamination caused by its former site.

Thousand Oaks Encourages Opposition to Water Rate Hike

Thousand Oaks is encouraging residents and businesses to oppose a water rate hike proposed by California American Water.

Conejo Boys & Girls Clubs Appoints CEO

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Conejo Valley has appointed Kanoe Nāone as chief executive.

New Airline at Hollywood Burbank Airport

Mokulele Airlines will begin daily flights from Hollywood Burbank Airport to the Central Coast beginning Oct. 3.

Preview: Santa Clarita's Amazon Bid

Can planned city check all the e-commerce giant's boxes?

Thursday, September 28

Calabasas Office Campus Sells for $53 Million

The seven-building Corporate Center Calabasas office campus in Calabasas has traded hands for $53 million, according to Madison Partners, which brokered the deal.

Sale Date Set for Amgen's Biosimilar of Humira

Amgen Inc.’s Amjevita, a biosimilar of the bestselling drug in the world, will launch in Europe and the United States in 2018 and 2023, respectively, the company announced.

Disney Licenses 'Incredibles' to Jakks Pacific

Santa Monica-based Jakks Pacific Inc. has secured a multiyear licensing deal with Walt Disney Co. to manufacture toys for “The Incredibles” animated movies franchise, the company announced Wednesday.

Wednesday, September 27

Hilton Gives Millions to Fight L.A. Homelessness

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation in Agoura Hills has awarded $8.5 million in grants to combat homelessness in Los Angeles County.

Hospital Gets $10 Million Gift

Providence Saint Joseph Medical center has received a $10 million gift from the Cusumano family, the hospital has announced. The donation will be used to enhance emergency and urgent care at the Burbank medical center.

Northridge Defense Contractor Wins Big Job

Orbital ATK received a contract valued at up to $350 million from the U.S. Navy to continue production on the Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile system.

Metro to Hear from Businesses It May Uproot

Metro said Wednesday it has scheduled an additional meeting to hear the deepening concerns of more than 100 Van Nuys businesses that could be displaced by a proposed train maintenance yard that would be part of an expanded transit system.

Tuesday, September 26

Valley Economic Alliance Sponsors Credit Union

The northeast San Fernando Valley’s only credit union has been saved from closure by a sponsorship from the Valley Economic Alliance, a nonprofit based in Sherman Oaks.

Amgen Partnership Takes Biosimilars to China

Amgen Inc. on Tuesday announced an exclusive agreement with Simcere Pharmaceutical Group to co-develop and commercialize four biosimilar drugs in China.

American Homes Puts $10 Million Price Tag on Hurricanes

American Homes 4 Rent has completed its initial assessment on the impact of Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Hurricane Irma in Florida, and estimates the storms will cost the company $10 million.

Lab Closure Means Layoffs for 55 Workers

Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center will lay off approximately 55 people in late October, according to a notice provided to the state’s Employment Development Department.

Monday, September 25

Newhall Ranch Developer Settles Environmental Suits for $25 Million

Newhall Ranch developer Five Point Holdings in Aliso Viejo and environmental and culture groups that had been locked in legal battles over the proposed Santa Clarita Valley project have settled, the parties announced Monday.

L.A. Salesman to Manage Salem's San Diego Radio Stations

Broadcaster Salem Media Group in Camarillo has promoted the sales manager of its KKLA-FM Los Angeles radio station to the role of general manager for its San Diego station cluster.

Amgen Reaffirms Guidance After Hurricane Maria

Amgen Inc. does not anticipate interruptions in its drug supply caused by Hurricane Maria and affirmed its guidance for the year, the company announced Monday.

Source Photonics Opens China Factory

Source Photonics has opened a new facility in Jintan, China for manufacturing Indium Phosphide lasers and related components.

Friday, September 22

Blackstone Buys Burbank Office Portfolio for $1.7 Billion

New York City hedge fund giant Blackstone Group has bought a majority stake in several iconic buildings in Burbank’s Media District, according to the company.

Engines for World's Biggest Plane Pass Test

Stratolaunch Systems has completed the first phase of engine testing on its Roc aircraft at the Mojave Air & Space Port in the Antelope Valley, according to the company.

Zetta Jet Files for Bankruptcy After Funds Misappropriation

Private aviation firm Zetta Jet Pte. Ltd. and its U.S. subsidiary have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to restructure its debt after discovering a former executive had allegedly misappropriated funds.

Thursday, September 21

Forecast: Economic Growth Slowing in California

A chokehold on housing development threatens to knock California from its position as a national leader for economic growth, according to a report published Thursday by the Center for Economic Research and Forecasting at California Lutheran University.

Valencia Shopping Center Sold for $115 Million

The River Oaks shopping center in Valencia has sold to a real estate investment firm for $115 million, according to the company.

Online Rights Firm Haawk Receives $2.5 Million

Rights management startup Haawk has raised $2.5 million in a seed financing round from four private equity firms.

New Lease Facilitates Improvements at Van Nuys Airport

The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners recommended on Wednesday amending a lease agreement with Signature Flight Support to allow the aviation company to do required improvements to property at Van Nuys Airport.

Wednesday, September 20

American Homes 4 Rent Subpoenaed by SEC

American Homes 4 Rent, one of the nation’s largest single-family home landlords, has been subpoenaed by the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding brokers price opinions on the value of its properties, according to regulatory filings.

Home Sales Soar in Santa Clarita, San Fernando Valleys

The number of home and condo sales in the San Fernando Valley spiked higher during the month of August, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported today.

Software Startup Vroozi Names Chairman

Software-as-a-service firm Vroozi Inc. in Sherman Oaks announced Wednesday that it has appointed former software executive Greg Butterfield as chairman of its board of directors.

Spielberg Takes CEO Role at Amblin Partners

Steven Spielberg has taken over the role of chief executive at his production company Amblin Partners following the resignation of Michael Wright.

Tuesday, September 19

Dole to Close Another Berry Operation

Dole Food Co. Inc. in Westlake Village has announced another mass layoff relating to strawberries as the company continues to back out of its California berry operations.

Most In-Demand Jobs, Per CyberCoders Study

CyberCoders, an information technology recruiting agency, has released results of a data analysis from more than 1 million jobseekers to determine the most in-demand jobs in the IT, construction and accounting sectors.

Northrop Acquisition Expands Valley Footprint

Northrop Grumman Corp. will acquire Orbital ATK Inc. in a deal valued at $9.2 billion. With the transaction the Falls Church, Va. aerospace and defense contractor will add an additional San Fernando Valley region location to its portfolio.

Monday, September 18

Tejon Ranch to Raise $75 Million for Development

Tejon Ranch Co.’s board has set the terms for a stock rights offering it expects will raise at least $75 million, the company announced Monday.

VICA Reports 74 Percent Legislative Success Rate

The Valley Industry & Commerce Association had a success rate of 74 percent on the bills it advocated for and against during the state legislature’s 2017 session, which ended last week.

Wesco Hires New CFO

Wesco Aircraft Holdings Inc. has named Kerry Shiba as its new chief financial officer effective Monday, the company announced.

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley

Trash Talk Heads to Courthouse

politics: Valley group opposes city’s garbage hauling system.

Apartment owners unite against L.A.’s new garbage franchise system.

Pushback on Newhall Ranch

DEVELOPMENT: Approval for housing projects prompts suit.

Environmentalists sue – again - over Newhall Ranch’s recent approvals.

Reaching Par

SPORTS: Pivotal year for PGA tournament in Thousand Oaks.

Will PGA championship in Thousand Oaks become an annual event?

Universal TV Target Demo: Young Kids

Studio thinks channel will provide portal to older audiences.

NBCUniversal rebrands its children’s cable channel to appeal to kids as they age.

Ethnic Data Fuels Market Decisions

Market research firm focuses on customers’ culture and behavior.

Market research firm reveals culture drives consumer behaviors.

NoHo Hosts Vegan Nights Food Festival

Event organizers hope to replicate small city format elsewhere.

North Hollywood celebrates natural food with its own festival.

The Number

60 Cents: Median income for L.A. saleswomen for every $1 in men’s income

Pay gaps? L.A. women wage earners versus men.

Home Rental In a Box

INTERNET: She automated management of her vacation house and plans to share the system.

Nomadness Rentals’ software appeals to small landlords.

MannKind Relocation Pushes Share Price Higher

BIOTECH: Cost savings, access to talent cited a reasons for move to Westlake Village.

MannKind’s cost-saving move pushes up stock price.

Dole’s Cash Deals

In preparation for an IPO, Dole improves its finances by sellling its headquarters and shutting down berry operations in Ventura County.

Dole Food Co. cuts berry operations and swaps properties to help reduce debt.

Can Stooges Stage Crowdfunded Comeback?

FILM: License holder for comedy trio thinks project could revive slapstick style.

C3 Entertainment Inc. is calling all knuckleheads with a nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.

Leadership Changes at Alfred Mann Foundation

RESEARCH: Hankin exits as CEO, but organization keeps cranking out startups.

David Hankin has stepped down as chief executive of the Alfred Mann Foundation for Scientific Research, the Business Journal has learned.

Americana at Brand Rethinks Advertising Policy

MARKETING: Promotion for Armenian genocide film will reach shoppers for free.

Top Caruso executives met with representatives of the Glendale chapter of the Armenian National Committee of America, or ANCA, in early September to address concerns about the relationship between the Armenian community and the luxury retail developer’s Americana at Brand shopping center in Glendale.

Soft-Touch Banking

In an age of global finance, community banks find ways to serve a niche in the neighborhood.

What makes them relevant for small business borrowers.

Win at Small Ball

Tamara Gurney discusses what lies ahead and behind for her industry.

Schools Flex Creativity With MBA Programs

EDUCATION: Administrators cater to specific segments of the student market.

MBA programs broaden to match the segmented business community.

Landlords Hustle to Limit Hurricane Damage

PUBLIC COMPANIES: Closures, repair crews and hotlines figure in recovery efforts.

Properties in the paths of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey owned by PS Business Parks Inc. in Glendale, single-family home landlord American Homes 4 Rent in Agoura Hills and self-storage developer Public Storage in Glendale, have suffered significant damage.

The Private Sector Benefits Us All

Public-private partnerships can build Measure M projects better and faster.

In the Dumps Over New Trash System

Winners and losers in L.A.’s new trash hauling system.

Friday, September 15

Biotech Execs Foresee Industry's Critical Mass in Region

Biotech startup executives discussed the industry’s challenges and opportunities in the Valley region during the Corporate Leaders Breakfast organized by California Lutheran University on Friday at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley.

L.A. County Unemployment Rises to 4.8 Percent

L.A. County’s unemployment rate rose to 4.8 percent in August from a historic low of 4.5 percent in July as more people hunted for work while the region’s job creation slowed.

Preview: Trash Talk Heads to Courthouse

Valley group opposes L.A.’s new garbage franchise system.

Preview: Dole's Cash Deals

Dole Food Co. cuts berry operations and swaps properties to help reduce debt.

Thursday, September 14

Homelessness, Disasters Topics at State of the Valley Lunch

The business community put local leaders on the hot seat Thursday at the Greater San Fernando Valley Chamber of Commerce’s State of the Valley luncheon, an annual panel discussion that gives businesses the chance to pose questions about public policy to San Fernando Valley legislators.

Assembly Passes Santa Clarita Water Bill

A bill to dissolve three water districts in Santa Clarita Valley and create a new agency has passed the California Assembly and is on its way to the state Senate.

FDA Approves Amgen Cancer Treatment Mvasi

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced it has approved Amgen Inc.’s biosimilar drug Mvasi for treatment of multiple types of cancer. It is the first biosimilar approved in the U.S. for cancer.

ProVision Hires New CEO, Expands Board

Provision Holding, Inc. has hired Mark Leonard as its chief executive.

Wednesday, September 13

Local Insurance Company Changes Hands

CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Co. on Wednesday announced its acquisition of Pacific Compensation Insurance Co., a Thousand Oaks subsidiary of Alleghany Corp.

New Valencia Building Leases Up

One of the three just-completed buildings in Valencia that make up the Valencia Gateway V project has been leased to Vision Media Management & Fulfillment, according to CBRE Group Inc.

Police Seek Victims of Serial ‘Con Man’

Ventura County sheriff’s detectives are urging possible victims, including local businesses to contact them regarding the “sophisticated con-man” who is in custody at Ventura County on suspicion of check fraud and identity theft.

Court: Aliso Canyon Can Stay Open

Los Angeles County once again failed to halt natural gas operations at the Southern California Gas Co.’s Aliso Canyon facilities, after the state Supreme Court on Wednesday said it would not review a lower court’s decision that permitted limited operations at the site.

Tuesday, September 12

Power Out for PS Business Parks in Florida

PS Business Parks Inc.’s three properties in Florida had no electrical power but were open and operating late Monday, according to the company.

PSI to Test for Amazon Web Certifications

PSI Services has signed an agreement with Inc. to administer certification tests for technical expertise using Amazon Web Services.

AeroVironment Antennae Extends Range of Drones

AeroVironment Inc. has released of a new, long-range tracking antenna for its Puma drone system.

Monday, September 11

Calabasas Auction House to Sell Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio

Auction house Profiles in History will sell Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio and the late movie star’s family ranch on Oct. 7-9, the company announced Monday.

Fernando Award Given to Insurance Agent

Paul Davis, a civically involved small-business owner, on Saturday won the Fernando Award, considered the top honor for volunteerism in the San Fernando Valley and one of the top such awards in the country.

Ventura County Star Buildings Sold

The Ventura County Star buildings in Camarillo sold last month to a New York City real estate investment company that specializes in buying and repurposing former media and newspaper properties.

Limoneira Reports Lower Profits, Higher Revenue

Limoneira Co. announced lower third-quarter profits Monday which nonetheless met analyst expectations and sent the stock up more than 6 percent.

Friday, September 8

Cherokee Falls to 5-Year Low on Quarterly Results

The stock of Cherokee Global Brands (CHKE) fell to a five-year low Friday, a day after the company disclosed financial results for its second fiscal quarter of 2018.

Clippers Sell Premium Season Tickets for $175,000

The Los Angeles Clippers announced Thursday they are selling eight “Star Courtside” seats at a reported $4,070 per game, or $175,000 for the season.

Disney to Close Florida Theme Parks for Hurricane Irma

Walt Disney Co.’s Florida resort will close for two days as Hurricane Irma makes it ways toward that state.

Former Toyota, BMW Execs Join NetSol Advisory Board

NetSol Technologies Inc. has appointed former Toyota Leasing executive Henry Tolentino and former BMW executive Georg Bauer to its advisory board, the company announced Thursday.

Thursday, September 7

Forecast Focuses on Housing Shortage

Los Angeles and Ventura counties lag in meeting the state’s housing demands, and they better catch up or the state may intervene, economist Mark Schniepp said at the annual conference on the health of Ventura and the neighboring county.

Disney Drops on Iger Comments

Shares of Walt Disney Co. dropped more than 4 percent Thursday after Chief Executive Robert Iger said the company’s fiscal 2017 earnings would be similar to the previous year’s.

Frontier to Consolidate Offices in Thousand Oaks

Frontier Communications Corp. will consolidate its Oxnard and Thousand Oaks operations into a new space in Thousand Oaks, according to the city of Thousand Oaks and the company.

Blizzard Opens E-Sports Complex in Burbank

Video game developer Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. has opened a new venue to host live e-sports gaming competitions in Burbank.

Tease photo

Providence St. Joseph Reorganizes SoCal Operations

Providence St. Joseph Health announced today that Erik Wexler will lead the combined hospital network of Providence Health & Services in Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties.

Wednesday, September 6

Investor Takes Majority Stake in Cinedigm

Cinedigm Corp. shareholders have approved the sale of 20 million shares to Bison Entertainment Investment Ltd. in a deal valued at $30 million.

Valley Economic Alliance Installs New Chairman, Directors

The Valley Economic Alliance, an economic development nonprofit based in Sherman Oaks, has appointed longtime member Randy Witt as chairman. Witt succeeds Richard Katz, who has held the post since 2015.

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AFEX Enables Money Transfers to India

AFEX has partnered with Oxigen USA to provide money transfers to U.S. businesses operating in India, the companies announced.

Salem Taps Triton Digital for Podcast Strategy

Salem Media Group Inc. has tapped Triton Digital, a Sherman Oaks-based technology provider for the audio industry, to build out its podcast strategy.

Tuesday, September 5

MannKind Completes HQ Relocation to Westlake Village

MannKind Corp. on Tuesday announced that it has completed the relocation of its corporate headquarters to Westlake Village. The biotech company was formally headquartered in Mann Biomedical Park in Valencia.

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Salem Media Acquires Investment Newsletter

Salem Media Group Inc.’s investment publication division, Eagle Financial Publications, has acquired Intelligence Report, a financial strategy newsletter. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

CVS-Anchored Center Sold for $15.5 Million

Representing the continued interest among investors for drugstore-anchored properties, a shopping center in Santa Clarita has sold for $15.5 million, according to Hanley Investment Group Real Estate Advisors.

Public Storage Re-Opens Facilities in Houston

A week after Public Storage closed more than 100 facilities in the Houston area due to Hurricane Harvey, the company announced it has re-opened them.

Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Names Chief Info Officer

Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital on Tuesday announced the appointment of Ray Moss as vice president and chief information officer.

Monday, September 4

Violin Duel Delights Fans At Fundraiser

New West Symphony pits two maestros in strumming contest.

Dueling violinists plus antique violins equals top attendance for New West Symphony

PAGA Provokes Group Response

POLITICS: Firms organize to oppose troublesome labor law.

Business group forms in Sun Valley to oppose PAGA lawsuits.

Solar Battle Heats Up Over Tariffs

Burbank executive asks ITC to hike duties on imported panels.

Burbank solar executive tells the ITC why he favors raising tariffs on imported solar panels.

Syrian Food Finds Niche in Conejo

Refugee entrepreneur serves family recipes at Azi Grill.

Syrian refugee opens new restaurant in Thousand Oaks.

Healthy Berries Vary in Impact

FOOD: Can’t sleep? Need energy? James Lacey has the answers.

Crunchies’ founder turns to berries with new company.

Time Sharing

For members of Watch Gang’s subscription service, the clock starts anew every month with a surprise package at a discount price.

Would you subscribe monthly for a watch? Collectors would!

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Thinker in 3D

Architect and sculptor Jeffrey Kalban employs a left brain/right brain approach to create buildings he describes as ‘romantic Modernist.’

Architect Jeffrey Kalban talks about designing buildings with and for some of the industry’s stars.

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Schools for Sale

Developers jockey for deals as district reshuffles real estate holdings

Simi Valley school district sheds properties, spelling gains for developers and the city.

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Bangladesh Lab Wins Hilton’s $2 Million Prize

FOUNDATION: Humanitarian award recognizes value of public health research.

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, based in Agoura Hills, has awarded its annual $2 million Hilton Humanitarian Prize to the International Center for Diarrheal Disease Control, Bangladesh, or iccdr,b.

Developers Seek Insight on Renters’ Preferences

MULTIFAMILY: Apartment manager sells expertise gleaned from tenants.

One of L.A.’s largest property management firms has found a way to stand out from the increasing competition by helping developers design apartments to attract tenants before the properties are built rather than just managing them once they’re finished.

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley


Calendar of Events

Newhall Ranch Is Good for State

Newhall Ranch will provide a needed uptick in housing inventory.

The Number

>$4 Billion - Estimated Hollywood summer box office

Summer movies fizzle in box office sales.

Flex Power on Future Grid

ENERGY: $700 million natural gas plant will complement alternative sources of electricity.

Palmdale natural gas plant gets OK to operate.

Capstone Relocates in Reach for Profitability

MANUFACTURING: Turbine maker tells investors move to Van Nuys will cut costs.

Capstone Turbine relocates to Van Nuys.

Google Tries to Organize Gaggle of Entrepreneurs

NETWORKING: Startup Grind program kicks off in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Anew group has formed in Santa Clarita in the ongoing effort to bring together a community of tech startups.

Can Dissolvable Strips Tip the Tuberculosis Scale?

MEDICINE: NIH grant funds research for cost-effective solution to killer disease.

Oak Therapeutics wants to tackle tuberculosis, one strip at a time.

Friday, September 1

Construction Begins on Apartments to Replace Post Office

Amcal Equities, a division of Amcal Multi-Housing Inc. in Agoura Hills, is going vertical on its apartment complex on the site of the former Woodland Hills Post Office.

Cast & Crew Names President

Film payroll and accounting services provider Cast & Crew has named John Berkley as its new president.

Simulations Plus Launches New Divisions

Simulation Plus Inc. on Thursday announced changes in its senior management structure following the creation of two new divisions for its software products, sending the stock price up nearly 8 percent.

Preview: Solar Battle Heats Up Over Tariffs

Edward Harner’s decision to testify last month before the International Trade Commission was, he concedes, “a little bit risky.”

Preview: PAGA Provokes Group Response

The president of a Pacoima manufacturing company has formed an organization to change a state law that allows employees to file lawsuits against companies for labor code violations, even if the employees weren’t affected by the violations.