January 10, 2018

Briefcase – January 2018

CLOSING

Paladin Press, which published non-fiction works on combat, firearms and survival, is shutting down after 47 years. The company’s website posted a message on Sept. 28 announcing the closure, with final orders taken Nov. 29.

CONTRACTS

Firms in Boulder and Greeley were hired by the Colorado Rockies Major League Baseball franchise to transform a parking lot next to Coors Field in Denver into a mixed-used development including a building that will house the Colorado Rockies Hall of Fame. Stantec, an Edmonton, Alberta-based architectural design firm with offices in Boulder and Denver, will design the project, and Greeley-based Hensel Phelps Construction will be the general contractor. In addition to the hall of fame, the city-block at 19th and Wazee streets will include an outdoor plaza equipped with audio and visual systems, a hotel, plus office, residential, retail, entertainment, and food and beverage spaces. Stantec’s office in Boulder is the company’s Visioning Brands and Experiences division, formerly Communication Arts Inc., and will lead the team of designers. Stantec’s Chicago-based architecture group will provide the hotel design.  Along with primary subcontractor AECOM, Stantec also was awarded a $13 million contract to design an expansion of Gross Reservoir in Boulder County. Denver Water hired Stantec and California-based AECOM for the project that will raise the height of the dam by 131 feet and increase the reservoir’s capacity to about 119,000 total acre-feet of water. The design is expected to be done by December 2020, with construction expected to be completed by 2025.

Array Biopharma (Nasdaq: ARRY) entered into a clinical-trial agreement with Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE). The partnership will investigate the safety and efficacy of several anti-cancer drug combinations, including Array’s MEK inhibitor, binimetinib, with Pfizer’s PARP inhibitor talazoparib and with avelumab. Under the agreement, Boulder-based Array and New York-based Pfizer will collaborate on a Phase 1b clinical trial to explore a series of combinations. The focus will be non-small-cell lung cancer and pancreatic cancer. The study is expected to begin in the third quarter of this year. Under the agreement, the study will be sponsored and funded by Pfizer, and Array will provide the binimetinib supply.

Louisville-based Solid Power Inc., a maker of rechargeable batteries, partnered with automotive giant BMW Group to make solid-state batteries for electric vehicles. Through the partnership, BMW will help Solid Power advance its technology to create batteries for high-performance vehicles. The goal is to create electric vehicles with increased driving range and a battery with a longer shelf-life that can withstand higher temperatures.

Black Swift Technologies LLC, an engineering firm that specializes in unmanned aircraft systems, entered into a strategic alliance with Denver-based Leptron Unmanned Aircraft Systems Inc. Under the agreement, Leptron UAS, a subsidiary of Geotech Environmental Equipment Inc., will begin manufacturing the Black Swift S1 UAS, which is integrated with Black Swift Technologies’ SwiftCore flight management system. The aircraft will be marketed by Leptron/ Geotech as the GeoSwift Mapper.

The Colorado Community Health Alliance was selected by the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to be the Regional Accountable Entity for Medicaid. The CCHA will operate in that role for Region 6, which covers Boulder Broomfield, Clear Creek, Gilpin and Jefferson counties, and Region 7, which covers El Paso, Park and Teller counties.

UQM Technologies Inc. (NYSE: UQM) signed a joint venture with a Chinese company that will help the Longmont-based company develop a manufacturing presence in China. UQM signed the agreement with China National Heavy Duty Truck Group Co. Ltd. and Sinotruk Global Village Investment Ltd., a Hong Kong-based affiliate of China National Heavy Duty Truck. Under the joint venture, UQM will acquire a 25 percent stake, with the Chinese partners owning 75 percent. UQM has a three-year option to increase its stake to 33 percent.

Boulder-based Zayo Group Inc. (NYSE: ZAYO) was selected to provide backhaul for a private dedicated network across the western United States. New Cross Pacific, or NCP, U.S. Backhaul group, comprised of Chunghwa Telecom, KT Corporation, China Telecom, China Mobile International and China Unicom, selected Zayo for the project. The NCP subsea cable, which spans more than 8,000 miles and is expected to land in a few months, will connect landing stations in Asia to one in Hillsboro, Ore. Backhaul is essentially when a commercial broadband provider guarantees a quality of service to the customer.

DEADLINES

Nominations are due by 1 p.m. Jan. 9 for Colorado’s Small Business Person of the Year. The Small Business Administration is seeking nominations for a variety of awards including Exporter of the Year and Subcontractor of the Year. Award winners will be announced in May.

The town of Berthoud is seeking a partner to redevelop its former town-hall site at 328 Massachusetts Ave. in downtown Berthoud. The deadline for a developer to submit a proposal is 5 p.m. Feb. 16. For more information, contact Walt Elish at welish@berthoud.org or call 970-532-2643. The property, which is approximately one-half acre with a 7,200-square-foot building, is owned by the town. In January, the town relocated its town hall to 807 Mountain Ave. The town wants the site to be redeveloped with retail, office and housing, including affordable housing, while retaining the historic bank portion of the building.

EARNINGS

Vail Resorts Inc. (NYSE: MTN) reported a net loss of $28.4 million for its first quarter of fiscal 2018 that ended Oct. 31. The loss for the quarter was less than a loss of $62.6 million for the name period a year ago. For the quarter, revenue increased $42.6 million, or 23.9 percent, to $220.9 million for the three months compared with the same period a year ago, primarily attributable to incremental revenue from Whistler Blackcomb and strong growth at Perisher. The loss included a tax benefit of approximately $51.8 million, or $1.29 earnings per diluted share, related to employee exercises of equity awards, primarily attributable to the CEO’s exercise of expiring stock appreciation rights. Vail Resorts said in its quarterly earnings report that season-pass sales through Dec. 3 for the upcoming 2017-2018 North American ski season increased approximately 14 percent in units and 20 percent in sales dollars as compared with the period in the prior year through Dec. 4. The company announced a capital program at Whistler Blackcomb with a new gondola and two new high-speed chairlifts, and major improvements at Park City to the culinary experience and to family and beginner terrain.

KUDOS

Steven A. Hitz, one of the founders of Launching Leaders Worldwide Inc., a nonprofit based in Fort Collins, will be honored with a medal on March 8. The ceremony is part of the Global Business & Interfaith Peace Symposium and Awards in Seoul, South Korea, an initiative of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation in collaboration with the United Nations Global Compact Business for Peace platform, the Global Compact Network Korea and the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations. The awards ceremony will be prior to the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Paralympics in Korea.

The U.S. Small Business Administration awarded Loveland-based Advantage Bank the preferred-lender designation, which is for lenders with a successful track record of processing and servicing SBA-guaranteed loans. Bank performance, loan volume and knowledge of SBA lending policies and procedures are also factors it considers when awarding this designation.

A Class A office building developed and owned by the Colorado State University Research Foundation achieved LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The three-story, 35,161-square-foot building at 2243 Centre Ave. in Fort Collins was completed in July 2016.

A creative hub in Fort Collins is among the winners of the 2018 Colorado Business Committee for the Arts awards, which recognize companies and individuals for their partnerships and engagement with the arts. Winning from Fort Collins is the Downtown Artery, an arts hub that supports a community of creators, including a performance venue, gallery space, classrooms, studios and a café. Honorees will be recognized at the Business for the Arts Awards Luncheon on March 13, in the Seawell Grand Ballroom at the Denver Performing Arts Complex.

Three University of Colorado Boulder buildings that were part of recent athletic-department facilities upgrades — including a net-zero-energy indoor practice facility — received LEED Platinum status by the U.S. Green Building Council. The signature sustainability feature of a LEED-certified project at CU Boulder for three athletic-department buildings is the 850-kilowatt solar array that sits atop the indoor practice facility, which produces an estimated 1 million kilowatt hours per year. Courtesy CU Boulder. The 212,000-square-foot Champions Center, the 109,000-square-foot indoor practice facility and renovations to the Dal Ward Athletic Center were included in the project completed in 2016.

Three Colorado companies made Glassdoor’s list of Best Places to Work in 2018, including a business from Fort Collins. The ratings are Glassdoor’s 10th Employee’s Choice Awards, and recognize the top 100 large companies and top 50 small- and medium-sized businesses in the United States. In the small and medium category, Fort Collins-based Madwire was ranked No. 11, with an overall rating of 4.8. SendGrid, which started as a Boulder company before moving to Denver in May 2016, was ranked No. 31, also with a rating of 4.8.

Twenty businesses and five nonprofits from Northern Colorado and Wyoming were named nominees for the 2018 Better Business Bureau Torch Awards for Ethics, presented for the 20th year locally by the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust. Winners will be selected in January by an independent panel of judges comprised of BBB board members, past Torch Award winners and community leaders. Winning organizations will receive their award at the 2018 Torch Awards for Ethics celebration, a luncheon event set for First National Bank. Business nominees in Northern Colorado include Erie-based Jireh 7 Enterprises; Fort Collins-based Interstate Battery of the Rockies, LoCo Food Distribution, Motherlove Herbal Co., Roberto’s Salsas & Sauces and Wilbur’s Total Beverage; Greeley-based Front Range Dermatology Associates, Rice’s Honey LLC and Sorensen Roofing & Exteriors GC; Loveland-based EnviroPest, Group Publishing Inc., Loveland Design Carpet One and Loveland Viegut Funeral Home; and Windsor-based All Phase Restoration and DaVinci Sign Systems. Nonprofit nominees include Fort Collins-based Foothills Gateway Inc., Hope Lives! The Lydia Dody Breast Cancer Support Center and The Center for Family Outreach; Greeley-based Transitional House and Loveland-based Larimer Humane Society.

MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS

Rezolute Inc., the company formerly known as Antriabio, entered a purchase agreement with Lincoln Park Capital Fund for the Illinois-based firm to purchase up to $10 million worth of Rezolute’s common stock. The agreement puts the stock price at one-tenth of a cent per share to be purchased over a three-year term. Under the terms, Rezolute has the right, but not the obligation, to sell to Lincoln Park for which the firm would be obligated to buy. Lincoln Park has no right to require any sales by the company. As long as the closing price of Rezolute’s common stock exceeds 40 cents per share, then it may direct Lincoln Park to purchase up to 65,000 share of stock on any business day. As a commitment fee for entering into the purchase agreement, Rezolute agreed to issue to Lincoln Park 344,669 common stock and will not receive any cash proceeds from these commitment shares. Rezolute specializes in developing drug therapies for metabolic and orphan diseases, that is, diseases that are rare or prevalent in developing countries and have few pharmaceutical treatments.

Joe Mullan of Broomfield acquired Eight Days a Week Imaging and Copy Center at 840 Pearl St. in Boulder and will convert it to an Allegra Marketing-Print-Mail franchise. Financial terms of the deal that took place in September were not disclosed. Mullan, who owns an Allegra franchise in Aurora, bought Eight Days a Week from Sam and Cheryl Sussman, who founded the business in 1976 and operated the business for the past 41 years.

New York-based Amalgamated Bank plans to acquire New Resource Bancorp, the parent company of New Resource Bank (OTC: NRBC) based in San Francisco, for approximately $58.5 million, in a stock and cash deal, New Resource Bank is opening a loan-production office in Boulder. New Resource shareholders will receive 0.0315 shares of Amalgamated common stock for each share of New Resource, at a purchase price of $9.67 per share.

Prosci, a Fort Collins-based provider of change-management training, acquired Being Human Pty Ltd., a Sydney, Australia-based firm that provides the same services. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Avery Brewing Co. sold a 30 percent ownership to Madrid-based brewing company Mahou San Miguel. Avery, founded in 1993, is distributed in 33 states. In 2015, the brewery opened a 67,000-square-foot facility in Gunbarrel. Financial terms were not disclosed. The deal is subject to approval by regulators.

Contractors Equipment Center LLC, a Commerce City-based equipment-rental company, signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by Baton Rouge, La.-based H&E Equipment Services Inc. (Nasdaq: HEES) for $122.4 million in cash. CEC operates centers at 1645 First Ave. in Greeley and 2240 I-25 East Frontage Road in Erie, with plans for new locations in Fort Collins and Colorado Springs. The company focuses on non-residential, construction-focused equipment rental. H&E operates locations at 5874 Langley Ave. in Loveland, with additional locations in Henderson and Colorado Springs.

ePac Holdings LLC, a Middleton, Wis.-based digital flexible packaging company that recently expanded to Louisville, sold an equity stake to Indevco Plastics Inc., a manufacturer of petrochemical packaging. The size of the equity stake was not revealed. Longview, Texas-based Indevco Plastics is a subsidiary of Indevco Group of Ajaltoun, Lebanon. ePac launched its Louisville operation at 1772 Prairie Way in the Colorado Technology Center this fall. The company specializes in short- to medium–turnaround runs using digital print on demand, providing less environmental impact than other packaging companies. ePac’s Louisville operation focuses on packaging for the natural and organic, cannabis, pet-food, sports nutrition, coffee and snack industries.

NAME CHANGES

The nonprofit Center for ReSource Conservation shortened its name to Resource Central. The organization’s main office is at 2639 Spruce St. in Boulder, and operates its ReSource and Tool Library at 6400 Arapahoe Ave.

Antriabio (OTC: ANTB), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, changed its name to Rezolute Inc. The company specializes in developing drug therapies for metabolic and orphan diseases, that is, diseases that are rare or prevalent in developing countries and have few pharmaceutical treatments.

OPENING

Array BioPharma Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRY) launched a new subsidiary to develop drugs using its ARRY-797 drug program. Yarra Therapeutics LLC on Dec. 21 received all patents, patent applications and other intellectual property rights, pre-clinical and clinical data, regulatory submissions, inventory, contracts, equipment and books and records related to its ARRY-797 drug program, the company stated in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Yarra — which is “Array” spelled backward — was formed to develop drugs for rare diseases. Any funds raised by Yarra would result in a reduction of Array’s ownership interest in Yarra.

In-home care provider ComForCare opened an office in Longmont to serve southern Weld and Boulder counties. Larry and Mae Linnemeyer will lead the office at 500 Coffman St., Suite 102.  The office will provide non-medical, in-home care to residents who are elderly, disabled, living with dementia or recovering from injuries or surgery.

The 164-room Elizabeth Hotel opened at 111 Chestnut St. in historic Old Town Fort Collins. The hotel is part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, hotels that are known for their uniqueness. It was developed by Fort Collins-based Bohemian Cos., Loveland-based real estate developer McWhinney and Sage Hospitality in Denver. The hotel has 3,500 square feet of meeting space, including two indoor spaces, the Walnut and Chestnut ballrooms, as well as the second-floor outdoor terrace that overlooks Walnut Street and downtown Fort Collins.

Embassy Suites by Hilton and Hilton Garden Inn Boulder opened at the northwest corner of 28th Street and Canyon Boulevard in Boulder. The Hiltons on Canyon features two five-story buildings with a combined 376 guest rooms along with 8,435 total square feet of meeting and event space, sunlit fitness centers, shared courtyards and a rooftop heated saline-based pool. The project was developed by Denver-based Sage Hospitality and NAI Shames Makovsky of Denver. The dual-branded project was designed by Johnson Nathan Stohe, a Denver-based architecture and interior design firm.

PRODUCT UPDATE

BB-9E made its Hollywood debut with “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” Boulder-based robotics company Sphero Inc. added to its lineup of Star Wars app-enabled droids, with the sinister BB-9E and beloved R2-D2. The toy version of BB-9E rolls just like its film counterpart, can interact with other Sphero droids and is app-enabled. The company also released R2-D2, which waddles like it does in the movies, lights up and has the same signature beeps and boops. Sphero’s new products were released in September and are available now.

Avista Pharma Solutions Inc. expanded the types and number of new dosage forms of drugs it can manufacture following the completion of upgrades at its plant in Longmont. The 20,000-square-foot expansion includes four new processing suites and manufacturing support areas. Avista Pharma’s drug product capabilities now include encapsulation; high-shear granulation; fluid-bed granulation, drying and Wurster coating; tablet compression; tablet coating; and packaging. In addition, its drug product operations team can support the formulation and manufacture of immediate-release tablets and capsules, enteric-release tablets, modified-release, multi-particulate tablets and capsules, hydrophilic and hydrophobic matrix extended-release tablets, opiate tamper-resistant, modified-release tablets (using a surrogate drug, and coated aqueous insoluble active ingredients.

AlchemyIoT, a provider of asset intelligence for small- to mid-size industrial companies, raised $4 million in venture capital and is launching its first product. The Lafayette-based startup is the brainchild of CEO Victor Perez, former chief operations officer of StorageTek. The company’s staff is made of veterans from IBM, GE, StorageTek, Sony Electronics and other major tech companies. AlchemyIoT’s software, Clarity, can analyze the health of a company’s assets and proactively let them know when it needs repair.

Boulder Community Health began performing a procedure to replace heart valves in patients whose age or physical condition prohibits them from having open-heart surgery. Foothills Hospital is providing the procedure, called transcatheter aortic valve replacement. It is a minimally invasive, catheter-delivered procedure that replaces damaged aortic valves in patients with severe narrowing of the aorta. Dr. Robert Vissers, president and chief executive of Boulder Community Health, said BCH is the only facility in Boulder County providing the procedure.

SERVICES

The Brighton Economic Development Corp. will begin accepting applications this month for the Brighton Investment Program designed to assist businesses wanting to make building improvements and conduct workforce training. The program was allocated $125,000 through the city of Brighton’s 3 percent lodging tax. The economic-development group is partnering with the Brighton Urban Renewal Authority and the Brighton Lodging Tax Committee. Businesses interested in applying for the funds may call 303-655-2020 or visit the office at Historic City Hall, 22 S. Fourth Ave., in Brighton.

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