Orange County Business Journal

Irvine Co. Buys Printronix HQ

REAL ESTATE: Signs tech manufacturer to Spectrum lease Mark Mueller Saturday, April 14, 2012

One of Orange County’s oldest technology companies plans to relocate to the Irvine Spectrum after selling its Myford Road headquarters to Irvine Company.

Printronix Inc.—which makes industrial printers and printing supplies for manufacturers and retailers—recently completed a deal to sell its nearly 186,000-square-foot headquarters to the Newport Beach-based developer.

The building is located at 14600 Myford Road near Jamboree Road and the Santa Ana (I-5) Freeway in Irvine. It features 80,000 square feet of offices, 78,000 square feet of manufacturing space and additional warehouse area.

Terms weren’t disclosed. The property was on the market for more than three years with an initial asking price of about $40 million.

Printronix plans to move this summer to about 94,000 square feet in the Irvine Spectrum near Barranca Parkway, taking a five-year lease for the new headquarters from Irvine Co.

“It’s a more appropriate size,” Printronix Chief Executive Randy Eisenbach said.

Printronix announced plans in 2009 to move the last of its local manufacturing operations to Mexico. The company also owns manufacturing space in Singapore that serves Southeast Asia and other markets, and has additional facilities in China.

Printronix was publicly traded for 28 years before it went private in 2008 in a $108 million buyout by San Francisco private equity firm Vector Capital. It had roughly $130 million in annual sales in 2007 and hasn’t disclosed financials since.

Overseas Expansion

The company has been seeing “pretty good” results of late, thanks to its expansion in emerging markets such as China and parts of Europe, Eisenbach said.

Printronix has about 200 OC employees in research and development, engineering, sales, marketing and administration. The company, founded here in 1974, had as many as 500 OC workers at one point.

“[Orange County] has basically become our North American distribution center,” Eisenbach said.

The sale of the Myford Road building to Irvine Co. is a return of sorts for the 12-acre property, which sits at Myford and Walnut Avenue near the Tustin city line.

Printronix paid Irvine Co. $8.1 million for the land in 1998 and spent another $15 million on construction, according to regulatory filings.

Irvine Co. also owns the 10-building, 560,000-square-foot Jamboree Business Park on the opposite side of Walnut Avenue.

Real estate brokers not directly involved in the Printronix sale said they’ve heard that Irvine Co. might already have a new tenant lined up for the Myford Road property, although the name of any tenant is unknown.

The Printronix headquarters deal is arguably the most notable commercial property purchase by Irvine Co. locally since it bought the Newport Center headquarters of Pacific Investment Management Co. in late 2010.

Irvine Co.’s biggest acquisition of late came outside OC when it struck a deal for a 468,000-square-foot campus in Sunnyvale that closed last October. The Silicon Valley-area property traded hands for a reported $132 million, according to local reports.