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Wednesday, Dec 6, 2023

around the valleys

– San Fernando Valley Calabasas AmaWaterways has added two more ships to its growing fleet of river cruisers. The AmaReina, which set sail in March, is cruising the Rhine River between Amsterdam and Zurich, while the AmaSonata will depart this month for stops along the Danube River. The 164-passenger ships feature staterooms up to 300 square feet with balconies, as well as multiple dining venues, a heated pool, fitness room and onboard salon and massage services. Next year, the company will add two more vessels to its fleet of 19 ships that ply rivers in Europe, Asia and elsewhere. Burbank The board and shareholders of Maker Studios approved its acquisition by Walt Disney Co. for $500 million in cash and up to $450 million in earn-out payments. Maker, based in Culver City, is a multichannel network that develops online video programming for YouTube channels. The deal is expected to close in the next few weeks. Disney beat out Beverly Hills production company Relativity Media, which had sought to acquire the studio for $1.1 billion in stock, earn outs and a bonus pool. A Santa Monica prop house is relocating to the Burbank Airport Commerce Center. Omega Cinema Props Inc. has signed a 10-year lease for 46,000 square feet of industrial space at 7545 N. San Fernando Road. The value of the deal was not disclosed. Omega, founded in 1968, makes props for film, television and commercial production, including furniture, lighting and rugs. Woodland Hills AFEX, a provider of cross-border payment services for businesses, has purchased Jameson Bank in Toronto. Jameson provides services similar to what AFEX offers and will bring its roster of nearly 4,000 Canadian clients to the Woodland Hills firm. In addition, the acquisition will give AFEX new offices in several large Canadian cities. AFEX will use the acquisition as a springboard for AFEX’s entry into Canada’s major industries, including energy, mining, agriculture and manufacturing. Financial details were not disclosed. Internet advertising company ReachLocal Inc. has named Sharon Rowlands as its chief executive. Rowlands also was appointed to the board of directors of the Woodland Hills company. She replaces interim Chief Executive David Carlick who filled in following the resignation in September of former chief executive and company co-founder Zorik Gordon. Rowlands came to ReachLocal from Altegrity Risk International Inc., a global risk consulting and information service company in New York City, where she was chief executive. Previously, Rowlands was president and chief executive at Thomson Financial, a division of Thomson Corp. in Stamford, Conn. Montrose John Drayman, a former Glendale councilman and mayor, was sentenced this month to one year in jail for embezzling $300,000 from the Montrose farmers market. L.A. Superior Court Judge Stephen Marcus ordered Drayman, 55, to pay $305,000 in restitution and $14,000 in back taxes. He was taken into custody immediately. Drayman admitted he stole money from the farmers market while he worked for the association that organizes the market before and during his term in office. He served on the City Council from 2007 to 2011, including a stint as mayor in 2008-2009. Glendale DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. has named Brenda Freeman, a former marketing executive at Turner Animation, as its head of television marketing. Freeman most recently was chief marketing officer of Turner Animation and its Cartoon Network. She earlier was senior vice president of integrated marketing and promotions for Nickelodeon and the MTVN Kids and Family Group. Gamblit Gaming has raised $12 million in financing to prepare for launching its online gambling software this year. The company received the money from American Capital Strategies, a Bethesda, Md. publicly traded private equity firm that has previously put $7 million into Hard 8 Games, a Boston company that is the parent of Gamblit. The Glendale studio is developing software for use by mobile and online game makers to add real-time gambling functions. The startup hasn’t generated any revenue and is still talking with game companies to gauge interest in using its software. – Santa Clarita Valley Valencia Stratasys, an international 3-D printing company, plans to buy Valencia’s Solid Concepts Inc. Stratasys, which has headquarters in Eden Prairie, Minn. and in Rehovot, Israel, said it would pay up to $295 million for privately held Solid Concepts, which has been in business since 1991. Solid Concepts has 450 employees and generated $65 million in revenue last year. The deal calls for Stratasys to pay $172 million when the deal closes, with additional payments to follow. MannKind Corp. will have to wait a little longer to get the final decision on its inhalable insulin drug Afrezza. The Food and Drug Administration has pushed back the deadline from April 15 to July 15. The delay came less than a week after an advisory panel recommended FDA approval of Afrezza. However, an FDA staff report considered by the panel noted the drug’s potential risk of causing lung infections, bronchial spasms and coughing that caused some patients to stop treatment during clinical trials. Some believe that will prompt the FDA to attach a warning label to the drug. – Antelope Valley Palmdale Construction has begun on a new solar project that will generate 1,800 megawatt hours of electricity in Palmdale. The system by Constellation Energy Resources LLC will place 3,200 photovoltaic panels on shade structures at the Civic Center, DryTown Water Park and Marie Kerr Park. Constellation, a Baltimore subsidiary of Exelon Corp. in Chicago, is financing, building and operating the system. The city will buy the energy generated by the panels. It is estimated Palmdale will save $40,000 in energy costs the first year and help the city reach its greenhouse gas-reduction goals by eliminating 1.8 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually. – Conejo Valley Thousand Oaks A subsidiary of Teledyne Technologies Inc. acquired Photon Machines Inc., a Montana company that makes lab instrumentation equipment. Terms of the deal between Teledyne Instruments Inc., in City of Industry, and Photon Machines, in Bozeman, Mont., were not disclosed. Teledyne Instruments is a unit of Teledyne Technologies in Thousand Oaks. Amgen Inc. will pay GlaxoSmithKline more than $275 million to exit a co-marketing agreement with the British drug company to promote Amgen’s osteoporosis drug Prolia in certain regions outside the United States. The Thousand Oaks biotech giant said in a regulatory filing that it would take over the marketing of Prolia in the European Union, Switzerland, Norway, Russia and Mexico by the end of the year. GlaxoSmithKline will continue to market the drug in Australia. In addition to the $275 million early-termination payment, Amgen will reimburse GlaxoSmithKline $15 million for costs incurred during the transition period. – 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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