Briefcase – August 2019

CLOSING

All 261 Charming Charlie jewelry locations across the nation will close as part of the Houston-based clothing and jewelry seller’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy process. The store closures are being overseen by retail strategy consultants with Hilco Merchant Resources and asset restructuring facilitator SB360 Capital Partners. Local stores include 2721 Council Tree Ave. in Fort Collins and 14644 Orchard Parkway in Westminster. Stores are expected to be shuttered by Aug. 31.

CONTRACTS

Ziggi’s Coffee, a Longmont-based chain of specialty coffee shops, will expand operations in California with a new franchise agreement with Melissa and Leslie Malone-Montgomery of Chula Vista. The couple, both U.S. Army veterans, will open three units in the San Diego area. Ziggi’s has 18 existing shops and franchise agreements in place to develop more locations.

KelSie Biotech Inc. signed a licensing deal to distribute its CBD-based microdose tablets in California. The Boulder-based CBD company licensed its SUM Microdose tabs to Verde Natural, a Colorado-based marijuana grower and distributor that recently was licensed to build a manufacturing plant in California. The company expects to start production and start selling to dispensaries in the third quarter of this year.

Numerica Corp., a software technology company founded in Loveland and headquartered in Fort Collins, was awarded a contract to provide satellite tracking services to the U.S. Air Force. The Air Force will have access to the Numerica Telescope Network of more than 130 optical sensors that provide a real-time data feed of objects in orbit.

California awarded a contract to Loveland-based Lightning Systems, also known as Lightning Hybrids Inc., a developer of zero-emissions drivetrains. The award means that state, county and city governments throughout California now can order any of Lightning’s all-electric powertrains for Ford and Chevrolet medium-duty trucks and buses.

Advanced Energy Industries Inc. (Nasdaq: AEIS) signed an agreement to sell products in central Europe through a German distributor. The Fort Collins-based semiconductor manufacturer said it now stocks its Ultimod, CoolX and Xsolo power supply lines with EMTRON electronic GmbH in Nauheim, Germany.

Scout Clean Energy LLC found a buyer for most of the energy generated by a planned wind farm in eastern Indiana. The Boulder-based renewable-energy company signed a 15-year deal to provide 80 percent of produced electricity from Bitter Ridge Wind Farm to Constellation Energy, a Baltimore-based subsidiary of Exelon Corp. (NYSE: EXC). Scout received permits to build the 52-turbine, 130 megawatt farm from Jay County, Indiana, last September. The company expects to begin construction this year and begin providing power in September 2020.

EARNINGS

Independent Bank Group Inc. (Nasdaq: IBTX), the holding company for Independent Bank, recorded net income of $49.7 million, or $1.15 per diluted share, for the quarter ended June 30, compared with $29.6 million, or $1.02 per diluted share, for the quarter ended June 30, 2018. Independent Bank completed its acquisition of Guaranty Bancorp on Jan. 1, and operates branches throughout the Boulder Valley and Northern Colorado. Independent Bank recorded organic deposit growth of 10.4 percent during the second quarter and repurchased $39 million in company stock as part of its share repurchase program.

EVENTS

The Boulder Chamber will hold its 24th annual Women Who Light the Community celebration Sept. 5. The event, organized by Boulder Chamber Business Women’s Leadership Group, recognizes women who have made “significant contributions through innovations and a committed effort to address a meaningful business or nonprofit, arts or community need, locally, regionally, nationally, or globally.” This year’s honorees are: Stephanie Carter, Wallaroo Hat Co.; Rebecca Chavez, Front Range Community College; Frances Draper, University of Colorado Boulder; Geri Mitchell-Brown, Namaste Solar; Paula Nelson, Parent Engagement Network; and Paola Garcia Barron, Boulder High School Emerging Youth.

KUDOS

UCHealth Greeley secured accreditation from the nonprofit Joint Commission, a hospital inspector group, clearing it to participate in federal health-care programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare.

Larry H. Miller Toyota in Boulder is among four Colorado dealerships to be certified in the J.D. Power 2019 Dealer of Excellence program and is among 2 percent of dealerships across the country to be recognized.

Several Northern Colorado and Boulder Valley attorneys were named to the ranks of the 2019 Top One Percent by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel. Among those selected for 2019: Todd Burnham, Burnham Law Firm PC, Erie; Carrie Frank, Klein Frank PC, Boulder; Beth Klein, Klein Frank PC, Boulder; Tom Metier, Metier Law Firm, Fort Collins; Barbara Lunt Ornelas, Lunt & Associates LLC, Fort Collins; Gerald C. Sloat, Slat & Nicholson PC, Boulder; and Stephanie Stout, Stout Law Firm LLC, Greeley.

Colorado brewers took home 21 awards from the 2019 U.S. Open Beer Championships held July 9 in Oxford, Ohio. Of those, 15 were awarded to brewing companies in Northern Colorado and the Boulder Valley. Verboten Brewing and Barrel Project of Loveland won gold for Barrel-Aged Cake or Death in the Barrel-Aged Strong Stout category, silver for Somebody to Love in the Brut IPA category, and silver for Grow Old With You in the Barrel-aged Barleywine category. Crow Hop Brewery of Loveland won silver for Recess IPA in the English IPA category, bronze for Kneeknocker Porter in the Brown Porter category, and bronze for Sleeping Owl Stout in the Oatmeal Stout category. Mash Lab Brewing of Windsor won bronze for Automatic Amber in the Bitter category. Gilded Goat Brewing of Fort Collins won gold for Goat de Garde in the Belgian and French Ale category and bronze for Gold Rush in the Brut IPA category. Liquid Mechanics Brewing Co. of Lafayette won gold for Peanut Butter Porter in the Peanut Butter category and bronze for Beast of Bourbon in the Blended Barrel-Aged Beer category. Red Truck Co. of Fort Collins won gold for Irish Red in the Irish Red Ale category. Oskar Blues Brewery of Longmont and Lyons won gold for Collabbey Ale in the Belgian Dubbel category. New Belgium Brewing of Fort Collins won silver for HPA in the Hemp Beer category. Bootstrap Brewing of Longmont won silver for Wreak Havoc in the Imperial Red Ale category. The Colorado companies competed against 7,000 beer entries in 130 different styles. Judges were from England, Canada and the United States.

KJ McCorry, chief executive of Officiency Inc. in Boulder, Chris Otto of Fort Collins, a partner with Plante Moran, and 21 other business leaders from around Colorado were named to the 2020 class of Colorado Governor’s Fellows. The group, which includes two from Northern Colorado and the Boulder Valley, will spend the next year studying issues and preparing to help shape policy and perception of life and public service in Colorado. The group was inducted into the program by Gov. Jared Polis.

Pete Reicks, senior vice president for analytics and innovations at Elevations Credit Union, was named by the National Institute of Standards and Technology to the board of examiners for the 2019 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s highest honor for organizational innovation and performance excellence.

MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS

Vail Resorts Inc. (NYSE: MTN) signed a $264 million definitive merger agreement to acquire 100 percent of the outstanding stock of Peak Resorts Inc. (Nasdaq: SKIS), based in Wildwood, Missouri, adding 17 U.S. ski areas to its portfolio. Peak’s ski areas are located near major metropolitan areas, including Baltimore, Boston, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio; Kansas City, Missouri; Louisville, Kentucky; New York; Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. The transaction has been approved by both companies’ boards of directors and is expected to close this fall. Vail Resorts said it plans to “retain the vast majority of each resort’s employees.”

Two Boulder-based energy-analytics companies merged into a company expected to serve more than 75 utilities and more than 100 million homes across the nation. The new company, Uplight, succeeds Tendril Inc. and Simple Energy Inc. They combine Tendril’s data analysis software service to tell utility providers how customers are using power with Simple Energy’s software to help utilities recommend energy-saving devices such as smart thermostats to those customers.

Acushnet Holdings Corp. (NYSE:GOLF), the parent company of golf apparel and equipment brands including Titleist and Footjoy, acquired Swiss ski and golf sportswear company KJUS. The North American headquarters of KJUS is in Boulder and Acushnet intends to keep operations in the city. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

MOVES

Boulder advertising firm Mighty Fudge studios relocated Aug. 1 from its 9-year headquarters at 1017 Pearl St. to a new location at 4520 Broadway in the North Boulder Arts District.

Epiroc AB, a Swedish firm that provides mining and infrastructure equipment and expertise, moved its U.S. headquarters from Commerce City to 8001 Arista Place, Suite 400, in Broomfield.

OPENING

LONGMONT — Front Range Community College’s new Center for Integrated Manufacturing in Longmont opened Aug. 1. The 27,000 square-foot facility, which broke ground in January in partnership with Advanced Energy, brings all FRCC’s manufacturing programs under a single roof at 1351 S. Sunset St.

5030 Local, which has its origins with Berthoud Brewing, opened July 20 at 1480 Cascade Ave. in Loveland, releasing its namesake beer at its open house.

Strade Bianche Cafe, a bike-themed Boulder restaurant by chef Fabio Flagiello, opened at 1738 Pearl St. in Boulder.

Windsor-based Points West Community Bank will open its first location in Loveland later this fall at 295 E. 29th St. Points West also will open its first Fort Collins branch in a former Home State Bank location after Labor Day. The bank previously announced plans in April to occupy the former Woody’s Newsstand space at 940 Ninth Ave. in downtown Greeley.

UCHealth began accepting patients at its new $200 million Greeley Hospital. The Aurora-based health-care provider opened the doors to the 212,000-square-foot facility at 6767 W. 29th St. after two years of construction.

UCHealth and Boulder Community Health opened a joint wing for patients requiring inpatient rehabilitation. The 18-bed unit is designed for patients recovering from strokes, spinal-cord injuries, amputations, neurological disorders and other issues that affect everyday mobility and speech. The wing is located on the third floor of the UCHealth Broomfield Hospital at 11820 Destination Drive in Broomfield.

PRODUCT UPDATE

Boulder-based Rowdy Mermaid Kombucha Inc. launched retail availability of its new aluminum-can designs, with the goal of shifting its entire line of botanically infused kombucha to glass-free retail by September.

Biodesix Inc. entered into an agreement with Massachusetts-based Thermo Fisher Scientific to bring a liquid biopsy test to market. The Boulder-based cancer testing company said it will produce clinical data from tests with Thermo Fisher’s cancer test that searches blood samples for signs of mutation within 52 genes that could signal the presence of several types of cancer.

SERVICES

Real estate company Zillow (Nasdaq: Z) is now offering cash bids to homeowners in Fort Collins and Colorado Springs looking to sell their properties. Property owners in the two cities can request a cash offer from Zillow based on the company’s valuation and can set their own move-out and closing date. If accepted, the company then prepares the home for showing and Zillow staff or a contracted broker puts the building on the market. Homeowners are under no obligation to accept Zillow’s offer if they request a quote.

Business owners and managers who view Loveland as a location to launch, expand or relocate have a new gateway for information and resources at LovelandEconomicDevelopment.org. The web portal built by the city of Loveland Economic Development Department presents opportunities to tap current commercial real estate information, gather data on Loveland and the Northern Colorado region, and explore information on how Loveland can help foster a better business climate.

The Sustainable Living Association, an organization that provides sustainable education in Northern Colorado, launched a program to provide residents with resources to help fight climate change. In partnership with the city of Fort Collins and the Colorado Water Center, the Impact Series kicks off Aug. 22 with a free screening of The Human Element by James Balog at The Lyric Cinema in Fort Collins.

CLOSING

All 261 Charming Charlie jewelry locations across the nation will close as part of the Houston-based clothing and jewelry seller’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy process. The store closures are being overseen by retail strategy consultants with Hilco Merchant Resources and asset restructuring facilitator SB360 Capital Partners. Local stores include 2721 Council Tree Ave. in Fort Collins and 14644 Orchard Parkway in Westminster. Stores are expected to be shuttered by Aug. 31.

CONTRACTS

Ziggi’s Coffee, a Longmont-based chain of specialty coffee shops, will expand operations in California with a new franchise agreement with Melissa and Leslie Malone-Montgomery of Chula Vista. The couple, both U.S. Army veterans, will open three units in the San Diego area. Ziggi’s has 18 existing shops and franchise agreements in place to develop more locations.

KelSie Biotech Inc. signed a licensing deal to distribute its CBD-based microdose tablets in California. The Boulder-based CBD company licensed its SUM Microdose tabs to Verde Natural, a Colorado-based marijuana grower and distributor that recently was licensed to build a manufacturing plant in California. The company expects to start production and start selling to dispensaries in the third quarter of this year.

Numerica Corp., a software technology company founded in Loveland and headquartered in Fort Collins, was awarded a contract to provide satellite tracking services to the U.S. Air Force. The Air Force will have access to the Numerica Telescope Network of more than 130 optical sensors that provide a real-time data feed of objects in orbit.

California awarded a…