Briefcase – January 2020

BRIEFS

Indoor commercial amusement would be among the approved uses for two large, mostly unused retail buildings in Louisville. The Louisville City Council approved an ordinance that would permit entertainment businesses in the former Sam’s Club and Kohl’s buildings. Kohl’s has been closed since last year and Sam’s has been partially occupied by a church.

Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway plans to resign his position on the governing body effective at the end of the month. Conway, who is serving his third at-large term on the council, announced his intent to leave the board in a Jan. 6 letter to fellow commission members.

Xerox Holdings Corp. (NYSE: XRX) said it landed $24 billion in financing as it attempts to acquire HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ), the latest development in a takeover saga that could affect hundreds of employees in Fort Collins. The Norwalk, Connecticut-based printer maker released a previously confidential letter from Citigroup, Mizuho Bank and Bank of America to provide the funding. The deal would not affect Hewlett Packard Enterprise Inc. (NYSE: HPE), a spinoff company from HP that also has significant operations in Fort Collins.

The La Madeleine restaurant site in Longmont, which has sat empty since the cafe closed in 2018, could be transformed into a Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers. The rapidly expanding Louisiana-based fast-casual chain has nine existing Colorado locations — and more than 470 worldwide — but the Longmont restaurant would be Raising Cane’s first in Boulder County. Currently the closest locations to the county are in Broomfield and Fort Collins. Plans call for the La Madeleine building to be demolished and replaced with a nearly 3,800-square-foot restaurant on a roughly 1.3-acre lot at 1236 S. Hover St. in the Village at the Peaks shopping center.

S&W Seed Co. (Nasdaq: SANW) downsized its lines of credit, citing lower costs to that capital. The Longmont-based agricultural seed breeder agreed to a $35 million line of credit with CIBC Bank late last month, citing lower costs for tapping that source of capital.

Students around the state took full advantage of this year’s Free Application Day. The number of applications submitted to Colorado colleges and universities doubled on the day of the event held Oct. 15.  Colorado State University saw the most free applications submitted with 9,126, followed by the University of Colorado with 7,346 applications submitted.

Scout Clean Energy Inc., a Boulder-based renewable-energy producer, closed on $210 million in financing to build a new wind farm in Jay County, Indiana. The 130-megawatt Bitter Ridge Wind Farm, including 52 turbines on 10,000 acres, is expected to be operational by September.

Advanced Energy Industries Inc. (Nasdaq: AEIS) is moving to double its stock-buyback target to $50 million in total. The Fort Collins power controller designer upped the $24.9 million in buybacks it approved in September 2015 to $50 million and removed a previous expiration date, according to filings made Dec. 20 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

AveXis Inc. and parent company Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS) are planning to give away doses of Zolgensma, the world’s most expensive drug outside of the United States next year in a lottery, raising concerns about equity in drug access and the larger drug-pricing system. AveXis said it would offer 50 free doses per year in 2019 and 2020 to patients in countries where the drug has not been approved for sale, including Japan and members of the European Union. AveXis is in the final stages of retrofitting a 692,000-square-foot former AstraZeneca plant in Longmont to produce Zolgensma alongside a sister plant in Raleigh, North Carolina. The drug treats spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a rare genetic disorder that is estimated to affect one in every 6,000 to 10,000 newborns. Children born with SMA do not have functioning motor neurons in their spines and progressively lose muscle strength and cause movement, eating and respiratory problems. The majority of patients die before their second birthday. A one-time infusion of Zolgensma costs $2.1 million.

Construction crews broke ground on the second phase of building the Timnath Community Park in late November. The first phase of the park was completed in 2016. The current phase of construction will add another playground, a dog park, additional parking and another restroom building across 12 acres of space. The city expects to spend $1.5 million for site features and underlying infrastructure, and the park is planned to open this summer.

Fresca Foods Inc., a Louisville-based natural food manufacturer, plans to expand production capacity at its 1775 Cherry St. facility. It intends to invest about $150,000 in renovations to accommodate two new production lines at the site. Fresca, which employs 425 people in Boulder County, has requested an economic development agreement with Louisville that will give the company several building permit and tax rebates that would be capped at a total of $2,500.

A 90-year old water pipe froze and burst on Fort Collins’ Jefferson Street Dec. 16, flooding about a dozen businesses and City Hall. The burst pipe closed the downtown street to traffic for much of the afternoon after a freeze-thaw cycle created a crack that became a leak in the system.

Grocery giant Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) will sell its ownership stake in Niwot-based Lucky’s Market, 3½ years after making a “meaningful investment” in the natural-grocery chain. Kroger announced the divestment in its third-quarter financial report to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The non-cash impairment charge includes $107 million attributable to the minority interest in Kroger’s investment, made in 2016, enabled Lucky’s to expand from 17 locations to 39. Local expansions included a new store in downtown Fort Collins.

Med-Trans Corp. and Banner Health have replaced their fleet of Med Evac Bell helicopters with Airbus H125 models. The helicopters for emergency transport of trauma and seriously ill patients work out of bases in Boulder, Greeley and Akron as well as surrounding areas. Med-Trans supplies the helicopters and Banner supplies the medical gear to equip them.

Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE: LLY) is consolidating oncology research into a new division, including an office in Boulder. Lilly said it would merge its existing Lilly Research Laboratories division with Loxo to create Loxo Oncology at Lilly. The new division will spearhead the company’s cancer research and scout other companies for future licensing or takeover deals.

CLOSING

Wild Woods Brewery, which has operated its Boulder taproom since 2012, closed Jan. 11. A new brewing company has plans to take over the Conestoga Court space.

Kasa Japanese Grill & Bar, a Boulder downtown restaurant, is to close. The restaurant had been in business for 14 years and cited health issues as the reasons for the closing.

Boulder Beer Co. shuttered its brewpub at 2880 Wilderness Place in Boulder, months after it announced that it would stop distribution to focus solely on its in-house taproom.

A 62-year staple of Estes Park’s downtown could come under new management soon. Bob and Tony’s Pizzeria, 124 W. Elkhorn Ave., was previously listed for sale at $1.3 million. The restaurant opened in 1957 and has been family-operated ever since. Ann Racine, an agent with Range Realty Ltd., said interested parties have made inquiries into the property and business, but couldn’t comment further on the status of those discussions. Co-owner Linda Paglia said the restaurant has been for sale for some time, but her family is aging out of their ability to run the business. Her father is 86, and her mother recently passed away.

Eighteen years after it opened, Esh’s Grocery Market in Loveland closed its first surplus market at 4221 W. Eisenhower Blvd. after most of its customer base started shopping at its newer U.S. Highway 287 location instead.

Susan Eastman Walton, owner of Boulder’s RecoFit Compression Gear and parent firm Move Sport Inc., plans to shutter her sports performance apparel brand and focus on her real estate business. Eastman will continue her work selling homes with Live West Realty, where she has been a real-estate agent for the past two years.

Craft taproom Hop Grenade closed its location at 347 E. Foothills Parkway, Unit 120, in Fort Collins on Dec. 28 after almost two and a half years.

A year after its property was bought by developers and more than five decades after its doors first opened, Boulder’s Liquor Mart will sell its last six-pack late this month. The site will be redeveloped into housing for University of Colorado students,

CONTRACTS

SCL Health Inc. is partnering with data-analytics technology firm Empiric Health Inc. to help the Broomfield-based hospital system identify improvement opportunities for surgeries both in terms of patient outcomes and affordability. Empiric’s proprietary technology uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to collect and analyze data. The ultimate purpose of that data collection is to improve the surgical-planning process and reduce cost variations.

Lafayette’s Front Range Biosciences Inc., an agricultural biotech company focused on high-value crops such as cannabis, is working with SpaceCells USA Inc. and BioServe Space Technologies research institute at the University of Colorado to launch hemp and coffee culture samples into space. The samples will be sent to the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX CRS-20 cargo flight scheduled to launch in March.

Barnard Construction Inc., a Bozeman, Montana, company, will build the Chimney Hollow dam under contract with the Northern Water Municipal Subdistrict. The board of the subdistrict selected the firm Dec. 6. Barnard will enter into a $485.4 million contract that calls for the construction of a 355-foot-tall asphalt-core dam in the valley west of Carter Lake in southern Larimer County. When completed, the dam will establish Chimney Hollow Reservoir, the 90,000 acre-foot water storage component of the Windy Gap Firming Project.

One of ColdQuanta Inc.’s supercold atomic sensors flew to the International Space Station on Dec. 5 for use in near-orbit scientific experiments. The Boulder-based company’s atomic sensor is among the payload aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket bringing fresh supplies and scientific equipment to the space station.

A collaboration between medical device makers Intuitive Surgical Inc. (Nasdaq: ISRG) and Louisville-based Bolder Surgical Inc. received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a new generator for robotic surgery devices. The FDA cleared a generator developed between the two companies to power Intuitive’s blood vessel sealer tools using tools using low-voltage electricity.

EARNINGS

Clovis Oncology Inc. (Nasdaq: CLVS) said it sold an estimated $142 million to $143 million in its flagship drug last year, a $47 million increase. Clovis also estimated around $39.3 million in sales in the previous quarter for Rubraca, its main cancer therapy.

Lafayette-based Urban–Gro Inc., an agricultural-technology firm for commercial cannabis cultivators, posted a net loss of $5.3 million during the first three quarters of fiscal year 2019, more than double the $2.1 million loss posted during that same nine-month period in 2018. Revenues in Q3 were up slightly — $5.6 million in 2019 compared with $5.3 million in the third quarter of 2018 — but the sales boost was more than offset by increasing expenses.

Vail Resorts Management Co. (NYSE:MTN) revenues jumped by almost one-fifth from its first quarter last year, but had greater-than-expected costs in closing one of its acquisitions in Australia. The Broomfield-based ski resort company posted $267.77 million in revenues for the quarter ending Oct. 31, but had an overall net loss for the quarter of $109.8 million and a $2.64 per share loss. That revenue figure increased by 21.7 percent compared with $220 million posted in the same quarter last year. The company posted pre-EBITDA losses of $77.62 million, higher than consensus estimates of $72.3 million.

Vestas Wind Systems A/S, the Denmark-based wind-power manufacturer with operations at Windsor, Brighton and Pueblo, is on track to break the record it set in 2018 with sales of 15.07 gigawatts of wind-generated energy. Last year, it received orders for 14.2 GW. The company’s record in 2019 was assured with a 185-megawatt sale to Mainstream Renewable Power on Dec.10 for installation in Chile and a 132-MW sale to Akvo Energy for three projects in Poland.

EVENTS

The Colorado Farm Show will be held Jan. 28-30 at Island Grove Regional Park in Greeley. The annual ag show draws more than 30,000 attendees. The event schedule is available at coloradofarmshow.com/schedule.

The speaker lineup for the 2020 Northern Colorado Economic Forecast is now complete with Rich Wobbekind, associate dean and economist at the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business, on deck to deliver the keynote address. The annual BizWest event will run from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Jan. 22 at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 919 Seventh St., Greeley. Tickets are $54.49 and are available at events.bizwest.com/events/2020-economic-forecast/Wobbekind will be joined onstage by Shawn Osthoff, president of the Bank of Colorado; Kevin Unger, president and CEO of UCHealth North Region; Pete Schippits, senior managing director of CBRE Mountain States; and Dallas Everhart, executive professor at the Monfort College of Business at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley for a panel discussion.

KUDOS

Chimney Park, a gourmet restaurant at 406 Main St. in Windsor, was named one of the top 100 restaurants in the United States by online reservation service OpenTable. The American-cuisine eatery was one of four Colorado restaurants to make the list.

The Good Samaritan Society Fort Collins Village announced a zero-deficiency state survey, granted in December, following a four-day audit. Inspections are conducted on a no-notice basis by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment in accordance with strict guidelines administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Five Colorado cities, including Boulder, Fort Collins and Loveland, are among the top 50 cities for beer drinkers in the country. SmartAsset, a personal finance technology company based in New York, evaluated five factors to rank the best cities for beer drinkers. Criteria included the number of breweries, number of breweries per 100,000 residents, average price for a pint of domestic beer in each city. Denver ranked fifth, Fort Collins 18th, Colorado Springs 24th, Boulder 30th and Loveland 48th.

Two Colorado city utility departments are among 67 public power utilities to earn a Smart Energy Provider designation from the American Public Power Association for demonstrating commitment to and proficiency in energy efficiency, distributed generation and environmental initiatives that support a goal of providing low-cost, quality, safe, and reliable electric service. Longmont and Fort Collins utility departments received the designations at the recent Customer Connections Conference in New Orleans.

CompTIA, a trade association for the global technology industry, recently released its annual Tech Town Index and Boulder ranked 14th. The index ranks cities using factors such as projected employment growth, real wages and cost of living.

Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research won national awards from the American Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Union. Peter R. Gent, a senior scientist, won the AMS Sverdrup Gold Medal for making fundamental contributions to understanding the ocean’s role in climate and representing it in Earth system models. Gent, who first came to NCAR in 1976, has focused on the development and improvement of the ocean component of the Community Earth System Model, an NCAR-based computer model that has enabled groundbreaking research into the climate system by simulating climate processes. Robert Sharman won the AMS Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Advance of Applied Meteorology. Sharman, a veteran NCAR scientist who has worked with the Federal Aviation Administration and airline industry to improve flying safety, was honored for transformative research into aircraft turbulence leading to the development of innovative operational turbulence reporting and forecasting systems. An NCAR team won the AMS Kenneth C. Spengler Award for its work on the advanced research version of the Weather Research and Forecasting Model. The award for enabling and supporting a community of research and operational modeling through forecasting went to Joseph B. Klemp, William C. Skamarock, John Michalakes, Jimy Dudhia, Wei Wang, Jordan Powers, David O. Gill, Michael Duda, Kelly Werner, Ming Chen, Cindy Bruyere, James Bresch, Ying-Hwa (Bill) Kuo, Zhiquan Liu, Dale Barker, Xiang-Yu Huang and Jamie Bresch. Five NCAR scientists were named AMS Fellows: Michael B. Ek, Wojciech W. Grabowski, Wen-Chau Lee, Juanzhen (Jenny) Sun and Tammy M. Weckwerth. In addition, Gent was named an AGU Fellow.

The Western States Burn Center at North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley successfully completed the review process with the American Burn Association. The ABA conducted a site review Oct. 23-24 as part of the Burn Center Verification Program.

Leadership Northern Colorado, a joint initiative of the Fort Collins, Greeley and Loveland Chambers of Commerce, the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado and the Greeley Community Foundation, announced 37 participants for the program’s 2020 class, including: Karina Amaya, Employment Services of Weld County; Stephanie Ashley, Brinkman & Brinkman Construction; Mandana Ashouripashaki, CSU Ventures; Crystal Bidwell, Ditesco; Claire Bouchard, United Way of Larimer County; Beau Bump, Cline Williams Wright Johnson & Oldfather, LLP; AnnaRose Cunningham, North Front Range MPO; Megan Ferguson, Impact Development Fund; Shauna Gray, Chipper’s Lanes; BrightHeart Headrick, Parent-Child Interaction Center; Noah Hutchison, Mighty Hand Construction; Anne Marie Jacobson, Front Range Community College; Logan Jones, WorkLife Partnership; Charles Jordan, RLH Engineering, Inc.; Nathan Kinney, Banner Health; Alex Koenigsberg, Arula; Elizabeth Mahoney, Complete Professional Development; Debbie Mayer, Colorado State University; Beth McDaniel, Centennial Lending, LLC; Liz McMillan, Canvas Credit Union; Chris McPhail, Western States Bank; Jenny Meaeda, Neighbor to Neighbor; Timothy Merlino, Pinyon Environmental; Corinne Millington, Town of Windsor; Shannon Mosness, UCHealth Northern Colorado Foundation; Sara Muth, First National Bank of Omaha; Reanna Philpot, Loveland Chamber of Commerce; Ted Ray, Great Western Bank; Donna Reiser, Colorado State University Alumni Association; Carrie Rossman, YMCA of the Rockies; Jana Sanchez, LaunchNo.CO; Jon Schwartzbauer, Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards; Allison Seabeck, Warehouse Business Accelerator; Benjamin Snow, City of Greeley; Megan Streetman, Animal Friends Alliance; Kristy Wygmans, Pour Brothers Community Tavern; and Jill Zamzow, UCHealth.

LEGAL

The Wolverine Farm Publishing and Publick House sold its building in Fort Collins’ River District this week to avoid an imminent foreclosure, but the literary nonprofit could still struggle to make ends meet. The building at 316 Willow St. was sold to an undisclosed investor for $810,000 and immediately leased back to the literary house for a year. Wolverine’s building was placed on the county’s foreclosure list in late September and was scheduled to be auctioned Jan. 29 after the loan holder demanded the $769,630 balance out of the original $725,000 loan.

The Rocky Mountain Hotel and Conference Center in Estes Park is in the midst of foreclosure, with three months left before it is scheduled for auction. The hotel and conference center at 1701 N. Lake Ave. currently owes $492,162 on its original $500,000 loan with a 7 percent interest rate, according to Larimer County foreclosure records. The current owner is Centennial-based Advanced Hospitality Management Group LLC, which purchased the building through a subsidiary last July for $5 million from previous owners Chester and Lillian Ciezczak. County assessors last valued the property at $4.9 million. Rocky Mountain’s owner has until March 31 to file its intent to come due on payments. If it fails to do so or come current on the loan, the property will go to a sheriff’s sale April 15.

Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association Inc. is entering a legal battle between Westminster’s Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association Inc. and two of its customers over who has authority to cancel wholesale-power agreements. In filings to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, Tri-State said the state doesn’t have authority to regulate it because of Congressional pre-emptions in the Federal Power Act. It also requested that the state pause litigation while the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission hears the arguments.

PopSockets LLC is suing a pair of Amazon sellers for allegedly marketing knock-off products that infringe on trademarks owned by the Boulder firm. The suits were filed by the mobile-device grip maker in U.S. District Court in Denver against the operators of Amazon e-storefronts The Savings Center and Crystal Deals. The suits name New York residents Jacob Gancfried, Rachel Gancfried and Eli Friedman as defendants.

Iron Mountain Truck & Auto Inc., a Windsor-based collision repair shop, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. The firm, owned and operated by Kevin Rowley, listed assets of $7,352.36 and liabilities of $958,442.48. Bankruptcy documents show Iron Mountain owes nearly $220,000 to the Internal Revenue Service for 2018 and 2019 payroll taxes.

Adam Hausman, a Loveland resident and former contractor, was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to interfering with tax authorities trying to collect his back taxes. According to documents filed in the U.S. District Court of Colorado, Hausman, 45, was also ordered to pay $448,794 in restitution and will be on supervised release for a full year after his prison sentence expires.  Hausman formerly owned Wyoming Framers Inc., a siding business. He was charged by federal prosecutors in May for lying to the Internal Revenue Service about his assets as the agency tried to collect just under $200,000 in back taxes in 2011, and either understating his income or not filing tax returns in subsequent years. He also hid $6.6 million in revenue from his contracting business between 2013 and 2018 by depositing checks and immediately withdrawing the funds in cash to avoid IRS levies, according to court documents. Hausman agreed to a plea deal in September.

Efforts to settle an intellectual-property dispute between Boulder’s Brickell Biotech Inc. (Nasdaq: BBI) and Miami-based Bodor Laboratories Inc. failed in late December, triggering arbitration. Brickell said mediation talks between the two companies has “proven unsuccessful” and are proceeding toward a binding arbitration process, according to disclosures made to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Two Fort Collins residents are due to plead guilty to federal bribery charges in connection with a multi-million dollar kickback scheme within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. In its complaint, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Colorado alleges that Glenn and Catherine Beach bribed former Veterans Affairs official Joseph Prince with $122,472 to steer spina bifida patients and beneficiaries to Fort Collins-based Gracewood Home Health Agency LLC for in-home care services. Prince, who worked for the VA in Denver, was charged with 44 counts of bribery and money laundering. Federal agents allege that he referred patients to shell companies that he, his family and friends owned. Those companies allegedly overcharged the department for hourly care, pocketed the rest and gave a kickback to Prince.

Boulder County entered the fray over whether e-cigarette manufacturer JUUL Labs Inc. has marketed its products to minors. The court case the county has joined is part of an aggregation of federal cases against JUUL.

Brinkman Construction Inc. is suing a Dallas resident for allegedly providing false financial statements for a subcontractor on a Longmont development project. In the suit filed Dec. 6 in the U.S. District Court of Colorado, the Fort Collins-based construction company said it hired Arkansas-based Naylor Concrete and Steel Erectors LLC in June 2018 as a concrete subcontractor for the South Main Station development in downtown Longmont. Prior to that contract, Brinkman’s due diligence on Naylor showed that it was carrying a line of credit with a $2 million balance and appeared undercapitalized, raising worries that it wouldn’t have the cash on hand to fulfill the agreement. Christopher Lloyd, a Dallas resident, was listed as creditor to that loan. Lloyd is the only named defendant in the suit.

Attorneys in California filed a class action lawsuit that alleges Boulder-based CBD product maker Charlotte’s Web (TSX:CWEB) misled customers by labeling its products as “dietary supplements.” In a statement, Charlotte’s Web representatives deny the allegations. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California by lawyers with Kohn, Swift & Graf PC, alleges Charlotte’s Web engaged in “multiple and prominent systematic mislabeling of the products form a pattern of unlawful and unfair business practices that harms the public.”

Ent Credit Union settled a class-action suit and agreed to provide refunds of certain insufficient funds charges and overdraft fees. Credit union members sued Ent earlier this year, accusing the Colorado Springs-based institution of inappropriately charging fees. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. Ent, which operates branches in Fort Collins and Firestone, serves members who live or work in Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, El Paso, Elbert, Fremont, Jefferson, Larimer, Pueblo, Teller and Weld counties.

Developer and landlord Stephen Tebo claims he’s owed $154,000 after brewpub chain Growler USA filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Nov. 15. In filings with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Colorado, the Centennial-based chain of bars and restaurants estimated its liabilities at $1 million to $10 million. Tebo Development Co. is listed as an unsecured creditor for $154,000. While the filing does not say what product or service Tebo’s company provided to Growler, the claim is marked as “contingent, unliquidated and disputed” and could be difficult to collect.

Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE: HON) sued Windsor contractor Elder Construction Inc. on Nov. 26, claiming Elder has failed to properly install temperature and humidity controls at a laboratory site in the company’s Broomfield hub. In the suit filed in the U.S. District Court of Colorado, Honeywell alleges that it and Elder signed a contract to develop temperature controls for three rooms at 303 S. Technology Court in Broomfield in 2016. The agreement’s value was $6.12 million. Shortly after Elder completed the project in December 2017, Honeywell alleged that none of the rooms had the required static temperature or had any humidity control at all.

MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS

IMA Select LLC, based in Wichita, Kansas, and Colorado Insurance Advisors of Fort Collins joined forces as of Jan. 1. Colorado Insurance Advisors is the trade name for CIABV LLC.

Premier Members Credit Union members voted to approve a merger with Pueblo-based Pueblo Horizons Federal Credit Union. The credit unions will operate as Premier.

Circle Graphics Inc., a Longmont-based producer of large-format digital graphics, acquired Ohio-based digital billboard printing firm Metromedia Technologies Inc. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

CanSource LLC, a Longmont-based craft beverage can manufacturer, was acquired in December by private equity firm Broadtree Partners. The deal came just weeks after the firm’s parent company CanSource Holdings LLC closed on a $5.5 million fundraising round. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, and the deal is not expected to have any immediate impacts on the firm’s Longmont operations. 

Maxar Technologies Inc. (NYSE: MAXR), a Westminster-based company with multiple aerospace divisions, announced plans to sell Canadian subsidiary MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates to a private equity group for $765 million. The acquisition, which includes MDA’s ground stations, radar satellite products, robotics, defense, and satellite components businesses, is being led by Toronto-based Northern Private Capital. After the sale is finalized, MDA will operate as an independent firm, retaining its name and its roughly 1,900 employees.

Bioanalytical Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BASI), a West Lafayette, Indiana-based contract biosciences research firm, purchased real estate and certain research service assets from Fort Collins-based Pre-Clinical Research Services Inc. PCRS provides laboratory facilities and services for institutions involved in medical studies on animals. In addition to those assets, which were acquired for $1.5 million in cash, a $800,000 promissory note and stock considerations, Bioanalytical Systems bought PCRS’ 24,000-square-foot office and lab space at 1512 Webster Court in Fort Collins. The property changed hands in early December for $2.5 million.

Faegre Baker Daniels LLP and Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP merged after a vote by the partnerships of both organizations. The combined law firm will begin operations as Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath, or Faegre Drinker, on Feb. 1.  The new firm will have more than 1,300 attorneys and consultants in 22 offices across the U.S. and in China and the United Kingdom, including offices in Boulder and Denver. It will be one of the nation’s 50 largest law firms, with projected gross revenue of nearly $1 billion.

Underwriters Laboratories LLC, a company that certifies products as safe for consumer use, acquired HOMER Energy LLC in Boulder. In a statement, the Northbrook, Illinois-based company said it acquired HOMER as part of its efforts to provide more services to the renewable energy chain and in microgrids in particular. The deal closed Dec. 13 for an undisclosed sum.

LuvTrails Inc. and Trail Care, two smartphone apps that enable microdonations to trail-maintenance groups, are merging. The two apps use phone GPS data to tell users what trail groups maintain nearby hiking and mountain bike trails and facilitate to those groups donations between $5 to $20, or per mile traveled as tracked by the device. The apps will operate under the LuvTrails name, which is based in Fort Collins. Trail Care is based in Santa Barbara, California.

Coalfire Systems LLC was sold by one private equity group to another for an undisclosed sum. Apax Partners LLP, a private equity firm in London, bought the Westminster-based cybersecurity company from the The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) and The Chertoff Group, which held joint ownership. The deal is expected to close early this year.

Independent Bank Group Inc. (Nasdaq: IBTX), a McKinney, Texas-based institution that acquired Guaranty Bancorp late 2018 and operates branches throughout Northern Colorado and the Boulder Valley, will merge with Dallas-based Texas Capital Bancshares, Inc. (Nasdaq: TCBI). The all-stock merger is valued at approximately $5.5 billion, and the combined bank is expected to hold about $48 billion in assets. Colorado Independent Bank branches will remain open and maintain their existing branding. The bank has local branches in Berthoud, Brighton, Boulder, Eaton, Fort Collins, Greeley, Longmont, Loveland and Westminster.

JBS USA, a Greeley-based meat processing giant, plans to buy J&B Group Inc.’s meat processing plant in Pipestone, Minnesota, for an undisclosed sum. The plant, which employs about 130, otherwise was to be closed.

Molecular Products Group, a Louisville-based company that makes systems to generate and store breathable gases, acquired Pennsylvania-based oxygen generation systems firm O.C. Lugo Co. The newly combined company will have operations there, in Louisville and in England.

Blue Canyon Technologies Inc., a Boulder-based small satellite manufacturer and space mission service provider, bought New Mexico-based radio frequency antenna maker Antenna Development Corp. To accommodate the growth, BCT is moving its Boulder headquarters to a new 80,132-square-foot flex space in Lafayette. The company currently operates from a three-office campus in Boulder. One of BCT’s existing Boulder buildings — the manufacturing and testing facility — will remain in use, and employees from the other two will work in Lafayette.

Powdr Corp., the Utah-based resort firm that owns Colorado ski areas Eldora and Copper Mountain, announced in December the purchase SilverStar Mountain Resort in British Columbia, the company’s first in Canada. In addition to its Utah headquarters, Powdr has employees and offices in Louisville.

Medical Systems Technologies LLC, a Longmont-based medical imaging component provider, was acquired by MRI system parts and services firm DirectMed Parts & Service LLC. DirectMed will rebrand the MST business, operate the company’s facility in Colorado, retain its employees, and appoint MST founder Bruce Smith as senior engineer. MST operates out of Longmont offices at 1265 Bramwood Place.

Coet 2 CPAs PC, a Westminster-based accounting and tax preparation firm, merged with regionally accounting player Atlas CPAs and Advisors PLLC. Coet 2 owner Fran Coet and partner Cathie Asmus have taken undisclosed equity positions with Atlas and will remain with the firm. Atlas operates local accounting offices in Lafayette and Brighton, along with other locations in Colorado, Arizona, Iowa and Illinois.

Honey Science Corp., developer of shopping rewards platform Honey, will be acquired by PayPal Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: PYPL) for $4 billion. Los Angeles-based Honey has operations in Boulder at 1881 Ninth St. The company has had a Boulder presence since summer 2018, when Honey leased a 2,500-square-foot office. The acquisition is expected to close early this year.

The nation’s two largest newspaper chains, Gannett Co. Inc. (NYSE: GCI) and GateHouse Media, closed their $1.2 billion merger in November, creating a company owning 261 daily newspapers. The combined company, mainly run by former GateHouse executives but retains the Gannett name, expects to find $300 million in savings over the next year in overlapping advertising and newsroom jobs. In Colorado, the move brings the Fort Collins Coloradoan and the Pueblo Chieftain, formerly a GateHouse title, under the same corporate umbrella.

MOVES

Colorado Dermatology Group PLLC is set to move into the former Rite-Aid building at the intersection of Fort Collins’ Horsetooth Road and Timberline Road this summer. Approximately 8,000 square feet of the 13,799-square-foot building has been sold to Colorado Dermatology Group PLLC, a two-doctor clinic that operates in UCHealth’s Harmony campus.

Harrigan Teegarden Private Wealth Advisors LLC, a financial planning and investment management firm that recently rebranded as Impact Wealth, moved its Boulder headquarters from 4999 Pearl East Circle to 4770 Baseline Road.

JumpCloud Inc., a directory-as-a-service technology platform, moved out of its temporary digs in Boulder and into its new Louisville headquarters. The firm had been operating out of three offices on Pearl Street and one temporary office near Denver’s Union Station. JumpCloud’s new 29,000-square-foot headquarters is nicknamed “JumpCloudia” and is at 361 Centennial Parkway.

NAME CHANGES

Pollack Shores Real Estate Group LLC, the group behind The Armory development in Boulder, rebranded and will now do business as RangeWater Real Estate.

OPENING

AveXis Inc. marked the completion of retrofitting its 692,000-square-foot drug-manufacturing campus in Longmont on Jan. 7. The plant currently has 347 employees, about 150 of whom are returning to the plant after drugmaker AstraZeneca PLC (NYSE: AZN) left the plant last March. The plant is expected to employ about 400 people by year’s end.

Kipnis Architecture + Planning, a suburban Chicago architectural firm, opened an office at 1200 Pearl St. in Boulder.

Stellar Group, a firm focused on design, engineering, construction and mechanical services worldwide, is opening an office in Boulder. The Jacksonville, Florida-based company designs and builds food processing plants, refrigerated warehouses, distribution centers, commercial buildings and military facilities. The Boulder office will be at 4845 Pearl East Circle and will primarily serve Stellar’s food and beverage division, with the goal of growing the office for designing other types of industrial buildings. The office is scheduled to open by April.

Big Red F Restaurant Group is expanding its Post Brewing Co. fried chicken and craft beer concept to The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park. The Post restaurant will be part of the iconic hotel’s renovated Carriage House. That restaurant, The Post’s fifth location, is expected to open this summer. Big Red F operates The Post restaurants in Boulder, Longmont, Lafayette and Denver.

An axe-throwing bar will open sometime in March into 1627 S. Lemay Ave. in Fort Collins, replacing Dungeons and Drafts. A father and son duo is planning to mix axe tossing and alcohol in the bar, which will enforce a two-drink maximum during throwing sessions. Dungeons and Drafts closed last summer due to back tax issues.

Torchy’s Tacos, an Austin-based restaurant chain with Colorado locations in Fort Collins and the Denver metro area, could open its newest location in Boulder as early as this month. Torchy’s will take over the former Turley’s Kitchen space at the northeast corner of 28th and Pearl streets. Renovations at the site have been ongoing since June. The Boulder restaurant is expected to employ about 100 full- and part-time workers.

FirsTier Bank, based in Kimball, Nebraska, was recently approved by the Colorado Banking Board to open a new branch at 6222 W. Ninth St. in Greeley, formerly home to a branch of Independent Bank. FirsTier operates branches in Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming. The Greeley branch will be the firm’s first in Northern Colorado. The bank opened a loan-production office in Greeley in 2017, a move that often suggests the institution plans to open a branch in the future. The bank also plans a loan-production office in Broomfield.

State regulators approved a request from the Bank of Colorado to establish a new branch location in downtown Loveland at 206 E. Fourth St. The bank had previously operated a loan production office out of that space. Bank of Colorado has an existing branch in Loveland at 1888 W. Eisenhower Blvd. Bank of Colorado operates in the Boulder Valley and Northern Colorado in Loveland, Greeley, Estes Park, Fort Collins, Longmont and Johnstown. The bank was approved last month to open a loan production office in Boulder, often a precursor to the establishment of a local branch.

The 7-Eleven franchise group opened a store at 1111 Mountain Ave. in Berthoud. Another store under construction at 57th Street and Garfield Avenue in north Loveland will open in June.

Klein Frank PC, a Boulder-based personal injury law firm, opened an office, its second, at 350 Market St., Suite 310, in Basalt.

ATP Flight School LLC, a Florida-based group of pilot training operations, opened a school at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport in Broomfield. The company has existing Colorado operations at Centennial Airport.

Steve’s Goods, an online CBD product seller run by Steve Schultheis, is opening a brick-and-mortar store location that will host live music performances at 1252 S. Hover St. in Longmont.

Raíces Brewing Co., a Denver brewery founded by longtime Latino Chamber of Commerce executive director Jose Beteta, opened Dec. 7. The brewery, located at 2060 W. Colfax Ave., is a “celebration of Latin American and Caribbean culture, community, and cervezas,” according to a Raíces announcement. Beteta left the Longmont-based Latino Chamber last May.

Bank of Colorado, a Fort Collins-based institution with branches throughout the region, intends to open loan-production offices in Boulder and Prescott, Arizona. The Boulder office is planned for the Pearl Street Mall area at 1470 Walnut St., Suite 111, according to Division of Banking records. Property records show that suite is about 1,100 square feet. Bank of Colorado operates in the Boulder Valley and Northern Colorado in Loveland, Greeley, Estes Park, Fort Collins, Longmont and Johnstown.

Fringe Pizza LLC, a local chain with locations in Gunbarrel and Golden, will open a third restaurant at 2900 Valmont Road in Boulder, adjacent to the Google campus, early this year.

Five Guys launched its first location in Greeley on Nov. 22 in the Bear Paw Shopping Center, 4239 Centerplace Drive.

PRODUCT UPDATE

Avery Brewing Co. in Boulder developed a new hard seltzer product line called Sparkle, which will be available for purchase throughout the brewery’s distribution network in February. Sparkle will be 5 percent alcohol by volume, 100 calories, and 1.5 carbs and will come in cherry lime, grapefruit, and CranRaz.

Little Secrets LLC, a Boulder-based company that produces Fair Trade Certified candy, has added cookie bars to its lineup of natural products. The cookie bars will debut on shelves this month, available in both milk and dark-chocolate flavors. Retailers to carry the brand include Whole Foods, Sprouts, Lucky’s Market, Natural Grocers, Fresh Market, Earth Fare, PCCs, Fresh Thyme and Central Market.

SERVICES

Longmont Power & Communications will continue to provide electric vehicle charging for free at city-owned charging stations. The city has been providing free charging since August. Stations have been used more than 1,100 times, triple the usage in all of 2018. Longmont’s city-owned EV charging stations are located at the Longmont Downtown Development Authority, in the 300 E.  Main St. parking area; a lot between Third and Fourth avenues; the Longmont Museum, 400 Quail Road; the Longmont Service Center, 1100 S. Sherman St.; and the St. Vrain Memorial Building, 700 Longs Peak Ave.

Zayo Group Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: ZAYO) said it would have a new wavelength route between Montreal and Albany, New York, operational this month. From Albany, routes traverse either east to Boston or south to New York City and most other northeast markets. The Montreal area is a hub for technology. This wavelength route provides a differentiated option for carriers, fintech, webscale and other enterprises needing high-speed, dedicated connectivity.