Stories for June 2005

Thursday, June 30

Kaiser Aluminum Files Reorg Plan

Foothill Ranch-based Kaiser Aluminum Corp. filed a reorganization plan that projects emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the fourth quarter.

Fed: 9th Rate Rise Expected

Alan Greenspand and other policy-setting members of the Federal Reserve resumed a two-day meeting on Thursday that is expected to result in a ninth straight quarter-percentage-point increase in short-term rates.

Acacia: $2.9M For Shares of CombiMatrix

Newport Beach-based Acacia Research Corp. has received $2.9 million in commitments from private investors for shares of CombiMatrix, its Seattle-based biotech subsidiary, the company said Thursday.

Ebbers to Forfeit Assets

Convicted former WorldCom Chief Executive Bernard Ebbers, who faces the possibility of life in prison, agreed to forfeit almost all of his cash, his mansion and other assets on Thursday in a settlement with investors in his failed telecommunications compa

Mack Back to Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley on Thursday rehired former President John Mack to replace Chairman and Chief Executive Philip Purcell, responding to months of pressure from former executives and investors for changes at the investment bank.

Irvine 10th Fastest Growing City

Irvine was the No. 10 fastest growing city in the nation from 2000 to 2004, according to data released by the Census Bureau on Thursday.

Quiksilver: $350M Debt Offering

Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver Inc. said Thursday it plans a $350 million debt offering to help pay for its pending buy of French ski maker Skis Rossignol SA.

Fed Raises Rates Again

The Federal Reserve raised key U.S. interest rates a quarter-percentage point on Thursday for a ninth straight time and gave no sign a year-long campaign of increases was nearing an end.

Bank of America to Buy MBNA for $35B

Bank of America Corp. on Thursday said it agreed to buy MBNA Corp., the largest independent credit card lender, for $35 billion, making the No. 2 U.S. bank one of the world's biggest card issuers.

Boeing Names 3M's McNerney CEO

Boeing Co. on Thursday named 3M Co. Chief Executive James McNerney as chairman and chief executive, favoring him over candidates inside the company.

Wednesday, June 29

Impac Dividend on Table as Rates Rise

Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc. slumped Wednesday after the company warned that it plans to re-evaluate its dividend policy amid lower-than-expected profit margins.

New OC Boss for Deloitte & Touche

Deloitte & Touche LLP has tapped Rick Rayson to head its Orange County operation.

Mortgage Applications Dip

Applications for home mortgages fell for the second week in a row despite a fall in the 30-year mortgage rate to a 15-month low, an industry group said on Wednesday.

AIG Shares Up on Profit Jump

American International Group Inc. shares rallied 6% Wednesday after reporting sharply higher first-quarter net income along with an upbeat outlook from the embattled insurer's new chief executive.

Apple Shares Fall; SigmaTel cuts outlook

Shares of Apple Computer Inc. fell sharply on Wednesday after SigmaTel Inc., a top maker of memory chips used in digital music players, cut its outlook, citing lower-than-expected sales and price cuts.

GDP Revised Up, Beats Forecasts

Robust new-home building and stronger exports helped the U.S. economy expand at a faster-than-expected 3.8% annual rate in the first quarter, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday.

Wells Economist Cautions on Homes

Orange County and the rest of the Southern California economy may dodge the housing bubble bullet, but it isn't out of the woods yet, Wells Fargo & Co.'s senior economist said Wednesday.

Nixed Bid Hits William Lyon Shares

Shares of homebuilder William Lyon Homes fell 4% Wednesday after its chairman withdrew his offer to buy back all of the company's shares he doesn't control.

Oracle Posts Higher Quarterly Profit

Oracle Corp., the second biggest software maker, on Wednesday posted a higher-than-expected quarterly net profit on robust demand for its flagship database product.

SEC Clears Chevron-Unocal Deal

Chevron Corp., in a key step toward securing its proposed merger with Unocal Corp., said on Wednesday that the Securities and Exchange Commission has given paperwork registering the deal the nod of approval.

Tuesday, June 28

Fluor Wins Kuwait Contract

Aliso Viejo-based Fluor Corp. said Tuesday it won a pact to provide engineering and construction management services at a chemical plant in Kuwait.

Wal-Mart Heir Killed in Plane Crash

John Walton, son of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. founder Sam Walton, died on Monday piloting a plane.

Ex-HealthSouth CEO Not Guilty

A federal jury on Tuesday found former HealthSouth Corp. Chief Executive Richard Scrushy not guilty of orchestrating the $2.7 billion accounting fraud at the medical rehabilitation chain he founded.

Cardiac: China Approves Defibrillators

Irvine heart defibrillator maker Cardiac Science Inc. said Tuesday that Chinese regulators approved its latest Powerheart line of defibrillators.

Ceradyne Gets $76M Order

Costa Mesa-based Ceradyne Inc. has landed another order for its ceramic body armor, this one for $75.5 million, the company said Tuesday.

Pfizer Slides on Viagra Label News

Shares of Pfizer declined notably despite a bullish market mood Tuesday, following news that the company still plans to revise the labels on its drug Viagra to alert the public to reports of blindness by some users.

Ballot Showdown: Union Dues

Union dues used for political causes are expected to be one of the most heated,and costly,battles in the Nov. 8 special election called by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Sun Micro to Buy SeeBeyond

Network computer maker Sun Microsystems Inc. is buying software maker SeeBeyond Technology Corp. for $387 million in cash.

Monday, June 27

San Clemente's Mac & Madi: Beach to Retail's Big Time

Mac & Madi expanded to South Coast Plaza after a Segerstrom discovered the San Clemente shop, in the Marketplace column

MARKET WATCH

Week's Best, Worst Performers; Roth OC50, Billion Dollar Club, OC Tech; Index Watch, 52-week Performance

HOTEL HOLDOUTS

Developers Put Hotel Plans on Hold as Land Prices Surge

Transwestern Plans for Irvine High-Rise

Transwestern Commercial Services plans to start construction in August on a 230,000-square-foot office tower in Irvine.

No, General

It's not surprising that General Lyon was rebuffed in his offer to buy back the homebuilding company, an Editorial by Rick Reiff

Nike Profit Up, Outlook Cautious

Nike Inc. posted a 15% rise in quarterly profit on Monday on strong sales of high-priced sneakers like its Shox running shoe, but a cautious revenue forecast helped drive down the company's shares 4%.

Early Bets on PacSun's Chain: Older Crowd

The early bet is that Pacific Sunwear of California's new chain of stores will target an older crowd

Samueli Finds Out Media Prefer Pucks to Chips; 'A-Town'

Samueli Finds Out Media Prefer Pucks to Chips; 'A-Town'

Oil Above $60 on Demand, Iran Worries

Oil prices hit a new record above $60 a barrel on Monday, driven by demand growth resilience in the face of high fuel costs and worries about oil policy under Iran's new hardline president.

Ducks, Angels Owners: Same Goal, Not Style

The Ducks' Samueli? Don't expect Moreno's style of team ownership

As Housing Cools, BSH Tweaks

BSH Home Appliances wants more of the high-end U.S. market for stoves, refrigerators, washers and dryers

Downhill From Here: Designers, Execs, Kids Face Off in Race

Some of the biggest names in auto design are getting ready for a soapbox derby

NATIONAL RECOVERY

Office Market Rebound Spreads to More U.S. Markets

Fight Over Union Dues Could Dominate Vote

The fight over union dues could dominate the state's fall special election

ON A BREAK

ABOUT THE LIST - Commercial Developers Paused Last Year as Material, Land Costs Were a Factor

Court Overturns Cable Internet Ruling

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday overturned a ruling that cable high-speed Internet lines must be opened to rival online service providers.

BUSY TO THE EAST

Local Developers Active in the Inland Empire

Office With a Twist: Spec Tower Coming

Transwestern said it plans to start construction in August on a speculative 230,000-square-foot office tower in Irvine

Multi-Fineline Puts Rising Value of Shares to Work With Applied Buy

Multi-Fineline Electronix is a company to watch, in the Technology column,

Agora Churrascaria Cooking Up Brazilian Barbecue

A Brazilian steakhouse run by the Kim family has opened in Irvine, in the Executive Dining column

CALENDAR

Calendar of OC Business events and announcements - FREE Download

Meyers Goes From Analyzing Homes to Developing Them

The founder of the Meyers Group is joining the development game, in the Real Estate column

Lear to Trim Up to 7,700 Jobs

Auto parts maker Lear Corp. said on Monday it will slash up to 7,700 jobs and revise its financial forecasts as it begins a global restructuring.

SiliconSystems Wraps Up Round of Funding

SiliconSystems wrapped up a second round of funding

Buy.com IPO Appears Stuck as Rivals Slump

Buy.com's public stock offering looks no closer than it did in January,

Pacific Mercantile Closing Mortgage Unit

Costa Mesa-based Pacific Mercantile Bancorp said Monday that it plans to close its wholesale mortgage banking unit due to growing costs amid rising interest rates.

OFFICE ON THE WAY

Market Looks Ripe for Development, Though Threats Loom

Supreme Court: Peer Networks Liable

A unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday that Internet file-trading networks can be held liable when their users copy music, movies and other protected works without permission.

POINTS OF LIGHT

People and businesses in Orange County doing extraordinary deeds

Toshiba, Microsoft Boost Ties

Microsoft Corp. and Toshiba Corp. said on Monday they will strengthen their joint development of PCs and consumer electronics goods and consider working together on next-generation DVD technology.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Summaries of other business news and top stories by industry; Economic Indicators

Decker: Jazz Public Offering Delayed, Not Dead

Don't count out an IPO for Jazz Semiconductor just yet

Real Estate Watch: Manufacturing and Warehouse

Manufacturing and warehouse rents were on the rise in the first quarter and inventory dipped. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Capgemini Shifts OC Office to El Segundo

Capgemini has closed its Irvine office, shifting 100 workers to El Segundo

Commercial Construction Companies Post Modest Sales Bump

ABOUT THE LIST - Commercial Construction Companies Post Modest Sales Bump

Cardiac, Quinton Settle Merger Suits

Irvine-based Cardiac Science Inc. said Monday that shareholders looking to block its combination with Quinton Cardiology Systems Inc. have agreed to give up the fight.

Anaheim Loses Angels Name Bid

An appeals court Monday denied the city of Anaheim's bid to overturn Arte Moreno's name change of the baseball team.

REAL ESTATE DEALS

This week's postings of Real Estate sales and leases

Skilled Healthcare's Owner Explores Sale

Skilled Healthcare's owner is exploring a sale, in the Healthcare column

San Diego: Housing Impact on Commercial Sector a Concern

Housing Impact on Commercial Sector a Concern

Ex-Mitsubishi Chief Gagnon Resurfaces at Air Purifier

Mitsubishi's former U.S. chief has landed at an air purification company

Back From Dot-Com Dead, Data Aire's Growing Again

Specialty air conditioner maker Data Aire has rebounded from the dot-com decline

LETTERS

Laguna residents who were affected by the landslide need help

THEY SAY

Chris Cox will do an honorable job heading the SEC

PEOPLE

Orange County Businesspeople in the news, on the move

Sunday, June 26

UCI Research Funding: $305M

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine, won $305 million in funding during the recently ended school year, with more than half coming from medicine and biological sciences.

Friday, June 24

May New Home Sales Rise

Sales of new homes rose by a larger-than-expected 2.1% in May but data for the prior three months were revised lower, a government report showed on Friday.

Yum Brands Invests in Russian Chain

Fast-food company Yum Brands Inc., owner of the KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, and Russia's Rostik's said on Friday they were teaming up to invest about $100 million in a joint venture.

Broadcom Settling Suit for $150M

Broadcom Corp. said it plans to pay $150 million in cash as part of a proposed settlement of a class action shareholder lawsuit.

Citigroup, Legg Mason Ink $3.7B Deal

Citigroup Inc. will swap most of its asset management arm for Legg Mason Inc.'s brokerage business, the companies said on Friday, in a $3.7 billion deal that would thrust Citigroup into a battle with Merrill Lynch for top U.S. broker.

Sunstone Completes Hotel Buys

San Clemente-based Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc. wrapped up its buy of five hotels plus a 25% interest in a sixth for $420 million.

Guidant Warns About Heart Devices

Guidant Corp. on Friday advised doctors to stop implanting some of its most sophisticated heart defibrillators, saying the devices may be faulty and may have to be recalled.

DA's Office Gets 10% Bump in Funds to Fight Workers' Comp Fraud in County

The Orange County District Attorney's Office got a 10% boost in funding to combat what it calls rampant workers' compensation fraud here, according to a spokeswoman with the state's Insurance Department.

Fluor Loses Caribbean Verdict

Fluor Corp. officials said Friday the company's Caribbean subsidiary received an unfavorable jury verdict that could cost $60 million.

Oakley Opening O Store in Mexico

Oakley Inc. on Friday said it's opening an O Store in Mexico City.

Aircraft Boosts Durable Goods Orders

New orders for U.S.-made durable goods, except for civilian aircraft and defense, showed unexpected weakness last month, casting some doubt on the economy's health despite continued strength in new home sales.

Thursday, June 23

Corinthian Shrinks Profit View

Santa Ana-based vocational college operator Corinthian Colleges Inc. said Thursday it sees its profits for the quarter ending June 30 coming in well below an earlier forecast.

New Century Plans HQ Move

Irvine's New Century Financial Corp. outlined plans Thursday to move its headquarters to a planned 20-story office tower in another office park in Irvine in 2007.

Jobless Claims Fall More Than Expected

The number of Americans seeking new claims for jobless benefits fell by a larger-than-expected 20,000 last week to the lowest level in two months, the government said on Thursday.

Archos, EchoStar Ink Pact

Irvine-based Archos on Thursday said it inked a deal with Englewood, Colo.-based EchoStar Communications Corp. to develop digital video recorder technology.

GE Realigns Units, Affirms Forecast

General Electric Co. on Thursday said it is streamlining its businesses to six operating units from 11 in a move to cut costs, and it affirmed its second-quarter and full-year profit forecast.

Intel Invests in Datallegro

Aliso Viejo-based Datallegro Inc. added Intel Corp. to its $15 million second round of funding, the company said Thursday.

IBM Plans Supply-Chain Consulting

IBM Corp., the largest computer maker and technical consultant, said it will introduce a new consulting practice on Thursday to help corporate customers more effectively manage global logistics.

Wednesday, June 22

Chapman: Housing Bubble a Concern

The Orange County economy is slowing as job growth and housing affordability become bigger factors in the county's long-range health.

Mortgage Applications Down

Applications for home mortgages fell last week due to a sharp decline in purchasing and refinancing activity as mortgage rates rose slightly, an industry group said on Wednesday.

Sony: New Strategy in Sept.

Sony Corp. will unveil a new strategy in late September to reallocate resources, the company's new CEO said on Wednesday, suggesting it would look to trim its product line-up or downsize struggling businesses.

CNOOC to Bid for Unocal

Chinese state-run oil firm CNOOC has tentatively decided to bid for U.S. producer Unocal, a person close to the process told Reuters on Thursday, setting the stage for a potential bidding war with Chevron Corp.

Analyst Ups Conexant on Revenue

Newport Beach chipmaker Conexant Systems Inc. saw its shares upgraded Wednesday on better revenue prospects.

SEC Showdown Looms on Fund Reforms

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday scheduled a June 29 vote on a controversial mutual fund governance rule that promises to end SEC Chairman William Donaldson's tenure on a note of discord.

S & P;: Ford Ratings May Fall Further

Standard & Poor's said on Wednesday it would take no immediate action on Ford Motor Co.'s BB+ credit rating after Tuesday's profit warning, but said it was now more likely the rating could fall in the future.

Ameritrade to Buy TD Waterhouse

Online broker Ameritrade Holding Corp. on Wednesday said it agreed to buy rival TD Waterhouse USA from parent Toronto-Dominion Bank for $2.9 billion in stock, consolidating the struggling online brokerage sector as analysts had said was inevitable.

KleenAir Signs China Pact

Aliso Viejo-based KleenAir Systems Inc. said Wednesday it won a $10 million pact to sell auto emission control devices in China.

Island Pacific Cutting 60 Workers

Irvine-based Island Pacific Inc. said Wednesday it plans to lay off 60 workers as part of an ongoing cost-cutting program.

Tuesday, June 21

AMC to Buy Loews Cineplex

AMC Entertainment Inc., the No. 2 U.S. movie theater chain, on Tuesday said it will buy its next-largest competitor, Loews Cineplex Entertainment Corp., to challenge market leader Regal Entertainment Group.

Endocare to Settle Charges With SEC

Endocare Inc., an embattled medical device maker, said Wednesday that it would pay $750,001 to settle charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Haier, Equity Firms Bid for Maytag

Top Chinese appliance maker Haier and private equity giants Bain and Blackstone have bid $1.28 billion for Maytag Corp., trumping Ripplewood's offer for the ailing corporation.

Volcom Could Go Out Next Week

Costa Mesa surfwear maker Volcom Inc.'s initial public offering could be on tap for next week.

Allergan, Valeant Team on Botox

Orange County's two largest drug makers are teaming up to sell Botox in Eastern Europe.

Gross: Fed Could Be Done

The Federal Reserve could be done raising interest rates this summer, Bill Gross of Pacific Investment Management Co. said Tuesday.

Kroger Profit Up; Outlook Raised

Kroger Co., the largest U.S. grocer, on Tuesday reported a 12% rise in quarterly profit, beating analyst estimates, as customer service improvements helped to boost sales.

Boston Scientific Infringed J & J; Patent

A U.S. District Court jury in Delaware on Tuesday found that Boston Scientific Corp., maker of the top-selling Taxus drug-coated stent, infringed patents held by rival stent maker Johnson & Johnson.

Lyon Buyout Offer Rejected

A special committee formed by Newport Beach's William Lyon Homes said the chairman's offer to take the company private is inadequate.

Winn-Dixie to Close 326 Stores

The Jacksonville, Fla.-based grocer is getting out of 14 markets and shuttering 326 stores, three distribution centers and nine manufacturing plants. As a result, 22,000 jobs will be lost, it said.

Lennar Raises Profit Outlook

Lennar Corp. said net earnings increased 21% from the year-ago period and the Miami-based homebuilder increased its full-year profit outlook Tuesday, citing strong consumer demand, a solid balance sheet and record backlog.

Report: Recession Unlikely Before April

UCLA economists insist there is a housing bubble, both nationally and in California, and a cooling in the housing market later this year will affect the overall economy.

Monday, June 20

Sunstone Closing Big Buy, Locking in With Marriott

Sunstone Hotel Investors is closing in on its biggest buy yet

Hoag Names Chief Executive

Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach named Dr. Richard Afable as its new chief executive on Monday.

Confession

Comment by Rick Reiff

As Tuttle Thinks Diplomacy, Dealership Tweaks Rides

President Bush nominated auto dealer Bob Tuttle as ambassador to Britain, in the Marketplace column

Real Estate Watch: North/Central County

North/Central Orange County's office and industrial sectors had a good first quarter. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Summaries of other business news and top stories by industry; Economic Indicators

Manufacturing is Up, County No. 10 Nationally

Surprise,manufacturing employment still is a big deal in OC

PEOPLE

PricewaterhouseCoopers' Kolar Named Office Managing Partner. Orange County Businesspeople in the news, on the move

REAL ESTATE DEALS

This week's postings of Real Estate sales and leases

Mitsubishi Pins Hopes on Eclipse; Rough Start So Far

Mitsubishi's trying to get some buzz for its 2006 Eclipse, in the Media & Marketing column

Adelphia Founder Sentenced to 15 Years

John Rigas, founder of cable operator Adelphia Communications Corp., was sentenced on Monday to a lower-than-expected 15 years in federal prison for concealing loans and stealing millions from the company

Global Arrivals Made Up Bulk of OC Newcomers in 2004

OC is one of California's "immigration magnets," drawing 21,000 people from other countries last year

Local VC Firms Boosted OC Funding in '04

ABOUT THE LIST - Local venture capital firms boosted investment in OC startups a bit last year

Food Company Being Bought

Cleugh's Frozen Foods Inc., a Buena Park seller of organic strawberries and other frozen food, is being bought by Canada's SunOpta Inc. for an undisclosed price.

Storage Startup Closes Funding Round

Aliso Viejo-based SiliconSystems Inc. has closed a second round of funding, according to the company.

CALENDAR

Calendar of OC Business events and announcements - FREE Download

Report: Lawmakers Want Unocal Probe

Two congressmen have asked the Bush administration to review and possibly block any effort by China's CNOOC Ltd. to acquire Unocal Corp., The Wall Street Journal reported.

EXECUTIVE BRIEFCASE

The Festival of Arts is in its 73rd year, an Executive Briefcase

Report: Rival Game Maker Poaching Blizzard Workers

A rival game maker could be poaching workers from Blizzard Entertainment, in the Technology column

SABMiller Nears $7 bln Beer Deal

Brewing giant SABMiller is edging toward clinching a deal to buy Colombia's biggest brewer Bavaria for $7 billion, including debt, and hopes to wrap it up next month, sources close to the situation said on Monday.

Trucker Expanding Fleet in $24M Buy

G.I. Trucking is spending $25 million to boost its fleet of cabs and trailers

Passco Buys The Promenade in L.A. in Big Retail Deal

Passco ventures to L.A. for big retail center acquisition, in the Real Estate column

Leading Economic Indicators Fell in May

A key gauge on the future direction of the economy dropped 0.5% last month, resuming a slide that began in January after a standstill in April, a private research group said on Monday.

Pinot Provence's Summer Chateau Dining

It's time for Pinot Provence's summer dinner series, in the Executive Dining column

Kevin Hayes Eyes Campbell's Seat; Ueberroth's Memo

Kevin Hayes Eyes Campbell's Seat; Ueberroth's Memo

O'Neill Veteran Takes Helm at Edgy Apparel Maker Lost

Edgy clothing maker Lost International has a new boss,

THEY SAY

Major League Baseball is perpetuating a fraud on its fans, in They Say

Apria Sale Would Be Momentous for Higby

Apria's chief executive stands to be a big winner if the company is sold as planned

Boeing Seeks to Export Surf City War Network

A steady flow of global visitors is calling on Boeing's technology center in Huntington Beach

MARKET WATCH

Week's Best, Worst Performers; Roth OC50, Billion Dollar Club, OC Tech; Index Watch, 52-week Performance

Jet Painter, Detailer Eyes Outsourced Work from Ailing Airlines

Leading Edge Aviation has made its mark as a commercial airline painting and maintenance company

Imbalances Threaten World Economy

Highlighting imbalances as a threat that could destabilize the world economy, the International Monetary Fund urged the United States on Monday to cut its budget deficit more aggressively than planned and said China should slowly allow its currency to flo

Domain Dominates Big San Diego Venture Investment

Domain Associates' Laguna Niguel office has made a big venture investment in San Diego, in the Healthcare column,

Heinz to Buy HP Foods for $855M

H.J. Heinz said on Monday said it has agreed to buy French food company Danone's HP Food unit for about $855 million in a deal that will put the popular HP and Lea & Perrins sauces under the same roof as Heinz Ketchup.

Broadcom, Qualcomm Fight On

The spat between Irvine-based Broadcom Corp. and San Diego's Qualcomm Inc. just got nastier.

Friday, June 17

OC Unemployment Falls to 3.3%

Orange County's job picture improved in May, with the unemployment rate falling to 3.3% from 4.1% last year, according to a report from the state Employment Development Department on Friday.

Former Tyco Chiefs Found Guilty

Former Tyco International Ltd. Chief Executive Dennis Kozlowski and finance chief Mark Swartz were found guilty on Friday of stealing more than $150 million in secretly forgiven loans and unauthorized bonuses from the company.

Consumer Confidence Rises, Report Says

U.S. consumers turned much more upbeat in June, helped by some relief in gasoline pump prices and a rising stock market, a report showed on Friday.

Wet Seal Slumps on Downgrade

Wet Seal had a good week on Wall Street, until Friday.

Oil Climbs Above $57 on US Demand

Oil prices leapt to their highest level in more than two months on Friday, climbing to more than $57 a barrel and extending a week-long rally spurred by strong demand in defiance of near record fuel costs.

Record $50B Orders at Air Show

European aircraft maker Airbus announced $3.6 billion of last-minute orders at the Paris Air Show on Friday, claiming victory over Boeing and pushing their combined sales past a record $50 billion.

Dollar Steadies, Looks to EU Summit

The dollar steadied near this week's multimonth highs against the euro and the yen on Friday, consolidating recent gains made on the relative interest rate outlook and on political crises in the euro zone.

Western Dig Slumps on Price War Report

Shares of Lake Forest-based Western Digital Corp. got dinged again Friday following a critical note from Merrill Lynch & Co.

Thursday, June 16

Irvine Co. Could Buy San Diego Towers

The Irvine Company is in escrow to buy two downtown San Diego office towers, the San Diego Daily Transcript reported.

NHL Approves Sale of Ducks

The National Hockey League said Thursday its board of governors unanimously approved Henry and Susan Samueli's buy of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim from Walt Disney Co. for a reported $75 million.

Quiksilver Target Rossignol Posts Loss

French company Skis Rossignol, being acquired by Huntington Beach-based surfwear maker Quiksilver Inc., dived to a full-year net loss after restructuring charges and a slowdown in snowboarding sales.

Nursing Home Operator Put On Block

Skilled Healthcare Group Inc., a Foothill Ranch-based nursing home company, has undergone a $420 million recapitalization as a prelude to a possible sale.

Earthquake Shakes SoCal

A magnitude 4.9 earthquake struck Southern California on Thursday, shaking skyscrapers and rattling residents left jittery by two larger temblors that rumbled through the Golden State earlier this week.

Goldman's Profit Disappoints

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. on Thursday said its second-quarter earnings fell 27%, falling short of expectations, as volatile markets drove away investors and sapped trading profit.

Morgan Dissidents May Target Board

Rebel Morgan Stanley shareholders who forced the retirement of Chief Executive Philip Purcell may now set their sights on board members who supported him, a spokesman for the group said on Thursday, signaling a battle for leadership change may not be over

Volcom Prices IPO Shares: $15 to $17

Costa Mesa surfwear maker Volcom Inc. took a step closer to going public Thursday by pricing its shares at $15 to $17.

Wednesday, June 15

GM Push to Cut Benefits Risks Strike

General Motors Corp. could trigger a potentially crippling strike by the United Auto Workers union should it push too hard to slash the health-care benefits it provides to UAW members, union officials said on Wednesday.

Consumer Prices Drop as Output Surges

Consumer prices edged lower for the first time in 10 months in May while industrial output surged, suggesting the economy was growing solidly with price pressures still at bay.

Irvine's Bax Could Be Up For Sale

Cargo shipper BAX Global of Irvine could be up for sale for as much as $500 million, according to a report in Thursday's Wall Street Journal.

Governor Sees College Protest

Politics followed Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to his alma mater Tuesday, where he was jeered relentlessly by protesters while delivering a commencement speech.

OC Home Median Hits $590,000

Orange County home prices hit another record in May with sales picking up a bit.

Amtrak Routes Cut Under Budget Plan

Amtrak would have to cut its most unprofitable routes under a budget plan that a House of Representatives subcommittee cleared on Wednesday, but the railroad said the proposal would force it to shut down.

Jazz Withdraws IPO

Newport Beach contract chipmaker Jazz Semiconductor Inc. withdrew its long delayed initial public offering Wednesday.

Printronix Down on Sales Forecast

Irvine-based Printronix Inc. warned Wednesday that it might post a loss in the June quarter because of a slowdown in orders.

MCI Shareholder Fights Verizon Deal

MCI Inc. shareholder Deephaven Capital Management said on Wednesday it would fight Verizon Communications Inc.'s proposed $8.6 billion acquisition of the long-distance carrier, saying it preferred a deal with Qwest Communications International Inc.

Campbell Leads in Race for Cox Seat

The scramble to fill a prime Republican seat in Congress has a leading contender: state Sen. John Campbell.

Comarco Posts Q1 Loss, Decline

Irvine-based Comarco Inc. said Wednesday it's posted a larger loss and a decline in sales in the first quarter.

Philips Warns on Weak Consumer Markets

Dutch electronics group Philips Electronics NV cautioned that it expects weak demand in consumer markets in the second quarter which may hit its full year growth targets, causing its shares to drop on Wednesday.

Gateway Lands Air Force Deal

Computer maker Gateway Inc. landed an $8 million technology contract with the Air Force, the Irvine-based company said Wednesday.

Mortgage Applications Increase Last Week

Applications for home mortgages increased last week due to a robust rise in purchasing and refinancing activity even as mortgage rates rose, an industry group said on Wednesday.

Tuesday, June 14

St. John Taps Brazilian Supermodel

Irvine-based St. John Knits International Inc. has tapped Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen for its fall advertising campaign, the company said Tuesday.

Downgrade Hits Western Digital

Lake Forest-based Western Digital Corp.'s shares slumped 8.6% Tuesday after an analyst raised concerns about the company's ability to meet its profit forecast and higher-than-expected revenue projections in the current quarter.

DynTek Plans Cost Cutting

Irvine-based DynTek Inc, a provider of techology services, said Tuesday it plans a cost-cutting effort to save $1.6 million yearly.

Best Buy Profit Soars

Best Buy Co., the No. 1 electronics chain, on Tuesday reported an 85% jump in quarterly profit, on strong sales of MP3 music players, digital TVs and video games and fewer markdowns, and its shares jumped 11% to a record high.

Multi-Fineline Buying Applied Optics

Anaheim-based contract electronics maker Multi-Fineline Electronix Inc. plans to buy photo imaging technology company Applied Optics Inc. for $6.3 million, the company said Tuesday.

Retail Sales, Producer Prices Fall in May

U.S. retail sales staged their sharpest drop in nearly a year in May while producer prices showed the biggest decline in nearly two, according to government data on Tuesday that may ease inflation fears but show consumers may be faltering.

Cardiac-Quinton Gets Regulatory OK

Irvine-based Cardiac Science Inc. said Tuesday that regulators approved its proposed combination with Quinton Cardiology Systems Inc.

Fed Not Done Raising Rates

The Federal Reserve has not finished raising short-term interest rates, while a "remarkable bull market" in house prices has the U.S. central bank on edge, top Fed policy-makers said on Tuesday.

Blackstone Buys Wyndham Hotel Group

Private equity group Blackstone has agreed to buy hotel owner and franchiser Wyndham International Inc. in a deal valued at $3.24 billion, Wyndham said on Tuesday.

Monday, June 13

Esterline Acquires Defense Contractor

Esterline has made another acquisition in Orange County

Computer Succession: Kingston Ascends, Toshiba Falls

ABOUT THE LIST - Kingston Technology Co. tops this week's Business Journal list of the largest computer products companies here.

Report: Spending, Jobs Keeping Retail Buildings Going

The retail real estate market should stay hot through the rest of the year, in the Real Estate column

PEOPLE

Orange County Businesspeople in the news, on the move

CALENDAR

Calendar of OC Business events and announcements - FREE Download

Ackerman Won't Vie for Cox Seat

State Sen. Dick Ackerman said Monday he doesn't plan to run for Christopher Cox's congressional seat in a special election.

Quality Rises on Earnings Surprise

Shares of Irvine-based Quality Systems Inc. rose 4% in after-hours trading Monday, following the healthcare software company's quarterly earnings results that beat Wall Street's expectations.

Cardiac Expands GE Deal

Irvine-based medical device maker Cardiac Science Inc. said on Monday it has expanded its distribution deal with General Electric Co.'s GE Healthcare unit.

Edwards Delays Trial Enrollment

Edwards Lifesciences Corp. is delaying U.S. enrollment in a clinical trial for a new type of heart valve, the medical device maker said Monday.

MARKET WATCH

Week's Best, Worst Performers; Roth OC50, Billion Dollar Club, OC Tech; Index Watch, 52-week Performance

Gruen Heads Newmeyer Office in Walnut Creek

Newmyer & Dillion opened a Bay area office in Walnut Creek

Wanted by Roth Capital: Millionaires With Money to Manage

Roth Capital has launched a money management unit for wealthy folks

Jazz Semiconductor Offering Remains Elusive

Jazz Semiconductor's initial public offering remains elusive,

LETTERS

Letters to the Editors - Donor Counties; Cooley Kudo; More Great Park

Military Contractor Picks Cypress for Base

A maker of night-vision goggles and other gear for the military has consolidated in Cypress

Westlife Moves HQ to Irvine

Snowboard clothing maker Westlife Distribution USA LLC has moved its headquarters to Irvine to be closer to the county's surf, skate and snow sports hub.

Software Makers Post Sales Increase on Buys, Launches

ABOUT THE LIST - The performance of top software and hardware makers in the past year

Edwards, Analysts Focusing on Valves

Analysts are focusing on Edwards Lifesciences' core product, the heart valve

Action Sports Hub Lures Board Gear Maker

Snowboard clothing maker Westlife is bringing its 686 brand to Irvine

Schwarzenegger Calls Special Vote

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday called a special election for November to try to change the way California spends money, picks its politicians and hires its teachers.

Computer Company Moving to Memphis

Foothill Ranch-based Comprehensive Computer Services Inc. plans to move its corporate headquarters to Bartlett, Tenn., the Memphis Business Journal reported Monday.

Food Tester Moves to Cypress

A food tester is moving from L.A. to OC

Real Estate Watch: Airport Area

Office vacancy in the John Wayne Airport area is about to fall into the single digits. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Yoga Show Producer Moves From Los Angeles to OC

Great Yoga Teachers is channeling its new production home in Newport Beach, in the Media & Marketing column

Morgan Stanley CEO to Retire

Morgan Stanley Chief Executive Philip Purcell on Monday surrendered to calls for his ouster from investors unhappy with dozens of departures and years of listless stock performance.

Trading Places

The woman is the major breadwinner in an increasing number of dual-career families, a Viewpoint

STATE OF THE STATE

The fall special election stands to be a battle royal, in State of the State

Medtronic: Building on Piece of OC's Device Legacy

Inside Medtronic,the "other" heart valve maker with a big operation in OC

Birtcher Anderson Sells Costa Mesa, Anaheim Office Buildings for $74M

In a sign of Orange County's improving office market, Laguna Niguel-based Birtcher Anderson Realty LLC said it recently sold a pair of office buildings for $74.4 million

No Lease Yet for PacifiCare's Planned Pharmacy Center

There's still no lease for PacifiCare's drug distribution operation planned for Kansas, in the Healthcare column

Report: P & G; Cutting TV Ads

Consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble Co. is sharply cutting how much it commits in advance to buying television commercials next season, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the situation.

Anaheim White House: Culinary Influences of Italy, France

Anaheim White House is the real Italian deal, in the Executive Dining column

Tech Startups Draw Interest From VC Funds Set to Spend

The rise of venture funding for the tech sector

Downey Stays Course as Buyout Talk Swirls

he Downey Financial acquisition rumor mill is heating up once again

Effort to Weaken Proposition 64 Fails Amid Business Opposition

An effort by a Democrat legislator to weaken Proposition 64 has failed for now

Gov. to Call Special Election

Defying Democratic obstinacy and public resistance, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger today is expected to call a special November election for voters to decide on a package of government reforms that could radically overhaul how Californians spend state tax dol

Drug Patents Don't Bar Rival Research

Drug companies have freedom under the Food and Drug Administration rules to ignore their rival's patents when starting research on competing medications, the Supreme Court ruled Monday.

Harrah's Closes Ceasars Buy

Harrah's Entertainment Inc. concluded its acquisition of Caesars Entertainment Inc. on Monday, re-establishing Harrah's as the largest gambling company in the world with more than 40 properties in 12 states and three countries.

THE GREAT WALL

Critics Say China's Currency Is Barrier to Free Trade; OC Companies Watching

South Coast Plaza Eying Walk-On Role in 'The O.C.'

South Coast Plaza wants the "O.C." cast to hang out at the shopping center more often, in the Marketplace column

REAL ESTATE DEALS

This week's postings of Real Estate sales and leases

May Flowers: Broadcom, Chips Rallied Last Month

Semiconductor makers made a spectacle of themselves last month, in the Technology column,

Fuji Consolidating Storage in Cypress

Fuji plans to move its camera, film and development gear operations under one roof in Cypress

UC Irvine Launches WMD, Terrorism Course

UC Irvine's terrorism course is under way

Friday, June 10

Report: China To Limit Textile Growth

China agreed to limit the growth in its exports of 10 textile and clothing products to the European Union to between eight and 12.5% a year, an EU diplomat close to the negotiations said on Friday.

Chevron's Unocal Buy Cleared

Antitrust authorities said on Friday they have approved Chevron Corp.'s $16 billion acquisition of Unocal Corp. after resolving antitrust charges over patents for reformulated gasoline.

Bill to Loosen Prop. 64 Inactivated

Chalk up a win for California businesses pushing for tort reform. Assembly Majority Leader Dario Frommer, D-Glendale, earlier this month inactivated a bill that could renew lawsuits targeting businesses because he feared it wouldn't win enough votes in th

Citgroup's Enron Bill: $2B

Citigroup Inc. said on Friday it will pay $2 billion to Enron Corp. shareholders who accused it of helping the energy trader in a massive accounting fraud, a move that further cleans up the bank's legal record and could pressure others to settle the case.

Trade Deficit Posts Moderate Rise

The U.S. trade deficit widened less than expected in April to $57 billion, as both exports and imports set records, the Commerce Department said on Friday in a report boding well for U.S. economic growth.

Special Election Decision Looms

Borrowing the kind of apocalyptic language used by the warrior characters that made him one of Hollywood's biggest stars, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is about to decide whether to embark on "the great battle."

Dollar Up on Trade Data

The dollar gained against the euro and yen on Friday, after a report showed a narrower-than-expected U.S. trade deficit in April and a revised improvement in the March shortfall.

Interchange Makes Local Search Buy

Laguna Hills-based Interchange Corp. has made another acquisition to boost its services for local Internet advertising.

Snowboard Gear Maker Moves to Irvine

Snowboard clothing maker Westlife Distribution USA LLC has moved its headquarters to Irvine to be closer to the county's surf, skate and snow sports hub.

Thursday, June 9

AMO: Wall Street Q2 Forecast Too High

Santa Ana-based Advanced Medical Optics Inc. told analysts Thursday that Wall Street's profit expectations for the second quarter were too high by "a nickel" per share, Reuters reported.

China to Protect Textiles

China will protect the rights of its industry in talks with the U.S. and the European Union over surging textile exports, Commerce Minister Bo Xilai said on Thursday.

Greenspan: Inflation Contained

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said on Thursday that with the U.S. economy on a "reasonably firm footing" and underlying prices tame, policy-makers should be able to raise interest rates at a measured pace.

Pacific Liberty Bank Being Bought

Huntington Beach-based Pacific Liberty Bank is being bought for $42 million by First Community Bancorp of Rancho Santa Fe.

Intel Sees Strong Chip Demand

Intel Corp., the world's largest chip maker, on Thursday narrowed the range of its second-quarter revenue forecast to the high end,and possibly higher,citing ongoing strong demand for its notebook computer chips.

Dollar Up, Greenspan Awaited

The dollar held near a nine-month high against the euro on Thursday as traders awaited comments from Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan that could signal optimism over the economy and higher interest rates.

Pegasus Biologics Raises $10M

Pegasus Biologics Inc., an Irvine medical device company, said it raised $10 million in a second round of venture funding.

Ex-BofA Broker Acquitted on 29 Counts

Former Bank of America Corp. broker Theodore Sihpol was acquitted by a Manhattan jury on Thursday of most of the criminal charges against him, dealing a blow to New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer in his efforts to prosecute alleged wrongdoing on Wall

Underwriters Pick Up Sunstone Stock

Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc. said the underwriters of a $250 million stock offering plan to buy another $37 million worth of the company's shares.

Birtcher Nets $74M in Office Sales

In a sign of Orange County's improving office market, Laguna Niguel-based Birtcher Anderson Realty LLC said it recently sold a pair of office buildings for $74.4 million,43% more than it paid to buy them less than two years ago.

OC Housing Affordability Down in April

Orange County's housing affordability declined in April from a year ago, a realtor trade group said Thursday.

Wednesday, June 8

Northrop Said To Join EADS Tanker Bid

Northrop Grumman Corp. tentatively has agreed to team up with Europe's largest defense contractor to fight Boeing Co. for an expected refueling-plane contract that could be worth more than $50 billion, a defense-contracting expert said Wednesday.

White House Trims Growth Forecast

The White House trimmed its forecast for 2005 economic growth and ramped up inflation expectations on Wednesday, but said the economy was still expanding at a healthy and sustainable pace.

Stocks Dip, Economic Worries Weigh

Stocks declined slightly on Wednesday, as a lower gross domestic product forecast from the White House outweighed enthusiasm about a higher quarterly profit outlook from chipmaker Texas Instruments Inc.

Blizzard Plans China Games Push

Irvine-based Blizzard Entertainment Corp. plans to announce a marketing and distribution deal in China for its online game "World of Warcraft" with Coca-Cola Co. and China's The9 Ltd.

Economy Seen Improving in 2nd Half

The economy is forecast to grow faster in the second half of 2005 than in the first half, according to a survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia released on Wednesday.

Seagate Vows Demand Strong

Seagate Technology, a top maker of disk drives, on Wednesday said demand for its products is strong and expressed confidence that it will meet its sales and profit targets for the current quarter.

Sew Cal Logo Buys Action Shirts

Sew Cal Logo, Inc., an L.A.-based film wardrobe and surfwear manufacturing company, bought Huntington Beach-based Action Shirts for an undisclosed amount of cash and stock.

Lenovo Q4 Falls, Looks to IBM

China's Lenovo Group Ltd., the world's third-largest PC maker, reported a 12% drop in quarterly profit on Wednesday, below expectations, and said it would look to its newly-acquired IBM PC unit to jumpstart growth.

Hyundai Launches Tech Unit

Fountain Valley-based Hyundai Motor America said Wednesday it launched a unit to provide technology services to Hyundai and Kia Motors America dealers in North America.

Tuesday, June 7

Irvine Co. Eyeing Silicon Valley Campus

The Irvine Company is said to be the leading bidder to turn a Silicon Valley technology campus into homes.

GM to Close Plants, Cut 25,000 Jobs

General Motors Corp. expects to close more assembly and component plants over the next few years, slashing about 25,000 manufacturing jobs, as it battles high costs and shrinking market share, the company's chief executive said on Tuesday.

Cooper Gains on Ocular Buy

Cooper Cos. on Tuesday said its profit and revenue rose sharply in the April quarter as its contact lens sales soared following a big acquisiton.

Unions Call Off Ameriquest Protest

Unions representing government workers in Orange County on Tuesday called off a protest of Orange-based Ameriquest Capital Corp. after striking a pact with the subprime mortgage lender.

Commerce Energy Grows in Texas

Costa Mesa energy provider Commerce Energy Group Inc. said Tuesday it started selling energy in two more Texas markets.

Endo Pharma Wins Appeal

Shares of Endo Pharmaceuticals Holdings rocketed 23% on Tuesday to close at $24.53 on news that the company had won its appeal to market its generic OxyContin products.

QLogic To Open Center in Ireland

Aliso Viejo-based QLogic Corp. plans to open a service center in Ireland, the company said Tuesday.

Siemens Sells Handset Unit to BenQ

Germany's Siemens AG is selling its mobile phones unit to much smaller Taiwanese rival BenQ, it said on Tuesday.

Cox Has Friends on Wall Street

Christopher Cox, whom President Bush wants to serve as the nation's top securities regulator, has gotten his fair share of campaign cash from the financial services sector.

Pasadena Leaves NFL to Anaheim, L.A.

The Pasadena City Council on Monday night withdrew the Rose Bowl from contention to host a future National Football League team, leaving Anaheim and Los Angeles vying for a team.

LG.Philips Wins $5B HP Deal

LG.Philips LCD Co., the No. 2 flat screen maker, said on Tuesday it signed a $5 billion, three-year deal to supply Hewlett-Packard Co. with flat panels.

Avamar Replaces CEO

The chief executive of one of Orange County's best-funded startups stepped down Tuesday.

Apria Explores Company Sale

Apria Healthcare Group Inc., which has done its part to consolidate the fragmented home healthcare industry in the past few years, said it has hired an investment bank as a first step toward possibly being acquired.

Monday, June 6

LETTERS

Letters to the Editors - Media Bias; Irvine Great Park; Lawsuits

Speech Center Founders Work With 350 Kids With Needs

Aleen Agranowitz and Gladys Gleason of the Speech and Language Development Center

Sybron's Moving HQ From Orange to Newport Beach

Executives with Sybron Dental Specialties are moving closer to the beach this fall

DA: Workers' Comp 'Fraud Mills' Rampant

The OC District Attorney's Office wants a 42% boost in funding to combat what it calls rampant workers' comp fraud here

I-5 Widening North of County Line Moves Closer to Reality

The widening of the Santa Ana (I-5) Freeway from OC to L.A. got a recent boost

Babcock: Left Software for Retail Real Estate

It wasn't the most auspicious time for Michele Babcock to drop one career for another.

Pfizer to Buy Vicuron for $1.9B

Pfizer Inc., the world's biggest drugmaker, on Thursday agreed to buy Pennsylvania's Vicuron Pharmaceuticals Inc., a development-stage biotechnology company, for $1.9 billion in cash to broaden its lineup of anti-infectives.

Newport Office Building Trades for Record Price

A record was set in the sale of a Newport Beach office building

PEOPLE

Orange County Businesspeople in the news, on the move

Fluor Moving on Seattle Monorail

A 14-mile monorail set to connect downtown Seattle to the suburbs is a step closer. A Fluor Corp.-led venture wrapped up negotiations with a government-backed group late last week to build the monorail.

CALENDAR

Calendar of OC Business events and announcements - FREE Download

Tyco Jury Deliberations Begin

Jurors began deliberations on Thursday on whether two former top executives at Tyco International Ltd. "systemically looted" $150 million from the company's coffers over four years.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Summaries of other business news and top stories by industry; Economic Indicators

REAL ESTATE DEALS

This week's postings of Real Estate sales and leases

Esterline Buying Local Defense Contractor

Bellevue, Wash.-based Esterline Corp. has bought another Orange County defense contractor.

UCI Gets Another $9M for Alzheimer's, Other Research

UCI received $9 million in grant funding from the National Institute on Aging for Alzheimer's research, in the Healthcare column

Orange Coast's Ko: From Tiny Bubbles to Magazine Publishing

Ruth Ko of Orange Coast magazine

STATE OF THE STATE

Look out for a likely ballot measure that would re-regulate the energy market.

MARKET WATCH

Week's Best, Worst Performers; Roth OC50, Billion Dollar Club, OC Tech; Index Watch, 52-week Performance

Quiksilver Results Top Estimates

Quiksilver Inc. said Monday its profit and sales were higher than expected in the quarter ended April 30.

Orders Closing, Costs Falling at Surging FileNet

FileNet's surging as it closes orders and cuts costs

Park Ave: American Cuisine With Interesting Twists

Park Ave is American cuisine with some interesting twists, in the Executive Dining column

Snow Urges Action To Spur Growth

All the key industrial economies need to concentrate on reforms and on creating an investment climate that spurs capital flows and economic growth, Treasury Secretary John Snow said on Thursday.

Newsletter: Irvine Co. Paid Top Dollar for Verizon Site

The Irvine Company reportedly paid top dollar for the Verizon Wireless campus, in the Real Estate column

Apple May Detail Shift to Intel Chips

Apple Computer Inc. is expected to announce a shift on Monday to using Intel Corp. chips in its Macintosh computer line next year, a risky move costing hundreds of millions of dollars, several media reported.

Real Estate Watch: South County

South County's office vacancy plunged in the first quarter. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Conexant Gets Upgrade,and Warning About Future

Conexant got a Wall Street upgrade,with a big caveat about the future, in the Technology column

MyPrint Changes With Times,Online Bid Pays Off

MyPrint has changed with the times by moving online, in the Media & Marketing column,

First American Buying Bar None

Title insurer First American Corp. is buying Pleasanton-based Bar None Inc. as part of its diversification into automotive and other services.

ProLogis Buying Catellus for $3.6B

ProLogis on Monday said it would buy Catellus Development Corp. for $3.6 billion to form the largest real estate investment trust focused on warehouse and distribution properties.

Gateway CFO Stepping Down

Gateway Inc. Chief Financial Officer Rod Sherwood plans to retire later this year, the company said Monday.

Tour Operators Key Visitor Snare; Disney Travel Brings 1M

Tour operators are working behind the scenes to bring millions to the county

Women Businesses Grow Sales, Build on Rebound

ABOUT THE LIST: Orange County's 30 largest women-owned businesses saw a 10% gain in sales last year

Hot Topic Encore Metropark Headed to Irvine Spectrum

Hot Topic founder's Metropark store is coming to the Irvine Spectrum Center, in the Marketplace column

ICU Moving Production to Salt Lake City

ICU Medical is moving production to Salt Lake City

Drake Expected to Boost Fund Raising, Local Ties

Business leaders and school administrators have high expectations for UC Irvine's incoming chancellor, Michael Drake

Direct Marketers Build $32M Business From Scratch

Jill Gwaltney and Johanna Bracken of Rauxa Direct

Partridge: Subtle Effectiveness

Women in Business Awards,Business Journal winners include Judi Partridge of Eastwood Insurance

Gateway International Pins Hopes on Manufacturing Rollup

Gateway International is pinning its future on a manufacturing rollup

Cox and the SEC

What executives really want to say about Congressman Cox's SEC nomination, an Editorial by Michael Lyster and Rick Reiff

Housing Starts up, Jobless Claims Rise

Housing starts rose in May, but fell shy of expectations, while a separate report on Thursday showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits edged higher.

Agran Shrugs Off Sim's Ideas; Climate Change in D.C.?

Agran Shrugs Off Sim's Ideas; Climate Change in D.C.?

Friday, June 3

Conexant Dropping Use of Skyworks Plant

Woburn Mass.-based Skyworks Solutions Inc. and Conexant Systems Inc. of Newport Beach have let expire a pact to share a Mexico facility.

Vietnam Buying Boeing Planes

Vietnam is expected to sign a contract to buy 4 Boeing 787 "Dreamliner" planes, worth around $500 million at list price, during Prime Minister Phan Van Khai's visit to the United States this month, state-run Voice of Vietnam radio said.

Job Growth Weak in May

Employers added only 78,000 workers to their payrolls last month, the weakest job growth in 21 months, the government said on Friday in a report that fanned worries on Wall Street over a slowing economy.

Sybron Shifting HQ to Newport

Executives with Sybron Dental Specialties Inc. are moving closer to the beach this fall.

New Century Loan Volume Rises

Irvine-based subprime lender New Century Financial Corp. saw a 7% rise in loan volume last month to $4.4 billion, versus a year earlier.

L-3 Buying Titan for $2B

L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. on Friday said it planned to buy Titan Corp. for about $2 billion in cash, expanding its reach in defense-intelligence services.

Goldman Sachs Tapped for OC Bond Sale

The county of Orange has tapped Goldman Sachs Group Inc. as the lead underwriter for the sale of $600 million in bonds to refinance the county's bankruptcy debt.

Investor Wants St. John Shares

A Nevada investment company said Friday it wants to buy shares from St. John Knits International Inc. stockholders who want to cash out of the increasingly private company.

Dollar Weathers Tepid Job Report

The dollar showed resilience on Friday, recovering from an initial slip, after the closely watched U.S. jobs report showed a weaker-than-expected labor market in May.

Thursday, June 2

Stocks Quiet Ahead of Jobs Data

Stocks and bonds cooled off but held the proceeds of recent rallies Thursday, conserving energy for Friday's key jobs report.

Wet Seal Jumps on May Sales

Wet Seal Inc. continued to build on its comeback in May, with Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. eking out a same-store sales gain, the county's biggest apparel retailers said on Thursday.

Labor Costs Surge, Jobless Caims Climb

Business productivity at the start of the year was a bit stronger than first thought, the government said on Thursday, but labor costs rose at a swift 3.3%annual rate, well ahead of expectations.

CSUF Wins $1.6M Contract From SBA

California State University, Fullerton, said Thursday it won a contract renewal worth $1.6 million from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Edwards Restructures 3F Pact

Edwards Lifesciences Corp. on Thursday said it agreed to pay 3F Therapeutics Inc. $25 million to restructure a development and supply pact.

Bush Taps Cox for SEC

Newport Beach Republican Congressman Christopher Cox was tapped by President Bush Thursday to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission.

China Won't Link Yuan to Textiles Row

China will not link the issue of reforming its currency with an international row over its booming textile exports, Commerce Minister Bo Xilai said on Thursday.

Sun Micro Buying StorageTek for $4.1B

Network computer maker Sun Microsystems Inc. said on Thursday it agreed to buy Storage Technology Corp. for $4.1 billion in cash, bolstering its presence in the fast-growing market for data storage.

Oftelie Leaving Business Council

Stan Oftelie, chief executive of the Orange County Business Council since 1997, is stepping down, the group said Thursday.

Wednesday, June 1

Allergan Psoriasis Pill OK'd for Testing

Regulators have told Allergan Inc. how to structure a clinical trial for its tazarotene pill to treat psoriasis, the company said Wednesday.

Pending Home Sales Index at Record

Pending sales of existing homes rose to a record in April, indicating that home sales in May and June could hit new highs, data released on Wednesday by the National Association of Realtors showed.

SEC Chairman Resigning

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman William Donaldson said on Wednesday he will resign June 30, raising questions about whether President George W. Bush will nominate a successor who will press forward with the agency's tough post-Enron reforms.

Chain Store Sales Slow

Chain store sales slowed in the last week of May, as cool weather curbed the sales of seasonal goods, a report said on Wednesday.

Landslide in Laguna's Bluebird Canyon

A landslide sent homes crashing down a hill in the Bluebird Canyon section of Laguna Beach early Wednesday.

May Factory Growth Slows

Growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector slowed more than expected in May, hurt by a weak auto industry, igniting concerns about a slowdown in the broader economy, a report showed on Wednesday.

UCI Gets $40M Grant

The University of California, Irvine, on Wednesday said it was awarded $40 million to set up the Pacific-Southwest Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research.

Auto Sales Mixed in May

Orange County-based automakers reported mixed May auto sales on Wednesday.

Construction Spending Hits High

Construction spending jumped by a smaller-than-expected 0.5% in April but still reached another record high as low mortgage interest rates gave fresh wind to the long-running housing boom, a government report showed on Wednesday.

Ingram: Q2 Outlook Unchanged

Greg Spierkel's first act as chief executive of Santa Ana-based Ingram Micro Inc.: reassure investors that its second-quarter outlook is unchanged.

Sunstone Stock Sale Under Way

San Clemente-based Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc. said on Wednesday that its 9 million stock sale is under way.