E’ville Biz: Pixar Bails on Lease; Digital Eclipse Acquired by Atari; Peet’s settles with Nespresso

3 mins read

A round-up of business stories related to Emeryville including stories from Venture Beat, The SF Business Times, Reuters and more.

Pixar’s expansion beyond the gates of its 15-acre campus appears to have stalled. Pixar had leased the “California Cracker Company” building at 1201 Park Avenue directly across from its gated entrance and spent $3.6 million renovating the interior. The company abruptly pulled the plug in July and have listed the building on the sublease market. It’s unclear if this is related to their recently announced layoffs.

Legendary video game developer Atari has acquired classic video game “preservationists” Digital Eclipse for $20 Million. Founded as Backbone Emeryville in 1992, Digital Eclipse’s offices were adjacent to Doyle Street Cafe for years before moving to a larger space last year. Digital Eclipse was lauded for their Atari 50 Anniversary Celebration released last year.

Peet’s Coffee has agreed to “amicably resolve” a trademark lawsuit with Nestlé owned Nespresso brand over their coffee pods that they advertised as compatible with their machines. Peet’s argued that the capsule design was not entitled to trademark protection and that the “Nespresso” name had become a generic term for single-serve espresso systems.

Amyris, who filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection back in August, has sold off four of its consumer brands fetching $25 Million. The troubled company is currently reorganizing to focus on its core R&D and biomanufacturing businesses.

Amyris looks to sell four consumer brands in bankruptcy court

By Ron Leuty

Amyris Inc. will get more than $25 million from four of its consumer brands, according to a bankruptcy court auction.

A hearing on the sales is scheduled for Dec. 12 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.

Amyris filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in August and has worked toward a plan that would shed its string of consumer brands in favor of research and development and biomanufacturing.

Interior of Digital Eclipse’s previous Doyle Street studio included a classic arcade game room.

Atari agrees to buy classic game maker Digital Eclipse for up to $20M

By Dean Takahashi

Atari has agreed to buy classic video game developer Digital Eclipse for up to $20 million in cash and stock.

The deal includes $6.5 million up front in cash and stock as well as a potential bonus of $13.5 million over 10 years.

Atari is already the owner of some of the world’s most iconic consumer brands and interactive entertainment such as Pong and Breakout. And now it is picking up Digital Eclipse Entertainment Partners Co. (“Digital Eclipse”), a game development studio originally founded in 1992.

Pixar offers up Emeryville office space for sublease

By Hannah Kanik

Pixar is offering up some of its office space to the sublease market.

The animation giant, which is owned by Disney (NYSE: DIS), listed 16,800 square feet of office space at 1201 Park Ave. on the sublease market in July of this year after spending $3.6 million to renovate the building, records show.

Pixar had entered into a lease agreement at 1201 Park Ave., which sits across the street from its 20-acre headquarters at 1200 Park Ave., in May 2022. Real estate firm CBRE is handling the leasing, per marketing materials reviewed by the Business Times.

Peet’s Nespresso® OriginalLine Compatible Espresso Capsules (PRNewsfoto/Peet’s Coffee)

Nespresso ends trademark fight with Peet’s over coffee pods

By Blake Brittain

Nestle’s (NESN.S) Nespresso and coffee chain Peet’s Coffee told a Manhattan federal court on Tuesday that they have agreed to resolve Nespresso’s trademark lawsuit over Peet’s coffee pods, which Nespresso alleged would cause consumer confusion with its competing capsules.

The companies asked the court to dismiss the case with prejudice, which means it cannot be refiled. They told the court in a joint letter in August that they were working to finalize a settlement.

Triplebar raises $20m to expand bioproduct design engine ‘running evolution at hyper-speed’

Elaine Watson

Emeryville, CA-based biotech startup Triplebar has raised $20m in a funding round led by Synthesis Capital to expand its tech platform for optimizing biomanufacturing.

The round, which takes the firm’s cumulative funding up to $25 million, was supported by Essential Capital, Stray Dog Capital, iSelect Fund, and existing investor The Production Board.

Petit Pot Awarded Grant to Assist Stabilization and Expansion

Dairy processors along the Pacific Coast are receiving a catalytic investment that will strengthen the industry’s resilience, and Petit Pot was one of the grant winners. The Pacific Coast Coalition – Dairy Business Innovation Initiative (PCC-DBII), hosted by California State University, Fresno, has awarded $521,764 in grant funding to 12 dairy companies in California, Oregon and Washington. Each awardee is receiving up to $50,000, dependent on their submitted budget, for equipment-related investments.

Petit Pot will be leveraging the grant to upgrade their production line so that they can produce desserts in new paper-based cups. These paper cup desserts, launching at Publix and Target, are a more affordable (yet equally delicious) option vs. our current portfolio of glass jar desserts.

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Rob Arias

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who lived in Emeryville from 2003 to 2021. Rob founded The E'ville Eye in 2011 after being robbed at gunpoint and lamenting the lack of local news coverage. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.

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