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Around the Valleys

Antelope Valley Lancaster Shares of Simulations Plus Inc. rose more than 6 percent April 10 after the company reported results for its second fiscal quarter. The Lancaster technology firm, which builds drug modeling software for the pharmaceutical industry, reported adjusted net income of $3.5 million (19 cents a share) for the quarter ended Feb. 28, compared to net income of $1.2 million (13 cents) for the same quarter a year ago. Revenue increased 29 percent to $7.4 million. John Kneisel, chief financial officer, said the company received a $1.5 million tax benefit during the quarter as a result of the new reform law. “The company will continue to benefit from the lower rate structure under the new federal tax law, allowing for future investment in staffing for development and future growth initiatives,” he said in a statement. Conejo Valley AGOURA HILLS Agoura Hills-based Key Information Systems Inc. has been acquired by a Canadian technology firm, the companies announced. Financial terms of the deal between Key Information, a cloud service provider, and Converge Technology Partners, in Toronto, were not disclosed. The transaction gives Converge a strong footprint in the western United States. The company plans to merge Key Information with its Corus360 cloud computing business. Key President Lief Morin said that the company, which he founded in 1999, has established a reputation as a known and trusted IBM products leader and for building long-lasting relationships with clients. In 2013, Key Information acquired ISWest, a business-to-business internet service provider that provides cloud services, and moved its headquarters from Woodland Hills to Agoura Hills. San Fernando Valley Chatsworth California Resources Corp. has acquired the remaining surface and mineral rights to California’s largest natural gas-producing oil field from Chevron Corp., the company announced April 9. The Chatsworth oil and gas producer purchased the 47,000-acre Elk Hill Oil Field in exchange for $460 million and 2.85 million in its common shares. Last year, the Kern County field produced around 48,000 barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) per day. CRC has operated the field for more than 20 years in a partnership with Chevron.” This acquisition is a natural fit that immediately accretes value to CRC, improving our cash flow and credit metrics,” Chief Executive Todd Stevens said in a statement. “With a surface area larger than Washington, D.C., the Elk Hills field is our flagship asset.” The effective date of the transaction was April 1. Sherman Oaks Sherman Oaks-based real estate investment firm MWest Holdings has purchased the 11-story, 132-unit Santa Fe Lofts at 121 E. 6th St. in downtown Los Angeles for $68.5 million, or nearly $519,000 per unit, in partnership with GreenOak Real Estate of New York. The new owners plan a $6-million rehab for the building. The previous owner was Capital Foresight, a developer located near Studio City. MWest Holdings said it plans to keep the property as mixed-use with multifamily and retail. The Beaux Arts-style building was commissioned by industrialist William Kerckhoff. It was built in 1908 and got renovated 97 years later. One of the building’s owners was Santa Fe Railroad, which bought it in 1933 and occupied seven floors for more than 50 years. “We look forward to providing the modern amenities and welcoming feel that renters value while restoring and showcasing the unique qualities that make the Santa Fe Lofts a standout property,” said Karl Slovin, MWest Holdings president, in a statement. MWest now owns three adaptive reuse projects downtown as well as 10 historic buildings throughout the Los Angeles area. In 2016, the company bought the Lofts at NoHo Commons in North Hollywood for nearly $103 million. Woodland Hills Canoga Park-based developer California Home Builders has begun building a low-rise condo project on a corner lot at 6800 Variel Ave. in Woodland Hills, according to Urbanize.LA. The Warner Center complex has 18 units of one-, two- and three-bedroom condominiums with floor plans ranging from 900 to 1,563 square feet per unit. Designed by Calabasas firm Ken Stockton Architects, the building will also feature a 30-car parking garage. California Home Builders has other Warner Center projects in development, most notably five mixed-use buildings designed by Costa Mesa architects Newman Garrison + Partners. Santa Clarita Valley Valencia The Oaks Club at Valencia is the new name for the golf course formerly known as the Tournament Players Club Valencia. Dallas-based Arcis Golf announced the new name in conjunction with its purchase of the club. Arcis also owns nearby Valencia Country Club. “Beyond the new name, this change is about a renewal of the club’s individuality and character,” Blake Walker, chief executive of Arcis Golf, said in a statement. Planned improvements at the Oaks Club at Valencia include a clubhouse renovation that will provide new dining experiences and a venue for weddings. A new fleet of golf carts will arrive later this month. Arcis also plans to redesign the driving range and launch a travel reciprocity program with other golf courses. Arcis Golf, one of the largest owners and operators of golf facilities in the United States, acquired the Oaks Club at Valencia in January from FivePoint, the real estate developer behind the Newhall Ranch project in Santa Clarita. Simi Valley Simi Valley AeroVironment Inc. has conducted a maritime demonstration of the automated sensor-to-shooter function for its Puma and Switchblade drones from a U.S. Navy ship, the company announced April 9. The system uses the company’s existing drones with a new sensor to quick perceive and respond to threats on land or sea. AeroVironment is headquartered in Monrovia but designs and builds its drones in Simi Valley. In a typical maritime mission, a Puma surveillance drone with a high-resolution day/night camera identifies a target and passes its location to a Switchblade drone prior to its launch. After the Switchblade is airborne, Puma continuously transmits the target location information. When the target is in view of Switchblade’s optical sensors, the Switchblade mission commander confirms the target and the Switchblade operator shoots a missile. In the demonstration conducted from the Navy’s Coastal Riverine Craft, Puma identified fast-attack craft moving toward a host platform and transmitted their coordinates to Switchblade. Once launched, Switchblade automatically flew to the fast-moving target and the operator “defeated” the threat with a dud missile. Qualstar Corp. was chosen by Sony Imaging Products and Solutions Inc. to manufacture an optical disc archive system for computer data, the company announced April 9. Terms of the deal between Qualstar in Simi Valley and Sony Imaging in Japan were not disclosed. The manufacturing agreement follows on a previous agreement between Qualstar and Sony to have the company develop the enterprise class optical disc archive library. Chief Executive Steven Bronson said that Qualstar’s long history provided the knowledge and expertise to design the optical disc-based storage device. “High capacity data storage device demand is rapidly accelerating, and the optical disc archive system will offer one of the optimum choices,” Bronson said in a statement. Ventura County Santa Paula Limoneira Co. has formed Grupo Argentino, a cooperative arrangement between the company and leading citrus packers in Argentina, the company announced April 10. The Santa Paula agribusiness said product from Argentina will complement U.S. supplies of lemons during the Northern Hemisphere’s summer months. In addition to Limoneira, F.G.F. Trapani S.A., Padilla Citrus S.A. and EarlyCrop S.A. are part of the network. “Our One World of Citrus Model is reaping dividends for us, and Grupo Argentino is just the latest piece to the puzzle,” Alex Teague, Limoneira’s chief operating officer, said in a statement. “We produce high-quality citrus for Argentina’s consumption and for export to world markets.” Pablo Jose Padilla, chief executive of Padilla, said in a statement. “By controlling every part of our process, we ensure product quality to its final destination. All members of Grupo Argentino share this same approach and that’s why it makes sense for us to work together and utilize economies of scale.”

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