Stories for June 2018
Friday, June 29
Business and civic leaders came together at the Universal Sheraton in Universal City on Thursday as the Valley Industrial & Commerce Association held its Hall of Fame Awards, where Woodland Hills-launched insurer Health Net, Kirsch Kohn & Bridge in Woodland Hills, Laurence School of Valley Glen, Encino’s Tapia Bros. Fresh Producer and Traders Loan & Jewelry of Reseda were honored.
The North Hollywood shopping center at 6005 Vineland Ave. known as Palms Plaza has sold for $6 million in a deal cemented in May, according to CoStar Group.
It’s the midpoint of 2018, so the Business Journal decided to check in with California Economic Forecast Executive Director Mark Schniepp to see how 2018 is progressing.
LTC Properties Inc. has entered into a new amended unsecured credit agreement to replace its previous unsecured credit agreement from 2014, the company announced Thursday.
Thursday, June 28
The board of Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, or Metro, voted Thursday to build a light rail system down the center of Van Nuys Boulevard.
Medical device firm Avita Medical has agreed to acquire the lease for a 23,000-square-foot Ventura manufacturing plant from a manufacturing vendor effective July 1, the company announced Thursday.
A pair of health-related companies in the Valley region announced they joined the Russell 3000 Index this week.
Osbrink Talent Agency has spent $3.35 million on a two-building, 5,000-square-foot Burbank Media Center property.
The company formerly known as Compulink Business Systems Inc. in Newbury Park has changed its name to Compulink Healthcare Solutions in an effort to rebrand itself as a provider of software solutions for the medical industry, the company announced Wednesday.
Wednesday, June 27
Dozens of businesses and trade organizations, including three local chambers of commerce, have sent a letter to the California Legislature outlining concerns about the legal precedent set by the state Supreme Court’s decision in Dynamex Operations West Inc. v. Superior Court. The letter also requested that the Legislature suspend the application of the ruling until a new method of classifying employees can be determined.
California Gov. Jerry Brown signed on Wednesday a law that extends the state’s film tax credit program to 2025.
The Ball Corp. beverage packing plant in Chatsworth is expected to close this summer, resulting in the loss of more than 100 jobs.
B. Riley Financial Inc. announced Tuesday that its subsidiary, stock brokerage and investment advisory Wunderlich Securities Inc., will change its name to B. Riley Wealth Management Inc.
Tuesday, June 26
Simulations Plus Inc. has named Shawn O’Connor as its new chief executive officer.
The Antelope Valley Hospital plans to lay off 137 workers, according to a notice filed June 18 with the state Employee Development Department.
In May, the median cost of a single-family home in San Fernando Valley hit a new all-time high of $708,000, according to Southland Regional Association of Realtors. That represents a month-over-month hike of 1.6 percent and an increase of 11 percent more than in May 2017.
AeroVironment Inc. beat Wall Street estimates on earnings and revenue for the fourth quarter.
The Sherman Oaks Chamber of Commerce has announced the eight winners of its Golden Oak Awards. The winning businesses will be honored at an Award Gala at Club Aston on the lot of Galpin Motors in North Hills on July 20.
Monday, June 25
For the second straight year, San Fernando Valley Business Journal has won the Gold award as best small-circulation tabloid business publication in the nation.
DataDirect Networks Inc. has acquired the Lustre File System business and related assets from Intel Corp., the companies announced.
Encino Investors LLC has submitted plans for a 106,846-square-foot, 114-unit apartment building to be built on Ventura Boulevard in Encino.
Thousand Oaks city officials and business leaders came out Monday morning to witness the grand opening of Atara Biotherapeutics Inc. new research and development facility, dubbed ATOM, in the Conejo Spectrum Business Park.
LIST: Organizations train donors on navigating new rules on contributions.
Valley charities face fundraising challenges.
Name change yields social media attention, stock gains for chain
Name change to IHOB puts emphasis on burgers.
CONSTRUCTION: Driverless cars could stall building boom.
Parking garage builders prepare for future with driverless cars.
Former publishers want to expand coverage, distribution.
Former publisher buys Santa Clarita Signal.
Taxes and fees are business’ biggest concern.
#1 Ranking of ‘taxes and fees’ as business issue for last eight years
TECHNOLOGY: Software startup lands venture capital, says company worth ‘in the neighborhood’ of $800 million.
ServiceTitan gets $62 million in venture capital.
ENTERTAINMENT: Film distributor sees inclusion underscoring value.
Cinedigm joins Russell Microcap Index.
Fertility Institutes’ Dr. Jeffery Steinberg pushes the envelope by giving parents the option to select their offspring’s eye color.
Clinic offers parents chance to choose child’s eye color.
Working from his Encino home studio, Inon Zur creates music for some of the video game industry’s biggest blockbusters.
Video game music composer Inon Zur.
LIST: Lack of hangar space and skilled pilots could slow industry growth.
Firms face pilot, hangar shortages.
ACQUISITION: Domino effect follows federal ruling on AT&T-WarnerMedia deal.
Disney, Comcast in bidding war for 21st Century Fox assets.
HOSPITALS: Former chief nursing officer has plan to boost assessment ratings.
New Glendale Hospital chief focusing on safety.
SURVEY: BizFed finds that municipalities fare better than L.A. County, state.
Santa Clarita named friendliest city for business.
REAL ESTATE: Eatery and arcade chain moves into Northridge vacant space.
Dave and Buster’s opens at Northridge Fashion Center.
Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong appears to be the ideal owner for Los Angeles Times.
Friday, June 22
Medtronic’s closed-loop insulin pump is now approved for use in young patients with Type 1 diabetes, expanding the market for the medical device, the company announced Thursday.
California Lutheran University Center of Economic Research Executive Director Matthew Fienup on Friday gave an overview of Ventura County’s regional economy in “stark contrast” to the robust growth in neighboring San Fernando Valley.
Cheesecake Factory Inc. plans to open a new Asian fusion restaurant chain, which will make its debut at the Promenade at Westlake in Thousand Oaks this fall.
Fertility Institutes' Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg pushes the envelope by giving parents the option to select their offspring's eye color.
Name change yields social media attention, stock gains for restaurant chain.
Thursday, June 21
Limoneira Co. is offering around $60 million of its common stock to help fund the acquisition of a ranch in Chile, the Santa Paula agribusiness company announced Wednesday.
A team of Colliers International brokers and tenant OnTrac celebrated the grand opening of a 255,528-square-foot warehouse in Sun Valley.
One year after breaking ground on a 7,000-square-foot addition to its Westlake Village manufacturing plant, probiotic supplement maker Natren Inc. has opened the new facility.
Representatives of Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, politicians, business leaders and Valley residents turned out Thursday to introduce a new shuttle bus to serve the Warner Center area.
Wednesday, June 20
The planning and programming committee of Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, or Metro, on Wednesday recommended that the Metro board approve a proposal to build a light rail system along Van Nuys Boulevard.
After more than a decade of trying, Amazon.com-owned grocery chain Whole Foods Market has opened in Burbank.
Members-only airline Surf Air Inc. has been sued in federal court over allegations of defaulting on agreements it has with the company that has operated its flights in California.
The Environmental Protection Agency has ordered two aerospace manufacturers to spend more than $21 million to clean up groundwater contamination at a Superfund site near the Hollywood Burbank Airport.
The Walt Disney Co. has reached a second agreement with 21st Century Fox to purchase Fox’s movie and television assets, this time for the much higher price of $71.3 billion.
Tuesday, June 19
Billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong said that he will seek a seat on the Tribune Co. board now that his $500 million purchase of the Los Angeles Times and other California News Group holdings was finalized on Monday.
Electric vehicle manufacturer Faraday Future has selected San Fernando-based construction company Bernards as the general contractor to create its new, 1 million-square-foot factory in Hanford.
BioSolar Inc. has signed a joint development agreement with a Spanish subsidiary of Ferroglobe PLC to develop and market silicon anode materials for use in lithium ion batteries.
Dole Food Co. Inc. has appointed Michael Solomon as president of Dole Fresh Vegetable, the Westlake Village company announced Tuesday.
Monday, June 18
B. Riley Financial Inc. has partnered with Vintage Capital Management to acquire Rent-A-Center Inc, the Woodland Hills financial firm announced Monday.
A subsidiary of Teledyne Technologies Inc. received a $79.6 million contract to design and build target missiles used for testing and evaluation.
California has recently seen an increase in the number of motion picture industry employees, but the state government could do more to lure movie making back to the Golden State, according to a Milken Institute study.
Friday, June 15
Real estate developer Sandstone Properties Inc. has submitted plans to construct two residential towers at 6400 N. Canoga Ave.
Farmers Insurance has promoted Rob Howard to the position of chief claims officer, effective June 11.
Tutor Perini Corp. announced Friday that its joint venture with Frontier-Kemper has won a contract to build tunnels for Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Purple Line Extension project.
L.A. County’s unemployment rate remained steady at 4.4 percent in May as the local economy hovers near full employment, according to state figures released Friday.
Thursday, June 14
A developer has filed with plans with the city of Los Angeles to expand the existing Sheraton Universal Hotel near Universal Studios Hollywood.
Princess Cruises has begun broadcasting this year’s World Cup soccer matches for guests aboard nine of its cruise ships.
Cherokee Inc. could face the prospect of bankruptcy, the company announced in an earnings report on Thursday.
A groundbreaking on Thursday officially started construction in Lancaster for Kensington Campus, a facility to provide shelter and services for the homeless.
Wednesday, June 13
Valuerock Investments Partners LLC has purchased a 54,942-square-foot retail property in Palmdale from HFC/PRP Palmdale LLC for nearly $10.2 million.
The Valley region’s financial professionals gathered at the Hilton Woodland Hills on Wednesday for the Business Journal’s annual Chief Financial Officer and Human Resources Awards ceremony.
Shareholders of NetSol Technologies Inc. elected two new members to the board of directors at the company’s annual meeting on Tuesday.
Comcast has placed a $65 billion all-cash bid for the same film and television assets that 21st Century Fox had agreed to sell to Burbank-based Walt Disney Co. for about $52 billion.
Tuesday, June 12
A federal judge has approved AT&T Inc.’s acquisition of Time Warner Inc., the parent company of Warner Bros. Entertainment in Burbank.
Shares of BlackLine Inc. rose Tuesday after the company announced the hiring of Mark Woodhams, a former sales executive at NetSuite, as senior vice president of global sales effective July 1.
A Pacoima developer plans to build an assisted living facility at 17017 Ventura Blvd. in Encino, according to the Real Deal.
Cinedigm Corp. will be part of the Russell U.S. Indexes this month, a move that gives the company greater visibility in the investment community.
Monday, June 11
Higher lemon prices propelled Limoneira Co. to higher net income and revenue during the company’s fiscal second quarter.
Los Angeles Superior Court has ruled against the city of Agoura Hills, suspending the progress of developer Doron Gelfand’s Cornerstone, a proposed 8.2-acre retail, office and residential project at Cornell and Agoura roads that promises to become Agoura Village’s first major development.
IHOP is temporarily changing its branding to IHOb as part of a marketing campaign to introduce a new line of burgers, the restaurant announced Monday.
Cheesecake Factory Inc. in Calabasas and its janitorial contractor Americlean Janitorial Services Corp. have been cited for $4.57 million in wage theft following an investigation by an industry watchdog and the California Labor Commissioner’s office.
RETAIL: Ralphs tests scanning technology at Studio City store.
Ralphs in Studio City tests checkout app.
Northridge Fashion Center plans to turn third floor into creative offices
Northridge mall reimagines its future.
Hellen Chen’s two businesses focus on better relationships.
Hellen Chen is a matchmaker for business.
Entertainment: Analyst believes Star Wars franchise remains strong.
Disney stock under pressure as Fox vote looms.
Retail: Unless profits improve, S&P predicts Guitar Center will default on debt by 2020.
Is Guitar Center approaching insolvency?
Technology: Video game studios and hardware makers to debut products at convention.
Valley gaming companies prepare for E3.
Former mayor Thomas Flavin now works on economic development as chamber CEO.
Burbank Chamber CEO Thomas Flavin.
DEVELOPMENT: Mix to include fitness gym, bakery and coffee shop.
Valley Country Mart seeks tenants.
VAN NUYS: Jet Edge International consolidates operations in new HQ.
Jet Edge International consolidates.
Cure Pharmaceuticals wants to uplist its stock to finance the growth of its under-the-tongue drug delivery system.
Cure Pharmaceuticals to move to the Nasdaq.
LIST: Yearly pay changes range from 500 percent gain to 66 percent decline.
Executive compensation fluctuates.
Development: Apartments and Trader Joe’s in future for Riverside Drive site.
Sunkist HQ redevelopment moves forward
CONSTRUCTION: Common alma mater underpins culture and contracts.
S3 Builders share alma mater.
Ice cream made with liquid nitrogen takes a bite out of market.
Nitrogen ice creameries open in Valley.
Are Californians finally fed up with unreasonably high gasoline prices?
The recent flurry of legislation coming out of Sacramento that claims to fix the problems for property owners created by a recent court decision on lead paint misses the mark and fails to protect millions of California – and San Fernando Valley – homeowners from the very serious threat they now face.
Friday, June 8
The Santa Clarita Valley Signal reported Friday that the newspaper has been sold to former Signal publishers Richard and Chris Budman.
Northridge Fashion Center plans to turn third floor into creative offices.
Atara Biotherapeutic Inc. has appointed Utpal Koppikar as chief financial officer.
Thursday, June 7
Apollo Medical Holdings Inc. has appointed Eric Chin as chief financial officer. He will succeed the current CFO, Mihir Shah, effective July 1.
Capstone Turbine Corp. fell short of Wall Street estimates on revenue in fiscal 2018 but beat on earnings.
Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer has filed a lawsuit against the owners of the Hyland Motel on Sepulveda Boulevard in Van Nuys seeking an injunction to curb alleged drug sales, prostitution and violent gang crime at the property, the city attorney’s office announced Thursday.
More than 30 people turned out Thursday morning for TechX, a talk-centric event about new technologies and products sponsored by the Valley Economic Alliance.
Wednesday, June 6
Shares of Cherokee Inc. fell back to below a dollar on Wednesday, after jumping 34 percent Tuesday on news that the company had sold its Flip Flop Shops retail chain.
US Nuclear Corp. has signed a definitive agreement to be the exclusive manufacturer of medical isotope generators for a nuclear medicine company.
Pegi Matsuda, a longtime civic leader in the San Fernando Valley, has sent an email saying she will step down from her position at Valley Presbyterian Hospital.
Tuesday, June 5
A holographic advertising display, powered by Chatsworth-based Provision Interactive Technologies Inc., will be available on Coinstar LLC’s coin-counting kiosks in most Giant Eagle supermarkets, Coinstar announced Tuesday.
The assets of Penthouse Global Media have been sold for $11.2 million to the owner of XVideos.com, according to media reports.
On its social media accounts, IHOP has announced that it will be “flipping” its name to “IHOb” on June 11.
Shares of Cherokee Inc. gained more than 34 percent to close at $1.06 on Tuesday, after the company announced the sale of its Flip Flop Shops retail chain to footwear manufacturer Bearpaw Holdings LLC for an undisclosed amount.
Monday, June 4
Mylan NV has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval to market its biosimilar of Amgen Inc.’s drug Neulasta.
Last week, Allied Pacific Studios signed with Simi Valley Waste Management to lease a 1,000-acre portion of the Simi Valley Landfill, located in unincorporated Ventura County, to develop as a movie ranch, according to a Simi Valley Acorn report.
Walt Disney Co. is adding blackout dates for some pass holders to its Disneyland theme park to help keep down crowds after the opening of new Star Wars attractions next summer, according to media reports.
Wesco Aircraft Holdings Inc. has renewed a multi-year agreement to provide chemical management services to aerospace and defense contractor Rockwell Collins Inc.
Friday, June 1
Walt Disney Co. has proposed to pay some of its unionized employees a minimum wage of $15 an hour by 2020 at the Disneyland Resort.
A bill that will allow cannabis business owners to start a limited charter bank moves to the California Assembly following its passage this week in the Senate.
The Food and Drug Administration has denied Amgen’s application for a biosimilar of Roche’s breast cancer drug Herceptin.
Marcus & Millichap has announced the sale of a 39-unit Reseda apartment portfolio featuring a pair of Reseda buildings that sold for a combined $9.3 million, or $313 per square foot, according to James Brian Markel, regional manager of the firm’s Encino office.