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Thursday, Nov 30, 2023

around the valleys

– San Fernando Valley Woodland Hills Liquidation and inventory-lending company Great American Group Inc. has completed its merger with West L.A. boutique investment bank B. Riley & Co. LLC. Great American of Woodland Hills issued 4.2 million shares and exchanged them for 100 percent of the stock of privately held B. Riley. Great American Group and B. Riley will be operate under the Great American name but maintain separate businesses. The two companies had total revenue of about $102 million last year and an operating profit of about $13.5 million. Together, they will have about 250 employees. Internet forum operator CrowdGather Inc. has licensed two online casino games from a game developer in Argentina through a subsidiary. CrowdGather’s Plaor Inc. is licensing a video slot game called “Power of Zeus,” as well as another undisclosed casino game, from Multicommerce Game Studio, based in Mar del Plata. Plaor plans to launch “Power of Zeus” next month in its MegaFame Casino & Slots app, which can be downloaded in app stores. The other title is expected to launch later this year. Talon International Inc. is partnering with Levi Strauss & Co., which will use an advanced Talon waistband for its Dockers pants. The Woodland Hills zipper maker’s Tekfit technology turns a non-stretchable fabric into one with the ability to stretch. The San Francisco apparel maker previously used Tekfit from 2003 to 2006, during which 40 million pairs of Dockers were sold. Talon has already begun supplying the technology and pants containing it should hit store shelves by the end of the year. North Hollywood The U.S. Justice Department has filed a lawsuit accusing IPC The Hospitalist Co. of fraudulently overbilling Medicare, Medicaid and other government health programs. The North Hollywood company, which provides doctors to hospitals and nursing homes, allegedly submitted bills for more expensive levels of medical care than were actually performed, a practice called “upcoding.” The suit also accused the company of “systematic overbilling” by training and pressuring doctors to upcode. An original whistleblower lawsuit was filed in 2009 by a doctor who formerly worked for IPC in San Antonio, Texas. Glendale DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. is now the owner of Felix the Cat, the cartoon feline whose appearances in animated shorts date back to the 1920s and in printed comics since the 1950s. DreamWorks bought Felix for an undisclosed sum from Felix the Cat Productions in Hamburg, New Jersey. The studio has disclosed initial plans to create a Felix fashion line, though it’s hard not to imagine the character appearing elsewhere. A Glendale music radio station, KSCA-FM (101.9), fired a programming executive who allegedly manipulated its ratings and caused Nielsen to revise its April and delay its May ratings for Los Angeles stations. It was determined the ratings for the station were inflated by a family in the sample related to the executive who was later fired. KSCA is owned by Univision Radio, a division of Univision Communications Inc., in New York. The city of Glendale has received a nearly $1 million grant to help create a more sustainable downtown. The California Strategic Growth Council grant is for a Green Streets Demonstration Project that will feature the planting of trees, installation of green belts to filter runoff water and mid-block pedestrian crossings. The estimated cost of the demonstration project is about $2.9 million. The city will seek addition funding from a variety of sources, including $1.9 million in state gas tax funds. Construction is expected to begin sometime in the second half of next year. Burbank Construction has started in Shanghai on what will be the world’s largest store by Walt Disney Co. The 53,000-square-foot complex in the Lujiazui Finance District features a retail Disney store and a Disney-themed outdoor plaza. The store, which will open next year, is the first on the mainland by the Burbank entertainment and media company. It will feature a diverse collection of Disney products by Chinese and international designers and state-of-the-art technology for customers to interact with, characters and stories. Sherman Oaks Cherokee Inc. has new strategic alliances in five countries as it continues the international expansion of its brands. The Sherman Oaks apparel licensor said it has reached agreements with Haven Licensing in Australia and New Zealand, Redibra in Brazil, Segal Licensing in Canada and Global Pursuit in China. The overseas licensing companies will seek regional and territory partners to sell the company’s apparel. Its brands include its core Cherokee line, Carole Little, Liz Lange, Sideout and its newly acquired Tony Hawk line. Sylmar Tutor Perini Corp. has received a $255 million contract for construction of an 82-story, mixed-use apartment tower along Biscayne Bay in Miami. The Sylmar civil engineering and construction firm will build the Panorama Tower, featuring 821 luxury units, a 250-room hotel, 80,000 square feet of retail and 40,000 square feet of offices. Construction on the 1101 Brickell Ave. project is expected to begin shortly with substantial completion expected in late 2017. The deal with Florida East Coast Realty LLC to build the 2.6 million square-foot tower will also include construction of a parking garage and a recreation deck with several pools and a restaurant. – Conejo Valley Agoura Hills American Homes 4 Rent is partnering with a fund owned by the state of Alaska to buy, renovate and lease homes. The venture with Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. could provide as much as $500 million to the Agoura Hills real estate investment trust. The venture will start with an initial investment of $50 million, with the Alaska fund contributing 80 percent of the capital. The investment could rise to $200 million, and then $500 million. The venture has a maximum shelf life of six years, after which any properties still owned by the trust will be sold. Thousand Oaks Amgen Inc. is joining a high-level research partnership that will test its experimental cancer drug rilotumumab on lung-cancer patients. The Thousand Oaks biotech said it will collaborate with the National Cancer Institute and other partners on the Lung Master Protocol, a new clinical trial program that will use biomarkers and gene profiling to match lung-cancer patients with investigational treatments. Partners in the program include the National Cancer Institute, several cancer research organizations and three other pharmaceutical companies: Genentech Inc. in South San Francisco, Pfizer Inc. in New York and AstraZeneca plc in London. – Antelope Valley Palmdale Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC has affirmed the current “A+” credit rating for Palmdale, after completing a city review this month. The rating agency also affirmed the current “A+” rating on its outstanding certificates of participation and lease revenue bonds under new criteria. The criteria takes into account such components as the local economy, management and financial management policies and practices, budgetary performance, liquidity and debt. – Around the Valleys To be considered for publication, submissions should be emailed to egolan@sfvbj.com. Please put ATV in the subject line. For more information, call (818) 316-3123.

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