Stories for October 2020

Friday, October 30

Valley Chiropractor, Claims Adjuster Booked on Workers’ Comp Fraud Charges

A claims adjuster and a chiropractor in the San Fernando Valley were arrested on fraud charges after allegedly receiving more than $1.6 million in fake workers’ compensation payments.

Simi Valley Industrial Condo Complex Sells for $7.2 Million

The industrial property at 74 and 82 W. Cochran St. in Simi Valley has sold for nearly $7.2 million, or $250 per square foot.

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Marvell Technology to Buy Inphi in $10 Billion Deal

Marvell Technology Group Ltd. is acquiring Inphi Corp., the San Jose semiconductor manufacturer that got its start in the Conejo Valley

Entertainment Tech Firm BEN Acquires TubeBuddy

Entertainment and data company BEN in Sherman Oaks will acquire San Diego-based TubeBuddy.

Thursday, October 29

Two Men Charged With PPP Loan Fraud

Two businessmen from the San Fernando Valley region were named in a federal criminal complaint for alleged participation in a nearly $2 million fraud involving PPP loans.

Princess Cruises Extends Delay in Australia

Princess Cruises has extended its pause of operations in Australia and New Zealand through May 31 of next year.

CBRE to Relocate Headquarters to Dallas

The Business Journal has confirmed multiple media reports that commercial real estate brokerage CBRE plans to move its headquarters from Los Angeles to Dallas.

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CSUN Selects New President

California State University – Northridge has chosen Erika Beck as its president.

Wednesday, October 28

Dine Brands to Close Underperforming IHOP Restaurants

Dine Brands Global Inc. expects to close as many as 100 IHOP restaurants over the next six months.

Amgen Beats Quarterly Estimates, Raises Guidance

Amgen Inc. exceeded analysts estimates for the third quarter, based on results announced by the company.

Glendale Adds to Small Business Recovery Fund

The city of Glendale late Monday announced an additional $650,000 in funding to help small businesses recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gulfstream to Relocate Employees to Van Nuys Airport

Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. will move jobs to Van Nuys Airport from Long Beach as part of a streamlining and modernizing of its customer service.

Tuesday, October 27

California Resources Emerges from Chapter 11

Oil and gas producer California Resources Corp. has completed its financial restructuring under Chapter 11.

Planet Fitness Signs 10-Year Lease in Simi Valley

Gym chain Planet Fitness has inked a 10-year lease to take over a 22,400-square-foot vacancy at Sycamore Square Shopping Mall in Simi Valley.

Chatsworth Aerospace Firm Acquires Rights to Pratt & Whitney Engine Parts

Chatsworth aerospace manufacturer Ontic has acquired manufacturing rights from Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp. for more of its JT15D engine parts.

40 Apartments to Rise in Winnetka

With the unanimous approval of Los Angeles Planning Commission, another 40 residential units will be coming to the central San Fernando Valley.

Monday, October 26

Cinedigm's Paid Subscribers Up More than 45 Percent

Cinedigm’s portfolio of paid subscription streaming services has grown its subscriber base more than 45 percent since April 1.

Sylmar Industrial Park Fetches $22 Million

Rexford Industrial Realty has purchased an industrial park in Sylmar for $22 million, according to a statement from real estate brokerage Newmark.

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Last Round of Grant Applications for L.A. Recovery Fund

The L.A. Regional COVID-19 Recovery Fund will accept its sixth and final round of small business grant applications this week.

Disney Now Not the Happiest Place

‘At some point, it would be uncomfortable for Disney execs to stand up at an annual meeting and try to convince shareholders that they’re carrying out their fiduciary responsibility by staying in California.’

Virus Makes Mediation Mainstream

Much is being made about how mediation and arbitration are effective alternatives to the courts now that COVID-19 has made trials logistically problematic.

Italian Outplacement Firm Enters U.S. Via Valley

STAFFING: Acquisition the first step toward ‘global reach’ from Burbank.

The outplacement division of human resources technology firm CareerArc in Burbank has rebranded as Intoo USA

FAANG Footprint in the Valleys

Amazon and Netflix expand their regional presence during the pandemic.

They are collectively called FAANG, an acronym referring to the stock market’s five most popular technology companies.

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Real Estate Quaterly

Real Estate Quaterly

Tenants Hedge With Short Leases, Subleases

Market uncertainty spawns reluctance to long-term commitments.By MICHAEL AUSHENKER Staff Reporter The pandemic may have slammed real estate in the second quarter, but it was in third quarter when the

The pandemic may have slammed real estate in the second quarter, but it was in third quarter when the coronavirus’ economic impact truly unfolded, as industry observers paint a picture of companies afraid to commit to long-term leases in the face of multiple uncertainties: the virus, a presidential election and evolving experiments in workforce dynamics.

Bankers Recall ‘Chaotic’ Rollout of PPP Lending

LIST: Rule changes, safety of employees and clients among top challenges.

“It was chaotic to say the least.” That was how Tamara Gurney, chief executive of Mission Valley Bank, summarized the process of giving out Payroll Protection Program loans to small businesses.

Credit Unions Follow Playbook During Pandemic

LIST: Aid to membership ramps up, especially for hard-hit industries.

Valley credit unions are expanding programs and launching new ones to retain members during the pandemic.


News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley

Sector Deals With COVID Ups, Downs

Banker sees busy time for plastics, food, beverages.

As a senior vice president at Bank of America for an area that includes the San Fernando Valley, Redonna Carpenter-Woods keeps a close eye on manufacturing companies.

Avantus’ Buying Spree Fixes on Fastener Firms

Aviation company makes three strategic acquisitions.

Avantus Aerospace in Santa Clarita assembling a fastener division to compete against rivals.

Grow Lights Cuts Costs for Cannabis

Canoga Park company debuts MegaDrive LED system.

Lighting systems manufacturer California LightWorks introduced this month a new professional grow light system that reduces both upfront and long-term operating costs for cannabis and other indoor growers.

Stoker, Dr. Seuss Tomes Sell in Online Auction

Agoura Hills firm makes literary sales virtually.

It’s rare to find first editions of classic literary books for sale, and rarer still to find a collection with hundreds of them up for auction all at once.

Boss Audio Launches Njoie Massager Brand

Product targets consumers in the mid-price range.

Oxnard audio company releases an affordable massage gun

Eli Lilly Asks FDA to Fast Track Drug

Amgen could manufacture treatment for COVID-19.

If Indianapolis-based pharma giant Eli Lilly & Co. is granted an emergency use authorization for its leading COVID-19 antibody candidate, Amgen Inc. will have to fulfill its side of a collaboration agreement very soon.

Lief Labs Sales Nearly Double in Pandemic

Valencia supplement maker meets demand for immune-enhancing and weight-loss treatments.

Valencia’s Leif Labs upgrades to a 112,000-square-foot facility.

Ventura Lab Hosts Biome Conference

Malibu Microbiome Meeting followed with live Q&A.

Progenabiome in Ventura shared its Malibu Microbiome Meeting earlier this month,

Looming CEO Change Doesn’t Slow BlackLine

FINANCE: Analysts praise Tucker’s management style for the transition.

Looming leadership change doesn’t slow BlackLine Inc as share price flirts with $100.

Video on Buildings

MARKETING: Projected images tell brand stories for clients of Paintscaping.

Woodland Hills firm PaintScaping goes from rocks to rockets with its 3D projection technology.

Palmdale Residents Save Staying Home

In Antelope Valley city, pandemic puts $3,500 back in pockets.

Some people who began working remotely during the pandemic have enjoyed reduced daily transportation and travel costs

CSUN Students Help JPL Research

Center integrates design and humanities with hard science.

Cal State Northridge students help on projects at Jet Propulsion Laboratory.


Hilton’s New Chair

Steve Hilton to step down as chairman of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation at year’s end.

Malls Wary for Reopening II

Malls Wary for Reopening II

L.A. County’s second reopening of indoor shopping facilities.

Cardiac Shunt Valued at $98M

MEDICAL DEVICE: Capital raise reflects promising technology.

V-Wave in Agoura Hills gathers $98 million from investors.

Friday, October 23

Preview: Malls Wary for Reopening II

After almost seven months of mandated closure, indoor malls in Los Angeles County are back in action.

Preview: FAANG Footprint in the Valleys

Some of the most popular technology companies on the stock market have taken a liking to Valley-region real estate.

Masten Space Systems Awarded Two NASA Research Projects

Masten Space Systems has been chosen by NASA to receive two Tipping Point awards as part of the space agency’s Artemis mission to return to the moon by 2024.

NAI Capital Restructures Ownership

San Fernando Valley real estate firm NAI Capital Commercial has completed an internal reorganization in which senior management, staff and the team of brokers will collectively own the company.

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Thursday, October 22

Conejo Valley's Infusion for Health Names Chief Executive

Infusion provider Infusion for Health, based in Thousand Oaks, announced Dan McCarty as its new chief executive.

Beyond Limits Partners With Houston Consulting Firm

Artificial intelligence company Beyond Limits has signed on as a partner with a Houston consulting firm.

L.A. County Unemployment Drops in September

Los Angeles County’s unemployment rate fell to 15.1 percent in September from a revised 16.4 percent in August.

Wednesday, October 21

Rawlings to Acquire Easton Diamond Sports

Easton Diamond Sports in Thousand Oaks has entered an agreement to be acquired by Rawlings Sporting Goods Inc.

Adventist, RadNet Enter Into Joint Venture

Adventist Health and RadNet Inc. on Tuesday announced a joint venture to create outpatient imaging centers in Simi Valley, the companies said in a statement.

Zest of Burbank Gets Big Investment

Fintech company Zest AI received a $15 million investment from Insight Partners, a global software investor, the company announced on Tuesday.

Teledyne Beats on Earnings but Stock Drops

Teledyne Technologies Inc. beat Wall Street expectations on earnings for the third quarter but missed on revenue. Its stock tumbled more than 3 percent.

Tuesday, October 20

Loop Media Acquires Podcast App, Forms Subsidiary

Loop Media Inc. has signed an agrement to acquire Spkr, an app that curates podcast lists.

Montrose Man Pleads Not Guilty in Adult Website Investment Plot

A Montrose man pleaded not guilty to a charge of wire fraud for allegedly defrauding investors out of more than $1 million through an adult entertainment website scam.

Teledyne Instruments to Land on Asteroid

Instruments from Teledyne Technologies Inc. are aboard a NASA spacecraft that is scheduled to land on an asteroid.

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Monday, October 19

Cinedigm to Acquire Film Detective

Cinedigm Corp. has agreed to acquire Film Detective, a competing content distributor and streaming channel company.

Tix Corp. Begins Strategic Review, Possible Sale

Tix Corp. plans to begin a review of its strategic alternatives, including a potential sale of the company

Marcus & Millichap Buys Mission Capital

Calabasas real estate brokerage Marcus & Millichap Inc. has entered an agreement to acquire Mission Capital Advisors.

Friday, October 16

Franchise Giant Sun Holdings Buys 41 IHOP Locations

Glendale restaurant operator Dine Brands Global Inc. announced that a subsidiary of Sun Holdings named Suncakes LLC has purchased 41 of its IHOP franchises.

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Peter Roth to Leave Warner Bros.

Peter Roth, the longtime Warner Bros. Television executive who oversaw a strategic transformation of the studio’s television operations, will step down from the position early next year.

Rare Book Auction in Agoura Hills

GWS Auctions Inc. in Agoura Hills plans to sell 150 rare books and texts sourced from the inventory of the store Mystery Pier Books in Los Angeles.

Thursday, October 15

Former 'Arsenio Hall Show' Music Director Sentenced for Embezzlement

Former “Arsenio Hall Show” music director and Woodland Hills resident Robin DiMaggio was sentenced to 27 months in federal prison for embezzling nearly $1 million intended for a charity concert, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Developer Eyes Marriott Hotel in Encino

A Marriott hotel tower in Encino with views of Ventura Boulevard – that’s the plan proposed by Irvine’s DKN Hotels, according to Encino Neighborhood Council.

AeroVironment Partners to Improve Encryption of Drone Communications

AeroVironment Inc. has partnered with communications company Viasat Inc. to provide one of its drones with a highly secure communications network.

Glendale Bans Sale of Mylar Helium Balloons

Glendale City Council this week passed an ordinance banning the sale of mylar balloons filled with helium or other lighter-than-air gases within city limits.

Wednesday, October 14

Burbank Apartments Sold for $6.5 Million

The Capri Apartments in Burbank have sold for $6.46 million, or $307,619 per unit.

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Location Filming Declines by Half in Third Quarter

On-location filming dropped by more than 50 percent in the third quarter, with reality television showing the only bright spot.

Six Flags, Universal Cut Park Employees

Amusement park operator Six Flags Entertainment Corp., which owns Magic Mountain in Valencia, will lay off 240 employees.

Steven Hilton Steps Down as Foundation Chair

Chairman Steven Hilton will retire from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Board in December, the organization said, after serving the organization for 35 years.

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Tuesday, October 13

Record Flight for Electric Airplane at Camarillo Airport

A hybrid-electric powered aircraft developed by Ampaire and launched from Camarillo Airport completed the longest flight to date for an airplane employing electric propulsion.

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FDA Grant to Fund Simulations Plus Research

Lancaster drug simulation company Simulations Plus has won a $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to test the efficacy of oral cavity products.

Fernando Awards Postponed Until 2021

The Fernando Award gala dinner will be postponed until next year, Fernando Awards Foundation.

Multifamily Portfolio in Burbank Fetches $31.3 Million

An 84-unit apartment portfolio in Burbank has sold for $31.3 million, or $372,000 per unit.

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Monday, October 12

Disney Restructures to Emphasize Streaming

The Walt Disney Co. on Monday announced a restructuring of its media and entertainment businesses to further accelerate its direct-to-consumer strategy.

Carnival Cancels November Cruises, Stock Drops

Carnival Corp. has canceled cruises departing from Miami and Port Canaveral, Fla., this November.

Nonprofit Opens 44 Units of Affordable Housing in Sun Valley

Construction on Casa Del Sol — a four-story, 44-unit affordable housing complex by nonprofit developer A Community of Friends — has wrapped up in Sun Valley.

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Killing Us Slowly With Their Laws

The California Legislature last month ended its 2020 legislative session where most of the final day of session was spent arguing about partisanship and figuring out how to conduct business virtually.

Opportunity in Crisis

MANAGEMENT: System Property learns from its 100 years in business.

System Property Development Co. has always played the long game – a strategy that culminated this year with the Sherman Oaks company’s 100th anniversary.

Law Firm Buys Valley Village Office

At $5.3 million, location offers ‘value appreciation.’

The gavel has come down on an office building in Valley Village. Alder Law, a Los Angeles-based legal firm, has purchased the building at 12800 Riverside Drive for $5.3 million, or $266 per square foot, according to brokerage CBRE Group.

‘Moderate Luxury Housing’ in Warner Center

DEVELOPMENT: Vert offers 277 units and work/live option in Canoga Park.

The Warner Center 2035 Specific Plan has created a residential buildup with twin goals – fortify Woodland Hills as the future downtown of the San Fernando Valley and address the statewide housing shortage.

A New Way to Hurt Our Businesses

‘Maybe the supporters (of Proposition 15) should hit up the profligate legislators instead of the overburdened taxpayers.’




Aerojet Ramps Up Rocket Production for NASA

MANUFACTURING: $60 million factory upgrade in Chatsworth.

Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc. is on track to complete construction next year at its Chatsworth campus on new buildings and manufacturing lines for the rocket engines to power humans back to the moon – and potentially to Mars.


VICA’s Vice President

VICA’s Vice President

‘Haunt-o-ween’ Offers Drive-Thru Spook Alley

Pop-up attraction provides fun at a safe social distance.

Los Angeles production house Experiential Supply isn’t letting the city’s trick-or-treating ban dampen Halloween.

Network Manages Switch to Digital

ProVisors expands membership despite no face-to-face meetings.

ProVisors, a Sherman Oaks-based networking organization for business service professionals, found itself scrambling when the coronavirus pandemic put a stop to luncheons and office-based meetings – the basis of all its activities.

Private Firefighters

Chris Dunn, chief executive of security training firm Covered 6 in Simi Valley, is scaling up his company’s fire suppression team – currently a squad of five – into a full-time private fire department with multiple fire trucks available to protect homes and businesses.

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Cheesecake Optimistic as Dining Rooms Open

RESTAURANTS: Revenue drops by half, but trends show improvement.

Executives with Cheesecake Factory Inc. are confident that the Calabasas restaurant chain will emerge in a strong position once the coronavirus pandemic subsides.

Pre-Built Shafts for the Construction Industry

MANUFACTURING: Modular Elevator doubles revenue by saving contractors time.

Modular Elevator Manufacturing Inc. makes standard elevators but delivers them in an unconventional way.

New Bar President Talks Future of Association

Attorney group seeks to become leaner, community-driven post pandemic.

The San Fernando Valley Bar Association on Oct. 1 celebrated the installation of its officers and new president David Jones at a virtual event.

Squar Milner Merges With Chicago CPA Firm

Baker Tilly combination gives national profile to large Valley office.

Nearly a year after absorbing SRG, an accounting firm in Woodland Hills, Irvine-based Squar Milner will merge with Baker Tilly as of Nov. 1, retaining the Baker Tilly name.

Food Share’s Hungry Year

Ventura County operation honored by elected official.

Food Share of Ventura County has been selected as a 2020 California Nonprofit of the Year amid its massive effort to combat hunger during the coronavirus pandemic.

Goodwill to Promote Job Services

Corporations step up in response to pandemic.

As the Los Angeles area faces an existential unemployment crisis in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Goodwill Southern California is launching a marketing campaign to promote its employment services.

Excess Food Turns into Donations

Cheesecake cites efficiency gains with the Copia app.

Cheesecake Factory has donated more than 400,000 pounds of excess food to nonprofits this year, almost doubling its total by this time in 2019.

Exceptional Minds Makes Video for Mitsubishi

Foundation and school combine to tell visual story.

To mark its 30th anniversary, the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation didn’t want to do a self-promotional video as it had done in the past.

Surge Or Slowdown?

Valley hospitals grapple with the financial and operational impacts of the pandemic.

More than seven months into the pandemic, Valley hospitals have spent millions of dollars on preparations for a surge that never developed, while seeing overall patient volume drop off.

Elderly Homes Find Solutions Against Infection

LIST: Testing proves crucial to contain deadly virus.

Amid a pandemic that is disproportionately dangerous for older populations, the Motion Picture Television Fund’s Wasserman campus in Woodland Hills has achieved something remarkable.

2023 Start for Addition at Hilton Hotel

Sun Hill Properties plans construction on 395 rooms.

Expansion of the Hilton Universal City hotel now has a timeline.

Van Nuys Goes Upscale In Monroe at Hazeltine

Single-family homes to start in the low $700,000s.

In the San Fernando Valley real estate market, Valley Village has become a euphemism for high-end Van Nuys. Now, developer Ecto Homes intends to elevate Van Nuys proper with a new residential project with two dozen contemporary homes.

Scene Maker Seals Lease

Triscenic Production adds 275,000 square feet.

Triscenic Production Services has added 275,000 square feet to its industrial presence in the Santa Clarita Valley, according to CBRE Group, the brokerage which handled the transaction.

Friday, October 9

Cusumano Family Gives $1 Million to Boys & Girls Club in Burbank

The Cusumano family has donated $1 million to the Boys & Girls Club of Burbank and Greater East Valley to purchase a new clubhouse.

Preview: Health Care Special Report

Valley hospitals were required to spend in preparation for a surge of COVID patients that didn’t materials.

Preview: Private Firefighters

Wealthy individual and institutions contract to keep their property safe from the flames.

More Layoffs Coming at Warner Bros.

Thousands of layoffs are expected at AT&T’s WarnerMedia as the company prepares to restructure its workforce to cut operating costs by as much as 20 percent.

Moorpark City Council Greenlights High Street Depot

Westlake Village developer Daly Group Inc. has received the go-ahead to construct High Street Depot in Moorpark.

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Thursday, October 8

GeoLinks Acquires Assets of TPx Network

Camarillo internet service provider GeoLinks has acquired wireless infrastructure, spectrum licenses and other network assets from TPx Communications in Los Angeles.

Westlake Village Firm Launches Venture Fund for Blockchain, Fintech Startups

Draper Goren Holm announced that it launched its first venture fund of $25 million to invest in fintech and blockchain startups.

AeroVironment Reports Successful High-Altitude Test Flight

AeroVironment Inc. announced that its Sunglider solar-powered drone achieved testing milestones including reaching an altitude of more than 60,000 feet and successfully demonstrating mobile broadband communications.

Holly Schroeder to Lead L.A. County Workforce Development Board

Holly Schroeder, chief executive of the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corp., has been named chair of the Los Angeles County Workforce Development Board.

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Wednesday, October 7

CSUN Business Consulting Program Gets Donation

California State University – Northridge received a $125,000 donation from the nonprofit Wurwand Foundation. The money will go toward funding the undergraduate side of the school’s Small Business Consulting program at the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics.

Avantus Buys Another Fastener Company

Avantus Aerospace has acquired California Screw Products, a Paramount high-strength fasteners manufacturer for commercial and military aerospace applications.

Lief Labs Muscling Up Again in Valencia

Valencia nutritional supplement manufacturing company Lief Labs is expanding once again, according to a statement from the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corp. on Tuesday.

Tuesday, October 6

BlackLine Acquires Accounts Receivable Software Maker Rimilia

Woodland Hills accounting software developer BlackLine Inc. has acquired Rimilia, a U.K.-based platform that automates the accounts receivable process.

A2 Biotherapeutics Raises Nearly $72 Million in Series B

A2 Biotherapeutics in Agoura Hills closed its Series B round of financing at $71.5 million.

Glendale Apartment With Nine Units Sells for $4 Million

A private investor has acquired Dryden Townhome Apartments in Glendale in a 1031 exchange for $4 million, or $451,000 per unit.

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Ventura County Reopens Economy on Improved COVID Numbers

Ventura County on Tuesday moved into the state’s red tier status for COVID-19, allowing for more businesses to reopen.

Monday, October 5

Hilton Universal City Construction to Begin in 2023

Expansion of the Hilton Universal City hotel now has a timeline.

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Burbank Credit Union Copes With Disney Layoffs

Partners Federal Credit Union has launched programs to help its members who face furloughs and layoffs from Walt Disney Co. in Burbank.

Trucking School Owner Sentenced for Veterans Scheme

The owner of a San Fernando Valley truck driving school was sentenced Monday to four years in federal prison for a scheme to defraud the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs out of $4.1 million.

Friday, October 2

Law Firm Buys Valley Village Office Building for $5.3 Million

An office building in Valley Village has been purchased by Alder Law, a Los Angeles-based legal firm, for $5.3 million, or $266 per square foot.

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Mission Produce Debuts on Nasdaq

Mission Produce in Oxnard debuted on the Nasdaq, pricing 8 million shares at $12.

L.A. County to Reopen Indoor Malls, Nail Salons

The L.A. County Department of Public Health announced Thursday it will revise its rules to allow nail salons and shopping malls to resume indoor operations with limited capacity.

Semtech Expands Board, Appoints Tech Veterans

Semtech Corp. has expanded its board of directors by two members and appointed veterans of the technology industry to fill the spots.

Thursday, October 1

Arcutis Plans Secondary Offering, Private Placement

Arcutis Biotherapeutics Inc. has made a secondary offering with 4 million shares of its stock.

Princess Takes Delivery of New Ship

The Enchanted Princess cruise ship was delivered Thursday to Princess Cruises in an official handover ceremony at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy.

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AeroVironment Introduces Bigger Model of Switchblade Missile

AeroVironment Inc. has introduced the Switchblade 600, a larger version of its drone-like missile system.

Foundation Chairwoman Arrested After Fatal Crash in Westlake Village

Rebecca Grossman, co-founder and chairwoman of Calabasas-based Grossman Burn Foundation, was arrested on suspicion of DUI and vehicular manslaughter in connection with a fatal crash Tuesday night in Westlake Village.