Business Digest September 13, 2013
Beth Powell launched POP! Media, a Boulder-based social media strategy and content marketing business. Services include copywriting for social media and Web, email marketing and media relations. Niches include organic foods, health, energy, environment and retail. Details at popmediastudio.com.
Law firm Donelson Ciancio & Grant PC has restructured its business into three separate firms, according to a press statement from the firm. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, although the amicable split mainly involves dividing up shareholder-owned property, said Gene Ciancio, a partner in the law firm. The three new firms will continue to operate from the same location occupied by Donelson Ciancio & Grant at 8001 Arista Place in Broomfield. All employees of the law firm are expected to continue to work for the three separate firms. Ciancio Ciancio Brown PC will operate as a boutique litigation firm, with Gene Ciancio’s daughter Cindy Ciancio as managing partner. Donelson & Stross PC will operate as a business and transactional firm; and The Law Firm of Daniel T. Goodwin also will operate separately.
The Second Kitchen co-op opened Sept. 5 in the former Delilah’s Pretty Good Grocery space at 904 College Ave. in Boulder. The food co-op has 120 members and plans to add new members every month, said Sarah Brody, who co-founded the business with Beth Burzynski. Nonmembers also can shop at The Second Kitchen, which will feature more than 200 local and organic products, including local baked goods, coffee, sandwiches, bulk goods and produce. Initial funding for the co-op comes from members, a $40,000 online Kickstarter fundraising campaign spent on updates to the store space and an angel investor who is paying the rent for the space for nine months, Brody said. The member-owned cooperative can offer lower prices, in part, because members staff the store on a volunteer basis, she said.
Sanitas Brewing Co., held a grand opening Sept. 6 at its location at 3550 Frontier Ave. in Boulder. Sanitas is open Tuesday to Friday, from 3 to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m. Boulder’s latest craft brewery has a 15-barrel brewhouse, 60-barrel fermenters, a 1,500-square-foot taproom and 3,000 square feet of outdoor space on a deck and beer garden.
Oskar Blues Brewery said its CyclHOPS Bike CAN-tina will open by the end of this year at 600 S. Airport Road in Longmont. The eatery will seat up to 300 people and offer 20 craft beers on tap as well as 43 premium tequilas in a tequila tasting room. The taqueria will feature handmade tortillas and a menu inspired by “authentic and traditional taco-makin’ techniques.” A full-service bike shop and retail location for Oskar Blues’ REEB Cycles also will be housed in the location.
Boulder-based Revelry Brands LLC, an investment firm focused on providing growth-stage private equity to natural foods and consumer products businesses, has moved Sun Valley, Idaho-based PACT Apparel Inc. into its Boulder offices. Founded in 2009, PACT is an apparel company that makes underwear, socks and other basics. PACT’s sales, marketing, operations and finance functions will move to Boulder. PACT joins Only Natural Pet Store, “I and love and you” and EVOL Foods as the fourth Revelry company based in Boulder.
Safeway Inc. agreed to pay a $600,000 fine and carry out a plan to reduce emissions of ozone-depleting substances from refrigeration equipment at 659 of its stores nationwide, including locations at 1050 Ken Pratt Blvd. in Longmont and 2798 Arapahoe Ave. in Boulder, as well as locations in Greeley and Brighton. The plan is estimated to cost Pleasanton, California-based Safeway (NYSE: SWY) $4.1 million, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Justice said. The settlement involves the largest number of facilities ever under the Clean Air Act’s regulations governing refrigeration equipment. EPA accused Safeway of failing to repair leaks of HCFC-22, a hydro-chlorofluorocarbon that is a greenhouse gas and ozone-depleting substance used as a coolant in refrigerators. The company also failed to keep adequate refrigeration equipment service records, EPA said.
Western Disposal Services Inc. saw completion of a 190-kilowatt solar awning system that will offset about 30 percent of the Boulder company’s electricity usage. The system, which will power Western’s filling-station pumps for its natural gas-powered trucks as well as the company’s operations building, was designed and built by a trio of Boulder companies. Lighthouse Solar completed the solar system installation, Lumos Solar supplied the frameless solar modules and Wyatt Construction built the support structure. Western’s Frank Bruno, who recently replaced Gary Horton as president of the company as Horton transitions into retirement in more of an advisory role, said the $600,000 system is expected to pay for itself in about seven or eight years with the energy cost savings it will provide. The system will produce the equivalent electricity needed to power about 25 to 30 average homes in Colorado.
Colorado’s federally funded laboratories provided $2.3 billion in economic impact in 2011 and 2012 and another estimated $2 billion in 2013, according to a report released by CO-LABS, an organization that helps create connections between the business, educational and government sectors in the state. The Business Research Division at the University of Colorado-Boulder’s Leeds School of Business conducted the report, titled Colorado Economic Impact Study: Economic and Fiscal Impacts of Federally Funded Research Facilities in Colorado, FY 2011-13. Boulder County benefits greatly from the presence of federal labs, and the labs located here provide much of the economic benefit statewide. According to the report, the county enjoyed $743 million in economic impact in fiscal year 2012, the year most closely examined in the report. Statewide, federal labs accounted for 7,966 full, part-time and contract jobs in the state, with nearly 3,600 of those located locally with average annual earnings and benefits of $107,942.
Splick-it Inc. – a company that helps you order food and pay for it at restaurants from your mobile device – has raised $4.7 million of a $6.6 million equity funding round, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission document. The Boulder-based company plans to use the funds to grow its operations in the mobile ordering and payments realm, said Vijay Bangaru, chief executive. Splick-it plans to make two related business growth announcements in the next few weeks, Bangaru said. The new funding is divided into two parts: $3 million in new investment and $3 million in existing equity that was converted from previous debt. Some 24 investors were involved in the latest fund-raising round, according to the SEC document.
Golden Spike Co. has raised $100,000 through a pair of unspecified investors, according to a filing made with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The equity offering remains open, and it’s unclear how much the company is looking to raise. Boulder-based Golden Spike launched last year, with the goal of offering commercial expeditions to the moon by 2020. The company contracted with Northrop Grumman to help design its lunar lander pods.
Encision Inc. leader Fred Perner died unexpectedly Aug. 31 from an apparent heart attack. He was 59. Perner joined Boulder-based Encision (ECIA: PK) in September 2011 as chief executive. Encision makes medical devices used in minimally invasive surgeries. Encision’s board of directors named Pat Pace to serve as company chairman and executive chairman of the board of directors, following Perner’s death, according to a press statement. Pace is an adviser at EDG Partners LLC, in Alexandria, Virginia, a private equity firm focusing on health care.
RoundPegg Inc. has raised $2,416,833 in equity investment since mid-August, according to a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Boulder-based RoundPegg said 19 investors were involved in the latest equity raise, which also includes conversion of outstanding promissory notes, according to the regulatory filing. A company spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment about the campaign. The total offering amount is $2,919,155, according to the regulatory filing. RoundPegg makes software that helps companies hire employees whose cultural values align with those employers’ stated values.
A $6 million University of Colorado-Boulder instrument designed to study the behavior of lunar dust was launched Sept. 6 from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on a mission to the moon. The mission, known as the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer, or LADEE, is to orbit the moon to better understand its tenuous atmosphere and whether dust particles are being lofted high off its surface. The $280 million LADEE mission, designed, developed, integrated and tested at NASA’s AMES Research Center in Moffett Field, California, will take about a month to reach the moon and another month to enter the proper elliptical orbit and to commission the instruments. A 100-day science effort will follow.
The STPSat-3 satellite built by Boulder-based Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp. arrived at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Slated to launch Nov. 4 aboard a Minotaur I rocket, the STPSat-3 is the primary satellite for the U.S. Air Force Operationally Responsive Space 3 enabler mission. The satellite is the second spacecraft Ball has built for the Department of Defense’s Space Test Program Standard Interface Vehicle program.
Engineers tested a scale-model replica being built as part of a $60 million public whitewater kayaking facility in Oklahoma City. Boulder-based Elton R. Construction LLC built the three-dimensional model for about $70,000 to $100,000 for S2O Design and Engineering in Lyons, said Elton Randall, owner of the construction company. Specific terms of the contract were not disclosed. S2O Design founder Scott Shipley is a former Olympic athlete and a member of the board of directors of USA Canoe Kayak, an industry group based in Oklahoma City. Engineers tested the currents of the water running through the model and did other measurements to make sure the real-life version will work as they expect it to, Randall said. The model was built in a 6,000-square-foot warehouse in Boulder and was to be deconstructed once the tests are complete, he said. Randall did not give details of the warehouse or its location, because it is not open to the public. Four workers built the scale model at one-12th the size of the real thing in about six weeks, Randall said. The real-life version is being built on a seven-mile stretch of the North Canadian River that has been renamed the Oklahoma River as part of a project that includes recreational trails and other outdoor features.
A Louisville man must pay a total of $355,058 after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sanctioned him for forging documents and for misleading his firm’s compliance officer. Of the total, former assistant portfolio manager Carl Johns, 49, must pay a $100,000 fine, $231,169 in profits he made during the misconduct and $23,889 in interest, according to the SEC. He also has been barred from working in the securities industry, although he can reapply in five years, according to an SEC document. Johns did not return a call for comment. According to the SEC, Johns concealed his failure to report hundreds of personal trades made from 2006 to 2010 at Boulder-based Boulder Investment Advisers LLC and the affiliate Rocky Mountain Advisers LLC. He resigned from his job in 2011. Johns reached a settlement with the SEC in which he neither admitted nor denied the findings of the investigation.
MWH Global, a water infrastructure-focused strategic consulting, environmental engineering and construction services firm based in Broomfield, announced that it is the 15th-largest majority employee-owned company in the United States, according to the National Center for Employee Ownership’s latest Employee Ownership 100 list. To appear on the list, a company must have a majority of its stock owned by an ESOP or other broad-based employee ownership plan. MWH Global has nearly 8,000 employees in 35 countries worldwide.
Rally Software Inc. reported record revenue of $19.8 million and a net loss of $2.3 million in the quarter that ended July 31. The Boulder-based business’s loss amounted to 9 cents per share, and was roughly the same as the same period a year ago. The losses have come as the company continues to invest in future growth of the business. Revenue leaped more than $6 million over the same period a year ago and eclipsed last quarter’s revenue by nearly $4 million. Rally (NYSE: RALY) raised $89.8 million through its initial public offering in April. In June, the company reported revenue of $16 million and a loss of $5.8 million in its first quarterly report as a publicly traded company.
Longmont-based Oskar Blues Brewery LLC is partnering with Auburn University on a graduate-level certificate program in Brewing Science and Operations that could eventually morph into a full-blown master’s degree program. The 18-credit-hour program will be offered online beginning in the fall of 2014, and the brewery and the Alabama university now are collaborating on the creation of course materials. Oskar Blues founder Dale Katechis is an Auburn alum.
Sun Pacific, producer of Cuties California Clementines, has named Sterling-Rice Group, its agency of record to provide brand positioning, traditional and digital creative-development, marketing, planning, social media, consumer promotions, in-store activation and public relations.
Level 3 Communications Inc., has signed an agreement with Praxair Colombia, a regional subsidiary of industrial gas company Praxair Inc. The agreement expands Broomfield-based Level 3’s (NYSE: LVLT) existing relationship with the company. Praxair Colombia has selected Level 3 as its provider for IP telephony, dedicated internet access, managed security and data center services, enhancing network connectivity and security throughout all of its locations. Level 3 also announced that Hexcel Corp., in London, a manufacturer of advanced composites for aerospace and industrial applications, has selected Level 3’s internet protocol virtual private network and colocation services to support its continued global expansion.
Longmont-based Dot Hill Systems Corp. (Nasdaq: HILL), a provider of SAN storage solutions, announced its AssuredSAN Pro 5000 Series arrays with RealStor real-time auto-tiering have been selected by the United Kingdom’s The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust to support the rollout of numerous applications. The AssuredSAN Pro 5000 systems are part of a larger IT project that will help the hospitals improve the overall patient experience while also providing scalability to accommodate data growth across the organization.
GlobeImmune Inc. received a $4 million grant to study how its patented Tarmogen drug candidates may be used to treat tuberculosis infection and drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis. The Louisville-based drug research and development company is collaborating with Colorado State University professor Ian Orme on the project, which is funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health, the company said in a press statement.
MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS
Cancer treatment analysis company ArcherDx Inc. was bought by Enzymatics Inc. in a cash and stock transaction worth up to $50 million. Boulder-based ArcherDx is expected to grow to 15 or 20 employees from its current 10 following the announcement from Beverly, Massachusetts-based Enzymatics, a DNA sequencing company. ArcherDx’s research and development is expected to remain in Boulder, while future manufacturing is expected to be done in Massachusetts. ArcherDx makes diagnostic kits and analytical software to help hospitals and researchers assess genetic information from patients.
Corden Pharma Colorado Inc. expects to see “synergies” in Boulder in connection with parent company International Chemical Investors Group’s recent plan to buy peptide manufacturer Peptisyntha, a spokesman said. The Boulder plant also was mentioned in a press release from ICIG in conjunction with the purchase announcement. Frankfurt, Germany-based ICIG did not disclose the price the company plans to pay for Peptisyntha, which is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. The sale is expected to close in October. Along with Peptisyntha, the Boulder plant and a plant in Liestal, Switzerland, offer “development capacities, Christian Ewers, chief operating officer of CordenPharma’s active pharmaceutical ingredients division, said in a press release. Corden Pharma acquired the Boulder facility in 2011, when it purchased Boulder-based Roche Colorado Corp.
Assets of the mobile device marketing company MeNetwork Inc. were bought by mobile-payment company Spindle Inc. (OTCBB: SPDL) in Scottsdale, Arizona, in an all-stock transaction worth at least $10.5 million, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission document. Boulder-based MeNetwork was bought for 3.5 million shares of Spindle stock, according to the SEC document. Spindle’s stock price is $3 for the transaction, according to the document. While the transaction closed in March, specific purchase figures were not made public until the Sept. 3 SEC document.
Vancouver, Washington-based Kuni Automotive closed on a deal to purchase Stammler Audi in Boulder for an undisclosed sum. The dealership at 1799 Exposition Drive, the name of which has been changed to Audi Boulder, was opened by Adolf Stammler in 1973. Stammler, who is retiring, still is working with the dealership to help new president and general manager Jaymie Hampson through the transition. Hampson, who has an ownership stake in the store with Kuni, moved to Boulder from Portland, Oregon, where she was director at a Kuni BMW dealership there. Hampson said the dealership likely will triple in size, with significantly more pre-owned cars on the lot.
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