February 6, 2018

Briefcase: February 2018


Bisetti’s Ristorante, 120 S. College Ave. in Fort Collins, closed Jan. 31 after 39 years because Heather and Robert Bisetti, who had owned the Italian restaurant since 1988, chose to retire. They also recently sold the building that houses the restaurant and other businesses. The Bisettis also previously ran Pelican Fish Restaurant and Fish Market, 3512 S. Mason St.

Crafted, a restaurant at 130 S. Mason St. in Fort Collins, an Old Town Fort Collins, closed Jan. 12 after having been open for five months.


Two Front Range companies have mapped the cannabis genome. Fort Collins-based Sunrise Genetics, the parent company of Marigene and Hempgene, partnered with Boulder-based CBDRx/ Functional Remedies to start the mapping in 2015. By mapping out the 10 chromosomes in the cannabis plant, researchers can determine their relationship to each other, how they interact and what that means for human medical and recreational consumption.

Platte River Power Authority signed a power purchase agreement for 150 megawatts of new wind power capacity to serve its four owner municipalities: Estes Park, Fort Collins, Longmont and Loveland. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The additional wind power will come from a new wind farm located north of Platte River’s Rawhide Energy Station. Enyo Renewable Energy’s subsidiary, Roundhouse Renewable Energy LLC, will construct the Roundhouse project with up to 75 wind turbines across 14,000 acres of land as well as the additional transmission capacity needed to reach the four municipalities.

Fort Collins-based 308 Systems Inc. is playing an instrumental role in emergency communications in Indonesia. The company has supplied its TAC-PAK and Flexiwatt satellite communication systems to the Indonesian search and rescue organization to help with disaster response. Indonesia faces challenges with disaster response because the nation is spread across 1,500 islands in the Pacific and Indian oceans. The TAC-PAK/Flexiwatt systems, custom-configured mobile command centers, permit disaster-response agencies to link field radios, cell phones and computers throughout the country.


Guaranty Bancorp (Nasdaq: GBNK), a community bank holding company based in Denver with branches in the Boulder Valley and Northern Colorado, reported income of $38.6 million for 2017, an increase of 56.2 percent compared with $24.7 million in 2016. For the fourth quarter that ended Dec. 31, the holding company reported income of $8.6 million, or 30 cents per common share, compared with $7.4 million, or 27 cents per share, in the same period a year ago. The fourth-quarter 2017 earnings per common share were impacted by $3.3 million in merger-related expenses and a $1 million deferred tax asset write-down because of the change in the statutory federal corporate tax rate under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

Woodward Inc. (Nasdaq: WWD) reported net sales of $470 million during the first quarter of its fiscal year, up 6 percent from the $443 million recorded in the same period a year ago. Net earnings for the first quarter totaled $18 million, compared with $47 million in the first quarter of 2017. The Fort Collins-based company said the first-quarter of 2018 included a one-time expense of $15 million as a result of new U.S. tax legislation.


Eight people were inducted Jan. 25 into the Colorado Business Hall of Fame, including Dick Saunders, founder of Centennial-based Saunders Construction Inc., of which Fort Collins-based Saunders Heath is a subsidiary. The company Saunders founded in 1972 is known for high-profile projects including the renovations of Denver International Airport’s Great Hall and Denver Art Museum North Building.

Fort Collins was ranked fifth on the Santa Monica, Calif.-based Milken Institute’s 2017 list of 25 best-performing large cities. The index uses fact-based metrics in nine categories to evaluate the relative growth of metropolitan areas.

Bridgewater Homes, Robbins Contracting and Toll Brothers were among award winners Jan. 25 at the annual installation and awards gala of the Home Builders Association of Northern Colorado at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland. For Production Builder of the Year, Bridgewater took the award as a privately held company, while Toll won as a publicly held firm. Robbins was named Custom Builder of the Year, The Light Center was honored as Trade Partner of the Year, and RMG Engineers was named Associate of the Year: The Chairman’s Award of Distinction went to Cassy Torres of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.

Boulder-based WK Real Estate was awarded the RELO Quality Certification from Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, a selective global network of real estate firms.

Fort Collins-based design-build firm Neenan Co. is an award winner and category finalist for International Interior Design Association’s Rocky Mountain Chapter BESTawards, recognizing two adaptive reuse projects in education and health care. Neenan’s work on the Colorado Early Colleges Fort Collins replacement facility received the LEARN project award, which recognizes creative interior design projects that advance the education field. Neenan also was recognized for its work on the Lancaster Family Health Center in Salem, Ore.

Costa Mesa, Calif.-based fire-grilled chicken chain El Pollo Loco (Nasdaq:LOCO) named Louisville-based Market Force Information the 2017 winner of the company’s Award of Excellence in the category of Services and Technology.


Back to Action, a Lafayette-based physical-therapy practice, was been purchased by Mathis Rehab Centers LLC in Manhattan, Kan. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Zayo Group Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ZAYO) is acquiring the assets of Neutral Path Communications and Near North Partners for $31.5 million. Neutral Path is a long-haul infrastructure provider with a fiber network in the Midwest. The deal will add 452 route miles to Zayo’s network, including a unique route from Minneapolis to Omaha, Neb. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of this year, subject to regulatory approvals. The purchase price is dependent on net working capital and a contingent payment based on sales performance through June 30.

Durham, N.C.-based Avista Pharma Solutions Inc. completed the acquisition of Solid Form Solutions Ltd. in Edinburgh, Scotland. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Avista has operations in Longmont, where late last year it upgraded its facilities to manufacture active pharmaceutical products.

KBI Biopharma Inc., a North Carolina-based biopharmaceutical company with operations in Boulder acquired the assets of Louisville-based Elion Labs, a contract services organization serving the biopharmaceutical industry. KBI said the acquisition strengthens the company’s analytical and biophysical characterization capabilities and complements the company’s current facility at 2500 Central Ave. in Boulder, which focuses on development and manufacturing of microbial processes. All of Elion’s staff will join KBI, including co-founders John Gabrielson, Brent Kendrick and Kelly Arthur, who will continue to oversee operations of the Louisville facility at 1450 Infinite Drive.

Boulder-based Zayo Group Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ZAYO) acquired Vancouver, British Columbia-based Optic Zoo Networks for $24.8 million. Optic Zoo owns and operates high-capacity fiber in Vancouver and focuses on the digital-media sector for customers. The deal will add 103 route miles and more than 100 on-net buildings to Zayo’s footprint in Vancouver.

Affiliates of Pinnacle Asset Management LP, a commodities and natural resources investment firm based in New York, agreed to acquire the U.S.-based cattle feeding assets and farms, collectively known as Five Rivers Cattle Feeding, from JBS USA in Greeley for approximately $200 million. The transaction includes 11 feed yards across Colorado, Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, with feeding capacity of more than 900,000 head of cattle and a long-term agreement to supply cattle to JBS USA beef-processing plants. In Colorado, Five Rivers has four feedlots: Gilcrest Feedlot in LaSalle, Kuner Feedlot in Kersey, Yuma Feedlot in Yuma and Colorado Beef in Lamar.

Grey Mountain Partners, a Boulder-based private-equity firm, agreed to purchase a pallet-recycling business for an enterprise value of $115 million. Grey Mountain will acquire CHEP Recycled, a unit of Sydney, Australia-based Brambles Ltd. CHEP Recycled provides a network of pallet-management services in the United States and Canada, supplying and recycling more than 90 million pallets annually

Blaine Howerton, publisher and owner of North Forty News in Larimer County, purchased Scene magazine. Howerton will reverse the decision of the previous owner to eliminate print publication and re-established the printed version of the magazine starting Feb. 1. The title changed slightly to The New Scene Magazine. Howerton bought Scene from Michael Mockler, who founded the publication about 30 years ago to publish information about arts and entertainment in Northern Colorado. North Forty News, under Howerton’s ownership since 2017, had been founded in LaPorte in 1993. It has since moved to Fort Collins and expanded its footprint to include all of Northern Colorado.

Boulder-based Congruex, which provides design, engineering, construction management and maintenance services to broadband service providers, is acquiring CHC Consulting LLC, a full-service engineering consulting firm that serves clients in the telecommunications industry. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Congruex’s acquisition of CHC is on the heels of its November acquisition of CCLD Technologies and positions Congruex as the fourth-largest telecom engineering firm in the nation. Congruex is partnered with Crestview Partners, a New York-based private-equity firm. Congruex was formed in 2017.

Colorado Springs-based Doyen Elements Inc. is acquiring Boulder-based 7GENx LLC, a hemp genetics research and development firm, for $4.2 million. 7GENx LLC’s team of scientists creates varieties of hemp that are targeted for uses for current or emerging markets in the agriculture, industrial and medical industries. Doyen Elements signed a three-year employment agreement with 7GENx’s founder, Shane Davis.


Husk Power Systems Inc., a rural distributed utility company, is relocating its headquarters to Fort Collins and has closed on a $20 million financing round. The company is now located at the Colorado State University Powerhouse Energy Campus.

CPP Inc. in Fort Collins signed a lease for property in Windsor where it will consolidate its corporate headquarters and wind-tunnel testing operations. CPP, an employee-owned company doing business as CPP Wind Engineering & Air Quality Consultants, aids building owners, architects and engineers around the globe by helping them understand how considering wind’s effect can improve building design. The company will be moving its headquarters from 2400 Midpoint Drive in Fort Collins to 7365 Greendale Road in Windsor, where it will also set up operations to conduct wind-tunnel testing, computer simulations and technical analyses for clients. The company operates a wind-tunnel testing facility at another location in Fort Collins that will be moved to Windsor.


The nonprofit Center for ReSource Conservation shortened its name to Resource Central.


uBreakiFix, an electronic-repair service, opened at 316 Main St. in Longmont. The company provides same-day repair service of all electronics, specializing in cell-phone and computer repair. The Longmont location will be the company’s fourth north of Denver, with other stores in Arvada, Lafayette and Boulder.

Elevations Credit Union will celebrate the opening of its Midtown Fort Collins branch Feb. 10. The branch at 2025 S. College Ave. will be the Boulder-based credit union’s second in Fort Collins. The new branch was designed and built by The Neenan Co.

Longmont-based Oskar Blues opened a restaurant, bar and music venue Jan. 12 in the five-story Market Center building in lower downtown Denver. Seattle-based Urban Renaissance Group together with Stars Investments and City Street Investors are renovating the building at 1624 Market St.

Windsor residents Casey and Dakota Brown will open and own a Windermere Real Estate office in Windsor, the Seattle-based residential brokerage’s seventh office in Colorado. The office is to open in February at 207 Fourth St. Windermere also has an office in Boulder.

Stevan Stein opened his second stand-alone Chick-fil-A franchise restaurant on Jan. 17 near Interstate 25 and Harmony Road in Timnath. The 4,700-square-foot restaurant, at 4531 Weitzel St., will employ about 110 people when up and operating.

Scottsdale, Ariz.-based national mortgage bank AmeriFirst Financial Inc. opened a branch at 4020 St. Cloud Drive in Loveland, its first in Northern Colorado and fifth in the state.

Facetté, a medical spa, opened Jan. 12 at 1100 Haxton Ave., Suite 100, in Fort Collins. The spa, founded by Mina Muirhead, Erin L. Jones and Amanda Wicker, will offer anti-aging skin treatments, dental hygiene, and wellness and recovery procedures.

Marriott International Inc. announced that a dual-branded 90-room Fairfield Inn & Suites and 122-suite Residence Inn property opened in December at 455 Zang St. in Broomfield. The hotel is owned by Bedford Lodging of Dallas and managed by Aimbridge Hospitality of Plano, Texas.

Brothers Chris and Mike Boston partnered to form Boston Pace Inc., a commercial real estate firm in Boulder. Chris Boston is president and managing broker of the firm at 2315 Broadway. He was vice president for brokerage services at Gibbons-White Inc., a commercial brokerage in Boulder he was with for 15 years. Mike Boston is a principal at Boston Pace and for 22 years was a partner in Denver-based Jones Barclay Boston, a wealth-management firm that a year ago merged with financial advisory firm The Colony Group of Boston. Boston Pace offers commercial-brokerage, investment-property and property-management services.

The Hover Senior Living Facility in Longmont will grow by about 30 percent and offer new services to residents. The Hover campus, which now includes 119 apartments and 51 assisted living suites, will add 48 new residences and offer skilled nursing services in four new cottages. The expansion is expected to begin this summer and be completed by fall 2019.

A startup small business in Loveland will make a second run at getting started after city code violations caused it to be shut down in December. Wolf Den Training Facility, 5802 Byrd Drive, which was inspired by the American Ninja Warrior television show, was closed to the public in December until its owners, Noah Kaufman and Ian Dory, bring it into code compliance. The partners are making another run at opening and have submitted a request for a certificate of occupancy. If successful, the business will offer fitness and exercise courses.


Yonomi, a Boulder-based tech company that makes software to connect various smart-home devices, launched a new product and closed a $5 million seed round. The round is led by Gentex, maker of HomeLink, which can open the garage door and connect to a person’s home with the push of a button on the rearview mirror. Schlage, which makes smart locks for people’s homes, is another investor. Yonomi’s consumer-facing app lets customers connect smart-home devices using one centralized app. Its new B2B platform, Yonomi One, lets those who make smart devices connect those device capabilities to other smart devices and provide them as options for use by consumers.

Broomfield-based Introspective Networks launched new communications technology to provide secure communication transmission services to any organization. SmokeConfidential and SmokeVPN create an environment that secures data beyond today’s industry standard methodologies by proactively applying Moving Target Defense. The approach hides sensitive data as it is transmitted and obscures endpoints thus creating a closed, “zero trust” network.


Aspen Grove Veterinary Care will conduct an open house Feb. 15 for its new doggy day care and overnight boarding facility in Fort Collins called The Cabins at Aspen Grove. The 2,700-square-foot facility is an addition to the existing Aspen Grove office at 2633 S. College Ave.

Longmont-based VolkBell HR Services expanded its focus to include additional outsourced personnel or human resources services. The company will continue to support the now VolkGBS and AssuredPartners (dba as Front Range Insurance Group) benefit clients.

Boulder-based Zayo Group Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ZAYO) launched its software-defined wide area network, a way for companies to privately and securely exchange information between locations, such as between a headquarters and corporate offices.

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