Stories for January 2010
Sunday, January 31
Lake Forest’s Red Expanding, Plans Big Las Vegas Compound
Billionaire Oakley founder Jim Jannard bought a Hollywood movie studio to grow his latest hobby—digital movie cameras
Los Angeles Office, Industrial Markets Show Signs of Stabilization
The Los Angeles office and industrial markets are showing signs of stabilization, in Real Estate Watch
Big Warehouse Sale Latest Deal in Popular Buena Park Area; Bixby Adds Irvine Co. Alum
One of OC’s top commercial brokers thinks the down market is the right time to start a business, in the Real Estate column by Mark Mueller
Q4 PC Sales Bounce; Viking Does Solid State; Family Gets Home Built in Part by Nicholas
Netlist recently landed two patents, in the Technology column by Sarah Tolkoff
Hilton Waterfront’s Shades Adds Weekend Prix-Fixe; Trip to Long Beach’s Michaels on Naples
The latest on OC’s dining scene, in the Executive Dining column by Fifi Chao
The county’s largest environmental consultants saw local billings drop 12% to $523 million in 2009
A look at people, companies and institutions receiving awards, accolades, grants and other honors
Airport Security Device Maker Vies With Body Scans; Game Retailer Taking on GameStop
A local restaurateur is opening up a Buffalo Wild Wings in the Lake Forest Gateway shopping center, in the Small Business column by Murray Coleman
FINANCE: Feds backing 80% of banks’ shares of expansion loans
New federal loan guarantees designed to spur lending to small business are due within weeks
Newmeyer Adds Lawyer To Run Bankruptcy Practice
Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses
Over the holidays, the UCI Medical Center quietly elevated Terry Belmont to permanent chief executive
$60 Unlimited Plan to Appeal to New Customer Group; Also Adding Sleeker Cell Phone Designs
Boost Mobile is expanding its phone lineup to include a BlackBerry and a different wireless network
REAL ESTATE: Developers lower rents for Santa Ana, Newport space
OC’s office construction boom is officially at an end
Port of Los Angeles: along with Long Beach, serves as OC’s maritime gateway, in Viewpoint
REAL ESTATE: Lender selling 5 acres, empty office; expected loss
A Santa Ana site eyed for condo towers during the boom years is being sold by the project’s lender
Local Swimsuit Maker Lands Bikini on Playboy Cover; Del Taco Starts Star Trek Promotion
The December issue of Playboy was a coup for swimsuit maker L*Space America, in the Media and Marketing column
TECHNOLOGY: Price, promise to keep intact won over investors
The biggest 2009 deal for a local technology startup came after Networks in Motion opted to keep the gang together with a buyout
FINANCE: About a dozen local fund managers; Pimco dominates
About a dozen hedge funds call OC home and manage an estimated $32 billion for pension plans
Vertos Enrolls Patients in Study to Treat Narrowing Spine; I-Flow Named in Lawsuit for Pump
A dry eye drug that’s being co-developed by Allergan faces an uncertain future, in the Healthcare column
Friday, January 29
Irvine-based Edwards Lifesciences Corp. is working with its former parent on the recall of a medical device that traded hands between the pair last year.
A Lake Forest-based maker of artificial nails has acquired an Aliso Viejo maker of antifungal products and hand sanitizers.
Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Inc. of Irvine said Friday that it received $16 million from two Asian companies it’s working with to develop a cancer drug.
Thursday, January 28
Two arms of the federal government are weighing whether to pursue what's left of their cases against Broadcom Corp.’s founders, according to a Thursday court hearing.
Irvine-based medical software maker Quality Systems Inc. on Thursday posted a profit in its most recent quarter that met expectations.
Charles Slacik, who helped Brea-based Beckman Coulter Inc. finance an $800 million acquisition in the wake of the financial meltdown, was among seven chief financial officers honored Wednesday.
Wednesday, January 27
Sales of new autos are forecast to rise this year after a dismal 2009, according to a report from the Newport Beach-based Orange County Auto Dealers Association.
The federal judge who turned the stock options prosecution of a current and former Broadcom Corp. executives on its ear is set to address some loose ends in the matter on Thursday.
Neomend Inc., an Irvine medical products maker, said Wednesday that it has raised $30 million in a fourth round of funding.
Irvine-based drug maker Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Wednesday that it would stop work on a drug for treating benign enlarged prostates.
Tuesday, January 26
Irvine-based startup Quartics Inc., a maker of chips that help consumer electronics stream high-definition video, raised $6.5 million in a recent round of venture funding, according to reports.
Aliso Viejo-based QLogic Corp., a maker of electronics for data storage networks, reported quarterly results Tuesday that were down from a year earlier but ahead of Wall Street expectations.
Shares of Newport Beach-based chipmaker Mindspeed Technologies Inc., continued their bullish run on Tuesday, a day after the company gave a better than expected outlook for the current quarter.
Monday, January 25
Cypress-based swimsuit maker Manhattan Beachwear LLC has sold a majority stake to a private equity firm.
Shares of Newport Beach-based chipmaker Mindspeed Technologies Inc., rose Monday after the company posted a sales outlook for the current quarter that surpassed Wall Street’s expectations.
The operator of the movie theaters at The Shops at Anaheim GardenWalk has filed for bankruptcy reorganization, another troubling sign for the mall, which has been struggling since it opened in 2008.
Coraid Inc., a startup maker of data storage computers and electronics for corporate networks, said Monday it landed $10 million in venture funding and moved its headquarters from San Clemente to the Bay Area.
Investors are eyeing an expected sale of two Santa Ana office towers
‘Office of the President’ Team Runs Company Alongside Even-Keeled Chief Executive
When it comes to running Beckman Coulter, Chief Executive Scott Garrett doesn’t stand alone, in a Business Journal Corner Office feature
A relatively positive holiday retail sales season didn’t up tenant demand
REAL ESTATE: Hearing set for Stonegate, partner’s master plan
Developer NNP-Stonegate-Merriam still has a shot at getting its proposed Merriam Mountains project in San Diego approved
REAL ESTATE: High vacancy, lower rents leading to defaults
Orange County’s retail market felt its fair share of pain in 2009
Deals To Be Had, But Many Investors Waiting Until 2011 to Pull the Trigger on Big Buys
Many investors are waiting until 2011 to buy
Copy Editor Courtney Baird’s trip to Paris
A look at a trip to Paris by the Business Journal’s copy editor, in Travelogue by Courtney Baird
Developer Lands $28M Loan to Upgrade Brea Plaza; Northgate Gonzalez Expands to Oxnard
A few more details are emerging on chipmaker Mindspeed Technologies’ expected relocation to Aliso Viejo, in the Real Estate column by Mark Mueller
Grubb Healthcare Fund Buys in Minnesota; Endologix Lawsuit on Hold as Patents Evaluated
An analyst says Swiss drug maker Novartis’ move to take full ownership of Alcon is “an intriguing effort,” in the Healthcare column by Vita Reed
Taco Bell Diet Commercials Prompt Dietician Split, PR Agencies Report Pickup in Interest
Del Taco has started an ad campaign with a nod to talk show-style sketch comedy, in the Media and Marketing column by Michael Volpe
Conexant, Quest Make Hires; Kofax Nabs Wins with Insurance Co., Australian Government
Kingston Technology launched a viral marketing series on YouTube.com starring some of its own, in the Technology column
High School Hopefuls Face Off in Annual Auto Fix Contest; Vans Opening Costa Mesa Store
Crevier Classic Cars has recruited a trio of veteran salesmen to ramp up sales of its vintage, exotic and muscle cars, in the Marketplace column by Sherri Cruz
Among First to Fall, Management Consultants Report ‘Bit of Awakening’
Consultants that help companies with accounting, technology, legal and other projects said they’re seeing better conditions across the country
Chapman’s Brandman University has a new master’s of public administration program, taught by some of OC’s heavy hitters
ENERGY: Wants to stay in Seal Beach, build in Arizona, Nevada
A Seal Beach-based maker of solar panels has big plans for growth
ECONOMY: Employment down 3.1% overall; Japanese dominate
Oakley held the top spot again this year as the biggest foreign-owned company in OC
APPAREL: Maker of O’Neill eyes diversification with True Love deal
La Jolla Group has nabbed the license for brand True Love and False Idols
APPAREL: Downturn saw issues of survival; sales small, growing
Huntington Beach’s O’Quinn Clothing is one of OC’s buzz brands
HOSPITALITY: Boutique plans renovations; nearby competition
The Holiday Inn Laguna Hills has dropped the Holiday Inn brand
Office availability rates will remain high this year
TECHNOLOGY: Conexant kicks off with bang; Broadcom due soon
An analyst roundup of expectations for earnings season for some local chipmakers and the semi conductor industry
Friday, January 22
Shares of Newport Beach-based chipmaker Conexant Systems Inc. continued their bullish run on Friday, defying a sluggish day on Wall Street.
Orange County ended 2009 with 48,900 jobs lost in December from a year earlier, part of a continuing improvement from the worst of the recession.
Thursday, January 21
Newport Beach-based chipmaker Conexant Systems Inc. saw its shares jump in afterhours trading after reporting better than expected quarterly results and offering an outlook for the current quarter that topped what analysts had been expecting.
Costa Mesa-based networking electronics maker Emulex Corp. reported better than expected results for the recently ended quarter and offered an outlook for the current one that topped what Wall Street had been expecting.
Lake Forest’s Western Digital Corp., a maker of disk drives for computers and consumer electronics, on Thursday reported results for the December quarter that blew away analysts’ expectations.
The bankrupt parent company of the Orange County Register has filed a revised reorganization plan that turns over all of the company to lenders and offers added concessions to unsecured creditors.
Wednesday, January 20
Shares of Lake Forest-based disk drive maker Western Digital Corp. jumped after the close of New York trading on Wednesday after the company’s top rival, Scotts Valley’s Seagate Technology LLC posted better than expected results for the December quarter.
Orange County's median home price ended 2009 at $435,000, a 9.6% increase from where home prices here stood a year earlier.
Tuesday, January 19
Irvine heart valve maker Edwards Lifesciences Corp. said Tuesday a German court upheld a patent it holds for a new type of less-invasive heart valve.
Irvine’s Netlist Inc., a maker of specialized memory products for computers that’s in the midst of reworking its business, said Tuesday it landed two U.S. patents for an invention that helps improve the performance of servers in big data centers.
Chipmaker Conexant Systems Inc. said Tuesday it's selling 25 acres of land next to its Newport Beach headquarters to Santa Ana-based developer City Ventures LLC for $26.1 million.
Monday, January 18
Glen Bell Jr., a fast food pioneer and founder of Irvine-based Taco Bell Corp., died Sunday at the age of 86, according to the Mexican food restaurant chain.
Inland Empire Seeing Stabilization; Positive Signs in Fourth Quarter
The Inland Empire sees some stabilization in its commercial market, in Real Estate Watch
REAL ESTATE: Saddle Creek expands after buying ServiceCraft
A Florida logistics company has signed one of the largest industrial leases seen here in years
A new Anaheim office built for Carl’s Jr.’s parent company has traded hands in one of the larger sales in North County of late
FINANCE: Big banks in no state to buy; bank may do own buying
The county’s largest homegrown bank is biding its time
TECHNOLOGY: Endwave unit buy pays off; flight scare interest
One of Microsemi’s many recent acquisitions is proving timely
REAL ESTATE: LoanDepot.com is third online mortgage venture
Entrepreneur Anthony Hsieh has decided to go back to work full-time in the mortgage business
REAL ESTATE: City Ventures takes on high-profile project
City Ventures is taking on its highest profile and most expensive housing project to date
HEALTHCARE: SedLine built around brain monitoring product
A Masimo offshoot is buying a brain function monitoring device from Hospira
Two Los Angeles-area banks are buying a local pair of small-business lenders
Registration Up as New Products, New Companies Debut
A look at the NAMM show at the Anaheim Convention Center
Kia Pushing Forte Koup With Ads, Race; Lee & Associates Following Dell’s Twitter Lead
This year’s Super Bowl may be brought to you by OC, in the Media and Marketing column
Samueli Visits Customers at CES in Las Vegas; Local Business Incubator Adds Tech Tenants
Broadcom last month agreed to pay $160 million to settle a class action shareholder lawsuit, in the Technology column
Local Maker of Projectors Buys Medical Imaging Co.; CalOptima Chief On U.S. Commission
Taxes and regulation weighed heavy at a recent field hearing of medical device makers at Edwards’ Irvine headquarters, in the Healthcare column by Vita Reed
Grubb & Ellis Buying Apartment Complex in Texas; Master Development Lands Big Tenant
A real estate investment trust overseen by Behringer Harvard has become one of the area’s biggest buyers of apartment complexes, in the Real Estate column by Mark Mueller
A famous UCI mathematician and businessman pits science against skeptics in the global warming debate
Firms Expect Increased Government Scrutiny To Be Revenue Driver, Hot Topic in 2010
Litigation, bankruptcy and employment work kept OC’s law firms busy in 2009.
Some Large Firms Cut Back on Summer Associates, Jobs; Small, Midsize Firms Still Hiring
What law students are doing about a law firm freeze on summer associate programs.
LAW: Students from ‘untested’ school will compete for fewer jobs
A look at the chances of those in UCI’s inaugural law school class of landing jobs once they graduate.
OC’s largest law firms broke a six-year streak of adding attorneys in 2009.
Some legal observers are betting federal prosecutors will drop their appeals in the Broadcom stock options cases.
Downturn Brings Surge in Consumer, Business Cases
Remnants of the recession are keeping OC bankruptcy lawyers busy.
Plaintiffs Attorneys Hold Steady During Downturn; Getting Paid Is Hard Part
Many corporate lawyers in OC are seeing lagging demand for their services.
Adding Former Government Employees Seen as Leg Up on Dealing with New Federal Regulations
Former SEC lawyers are a hot commodity right now.
Game is Big Here with Players, Coaches, Academy
Few games have taken root in OC like tennis has
Friday, January 15
An Irvine-based unit of Edison International is exiting a joint venture to develop sites to produce solar energy.
Michigan's Penske Automotive Group Inc. has acquired Santa Ana-based Commonwealth Audi and Commonwealth Volkswagen, owned by the troubled Keuylian family, for an undisclosed amount.
Shares of Newport Beach-based chipmaker Conexant Systems Inc. fell Friday after the company said it is seeking approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission to sell $100 million worth of its shares.
Thursday, January 14
Irvine-based magazine publisher Duncan McIntosh Co. has acquired New York-based newspaper journal Editor & Publisher, two weeks after it closed.
Newport Beach-based developer Craig Realty Group was the high bidder in Thursday’s state-directed auction of the O.C. Fair & Event Center.
Irvine-based Fisker Automotive Inc. has received an investment pledge from a battery maker that’s also set to become a supplier to the luxury hybrid automaker.
Newport Beach-based bond funder manager Pacific Investment Management Co. has surpassed $1 trillion in assets under management for the first time.
Aliso Viejo’s Smith Micro Software Inc., a maker of cell phone software, gave a 2010 sales range forecast on Thursday that at the high end exceeded what Wall Street had been expecting.
Wednesday, January 13
Federal regulators looking into the $290 million acquisition of Irvine’s Diedrich Coffee Inc. have asked for more details about the deal.
Shares of Newport Beach-based chipmaker Mindspeed Technologies Inc. jumped Wednesday after the company narrowed its sales outlook for the current quarter and gave a profit outlook that surpassed Wall Street’s expectations.
Tuesday, January 12
Bill Gross, who manages the biggest mutual fund in the world for Newport Beach-based Pacific Investment Management Co., has been named the top bond fund manager of the past decade.
Shares of Foothill Ranch-based Kaiser Aluminum Corp. slumped Tuesday, a day after industry bellwether Alcoa Inc. kicked off earnings season with a lower than expected loss.
Monday, January 11
Shares of Anaheim’s Multi-Fineline Electronix Inc., a maker of flexible printed circuit boards for cell phones and other devices, plummeted Monday after the company gave a worse than expected sales outlook for the current and recently ended quarters.
Shares of Costa Mesa’s Emulex Corp., a maker of electronics for data storage networks, jumped Monday after the company gave an early look at its earnings for the December quarter.
Advanced Cardiac Therapeutics Inc. of Laguna Beach said Monday it raised $5 million in a second round of funding.
Costa Mesa-based defense contractor Ceradyne Inc. said Monday it expects 2009 profits to meet or exceed its prior projections but sees revenue falling short.
Intense Engineering Culture; Hard-Charging Roots, Corporate Polish
CORNER OFFICE - A look at a day in the life of a Broadcom executive in a Business Journal Corner Office feature
Less Convention/Mortgage Sector Business, Hard Financing Tamped Expansion Plans
Why the amount of meeting room space stayed flat in OC’s hotels last year
MEETINGS: Video game fan fest still deciding 2010 location
A look at BlizzCon and whether it will remain in Anaheim; a conventions calendar
Travel planners are expecting a better year—in 2011.
Photo Association Attracted to Anaheim’s Renovations
The Photo Marketing Association has tapped Anaheim for an expanded annual tradeshow
Many industry watchers are projecting attendance decreases of 5% to 15% at local conventions
Increased Q3 Demand Signals Upswing in Mid-Counties Industrial Market
An upswing in third quarter activity is signaling a rebound in the Mid-Counties industrial market, in Real Estate Watch
Steve Bren, Bacchus Development Looking to Offload House, Properties to Help Settle Debt
OC saw more than its share of distressed commercial real estate properties trade hands in 2009 compared to other large markets, in the Real Estate column by Mark Mueller
Endologix Makes Move in Patent Infringement Case; Radient Outlines Goals for Subsidiary
Clarient is adding some lung cancer tests to its menu, in the Healthcare column by Vita Reed
Irvine Startup Quartics Lands Deal With Taiwan Co.; UCI Extension Adds IPhone App Class
Kingston managed to take market share away from its biggest rivals, in the Technology column by Sarah Tolkoff
Irvine Co. Seeks to Fill Dean & DeLuca Space; Mercedes, Other Auto Sales Jump in November
A pair of independent retailers has taken advantage of lease deals to open boutiques, in the Marketplace column by Sherri Cruz
Orange Label Wins Wire Maker’s Ad Work; Register Expands Irvine World News Delivery
This year’s census could be a boon for Hispanic advertising agencies, in the Media and Marketing column by Michael Volpe
Human Options is like a cherished family heirloom for the Churms
REAL ESTATE: Dupont Lofts sold by bank to Essex for $27M
An Irvine condominium development will be converted into an apartment complex following a sale by its lender
REAL ESTATE: Joe’s Garage sale an anomaly in frozen market
The Tustin Toyota auto dealership is expanding its local operations after buying the former site of a well-known auto museum
TECHNOLOGY: Show brings entertainment to home, Vegas
A look at the new gadgets and technology that OC’s local tech companies presented at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week
Masimo is expanding its Irvine headquarters and plans to add about 200 workers this year
The rebounding confidence of OC executives has held for the first quarter
Hyundai Sibling Plans Biggest Marketing Push Yet
Kia Motors America wants everyone to know about its newly redesigned Sorento crossover utility vehicle
Friday, January 8
Federal prosecutors are dropping drug charges against Broadcom Corp. cofounder Henry Nicholas just weeks before they were set to appear before a skeptical judge to prove why the case should go forward.
Thursday, January 7
The Los Angeles Times said Thursday it plans to close its printing plant in Costa Mesa in its continuing quest to cut costs.
San Clemente-based Sunstone Hotels Investors Inc. said Thursday it's in the process of handing back 11 hotels to a lender after it stopped paying on their mortgage in November.
A longtime executive from Newport Beach-based Pacific Investment Management Co. is leaving to become chief executive of Denver mutual fund manager Janus Capital Group Inc.
Foothill Ranch-based mall retailer Wet Seal Inc. reported a better than expected decline in December sales and said it sees profits for the current quarter coming in at the high end of its prior guidance.
Wednesday, January 6
Irvine-based Resources Connection Inc., a provider of accountants, lawyers and other professionals to companies on a project basis, reported an unexpected loss and lower sales for its recently ended quarter.
Hordes of gadget lovers, retail buyers, businesspeople and press landed in Las Vegas Wednesday ahead of the biggest electronics trade show of the year.
Christie Digital Systems Inc. of Cypress said Wednesday it bought the assets of Luminetx Corp., a Memphis-based medical device maker, for an estimated $15 million.
Tuesday, January 5
Broadcom Corp. cofounder Henry Samueli has resumed an executive post at the Irvine-based chipmaker, a few weeks after a judge dismissed a federal criminal charge and civil case against him.
Orange County’s two mall store operators took different paths Tuesday on Wall Street, where hopes of better-than-expected holiday sales drove many retailers.
Shares of Lake Forest’s Western Digital Corp., a maker of disk drives, closed higher Tuesday on reports that drives for desktop computers appear to be in short supply, potentially adding to the company’s bottom line.
Fountain Valley-based Hyundai Motor America led a rise in automotive sales for some of the county’s automakers last month.
Monday, January 4
Art Bartlett, who cofounded Century 21 in Santa Ana and built the company into the largest franchisor of residential real estate agencies, died New Year’s Eve after a long illness.
Shares of Santa Ana’s STEC Inc., a maker of flash memory drives for corporate and industrial uses, jumped Monday after an analyst called the stock a “top pick.”
STEC Had Remarkable Year, Even with Fall Pullback on EMC, Competition Concerns
For much of 2009, STEC Inc.’s Manouch and Mark Moshayedi seemed like shoe-ins for our businesspersons of the year.
Diedrich Chairman Saw Big Stock Run-Up, Bidding War
An investment in a cup of joe turned out to be a deal of a lifetime for Paul Heeschen.
Vizio Chief, Founder Beat Economic Downturn with Strong Sales
Vizio Inc. Chief Executive William Wang steered the seller of flat TVs through another strong year despite worries about slumping consumer demand.
BUSINESSPERSON OF THE YEAR - RUNNER-UP: Igor Olenicoff made a splash on the world stage as a leading figure in a dust-up over secret overseas bank accounts for wealthy Americans.
Western Dig Boss Adeptly Dodged Downturn, Expanded Drive Maker
BUSINESSPERSON OF THE YEAR - John Coyne had a banner year at Western Digital Corp. t
Hyundai Motor America Boss Grew Sales in Crippling Downturn
Runner-Up: Hyundai Motor America Boss John Krafcik Grew Sales in Crippling Downturn
LAW: Feb. 2 hearing could be last stand in Broadcom prosecutions
A federal drug case against Broadcom’s Henry “Nick” Nicholas could end with a whimper next month
REAL ESTATE: Title insurance unit could see $2B market value
A look at what the First American’s plans are for implementing its long awaited spinoff
APPAREL: Schoenfeld has work cut out at struggling mall retailer
A look at PacSun’s chief executive and the company’s turnaround efforts
The parent of a Santa Ana dental services company is looking to break a long drought for initial public offerings in OC
ECONOMY: Healthcare cos. likely prospects; others in wings '
2010 is set to be the year initial public offerings return to OC
One local executive says there’s a Keynesian-Hayek divide in our country
Lower Industrial Demand Makes Landlords Aggressive with Rents
Lower industrial demand is making landlords aggressive with rents, in Real Estate Watch
Merage-led Firm Buys Palm Desert Shopping Center; Mission Viejo Co. Builds in Mira Loma
A Newport Beach real estate investment bank is making some changes to its executive team, in the Real Estate column by Mark Mueller
DGWB Advertising has added kitchen appliance maker Thermador as a client for the second time, in the Media and Marketing column by Michael Volpe
Symwaves Inks Deal with LaCie to Make USB 3.0; Emulex Licenses Software for Offloading
A local maker of lasers is expecting higher profits after paying off debt, in the Technology column by Sarah Tolkoff
Avanir’s Zenvia Has Promising Third-Phase Trial; FDA Clears Agendia’s Breast Cancer Test
Cutting costs will be the “overarching theme” for the healthcare industry in 2010, a report says, in the Healthcare column by Vita Reed
Sunstone Chief Was Crazy Like a Fox with Hotel Handovers
The chief executive of San Clemente-based Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc., which owns all or part of 40 hotels, made waves by giving back some properties to lenders after going underwater on their mortgages.
Valeant Chief Spent $400 Million To Build Skin Products Business
J. Michael Pearson went shopping in 2009 as part of his ongoing rebuilding of Aliso Viejo-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals International.