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Monday, Jan 30, 2023
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Newcomers & Goners

Prominent companies joined or left the Valley 50 index this year, as acquisitions, relocations and an IPO changed the landscape of the local economy. The highest-profile newcomer was Second Sight Medical Products Inc., a Sylmar company that makes the so-called “bionic eye” vision device. The company went public in November with a successful IPO that raised $36 million. Alfred Mann, the serial biotech entrepreneur, was the force behind the company and now controls 32.8 percent of the stock. Second Sight has a market cap of $540 million, making Mann’s stake worth about $177 million. The other major addition to the Valley 50 was Avery Dennison Corp., which moved its headquarters to Glendale from Pasadena in the first quarter. Market cap: $4.5 billion. Among the “goners,” Sport Chalet Inc. was bought in June by private equity firm Vestis Retail Group LLC in Meridan, Conn. for about $70 million, including the assumption of $52 million in debt. Prior to the recession, Sport Chalet established itself as the high-end store for recreational equipment, a brand position that didn’t work for cash-conscious consumers when the downturn hit. Vestis is a private equity group that already owns two sports retailers in the eastern half of the country The biggest acquisition of the year caused Conversant Inc., which started the year with the name ValueClick, to disappear from the list. The Internet marketing company was purchased by Alliance Data Corp. in Plano, Texas in September for $2.3 billion. – Joel Russell

Joel Russel
Joel Russel
Joel Russell joined the Los Angeles Business Journal in 2006 as a reporter. He transferred to sister publication San Fernando Valley Business Journal in 2012 as managing editor. Since he assumed the position of editor in 2015, the Business Journal has been recognized four times as the best small-circulation tabloid business publication in the country by the Alliance of Area Business Publishers. Previously, he worked as senior editor at Hispanic Business magazine and editor of Business Mexico.
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