Stories for September 2009

Wednesday, September 30

Big Pharma Jumps Back into Flu Business

A dearth of new products, new technologies and fresh commitments by governments scrambling to protect their populations from pandemic threats have lured drugmakers back into the flu vaccine business.

Private Sector Job Cuts at 1-Year Low

Job cuts at private employers fell in September to the slowest pace in more than a year, according to a private report on Wednesday that suggested businesses may start hiring again sometime early next year.

Forbes 400 Richest Americans: OC Contingent

The wealthiest of Orange County saw some fluctuations but largely held their own on Forbes' 2009 list of the 400 richest Americans.

Western Digital Moving HQ to Irvine

Western Digital Corp. said on Wednesday it would be relocating its headquarters from Lake Forest to Irvine's Park Place office campus next year.

Valeant Buying Australian Skin Care Company

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, an Aliso Viejo-based drug maker, said Wednesday that it was buying a skin care company to build up its Australian dermatology business.

BofA to Sell Asset Management Unit for $1B

Bank of America Corp. has struck a deal to sell a long-term asset management business, part of its Columbia Management division, to Ameriprise Financial Inc. for about $1 billion.

Appeals Court: Former Broadcom CFO Comments Can Go to Trial

Former Broadcom Corp. financial chief Bill Ruehle saw an early legal win reversed Wednesday when a federal appeals court said his statements to during a probe of stock options backdating at the chipmaker could be used by prosecutors in their case against

Tuesday, September 29

Beckman Coulter Cutting Jobs

Beckman Coulter Inc., a maker of diagnostic medical testing equipment and supplies, is cutting 84 jobs in Orange County, according to a company spokeswoman.

Broadcom Shares Rise on Analyst Upgrade

Shares of Irvine-based Broadcom Corp. got a lift Tuesday after an analyst raised his rating on the stock citing the prospect of higher sales of chips for servers, PCs, set-top boxes and smartphones.

Consumer Woes Overshadow Housing Cheer

House prices rose for a third month in July, but consumer confidence fell unexpectedly in September as the worst job market in 26 years fueled worries about personal finances, private reports showed on Tuesday.

MSC Takes Raised $372M Buyout Deal From Original Suitor

Santa Ana's MSC.Software Corp. has signed a new deal to be acquired by Symphony Technology Group LLC after the Palo Alto-based private equity firm upped its offer in a monthlong bidding war.

FDIC Propose Banks Prepay Fees

Banking regulators proposed on Tuesday that banks prepay three years of fees to help cover the rising cost of bank failures, facing a $100-billion cleanup bill through 2013.

Tough Economic Times Help Perrigo Medicine Sales

Hard economic times may spell good times at Perrigo Co., the largest U.S. maker of store-brand generic medicines, as consumers hunt for savings.

Monday, September 28

Firm Foundation

McCarthy’s Employees Are Part Owners With Access to Construction Co.’s Vacation Condos

Some companies equate being worker-friendly with onsite foosball tables, catered lunches, miniature golf outings and casual Fridays

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Workers’ Paradise

County’s Best Places to Work Mix Perks, Employee Development

No matter how much you might like where you work, you’re bound to find something to be jealous of at the companies on the Business Journal’s inaugural Best Places to Work list.

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The 21st Century Stealth Tax

VIEWPOINT

The county’s treasurer-tax collector thinks a proposed state tax is one tax too many, in Viewpoint

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REAL ESTATE WATCH: RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

Research and Development Space Saw Slow Second Quarter

Research and development space saw a slow second quarter, in Real Estate Watch

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REAL ESTATE DEALS

Sales and leases of offices, industrial buildings, retail space and apartments

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Mystery Surrounding 2323 Main Now Includes Tenants

Santa Ana’s 3 MacArthur Sale to Close; Blenheim Farms Still is on the Market, at Discount

The mystery surrounding 2323 Main now includes its tenants, in the Real Estate column by Mark Mueller

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Brand Affinity Strikes Pact with CBS Billboard Unit

Marshall Advertising Starts Next Phase of Toll Roads Work; Ink Markets ‘Drum King’ Game

A startup that looks to hook up celebrities and athletes with online advertisers is getting into billboards, in the Media & Marketing column

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Watson, Teva Positioning for Generic Biotechnology Drugs

LifeMasters to Diversify After It Emerges From Bankruptcy; AMDL Renames, Starts Subsidiary

Some believe a few local drug makers could be among the first producers of generic biotechnology drugs, in the Healthcare column

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Drug Maker Readies North County Plant

HEALTHCARE: Biotech plans to hire hundreds of workers as part of push

Seattle biotechnology company Dendreon plans to use Seal Beach as part of a cancer drug push

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Public Relations Agencies Feel Sting of Cut Marketing Budgets

MARKETING: Social media is saving grace; talk of turnaround

Public relations firms had a tough past year, but change could be on the horizon

Nearly Dozen Locals Joined Russell 2000

About a dozen local companies have been added to the Russell 2000 index of smaller stocks

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Industry Sources Name Downey Building Buyer

REAL ESTATE: Iranian by way of Utah has winning bid with FDIC

A rich Salt Lake City businessman is said to be in escrow to buy the former Newport Beach headquarters of defunct Downey Financial

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KUDOS

A look at people, companies and institutions receiving awards, accolades, grants and other honors

Convention Booth Maker Gets Bigger HQ, Smaller Cost

Early Funding Group Tech Coast Angels Goes After Even Smaller Companies With SeedTrack

Tech Coast Angels has launched SeedTrack, a program to finance companies even smaller than what the group usually deals with, in the Small Business column

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Analysts Downplay STEC Competition

TECHNOLOGY: Monopoly will end, but early lead likely to hold

The prospect of brewing competition for STEC isn’t as daunting as it seems

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Experian, Emboldened by Court Win, Pushes ID Theft Service

FINANCE: Lawsuit strikes blow at prevention service of LifeLock

The local operation of Britain’s Experian Group is planning to step up its push into the market for identity theft prevention services

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‘Never Leaving’

Gensler Retains Workers With Career Building, Flexible Schedules, Regular Bonuses, Training

The Newport Beach office of the San Francisco-based architecture and interior design firm formally known as M. Arthur Gensler Jr. & Associates looks to hire dedicated employees who’ll do whatever it takes to give clients what they want.

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Windfall Brings Fisker Opportunity, Critics; Guv Pitches OCPAC Fest

OC Insider Column by Rick Reiff

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Rad Gig

Blizzard is Geek Heaven for 1,000-Plus Workers

A look at what makes Blizzard’s work environment unique

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Mercedes Dealer Sees Spillover from Cash for Clunkers

Former Boutique Managers Set Out on Their Own, Write Blog About County’s Speciality Shops

Even luxury auto dealers got in on the “cash for clunkers” action, in the Marketplace column by Sherri Cruz

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UCI Expanding Study of Computer Games with Center

Smith Micro Buying Maker of Smartphone Software; Dwight Decker Named to New Board

UC Irvine is expanding its study of computer games, in the Technology column by Sarah Tolkoff

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Autobytel Changing Gears

AUTO: Online marketer refines dealer leads, downplays Web ads

Autobytel is changing its strategy by focusing on better leads for auto dealers

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Suitors Revealed in MSC Bidding War

Two firms this month have made three counter offers for MSC with the latest coming in last week at $367 million.

Del Taco Boss Courts Franchisees, Growth

FOOD: Murphy borrowing from playbook of bagel chain he revived

A look at the plans of Del Taco’s third chief executive in the past two years

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PEOPLE

Wood to Head Toyota Forklift Unit

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

NEWS OF THE WEEK

This past week’s news from www.ocbj.com and other sources

Investors Bet on Answer for Grubb Debt Question

REAL ESTATE: Shares surge in days before $27 million payment is due

Has Grubb & Ellis found a way to diffuse its debt bomb?

Breaking the Cycle

Advertising Agency Most Counters Burnout with Office Designed with Touches of Home

When John Most started his advertising agency five years ago, he wanted it to be different from the agencies he’d worked for.

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Autonomy, Perks, Bonuses Fuel Aerospace Consultant

WORKPLACE: Large-company refugees like nimbleness of Celeris

“Nothing says thank you like cash,” says Rex Wiig, president of Anaheim-based Celeris Systems Inc.

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‘Feels Like Family’

CBC Benefit Mixes Traditional Perks, Spa/Vacation Bonuses

The Lake Forest office of insurance brokerage CBC Benefit & Insurance Services has no problem mixing business with pleasure.

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Precept: Treat Employees Well, They’ll Do Same for Customers

It’s the classic management-labor relations question that most companies consider as they grow: Employees first or customers first?

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Arbitech Brings Laguna Vibe to ‘Concrete Jungle’ in Irvine

TECHNOLOGY: Co. provides food, fun and family atmosphere

Technology products distributor Arbitech LLC is working to hold on to its laid-back Laguna Beach vibe in an Irvine Spectrum office park

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Motorcycle Mission

Trade Group Promotes Bikes, Makers; Caters to Biker Workers

The Irvine-based Motorcycle Industry Council is a rider’s dream.

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Bingham Enjoys Small Firm Teamwork, Big-Time Benefits

LAW: Attorneys do charity, fun outings together; enjoy free food

Employees at the Costa Mesa office of Boston-based Bingham McCutchen LLP like its split personality.

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'Feels Like Family'

CBC Benefit Mixes Traditional Perks, Spa/Vacation Bonuses

Industry Sources Name Former Downey Building Buyer

A rich Salt Lake City businessman is said to be in escrow to buy the former Newport Beach headquarters of failed savings and loan operator Downey Financial Corp.

UCI Expanding Study of Computer Games with Center

UC Irvine is expanding its study of computer games, in the Technology column

Suitors Revealed in MSC Bidding War

Two firms this month have made three counter offers for MSC with the latest coming in last week at $367 million.

Windfall Brings Fisker Opportunity, Critics; Guv Pitches OCPAC Fest

Windfall Brings Fisker Opportunity, Critics; Guv Pitches OCPAC Fest

READER LETTERS

Letters to the Editor - Tort Reform

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County. Sept. 28-Oct. 7, 2009

Watson, Teva Positioning for Generic Biotechnology Drugs

Some believe a few local drug makers could be among the first producers of generic biotechnology drugs, in the Healthcare column by Vita Reed

LIVING

DRINK OF THE WEEK: Chanel cocktail, Savannah Chop House, Laguna Niguel

Xerox to Buy Affiliated Computer for $6.4B

Xerox Corp. plans to buy Affiliated Computer Services Inc in a $6.4 billion cash-and-stock deal that expands the copier company into outsourcing and data center management.

Investors Bet on Answer for Grubb Debt Question

Has Grubb & Ellis found a way to diffuse its debt bomb?

Stocks Jump as Part of Larger Rally

It was a good deal on Wall Street for just about all of Orange County's major publicly traded companies.

Experian, Emboldened by Court Win, Pushes ID Theft Service

The local operation of Britain's Experian Group is planning to step up its push into the market for identity theft prevention services

Mercedes Dealer Sees Spillover from Cash for Clunkers

Even luxury auto dealers got in on the "cash for clunkers" action, in the Marketplace column

Solvay Sells Drugs Unit to Abbott for $6.6B

Belgian drugs, chemicals and plastics maker Solvay said on Monday it would sell its drugs unit to U.S. partner Abbott Laboratories for 4.5 billion euros ($6.6 billion) in cash and reinvest in chemicals and plastics.

Precept: Treat Employees Well, They'll Do Same for Customers

Precept: Treat Employees Well, They'll Do Same for Customers

Brand Affinity Strikes Pact with CBS Billboard Unit

A startup that looks to hook up celebrities and athletes with online advertisers is getting into billboards, in the Media & Marketing column

VIEWPOINT

The county's treasurer-tax collector thinks a proposed state tax is one tax too many, in Viewpoint

Public Relations Agencies Feel Sting of Cut Marketing Budgets

Public relations firms had a tough past year, but change could be on the horizon

Report: Bank of America Suspends ACORN Commitments

Bank of America Corp. has suspended its current commitments to ACORN Housing, an affiliate of Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), a scandal-hit liberal grassroots group, the Wall Street Journal said on Monday.

MARKET WATCH

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

OCBJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES

Corporate Finance 2009

Breaking the Cycle

Advertising Agency Most Counters Burnout with Office Designed with Touches of Home

Friday, September 25

Large-Loan Bank Losses Triple to $53B

Regulators say that the level of losses from syndicated loans facing banks and other financial institutions tripled to $53 billion in 2009, due to poor underwriting standards and the continuing weakness in economic conditions.

Edwards Upgraded, Shares Rise

Shares of Irvine-based heart valve maker Edwards Lifesciences Corp. rose Friday after an analyst upgraded the stock.

Small Businesses See Economy Improving

Many small businesses are optimistic about growth and see the economy improving in three to six months, according to a survey released on Friday.

Median Home Price Slides Under $500,000

The price of an existing Orange County home inched back below the $500,000 mark in August, the California Association of Realtors said on Friday.

Durable Goods Orders Drop 2.4% in August

New orders for long-lasting manufactured goods fell unexpectedly in August, dropping by their biggest margin in seven months, following a plunge in commercial aircraft orders, the government reported on Friday.

STEC Sees Bounce on Upgrade

Dented highflier STEC Inc. of Santa Ana was up on a down day for Wall Street Friday after an analyst upped his rating on the maker of a new type of drive.

Billabong Looking to Reprice Options for Naude, Others

The Australian parent company of Irvine clothing company Billabong USA is looking to lower the price for exercising options for local chief Paul Naude and other executives.

Thursday, September 24

Appeals Court Finds Edwards' Patents Not Infringed

Edwards Lifesciences Corp., an Irvine heart valve maker, said Thursday that a federal appeals court affirmed a ruling against it in a patent infringement case.

Pentagon Launches 3rd Try to Buy Refueling Planes

The Defense Department said Thursday it was relaunching a competition for a multibillion-dollar fleet of mid-air refueling planes after two botched tries to award the deal.

Home Sales, Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Drop

The number of workers filing new claims for jobless benefits fell last week, but a surprise drop in sales of existing homes in August suggested the economy's recovery from a severe recession would be slow.

Appeals Court Passes on Samueli Plea Bargain

A federal appeals court has declined to weigh in on a judge's rejection of Broadcom Corp. cofounder Henry Samueli's 2008 plea deal in a probe into stock options backdating at the Irvine chipmaker.

Clean Energy Buying Natural Gas Vehicle Conversion Co.

Seal Beach-based Clean Energy Fuels Corp., an operator of natural gas fueling stations for fleets, is paying $8.3 million to buy a Dallas company it has helped finance.

Bank Overdraft Fee Cut May Spur More Costs

The era of free bank accounts may be headed for an end, if a new political push to curb overdraft fees is successful.

Wednesday, September 23

Marriott Shrinks Luxury Timeshare Segment

Marriott International Inc. said it would cut prices and scale back development plans for its luxury timeshare segment, resulting in a $760 million charge, because of soft demand in this business.

SunCal, Lehman Face Off in Bankruptcy Court

Irvine-based master developer SunCal Cos. and onetime ally Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. are facing off in court over the fate of San Clemente's Marblehead Coastal and other projects, according to Bloomberg.

Fed Says Recovery is Underway

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday said that the economy was in recovery after a severe downturn and decided to slow purchases of mortgage debt to extend that program's life until the end of next March.

Biotech Testing Co. Raises $23M

Agendia BV, a Dutch maker of a breast cancer test with its U.S. headquarters and a lab in Huntington Beach, has raised $23 million in a fifth round of funding.

Report: Private Equity Firms Revealed in MSC.Software Bidding War

The mystery suitors in an ongoing bidding war for Santa Ana's MSC.Software Corp. have been revealed as San Francisco-based private equity firms Vector Capital Corp. and Golden Gate Capital, according to a story in New York-based trade publication the Deal

Study Shows U.S. Bank CEO Pay Dwarfs Rest of World

Jiang Jianqing, chairman of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, made just $234,700 in 2008. That's less than 2 percent of the $19.6 million awarded to Jamie Dimon, chief executive of the world's fourth-largest bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Tuesday, September 22

July Home Prices Up 0.3%, Off 4.2% in Year

Single-family home prices rose by a seasonally adjusted 0.3 percent in July from June but were 4.2 percent lower than a year earlier and 10.5 percent below their April 2007 peak, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said on Tuesday.

Geithner: Economy at "Beginnings" of Recovery

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Tuesday said that the economy appeared to be picking up steam and G20 leaders gathering in Pittsburgh this week would strive to ensure the recovery was balanced.

Upscale Hybrid Maker Fisker Gets $529M Government Loan

Irvine-based Fisker Automotive Inc. has been awarded a $528.7 million loan from the Energy Department to go toward development and production of its upscale hybrid electric cars.

Pimco's Gross Donates $8 Million to Stamp Museum

Bond fund manager and stamp collector Bill Gross has given $8 million to the National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C.

Report: FDIC May Tap Banks for Funds

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp may ask healthy banks to lend billions of dollars to restore the health of the depleted fund that safeguards bank deposits, the New York Times reported, citing senior regulators.

MSC Gets Higher Counter Offer in Ongoing Bidding War

If it's Tuesday, then there must be a new offer for in the ongoing bidding war for Santa Ana's MSC.Software Corp.

Monday, September 21

Visiogen Investor: Lens Maker Needed “Some Muscle”

Allergan Lobbies for Longer Biotechnology Drug Protection in Healthcare Reform Package

A Visiogen investor gives his opinion on the eye device maker, in the Healthcare column by Vita Reed

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Latest in Sage Restructuring: VP To Oversee Resellers

Targus Turns Focus to Consumers With Logo, New Line; Kofax Buys Company to Fill Need

Sage Software is revamping how it sells its software for small and midsize businesses, in the Technology column

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Jones Lang LaSalle Names Head of Brokerage Operations

Valeant Pharmaceuticals Taps Dallas-Based Company to Sublease Aliso Viejo Headquarters

The local office of Jones Lang LaSalle has a new head of brokerage operations and an aggressive growth plan, in the Real Estate column

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PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

AROUND THE COUNTY

Projects, developments and other activity in cities in and around OC

NEWS OF THE WEEK

This past week’s news from www.ocbj.com and other sources

Simple Green Maker Sees Clorox Blitz, Looks to New Products

CLEANERS: Company bigger among commercial consumers

Once at the forefront of environmentally friendly cleaning products, Simple Green has seen others steal its thunder

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Kelley Blue Book Launches Online Classified Web Site

AUTOMOTIVE: Irvine co. now in competition with former clients

Kelley Blue Book has launched its own Web site for car sales

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BirchStreet Systems Plans to Expand through Minority Investor

TECHNOLOGY: Private equity invests in hotel software maker

In the funding desert, BirchStreet Systems is a bit of an oasis

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Ista Expanding On Promise of Bepreve

HEALTHCARE: Eye drug maker eyes $100M sales; takeover target

Ista Pharmaceuticals has high hopes for its itchy eye drugs

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Billing Issue Spurs Health Company Bankruptcy

HEALTHCARE: LifeMasters plans to settle federal debt in court

Irvine’s LifeMasters has filed for bankruptcy as a way to solve a dispute with the federal government,

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Restructured D-Link Sees Revenue Gains

TECHNOLOGY: Networking gear maker boosts marketing

D-Link Systems is seeing an early-year restructuring pay off

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Impac Eyes Title Insurer, Mortgages

FINANCE: Once left for dead, company outlines growth plans

A long nightmare seems to be easing for Impac Mortgage

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Paper Goods Maker Subleases Warehouse

REAL ESTATE: Solaris takes Expo Design space in Buena Park

Solaris Paper is expanding its operations into OC

Pill Powerhouse

Amway’s Nutrilite Sells $3B in Vitamins From Buena Park

What began as a one-room lab on Balboa Island in 1927 now is a powerhouse in health supplements

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Giving Arms of OC’s Largest Companies Grant $145M

CHARITY: Recession hitting grants in ’09; basic needs charities get funds

Orange County’s corporate foundations and giving programs gave $144.7 million to local, regional and national charities in the past year or so.

Funding Gap

Nonprofits Host Events, Find Grants, Start Side Businesses to Meet Increased Demand

A look at what the “new normal” is for local foundations

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Public Options Already Working

VIEWPOINT

One local executive argues that the public option already is working, in Viewpoint, by Roy Little

REAL ESTATE WATCH: Manufacturing & Warehouse

Industrial Sector Sees Some Leasing Stability as Vacancy Stays Low

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

REAL ESTATE DEALS

Sales and leases of offices, industrial buildings, retail space and apartments

Sales and leases of offices, industrial buildings, retail space and apartments

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Suzuki Ad Work Settles With San Francisco’s Questus

O’Leary Lands Wetzel’s, Sage Hill School; PR Talent Sees Unleashing of Year-End Spending

American Suzuki Motor has moved what was left of its $100 million advertising account to a San Francisco agency, in the Media & Marketing column

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TRAVELOGUE

Copy Editor Courtney Baird’s Visit to Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Boeing Acquiring Cos. for Cyber Push

500 People Work on Pentagon-Led Technology Here

Boeing is aligning its local defense operations in a bid to be the leading supplier for cyber security

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Private Foundations Keep Up Grants to Strapped Charities

How OC’s private foundations have spent their funds in the past few years

AROUND THE COUNTY

Projects, developments and other activity in cities in and around OC

Kelley Blue Book Launches Online Classified Web Site

Kelley Blue Book has launched its own Web site for car sales

Edwards: Heart Valve Effective for High-Risk Patients

Edwards Lifesciences Corp. of Irvine said Monday that nearly two-thirds of high-risk patients who received its less-invasive heart valve remained alive two years after treatment.

Valeant Plans to Seek Approval for Epilepsy Drug Candidate

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, an Aliso Viejo-based drug maker, said Monday that it plans to submit U.S. and European regulatory applications for an epilepsy drug candidate.

Dell to Buy Perot Systems for $3.9B

Dell Inc. plans to buy Perot Systems Corp. for about $3.9 billion, paying a steep 67.5 percent premium to expand its technology services business to compete with Hewlett-Packard Co. and IBM.

Boeing Acquiring Cos. for Cyber Push

Boeing is aligning its local defense operations in a bid to be the leading supplier for cyber security

Quality Systems Names COO, Director

Quality Systems Inc., an Irvine medical software maker, said Monday it has appointed Philip Kaplan, a former company director, as its new chief operating officer.

MARKET WATCH

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

REAL ESTATE DEALS

Sales and leases of offices, industrial buildings, retail space and apartments

Holiday Spending Seen Flat

Holiday spending is expected to be flat versus a year ago, as consumers remain cautious and the national unemployment rate hovers at nearly 10 percent, Deloitte said in a forecast released late on Sunday.

OCBJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES

OC HOT SPOTS 2009

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County. September 21-30, 2009

How UC Lessened Investment Losses; Ueberroth Eyes Deals

How UC Lessened Investment Losses; Ueberroth Eyes Deals

Equifax: Mortgage Delinquencies Set Record

High unemployment keeps pushing up the rate of mortgage delinquencies, which could in turn drive personal bankruptcies and home foreclosures, monthly data from the Equifax Inc. credit bureau showed on Monday.

Suzuki Ad Work Settles With San Francisco's Questus

American Suzuki Motor has moved what was left of its $100 million advertising account to a San Francisco agency, in the Media & Marketing column

STEC Continues Slide on Competition Concerns

Shares of Santa Ana's STEC Inc., a highflying maker of flash memory drives for corporate and industrial uses, continued a bearish turn on Monday after an analyst recently expressed concerns about looming competition.

Jones Lang LaSalle Names Head of Brokerage Operations

The local office of Jones Lang LaSalle has a new head of brokerage operations and an aggressive growth plan, in the Real Estate column

BirchStreet Systems Plans to Expand through Minority Investor

In the funding desert, BirchStreet Systems is a bit of an oasis

Private Foundations Keep Up Grants to Strapped Charities

How OC's private foundations have spent their funds in the past few years

Latest in Sage Restructuring: VP To Oversee Resellers

Sage Software is revamping how it sells its software for small and midsize businesses, in the Technology column

Giving Arms of OC's Largest Companies Grant $145M

CHARITY: Recession hitting grants in '09; basic needs charities get funds

Friday, September 18

Arena Weight-Loss Trial Disappoints Investors

Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s obesity drug disappointed investors in a second big clinical trial, sending shares plunging 33 percent on Friday from their highs on Thursday night.

County's August Job Losses Show Improvement

Orange County lost 63,600 jobs in August from a year earlier, an improvement from the 68,000 jobs lost in July from the previous year.

FDIC to Consider Ways to Replenish Deposit Fund

Bank regulators are considering tapping a line of credit with the Treasury Department and may explore other lesser-known options to replenish the dwindling fund that safeguards bank deposits.

Report: FBI, Department of Justice Investigating Bank of America's Merrill Deal

Authorities are conducting a criminal probe into Bank of America Corp's purchase of Merrill Lynch, the Charlotte Observer reported on Friday.

Autobytel Gets Nasdaq Notice About Stock Price

Irvine-based automotive marketing company Autobytel Inc. faces the prospect of delisting from Nasdaq because of its low stock price, the company said Friday.

WSJ: Pang Allegedly Had Drugs in His System at Death

Indicted Newport Beach financier Danny Pang had traces of drugs in his system when he died, the Wall Street Journal is reporting.

Thursday, September 17

Business Travel Slump Eases, Airlines Say

Airlines are at last beginning to fill vacant business-class seats in a sign that a slump in cross-border trade is easing, an industry body said on Thursday.

Original Bidder Matches Counter Offer for Santa Ana's MSC.Software

The original private equity suitor in an ongoing bidding war for Santa Ana's MSC.Software Corp. upped its offer on Thursday.

Sunstone Hands Back Second Hotel, Stops Paying on Another

San Clemente-based Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc. has turned over to lenders its second hotel since June after it couldn't come to terms on reworking a mortgage.

Housing Starts, Permits Touch 9 Month High

Groundbreaking for homes and permits for future building scaled a nine-month high in August, and the number of people filing new claims for jobless benefits fell last week, boosting chances of a robust economic recovery.

FedEx Profit Tumbles, Says Plans to Raise Rates

Package delivery giant and economic bellwether FedEx Corp. reported a 53 percent drop in quarterly profit on Thursday as the worldwide economic downturn continued to weigh on shipping volumes.

Wednesday, September 16

Ford Sees More Opportunity for Cost Cuts

Ford Motor Co. is on track to have cut structural costs by up to $15 billion since 2005, but has room to make further reductions, the automaker's chief financial officer said on Wednesday.

Regulators Warn Allergan About Latisse Web Site

The Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday that it has sent a warning letter to Irvine-based Allergan Inc. about the Web site for its Latisse eyelash-growing drug.

Blockbuster to Close Up to 960 Stores by End of 2010

Top movie rental chain Blockbuster Inc., which is facing tough competition from Netflix Inc. and Coinstar Inc.'s Redbox, plans to close up to 960 stores by the end of next year.

Fountain Valley Device Maker Alpine Bought for $43M

Alpine Biomed Holdings Corp., a Fountain Valley-based medical device maker, has been bought for $43.2 million by Natus Medical Inc. of San Carlos.

Nursing Home Operators Sun, Skilled Rise on Healthcare Proposal

Shares of two Orange County-based nursing home companies rose Wednesday on news of lower-than-expected Medicare cuts in a federal healthcare reform proposal.

Mortgage Demand Drops, Supply Caps Improvement

Demand for home loans fell by more than 8 percent as fixed mortgage rates rose last week in a banking period shortened by the Labor Day holiday, the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Wednesday.

Contractor Primoris Wins $50M, Three-Year Contract Extension

Lake Forest-based construction and engineering company Primoris Services Corp. said Wednesday its ARB Inc. unit extended a contract with an undisclosed oil and gas company that could generate up to $50 million in revenue through 2012.

Tuesday, September 15

Best Buy Profit Misses by Penny; Outlook Raised

Top consumer electronics chain Best Buy Co. reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday on weak sales of items such as videogames and cameras, but raised its forecast for the full year.

Home Prices Rise Nearly $8,000 in August

Orange County's median home price increased by nearly $8,000 in August from July, as sales of lower-priced foreclosures here and across the Southland continued to decline.

Kroger 2nd-Quarter Profit Down, Full-Year Forecast Cut

Supermarket operator Kroger Co. posted quarterly profit below Wall Street estimates and trimmed its full-year forecast, sending its shares down 6.3 percent.

MSC Gets Higher, Dueling Private Equity Bids

A bidding war is playing out for Santa Ana industrial software maker MSC.Software Corp.

Bernanke Says Recession "Very Likely" Over

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Tuesday that the worst recession since the Great Depression was probably over, but the recovery would be slow and take time to create new jobs.

Irvine Disease Management Co. Files for Bankruptcy

LifeMasters Supported SelfCare Inc., an Irvine-based disease management company, has filed for bankruptcy.

Monday, September 14

Big Santa Ana Redevelopment Project Signs on Builders

Advanced Real Estate Services Buys Santa Ana Apartments; SEC Approves Grubb’s Fund

Craig Atkins’ City Ventures has plans for a big project in Santa Ana, in the Real Estate column

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Still Building

Ayres Puts Up Three Hotels, More in Works

Ayres Hotels has opened three hotels this year as just about everybody else retrenches

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After Microsoft, Uniloc Eyes Growth, IPO

TECHNOLOGY: $388M legal win still unsettled, but has opened doors

Uniloc took on Microsoft and won big

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Pacific Sunwear CEO Outlines Comeback Plan

RETAIL: Teen clothes seller eyes big brands, shoes, hip factor

The new chief executive at mall retailer Pacific Sunwear has outlined his turnaround tactics

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Makar Sells HQ Site to Outlet Developer

Outlet mall developer Craig Realty Group has acquired a Newport Beach office from Makar Properties

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Who Needs Wall Street? Not Merage Grads; Web Winner

Inside OC

OC INSIDER COLUMN by Rick Reiff

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Medtronic Emerges as Key Edwards Valve Rival

HEALTHCARE: Two now split young market, others set to jump in

Medtronic is emerging as the key rival to Edwards Lifesciences for a new type of heart valve

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Kingston Sees Better Year as Industry Regulates

TECHNOLOGY: Chip surplus hit revenue; consolidation to help

Memory products maker Kingston Technology is seeing a prolonged price slump ease

Reform Outlook

Key Medical Device Executives Say It’s Likely, Others Not So Sure

Some medical device makers say healthcare reform will happen

Reverse Mortgage Lending Sees Consolidation, Stimulus Boost

FINANCE: Wells, BofA now lead segment once ruled by IndyMac

Reverse mortgage lenders have seen consolidation and a stimulus boost

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Below-Radar CorVel: Profit, Stock Run-Up

HEALTHCARE: Workers’ comp claims manager has cash, no debt

Shares of CorVel are surging with growth at the provider of workers’ compensation services and software

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NEWS OF THE WEEK

This past week’s news from www.ocbj.com and other sources

This past week’s news from www.ocbj.com and other sources

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Stir Foods Sees Business from Fast Food Value Menus

Credit Unions Provide Stability for Financial Software Co.; Pogo Stick Maker Eyes $1M Sales

A seller of soups, sauces and dressings is growing with fast food chains thriving on value meals, in the Small Business column by Dan Beighley

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KUDOS

A look at people, companies and institutions receiving awards, accolades, grants and other honors

A look at people, companies and institutions receiving awards, accolades, grants and other honors

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

John’s Incredible Pizza Debut Gives Lift to Buena Park Mall

Wahoo’s Hires VP for Franchise Expansion; Traditional Jewelers Hosting Charity Events

John’s Incredible Pizza has boosted the struggling Buena Park Downtown mall, in the Marketplace column

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TTM Technologies Shifts Work to Santa Ana from L.A.

Marshal8e6 Shortens Name Again After Year of Changes; Broadcom Lands Chip Customers

Circuit board maker TTM Technologies is closing two California plants and moving some work to Santa Ana, in the Technology column

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Synovis Expands on Pegasus Buy, Hires 25 in Irvine

Edwards Enrolls Patients for Sapien Trial, Completes Sale of Product Line to Former Parent

Minnesota’s Synovis is rebuilding a medical products business in Irvine, in the Healthcare column

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Restaurants Turn to Social Media to Counter Downturn

WebVisible Tours Small Businesses; Motorcycle Dealer Does Targeted Web, Local Marketing

Some upscale restaurants are following their fast food brethren into social media marketing, in the Media & Marketing column

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REAL ESTATE DEALS

Sales and leases of offices, industrial buildings, retail space and apartments

Sales and leases of offices, industrial buildings, retail space and apartments

REAL ESTATE WATCH: North & Central County

Low Demand Sustains Downturn in North, Central County Industrial

Numbers for the North, Central County industrial markets aren’t so bad, but demand is another matter, in Real Estate Watch

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VIEWPOINT

Five Steps to Reform

Healthcare reform needs to look at the demand side as well as supply, in Viewpoint

Architects Soliciting Business to Withstand Recession

DEVELOPMENT: Firms expand expertise, downsize employees

Change has been the name of the game for Orange County’s architecture firms during the recession.

Architecture Industry Bracing for More Bad Years

ARCHITECTURE: Top 30 firms see 9% drop in yearly billings

The recession took a big bite out of Orange County’s architecture industry in the past year.

Recruiting Rules

Architecture Firms Compete for Graduates with Computer, Engineering Skills for Advantage

Fewer architecture firms may be hiring, but they still are competing for the best talent.

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Housing Crash Knocked Down Engineering Cos. Growth

ENGINEERING: Cos. targeting federally funded projects for work

The crash of housing and commercial real estate and a slowdown in corporate projects have hit many local engineering companies hard

To the Victors, the Spoils: A Post-Lehman Scorecard

A year after the high-speed Lehman Brothers takeovers, Britain's Barclays is confident it is on course to fulfill long-held ambitions now it has a foothold in equity and mergers and acquisitions markets, and Lehman has already boosted its bottom line.

Smith Micro Software Makes Silicon Valley Buy

Aliso Viejo's Smith Micro Software Inc., a maker of software for wireless phones, said Monday it agreed to buy Core Mobility Inc. for $10 million in cash and stock.

TTM Technologies Shifts Work to Santa Ana from L.A.

Circuit board maker TTM Technologies is closing two California plants and moving some work to Santa Ana, in the Technology column

Source: Johnson & Johnson in Talks to Reduce $1.5B Elan Deal Price

Health-care firm Johnson & Johnson is in talks to cut the price of a $1.5 billion deal with Irish drugmaker Elan Corp., a source familiar with the negotiations said on Sunday.

Delta Boosts 3rd-Quarter Margin Forecast

Delta Air Lines, the world's biggest airline, boosted its operating margin forecast for the third quarter, citing lower fuel costs, and said other financial measures were trending in line with or better than year-earlier and second-quarter levels.

Synovis Expands on Pegasus Buy, Hires 25 in Irvine

Minnesota's Synovis is rebuilding a medical products business in Irvine, in the Healthcare column

Reverse Mortgage Lending Sees Consolidation, Stimulus Boost

Reverse mortgage lenders have seen consolidation and a stimulus boost

John's Incredible Pizza Debut Gives Lift to Buena Park Mall

John's Incredible Pizza has boosted the struggling Buena Park Downtown mall, in the Marketplace column

Kingston Sees Better Year as Industry Regulates

Memory products maker Kingston Technology is seeing a prolonged price slump ease

Medtronic Emerges as Key Edwards Valve Rival

Medtronic is emerging as the key rival to Edwards Lifesciences for a new type of heart valve

Architecture Industry Bracing for More Bad Years

The recession took a big bite out of Orange County's architecture industry in the past year.

Quiksilver Names DC Shoes President

Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver Inc. has named an Americas president for its DC Shoes unit in a renewed push for a brand that only a few months ago was up for sale amid a financial crisis at Quiksilver.

OCBJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES

Human Resources Guide, Fall 2009

Broadcom Sues Emulex for Patent Infringement

Irvine's Broadcom Corp. said Monday it filed a lawsuit in federal court in Santa Ana against one-time acquisition target Emulex Corp. for alleged patent infringement.

Below-Radar CorVel: Profit, Stock Run-Up

Shares of CorVel are surging with growth at the provider of workers' compensation services and software

CALENDAR

A listing of events happening all around Orange County. September 15-23, 2009

Big Santa Ana Redevelopment Project Signs on Builders

Craig Atkins' City Ventures has plans for a big project in Santa Ana, in the Real Estate column

Coroner: Danny Pang Autopsy Shows No Foul Play

An autopsy on Danny Pang, the indicted founder of Private Equity Management Group Inc. who died on Saturday while free on $1 million bail, showed no signs of foul play, the Orange County coroner's office said according to a Bloomberg report.

Stir Foods Sees Business from Fast Food Value Menus

A seller of soups, sauces and dressings is growing with fast food chains thriving on value meals, in the Small Business column

Architects Soliciting Business to Withstand Recession

Change has been the name of the game for Orange County's architecture firms during the recession.

MARKET WATCH

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

Sprint Shares Soar on T-Mobile USA Tie-Up Talk

Shares of Sprint Nextel Corp. jumped 9 percent on speculation that it might be bought by Deutsche Telekom even as many analysts said such a deal would be very difficult to pull off.

Makar Sells HQ Site to Outlet Developer

Outlet mall developer Craig Realty Group has acquired a Newport Beach office from Makar Properties

Restaurants Turn to Social Media to Counter Downturn

Some upscale restaurants are following their fast food brethren into social media marketing, in the Media & Marketing column

Friday, September 11

Japan Q2 GDP Revised Down as Inventory Falls

Japan's economy grew a revised 0.6% in the three months to June, less than preliminary figures had shown but confirming that the economy crawled out of recession after a full year of sharp contraction.

Software Startup BirchStreet Nabs Private Equity Investor

Newport Beach-based BirchStreet Systems Inc., a maker of software for running hotels and restaurants, said Friday it received an investment from Dallas-based private equity firm PlumTree Partners LLC.

Cruise Operator Ambassadors Doing Debt Deal

Cruise operator Ambassadors International Inc., which is in the process of moving from Newport Beach to Seattle, has unveiled another restructuring move with plans to cut up to $70.5 million in debt.

Fed's Evans: U.S. Tentatively Emerging from Recession

The economy is "tentatively" emerging from severe recession and inflation, as well as inflation expectations, are under control, Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans said on Friday.

Consumer Sentiment Improves, Inventories Drop

Improving consumer sentiment and a big drawdown in wholesale inventories reported on Friday built on recent evidence that an economic recovery was picking up speed.

Comarco Sees Bullish Run on Quarterly Results

Shares of Lake Forest's Comarco Inc., which designs and markets slim power adapters that charge notebook computers, digital cameras, cell phones and other mobile gear, continued a bullish run on Friday after the company quadrupled sales and neared profita

Thursday, September 10

Report: Foreclosures Near Record, Peak in Late 2010

Mortgage foreclosure filings in August hovered near July's record high despite broad efforts to keep borrowers in their homes and will probably rise for another year, according to a report released on Thursday.

Universal Electronics Jumps on Upgrade

Shares of Cypress-based Universal Electronics Inc., a maker of remote controls for home electronics, jumped Thursday after an analyst upgraded the stock.

P & G; Sees Sales Rising in Coming Quarter

Procter & Gamble Co. said it expects sales to improve in the coming quarter as new products and other investments pay dividends.

Jobless Claims Fall, Continued Claims Down

The number of workers filing new claims for jobless benefits fell last week to 550,000, according to a government report on Thursday that also showed the number of those collecting long-term aid tumbled.

Studies Show Botox Cuts Migraine Headache Days

Botox, the wrinkle-smoothing drug from Irvine's Allergan Inc., cut the number of headache days for adults with chronic migraines, according to two late-stage clinical trials.

Huntington Beach Chip Startup BridgeCo Sells Swiss Operations

Huntington Beach-based BridgeCo Inc., a well-funded chip startup with Swiss roots, said Thursday it's selling off its Switzerland operations.

Sun Healthcare Cuts Jobs, Lowers Outlook

Irvine-based Sun Healthcare Group Inc. said it was cutting its 2009 outlook and is cutting an unspecified number of jobs to reduce costs.

Wednesday, September 9

Home Loan Demand at 3-month High

Mortgage applications surged last week to their highest since late May as consumers sought to take advantage of the lowest interest rates in months, data from an industry group showed on Wednesday.

Developer of Irvine Spectrum Office Condos Files for Bankruptcy

Irvine-based Bacchus Development, one of Orange County's most active builders of smaller buildings for sale to business owners, has filed for bankruptcy.

Treasury: Millions More Foreclosures Coming

Only 12% of homeowners eligible for loan modifications under the Obama administration's housing rescue plan have had their mortgages reworked, and millions more foreclosures are coming, the Treasury Department said on Wednesday.

MSC Rises on Higher Buyout Bid

Shares of Santa Ana's MSC.Software Corp., a maker of simulation software for the aerospace and defense industries, rose Wednesday after the company said it is taking a higher buyout offer by an unnamed private equity firm.

Ista Shares Rise on Eye Drug Approval

Shares of Irvine eye drug maker Ista Pharmaceuticals Inc. soared Wednesday after the Food and Drug Administration approved its allergy eye drop.

Goldman Boss: Anger Over Pay Justified

The head of Goldman Sachs said on Wednesday that anger over bankers' pay was "understandable and appropriate," and that greater scrutiny of trade in complex instruments was needed to keep banks in check.

Tuesday, September 8

Irvine's Kofax Buys Software Startup for $33M

Irvine's Kofax PLC, which makes software that helps companies cut down on paper, said it has bought Boston-based 170 systems Inc. for $33 million in cash and debt.

Kraft's Latest European Foray Could Spur More Deals

Kraft Foods Inc. is once again turning to Europe to try to boost sales and improve margins, hoping to convince Cadbury to accept a buyout that could start a new round of food industry consolidation.

Swiss Topple U.S. as Most Competitive Economy

Switzerland knocked the U.S. off the position as the world's most competitive economy as the crash of the U.S. banking system left it more exposed to some long-standing weaknesses, a report said on Tuesday.

Spectrum Slumps as Investors Weigh Prospects of Drug

Shares of Irvine drug maker Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Inc. slumped Tuesday as investors appeared to weigh its prospects for a cancer drug that won regulatory approval for expanded use last week.

Alternative-Fuel Vehicle Parts Maker Quantum Raises $12.3M

Irvine-based Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide Inc., a maker of key parts for alternative-fuel vehicles, has raised $12.3 million in a private stock sale.

Report: Hiring Outlook Dips, Better Elsewhere

A forward-looking measure of U.S. hiring intentions dipped slightly even as it improved in many other countries, according to a quarterly survey by Manpower Inc.

Monday, September 7

REAL ESTATE WATCH: South County

The South County office market holds opportunity for buyers, in Real Estate Watch

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REAL ESTATE DEALS

Sales and leases of offices, industrial buildings, retail space and apartments

KBS Realty Looks to Start Apartment-Focused Fund

Hines Promotes VP to Head Local Operations; Saywitz Hosts Autism Fundraiser at His Home

KBS Realty Advisors has another non-traded REIT in the works, in the Real Estate column

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CashCall’s Marketing Plans Unaltered by Settlement

Towns Square Off in Y&R Toshiba Promotion; Gas Pump Display Marketer Signs Video Deals

CashCall has no plans to change its marketing after settling deceptive advertising and other complaints, in the Media & Marketing column

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Emulex, IBM Team Up on Adapter Contract, Licensing

Toshiba Launching Social Network Site for Employees; BlizzCon Close to Max Attendance

Emulex recently broke protocol and revealed a customer, in the Technology column

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READER LETTER

Real World No Harvard

A local government official says healthcare theorists need to venture from their ivory towers, in Reader Letters

GIVING

Fundraisers and charitable donations from companies and people

Chase Enlists Execs To Grow Business Banking

An update on how Chase is using commercial banking to add to WaMu’s assets in OC

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Buyer Tapped for Former Downey HQ

REAL ESTATE: Buyer, price still a mystery; new office benchmark?

A winning bidder was picked last week to buy the former Newport Beach headquarters of Downey Financial

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Mesa Offers Unique Tapas Fare, Wine in Lounge Setting

Island Hotel Host Pool Party, Barbecue Through September; Antonello Featuring Wine Mixer

The latest on OC’s dining scene, in the Executive Dining column

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Journal: Valeant’s Performance-Based Pay Sets Example

Sybron Doing More Than Settling Lawsuits; Quality Systems To Use Atlanta Co.’s Software

Valeant is praised for its performance-based executive pay structure, in the Healthcare column

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PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

AROUND THE COUNTY

Projects, developments and other activity in cities in and around OC

Projects, developments and other activity in cities in and around OC

NEWS OF THE WEEK

This past week’s news from www.ocbj.com and other sources

British Fitness Gear Maker Regroups U.S. Operations in Irvine

EXERCISE: Power Plate faces skeptics; Madonna, Serena fans

A British fitness equipment maker is making another run at the U.S. market

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Hotel-Gym Combo Drops Marriott Flag

One year after its opening, the Renaissance ClubSport Hotel is getting a management makeover

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AT&T Job Cuts Drag Down Telecom Employment

How OC’s telecom companies lost workers during the past year

Abbott Expands in Eye Market with Visiogen

HEALTHCARE: $400M buyout signals good trial results for lenses

Abbott Laboratories has bought Visiogen Inc. for $400 million

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Singleton Still Likes Freedom, But No Wooing for Now

Weekly Column by Rick Reiff

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Sold Again, SimpleTech Adapts to Life at Hitachi

SimpleTech has changed hands for the third time in as many years

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WHAT'S NEXT?

Bankruptcy Marks End of Era for County’s Largest Media Company; Piecemeal Sale?

A look at the bankruptcy of the Register’s parent company

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Buyer Tapped for Former Downey HQ

A winning bidder was picked last week to buy the former Newport Beach headquarters of Downey Financial

British Fitness Gear Maker Regroups U.S. Operations in Irvine

A British fitness equipment maker is making another run at the U.S. market

Singleton Still Likes Freedom, But No Wooing for Now

Singleton Still Likes Freedom, But No Wooing for Now

MARKET WATCH

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

Chase Enlists Execs To Grow Business Banking

An update on how Chase is using commercial banking to add to WaMu's assets in OC

Sold Again, SimpleTech Adapts to Life at Hitachi

SimpleTech has changed hands for the third time in as many years

KBS Realty Looks to Start Apartment-Focused Fund

KBS Realty Advisors has another non-traded REIT in the works, in the Real Estate column

Abbott Expands in Eye Market with Visiogen

Abbott Laboratories has bought Visiogen Inc. for $400 million

Mesa Offers Unique Tapas Fare, Wine in Lounge Setting

The latest on OC's dining scene, in the Executive Dining column

Hotel-Gym Combo Changes Management

One year after its opening, the Renaissance ClubSport Hotel is getting a management makeover

CashCall's Marketing Plans Unaltered by Settlement

CashCall has no plans to change its marketing after settling deceptive advertising and other complaints, in the Media & Marketing column

OCBJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES

Investment Management Guide 2009

Journal: Valeant's Performance-Based Pay Sets Example

Valeant is praised for its performance-based executive pay structure, in the Healthcare column

AROUND THE COUNTY

This past week's news from www.ocbj.com and other sources

READER LETTERS

A local government official says healthcare theorists need to venture from their ivory towers, in Reader Letters

Emulex, IBM Team Up on Adapter Contract, Licensing

Emulex recently broke protocol and revealed a customer, in the Technology column

CALENDAR

The latest on OC's dining scene, in the Executive Dining column

Friday, September 4

Freedom Family Director

A director of Freedom Communications Inc. and a member of the media company's founding family said she is "devastated to be part of a generation that put the company into Chapter 11."

SEC, CFTC urged to align rules to police markets

The two main regulators policing the securities and futures markets were urged on Thursday to align their rules for ferreting out fraud, protecting investors and punishing wrongdoers.

U.S. Says European Subsidies Have Harmed Boeing

The United States confirmed on Friday it has received a confidential World Trade Organization ruling in its multibillion-dollar complaint against European government support for Airbus.

Report: American Air, FAA Dispute May Escalate

AMR Corp.'s American Airlines faces an increasing dispute with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulators over allegedly improper repairs to at least 16 aircraft, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Thursday, September 3

Quest Software Finances HQ in $34M Deal

Aliso Viejo-based Quest Software Inc. has taken out debt on its headquarters in a deal valued at $34 million.

Wall Street Edges Up on August Retail Sales

Stocks edged higher on Thursday as better than-expected-sales from key retailers in August offset continued weakness in the labor market.

Monster Online Jobs Index Soars in August

A monthly gauge of online labor demand soared in August at its fastest pace in four years, indicating steadier footing for nationwide labor demand, a private research group said on Thursday.

August Proves Disappointing for Wet Seal

August same-store sales at Foothill Ranch-based mall retailer Wet Seal Inc. fell a deeper than expected 11.2% versus a year earlier.

Quiksilver Continues Slump on Surprising Loss Projection

Shares of Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver Inc. were down nearly 18% at the close of trading Friday, a day after the clothing maker surprised Wall Street with a projected loss for the current quarter.

Report: Cisco, EMC Eye Technology Services Tie-Up

Cisco Systems Inc. and EMC Corp. are in talks to create a new joint venture to provide technology services, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people briefed on the plan.

Wednesday, September 2

Circuit Board Maker TTM Shutters Two California Factories

TTM Technologies Inc., a maker of circuit boards for networking gear and the military, is set to close two California factories and move some of the work to its headquarters in Santa Ana.

Pfizer to Pay Record $2.3B to Settle Charges

Pfizer Inc. agreed on Wednesday to plead guilty to a criminal charge relating to promotions of its now-withdrawn Bextra pain medicine and will pay a record $2.3 billion to settle allegations it improperly marketed 13 medicines.

Oakley CEO Steps Back, Veteran Takes Helm

The executive who led the $2.1 billion 2007 sale of Oakley Inc. to Italy's Luxottica Group SPA is stepping back and handing the reins to a longtime executive at the Foothill Ranch-based maker of sunglasses and clothes.

BP Makes "Giant" Oil Find in Gulf of Mexico

London-based BP PLC said it had made a "giant" oil discovery in the Gulf of Mexico, reaffirming the area's importance to Western oil majors who are increasingly barred from investing in the world's richest oil prospects.

Abbott Buying Irvine Device Maker Visiogen for $400M

Abbott Laboratories said Wednesday it is buying Irvine-based Visiogen Inc. for $400 million.

Mortgage Applications Slip, Loan Rates Dip

Mortgage applications slid last week even as mortgage rates edged lower, with requests for loans to buy homes declining for the first time since early July, an industry group said on Wednesday.

Tuesday, September 1

Hyundai, Kia Sets Sales Record, Sees Boost from Cash for Clunkers

Fountain Valley-based Hyundai Motor America Inc., Kia Motors America Inc of Irvine and other Orange County-based automakers saw auto sales rally in large part because of the government's $3 billion "cash for clunkers" program.

Report: Bank of America Offering to Repay Part of Bailout

Bank of America Corp. is offering to repay part of the government bailout money, starting with the $20 billion it received in January to help with the acquisition of Merrill Lynch & Co., the Wall Street Journal reported on its website late on Monday.

Manufacturing Seen Showing Expansion

A key gauge of manufacturing activity likely rose in August, which would bring the index into positive territory for the first time since just after the recession began, according to a Reuters' poll of economists.

EBay to Sell Skype Stake for $1.9B

EBay Inc. plans to sell a 65 percent stake in its online phone unit Skype for $1.9 billion to private investors including Silver Lake and a venture firm run by the Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen.