Stories for December 2013

Tuesday, December 31

Fisker Karma Re-Launch Pitched in Alternative Sale Proposal

The creditors committee for bankrupt luxury hybrid automaker Fisker Automotive Inc. laid out a plan that would see the re-launch of the Anaheim-based company's Karma sedan in addition to a second vehicle.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 0.25% to 1,845.65 in afternoon trading Tuesday.

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Irvine OTC Company Fetches $120M in Sale

Irvine-based surgical products maker Patient Safety Technologies Inc. has agreed to be acquired by Kalamazoo, Mich.-based Stryker Corp. for $120 million in cash.

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Biolase Shoots Up on Canadian Deal

Irvine-based Biolase Technology Inc.’s stock rose Monday after it said it received a license to sell its dental lasers in Canada.

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Monday, December 30

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 slipped 0.09% to 1,839.73 in afternoon trading Monday.

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Friday, December 27

Hyundai Announces New CEO

Hyundai Motor America Inc. said Friday Chief Executive John Krafcik will step down at the end of the year when his contract with the company ends.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 fell 0.06% to 1,840.85 in afternoon trading Friday.

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BrandSource CEO to Step Down

BrandSource Chief Executive Bob Lawrence plans to step down next year after nearly two decades at the helm of the Tustin-based merchandising group, according to a report.

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Thursday, December 26

BrandSource CEO to Step Down

BrandSource Chief Executive Bob Lawrence plans to step down next year after nearly two decades at the helm of the Tustin-based merchandising group, according to a report.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.41% to 1,840.86 in afternoon trading Thursday.

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Greenberg Gross Taps OC Register Columnist

Costa Mesa-based law firm Greenberg Gross LLP has tapped former Orange County Register columnist Frank Mickadeit as an associate as part of a hiring round in anticipation of increased “large-scale trials” in 2014.

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JWA Sees Passenger Traffic Dip in November

John Wayne Airport saw passenger traffic fall 1.6% in November from a year earlier to 739,031.

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Tuesday, December 24

JWA Sees Passenger Traffic Dip in November

John Wayne Airport saw passenger traffic fall 1.6% in November from a year earlier to 739,031.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.29% to 1,833.32 in afternoon trading Tuesday.

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Panasonic Avionics Lands China Deal

Lake Forest-based Panasonic Avionics Corp. and China Telecom Satellite Communications Limited have agreed to jointly develop in-flight Internet services for airlines flying into and over China.

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OC Car Sales Up 15.2% in November

Orange County auto dealers sold 12,204 new vehicles in November, a 15.2% jump from a year earlier.

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Hyundai, Kia Announce Settlement Deals on Fuel Economy Lawsuit

Hyundai Motor America Inc. and Kia Motors America Inc. said they've reached agreements with customers on claims related to the automakers’ restatement of the fuel economy ratings on a number of vehicles.

Monday, December 23

OC Car Sales Up 15.2% in November

Orange County auto dealers sold 12,204 new vehicles in November, a 15.2% jump from a year earlier.

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Hyundai, Kia Announce Settlement Deals on Fuel Economy Lawsuit

Hyundai Motor America Inc. and Kia Motors America Inc. said they've reached agreements with customers on claims related to the automakers’ restatement of the fuel economy ratings on a number of vehicles.

Allergan Rises on Restasis Patent News

Irvine-based Allergan Inc. was granted three new patents for its dry eye drug Restasis.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.54% to 1,828.20 in afternoon trading Monday.

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SJC-based Emerald Expositions Plans $350M Buy

San Juan Capistrano-based trade show producer Emerald Expositions Inc. will add some of the largest events in the U.S. to its portfolio with a pending $335 million acquisition of George Little Management LLC in White Plains, N.Y.

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Sunday, December 22

CALENDAR OCBJ

Dec. 21-31, 2013

A listing of business events happening all around Orange County.

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Saturday, December 21

Old William Lyon Homes HQ Purchased

Smart Circle International LLC purchased the former headquarters of William Lyon Homes in Newport Beach for $8.5 million.

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Ace in Hole on Tanaka Bid? Los Al Addition; Show Me State of Mind

OC INSIDER Column by Jerry Sullivan

North, Central OC Office Markets Have Strong Q3

REAL ESTATE WATCH: NORTH & CENTRAL ORANGE COUNTY

The North and Central Orange County office markets are on the road to recovery and had a big jump in net absorption for the third quarter after a strong first half of the year. Includes Real Estate Watch industry performance charts.

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Masimo Looks Poised to Continue Growth in 2014

Writer Credits Technology For Expected 2014 Jump

Irvine-based Masimo Corp. has been a steady Wall Street performer this year, and the growth should continue into 2014, according to an industry observer.

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2014 Preview: HEALTHCARE

Orange County’s 2014 healthcare news is likely to continue to have a hospital flavor as healthcare reform begins its first full year of operation.

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2014 Preview: TECHNOLOGY

Cloud spending, including services and data center infrastructure, will surge 25% in 2014, topping $100 billion.

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Anonymous Letter Could Be Patent Battle Smoking Gun

Letter Said to Be From Rival’s Worker Probed

Netlist Inc. Chief Executive C.K. Hong received a letter from someone claiming to be an employee of a company embroiled in an ongoing patent litigation lawsuit with Netlist that could alter the case.

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Xerox Centre Development Site Sells to Robert Bisno

Sale Follows OCTA Bid for State Fund Building

Another property at the Xerox Centre in Santa Ana is getting a new owner.

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Ambitious Interns Tell Wet Seal’s Story on YouTube

Reality Series Opens Window to Apparel Maker

Wet Seal Inc. in Foothill Ranch has partnered with a YouTube channel to showcase “The Intern,” a reality series featuring a behind-the-scenes look at the teen and contemporary retail brand.

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Mortgage Company to Sell Retail Branches

Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc. in Irvine will close its retail branches in favor of a national call center.

Yard House Parent to Spin Off Red Lobster

The parent of Irvine-based Yard House USA Inc. will spin off its Red Lobster chain as part of a plan to cut costs and “enhance shareholder value.”

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Shareholder Explores Buy of Wet Seal

Activist shareholder Clinton Group Inc. is exploring the possibility of buying Wet Seal Inc.

Sellers Put Asking Prices Closer to Market Reality

More Get What They Ask For Or Not Far Off Listings

The estate at 11 Via Emilia in Pelican Heights, Newport Coast, was designed to envelope those who live there with a sense of peace, privacy and seclusion.

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ADDENDUM

Other news items of interest from the Orange County Business Journal

2014 Preview: MARKETING & MEDIA

Orange County marketers will no doubt continue to increase their focus on digital marketing to connect with consumers who are increasingly tethered to their smartphones.

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2014 Preview: RESTAURANTS

Fast casual.

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2014 Preview: RETAIL & APPAREL

Cool logos on T-shirts helped shape many action-sports companies here—and that’s still big business—but pressures from street and fast-fashion brands will remain hurdles for companies looking to break out of the “core” market and compete globally.

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2014 Preview: FINANCE

Banks may face “fiercer” competition in 2014 as an improving economy fuels more business spending.

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2014 Preview: HOTELS & TOURISM

It should be a healthy year for Orange County hotels.

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2014 Preview: REAL ESTATE

Developers involved with converting Orange County’s two big former military bases into commercial projects finally look likely to put the remnants of the last downturn behind them.

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D.C. ‘Powerhouse’ Opens Irvine Office

LAW: Partner in charge also member of Committee of 100

Global law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP has established an Orange County office in a move to expand its presence on the West Coast and heighten its “commitment … to the cross-border market.”

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Edwards Girds for New Competition on Heart Valves

HEALTHCARE: Early lead on less-invasive devices narrows

Edwards Lifesciences Corp.’s chief executive expects 2014 to “become a very interesting year” as the Irvine-based heart valve maker girds for more competition, particularly in the U.S.

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Offices Set For Triangle Center in Costa Mesa

REAL ESTATE: Retail SF to convert to creative space

Cutting-edge offices are coming to The Triangle in the latest reinvention of the high-profile Costa Mesa retail spot.

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Retail in the New Millennium

Companies Increasingly Lean on Bloggers to Create Buzz

Executives at e-commerce company Rakuten.com Shopping knew they would need a more human touch if they wanted to get more young females to flock to their site for clothes, gadgets and other everyday essentials.

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Will OC Economy Go From Good to Great?

ECONOMY: Potential for gain; post-recession mindset required

Orange County’s economy looks good as it heads into 2014.

Los Alamitos Adds Thoroughbred Dates

SPORTS: North OC track picks up business on Hollywood Park closure

Thoroughbred racing will return to Los Alamitos Race Course next year for the first time in more than two decades, positioning Orange County’s lone track as a hub for the industry in Southern California.

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Marblehead Moves Forward

195.5 Acres Along Coast Part of Lehman’s Wind-Down; Likely Bellwether on High-End Market for 2014

The long-delayed Marblehead coastal housing development in San Clemente is back in action.

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Friday, December 20

SJC-based Emerald Expositions Plans $350M Buy

San Juan Capistrano-based trade show producer Emerald Expositions Inc. will add some of the largest events in the U.S. to its portfolio with a pending $335 million acquisition of George Little Management LLC in White Plains, N.Y.

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Allergan Rises on Restasis Patent News

Shares of Irvine-based Allergan Inc. rose today after three new patents were listed for its dry eye drug Restasis.

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OC Adds Jobs, Unemployment Inches Down

Orange County added 8,700 jobs in November, buoyed in large part by seasonal hiring in retail.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 0.68% to 1,821.83 in afternoon trading Friday.

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American Vanguard Projects Weaker Q4

Newport Beach-based agriculture chemicals maker American Vanguard Corp. projected weaker fourth-quarter revenue, citing increased inventory levels held by its customers.

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Alliant Buys NY Firm

Newport Beach-based Alliant Insurance Services Inc. has acquired PRB Administrators NY, a retirement services company in New York.

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Hotel Management Company Moves HQ to Anaheim

BroughtonCompanies announced the move of its headquarters to Anaheim from Newport Beach.

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Vans Triple Crown Claims 3.5M Viewers

More than 3.5 million fans watched Vans Triple Crown of Surfing online, the largest audience ever for an action-sports event, according to organizers.

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Thursday, December 19

Vans Triple Crown Claims 3.5M Viewers

More than 3.5 million fans watched Vans Triple Crown of Surfing online, the largest audience ever for an action-sports event, according to organizers.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was off 0.04% to 1,809.85 in afternoon trading Thursday.

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Gardner New Director of Federal Reserve Bank of SF

Steven Gardner, chief executive of Pacific Premier Bancorp Inc., has been elected to the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

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Opus Bank Taps Former Mayor of Seattle as Director

Irvine-based Opus Bank has appointed former Mayor of Seattle Norman Rice to its board of directors.

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Darden to Spin Off Red Lobster, Slow Unit Growth

The parent of Irvine-based Yard House USA Inc. said it will spin off its Red Lobster chain as part of plan released Thursday to cut costs and "enhance shareholder value."

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Kia Sports Concept to Make Debut in January

Irvine-based Kia Motors America Inc. said it plans to unveil a concept sports car at the North American International Auto Show in January.

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HB Solar Specialist in Service Partnership With Florida Firm

Huntington Beach-based True South Renewables Inc. is expanding its management service for solar projects nationwide with a partnership with a Florida company.

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4 Healthcare Companies to Cut OC Jobs

Four healthcare companies will lay off a total of 236 Orange County workers in January, according to recent state filings.

Wednesday, December 18

Kia Sports Concept to Make Debut in January

Irvine-based Kia Motors America Inc. said it plans to unveil a concept sports car at the North American International Auto Show in January.

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4 Healthcare Companies to Cut OC Jobs

Four healthcare companies will lay off a total of 236 Orange County workers in January, according to recent state filings.

Gardner New Director of Federal Reserve Bank of SF

Steven Gardner, chief executive of Pacific Premier Bancorp Inc., has been elected to the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

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HB Solar Specialist in Service Partnership With Florida Firm

Huntington Beach-based True South Renewables Inc. is expanding its management service for solar projects nationwide with a partnership with a Florida company.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was off 0.28% to 1,776.04 in afternoon trading Wednesday.

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Activist Shareholder Explores Wet Seal Buy

Activist shareholder Clinton Group Inc. said it is exploring the possibility of buying Wet Seal Inc.

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State Treasurer Lockyer Joins Law Office in Irvine

California Treasurer Bill Lockyer has joined the Irvine office of Boston-based law firm Brown Rudnick LLP on a part-time basis.

Hotels Keep October Rates Up

Occupancy remained about flat among Orange County hotels even as rates increased in October, according to the latest data available from industry researcher PKF Consulting USA LLC.

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Activist Investor Report Increases Pressure on Yard House Parent for Split

Activist investor Barington Capital Group LP upped its pressure on the parent of Irvine-based Yard House USA Inc.

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Irvine Diagnostics Lab to Raise $12M

Irvine-based molecular diagnostics company CombiMatrix Corp. plans to raise $12 million in a public offering of convertible preferred stock and warrants.

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Costa Mesa Surgical Products Maker Acquired

Costa Mesa-based surgical products maker IOP Ophthalmics has been acquired by Katena Holdings Inc. in Denville, N.J. on undisclosed terms.

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Tuesday, December 17

Activist Investor Report Increases Pressure on Yard House Parent for Split

Activist investor Barington Capital Group LP upped its pressure on the parent of Irvine-based Yard House USA Inc.

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Hotels Keep October Rates Up

Occupancy remained about flat among Orange County hotels even as rates increased in October, according to the latest data available from industry researcher PKF Consulting USA LLC.

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Costa Mesa Surgical Products Maker Acquired

Costa Mesa-based surgical products maker IOP Ophthalmics has been acquired by Katena Holdings Inc. in Denville, N.J. on undisclosed terms.

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State Treasurer Lockyer Joins Law Office in Irvine

California Treasurer Bill Lockyer has joined the Irvine office of Boston-based law firm Brown Rudnick LLP on a part-time basis.

Irvine Diagnostics Lab to Raise $12M

Irvine-based molecular diagnostics company CombiMatrix Corp. plans to raise $12 million in a public offering of convertible preferred stock and warrants.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was off 0.31% to 1,780.99 in afternoon trading Tuesday.

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Marketing Firm Buys Former Lyon HQ

Smart Circle International LLC has purchased the former headquarters of William Lyon Homes in Newport Beach for $8.5 million.

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Westminster Mall Part of Simon Property Spinoff

The Westminster Mall is the only one in California that will be spun off from Simon Property Group Inc. into a new real estate investment trust, according to the company.

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Intel in Deal for Mindspeed’s Wireless Business

The assets of Mindspeed Technologies Inc.’s wireless infrastructure business will be sold to Intel Corp., the Newport Beach-based chipmaker announced Monday.

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TTM in $150M Debt Offering

Costa Mesa-based printed circuit board maker TTM Technologies Inc. on Monday announced plans to raise $150 million by selling convertible senior notes in a public offering.

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Monday, December 16

Marketing Firm Buys Former Lyon HQ

Smart Circle International LLC has purchased the former headquarters of William Lyon Homes in Newport Beach for $8.5 million.

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TTM in $150M Debt Offering

Costa Mesa-based printed circuit board maker TTM Technologies Inc. on Monday announced plans to raise $150 million by selling convertible senior notes in a public offering.

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Westminster Mall Part of Simon Property Spinoff

The Westminster Mall is the only one in California that will be spun off from Simon Property Group Inc. into a new real estate investment trust, according to the company.

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Intel in Deal for Mindspeed’s Wireless Business

The assets of Mindspeed Technologies Inc.’s wireless infrastructure business will be sold to Intel Corp., the Newport Beach-based chipmaker announced Monday.

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NB Investor Puts $5M in Biomedical Company

Newport Beach-based private equity firm Kodiak Capital Group LLC has agreed to purchase $5 million worth of common stock from Premier Biomedical Inc., an El Paso, Texas-based biopharmaceutical company.

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Oculus Raises $75M

Irvine-based virtual reality headset developer Oculus VR Inc. has raised $75 million from a group of investors led by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz in Menlo Park.

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Johnny Rockets Hires CFO

Aliso Viejo-based American diner-themed restaurant operator Johnny Rockets Restaurant Group Inc. announced the hiring of a chief financial officer.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 0.62% to 1,786.39 in afternoon trading Monday.

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Saturday, December 14

Innocean USA Tapped for Yogurt Brand

Alpina Foods hired Huntington Beach-based advertising agency Innocean USA “to strengthen the company’s brand” in the U.S.

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Pronouncement Points to Broadcom Campus at Great Park

Irvine Mayor Declares Deal Done; Chipmaker Keeps Plans Close to Vest

Construction of a new headquarters campus for Broadcom Corp. could be among the immediate byproducts of FivePoint Communities’ recent agreement with the city of Irvine over development plans for the former El Toro Marine Corps air station.

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Will OCTA Buy HQ in Shift to Santa Ana?

REAL ESTATE: Xerox Centre deal awaits OK; new offer in Orange

The Orange County Transportation Authority is nearing a deal to pay nearly $65 million for a new headquarters and administrative building next to the Xerox Centre office tower in Santa Ana.

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Raj Brings Chunk of Production Back Home

APPAREL: Tustin-based swimsuit maker to add 100 jobs at new factory

Tustin-based swimsuit maker Raj Manufacturing LLC is riding an uptick in the economy and tightening its reins on production with a recently opened factory in Los Angeles County.

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CEO Buys Yorba Linda Defense Contractor

TECHNOLOGY: Aims to grow in military, commercial sectors

Michael Carter has big growth plans in the wake of his purchase of the Yorba Linda-based defense company he was hired to run nearly two years ago.

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Study Points to Regional ‘Life Science’ Lead for OC

HEALTHCARE: 40,000 jobs spread over 5 industry sectors

Orange County dominates the medical device industry in Southern California and has developed extensive reach in the broader “life science” industry, according to a recently issued report by a regional trade group.

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Santa Ana Office Complex Near Sale

REAL ESTATE: Investor’s first local buy in three years

Tustin Centre, the Santa Ana office campus that previously held the headquarters of Grubb & Ellis Co., is close to being sold to an offshoot of a different commercial brokerage.

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Liz Gaier New Chief Exec of PennySaver

PennySaver USA has hired newspaper veteran Liz Gaier as its new chief executive.

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BakerCorp Gets Water Treatment Company

Seal Beach-based industrial tank rental company BakerCorp International Inc. recently acquired Kaselco LLC, a manufacturer of water treatment systems with headquarters in Shiner, Texas.

Wet Seal Ties for No. 1 on Ranking

Foothill Ranch-based teen and contemporary retailer Wet Seal Inc. tied for the No. 1 spot in a recent ranking and study of women in business in California conducted by the UC Davis Graduate School of Management.

PHILANTHROPY

Philanthropy Column by Kim Haman

ADDENDUM

Other items of interest in the Orange County Business Journal

Costa Mesa-based Pacific Mercantile Bank announced it’s exiting the residential mortgage market, a move that comes about a year after it got out of the wholesale mortgage business.

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Allergan Closes Book on Its Weight-Loss Business

Completes Sale to Texas Company for $75 Million

Irvine-based Allergan Inc. is officially out of the weight-loss ranks.

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Agency Starts Kenya Fundraiser in Time for Holidays

Aims to Raise $25,000 for Orphanage Supplies

Innocean USA, an advertising agency in Huntington Beach, kicked off a charity program, “Lines of Hope,” to raise $25,000 for Kenyan orphanages.

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San Juan Capistrano Moves Ahead on Medical Offices

Accretive Realty Heads Up 42,551-SF Project

Accretive Realty Advisors Inc., an Irvine-based real estate investor and developer that specializes in medical properties, has a new project moving ahead in San Juan Capistrano.

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South OC Market Loses Steam in Third Quarter

REAL ESTATE WATCH: SOUTH ORANGE COUNTY

Activity in the South Orange County commercial market slowed in the third quarter, recording negative net absorption of 45,195 square feet.

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CEO Leads Company to Help Her Native Philippines

Employees Volunteer in Typhoon Recovery Effort

The deadly, Class 5 typhoon that engulfed several coastal towns in the Philippines hit home for local technology executive Marla Rausch.

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2013 Year in Review

New Energy Gets OC Back to Old Normal

Enough of all that talk about a “new normal” in the wake of the recent recession.

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2013 Year In Review: Real Estate

It was a year of construction, home sales and political victories for Emile Haddad, developer of Great Park Neighborhoods in Irvine.

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2013 Year In Review: Healthcare

Our pick of Richard Afable was stoked by the fact that he was starting a new job this year—becoming the initial president and chief executive of Covenant Health Network in Irvine.

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2013 Year In Review: Finance

Steven Sugarman was named chief executive of First PacTrust Bancorp Inc. a year ago, a role he took on with the goal of growing and integrating the thrift company into a commercial bank.

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2013 Year In Review: Marketing/Media

We placed Irvine-based Specific Media LLC on our watch list last year as it prepared for the official relaunch of the social network Myspace, which the Irvine-based online advertising company bought for $35 million in 2011.

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2013 Year In Review: Manufacturing

We put agriculture chemicals maker American Vanguard Corp. on the watch list for 2013, as U.S. farmers were coming off of a severe drought in 2012 that affected harvests for corn and soybeans.

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2013 Year In Review: Technology

The Business Journal’s pick of Western Digital Corp. Chief Executive Steve Milligan hit the bull’s-eye.

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California Republic’s Drive Time

Prime Auto Lending, ‘Simple’ Set of Services Behind Bank’s Growth

California Republic Bancorp took a brief turn in the public spotlight recently, drawing a nod from Wall Street when it sold about $247 million worth of notes backed by its car loans.

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CALENDAR OCBJ

Dec. 16-25, 2013

A listing of business events happening all around Orange County.

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Register LA-Bound in More Ways Than One? Memory of Mandela

OC INSIDER by Jerry Sullivan

2013 Year In Review: Retail

The drama surrounding the sale of Irvine-based Billabong USA’s Australian parent dragged on for a couple of years, and perhaps its greatest fallout came with the August departure of former Americas President Paul Naudé.

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Friday, December 13

Johnny Rockets Hires CFO

Aliso Viejo-based American diner-themed restaurant operator Johnny Rockets Restaurant Group Inc. announced the hiring of a chief financial officer.

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Oculus Raises $75M

Irvine-based virtual reality headset developer Oculus VR Inc. has raised $75 million from a group of investors led by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz in Menlo Park.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.19% to 1,778.95 in afternoon trading Friday.

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Quiksilver Bounces Back on Analyst Upgrade

Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver Inc. shares rose Friday afternoon following a brief dip in after-hours trading yesterday on an analyst upgrade that followed the action sports apparel maker and retailer's fourth-quarter and full-year results.

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Irvine Tech Startup Raises $7M

Irvine-based software maker Mavenlink Inc. got $7 million from Carrick Capital Partners in San Francisco.

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Freedom Plans L.A. Register

Freedom Communications Holdings Inc., parent company of the Orange County Register, announced plans to expand into Los Angeles County.

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Thursday, December 12

Quiksilver Falls on Q4, Full-Year Results

Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver Inc. shares fell in after-hours trading Thursday following the action sports apparel maker and retailer's fourth-quarter and full-year results.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.26% to 1,777.62 in afternoon trading Thursday.

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Emulex to Cut 110 Workers, Close Mass. Operation

Costa Mesa-based Emulex Corp. will cut about 10% of its workforce and close a Massachusetts plant as part of another restructuring plan to improve finances and operational efficiency.

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Pac Merc Exits Mortgages

Costa Mesa-based Pacific Mercantile Bank has announced it’s exiting the residential mortgage market altogether.

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Avanir Shares Slide

Aliso Viejo-based Avanir Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s shares plummeted Tuesday on several pieces of news, including a clinical trial disappointment and an analyst downgrade despite recent financial results that met expectations.

Wednesday, December 11

Pac Merc Exits Mortgages

Costa Mesa-based Pacific Mercantile Bank has announced it’s exiting the residential mortgage market altogether.

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Emulex to Cut 110 Workers, Close Mass. Operation

Costa Mesa-based Emulex Corp. will cut about 10% of its workforce and close a Massachusetts plant as part of another restructuring plan to improve finances and operational efficiency.

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Avanir Shares Slide

Aliso Viejo-based Avanir Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s shares plummeted today on several pieces of news, including a clinical trial disappointment and an analyst downgrade despite recent financial results that met expectations.

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.77% to 1,788.79 in afternoon trading Wednesday.

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Liz Gaier New PennySaver CEO

PennySaver USA has hired newspaper veteran Liz Gaier as its new chief executive.

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InnoceanUSA Named Agency of Record for Yogurt Brand

Alpina Foods tapped Huntington Beach-based advertising agency InnoceanUSA “to strengthen the company’s brand” in the U.S.

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Tuesday, December 10

Liz Gaier New CEO of PennySaver

PennySaver USA has hired newspaper veteran Liz Gaier as its new chief executive.

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InnoceanUSA Named Agency of Record for Yogurt Brand

Alpina Foods tapped Huntington Beach-based advertising agency InnoceanUSA “to strengthen the company’s brand” in the U.S.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 fell 0.26% to 1,803.58 in afternoon trading Tuesday.

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New CEO for QLogic

Industry veteran Prasad Rampalli has been named chief executive of Aliso Viejo-based networking equipment maker QLogic Corp.

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Edwards Lifesciences Falls on Guidance

Shares of Irvine-based Edwards Lifesciences Corp. slid on Monday after the heart valve maker provided disappointing guidance for 2014.

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Billabong Turnaround Focus: “Fewer, Bigger, Better”

Attention is back on the turnaround of Irvine-based Billabong USA and its Australian parent in the latest remarks from the action sports company’s board chairman and new chief executive.

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Wet Seal Ties for No. 1 on Female Execs Ranking

Foothill Ranch-based teen and contemporary retailer Wet Seal Inc. tied for the number one spot in a recent ranking and study of women in business in California conducted by the UC Davis Graduate School of Management.

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Raj Manufacturing Opens New Factory

Tustin-based swimsuit maker Raj Manufacturing LLC has expanded its manufacturing and production work to a new facility in Los Angeles County.

U.S. Bank Gets New Market President

U.S. Bank has named a new Orange County market president to oversee its commercial banking team here.

BakerCorp Gets Water Treatment Company

Seal Beach-based industrial tank rental company BakerCorp International Inc. has acquired Kaselco LLC, a manufacturer of water treatment systems with headquarters in Shiner, Texas.

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CALENDAR OCBJ

Dec. 9-18, 2013

A listing of business events happening all around Orange County.

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Monday, December 9

Billabong Turnaround Focus: “Fewer, Bigger, Better”

Attention is back on the turnaround of Irvine-based Billabong USA and its Australian parent in the latest remarks from the action sports company’s board chairman and new chief executive.

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New CEO for QLogic

Industry veteran Prasad Rampalli has been named chief executive of Aliso Viejo-based networking equipment maker QLogic Corp.

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Wet Seal Ties for No. 1 on Female Execs Ranking

Foothill Ranch-based teen and contemporary retailer Wet Seal Inc. tied for the number one spot in a recent ranking and study of women in business in California conducted by the UC Davis Graduate School of Management.

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U.S. Bank Gets New Market President

U.S. Bank has named a new Orange County market president to oversee its commercial banking team here.

Edwards Lifesciences Falls on Guidance

Shares of Irvine-based Edwards Lifesciences Corp. slid today after the heart valve maker provided disappointing guidance for 2014. Edwards’ shares were down about 6% to a market value of $6.8 billion.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.30% to 1,810.50 in afternoon trading Monday.

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Carpenter Fund CFO Joins Pac Merc

Curt Christianssen, chief financial officer of Irvine-based investor Carpenter Community Bancfund, has joined its Pacific Mercantile Bancorp in Costa Mesa as interim chief financial officer.

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Saturday, December 7

David & Goliath Helps Vizio Keep It ‘Beautifully Simple’

Tech-Savvy 7-Year-Old Featured in Campaign

Irvine-based Vizio Inc. kicked off a new television campaign called “Beautifully Simple” to promote its Vizio M-Series Smart TV and Vizio Sound Bar products.

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Sabra Makes Good on Trimming Exposure to Genesis

Says Post-Independence Shift Helps Shareholders

Irvine-based Sabra Health Care REIT Inc. continues to make progress on one of its stated goals since becoming an independent company three years ago: spreading its portfolio across a range of operators.

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’Tis the Season for Bigger Luxury Home Sales in County

Santa Barbara Style Meets the Sea, Design Showcase

LUXURY HOMES Column by Kim Haman

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ADDENDUM

Other items of interest in the Orange County Business Journal, December 9, 2013

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Cement Plant Site to Hold New Industrial Building

REAL ESTATE: Project among biggest in Anaheim in years

A former cement manufacturing plant in Anaheim is on the fast track to be turned into a new industrial property.

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CarFinance Sells $304 Million in Debt

Irvine-based automobile financing company CarFinance Capital LLC completed a sale of $304 million worth of debt backed by a pool of its loans.

Edwards Lifesciences Names New CFO

Irvine-based Edwards Lifesciences Corp. appointed Scott Ullem as its new corporate vice president and chief financial officer.

Anaheim Staffing Firm Acquired

Anaheim-based staffing firm Midcom Corp. was acquired by HKA Enterprises Inc. in Duncan, S.C., on undisclosed terms.

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Windjammer Picks Up NC Manufacturer

Newport Beach-based private equity firm Windjammer Capital Investors acquired Engineered Controls International LLC in Elon, N.C., on undisclosed terms.

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OC Register, Press-Enterprise to Share Top Managers

MEDIA: Veteran publisher,editor let go in Riverside

Freedom Communications Holdings Inc.’s flagship Orange County Register and its newly acquired Press-Enterprise are sharing most of their upper management, a likely cost-savings measure for the Santa Ana-based media company.

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RLH Cashes Out of CyberCoders

FINANCE: Irvine office helped restructure search firm

Riordan, Lewis & Haden Equity Partners has sold its majority stake in Irvine-based CyberCoders Holdings Inc., a fast-growing recruiting firm, to global professional-services company On Assignment Inc.

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Hotel Makeover Points Up New Bid to Brand Irvine

HOSPITALITY: Switch from Hyatt flies independent flag

Irvine Company’s new tack for the former Hyatt Regency Irvine: Raise an independent flag in a bid to win over visitors beyond its established base of corporate customers.

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HB Test Lab Grows on Demand FromLocal A&D Industry

SERVICES: Materials tester adds third shift, leases building to grow lab

Element Materials Technology, a global materials testing company based in Amsterdam, has made “substantial” investments in its aerospace-focused division in Huntington Beach, increasing its laboratory space and adding a third work shift.

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Apria Gets $2.1B for Drug Business,Mum on Oxygen

HEALTHCARE: Blackstone Group strikes deal with CVS at 5-year mark

Apria Healthcare Group Inc. has largely flown under the radar since it left Orange County’s public company ranks five years ago.

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Mazda Back on Track

Irvine-Based North American Operations Chip in for Comeback

Mazda Motor Corp. was digging itself out of a billion-dollar hole when Russell Wager took over as marketing chief at the Japan-based automaker’s North American headquarters in Irvine.

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OC Retail Up Again, Offers New Mix for Holidays

RETAIL: 4th-straight year of growth among biggest here

Orange County’s largest shopping centers have this going for them as the holiday outlook at a lot of mall-based retailers gets shaky: They already have a fourth-straight year of growth under their belts, according to this week’s Business Journal list. Includes the 2013 OC's LARGEST SHOPPING CENTERS list for download (pdf)

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Fisker’s Full Circle Brings 12% Jobs Dip at Automakers

Other Brands Still Account for Nearly 3,000 Jobs Here

Anaheim-based Fisker Automotive Inc. led a 5.8% gain in worker counts among local automakers last year as hopes remained high for its hybrid luxury sports car. Includes the 2013 OC's LARGEST AUTOMAKERS list for download (pdf)

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Auto Dealers Pick Up Pace, Extend Streak on Sales

Top Franchises in Orange County Combine for $4.3B

The top 34 franchised car dealers in Orange County reported more than $4.3 billion in sales last year, an 11.7% increase that marked the third annual gain in the wake of the recession. Includes the 2013 OC's LARGEST AUTO DEALERS list for download (pdf)

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Santa Ana ‘Twin Towers’ Offices Near Sale

REAL ESTATE: Equity Office could pay close to $100M

Chicago-based Equity Office Management LLC is nearing its third large local investment of the year, this time for a two-building office complex in Santa Ana, according to real estate watchers.

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Boutique Execs Say Model May Be First of More to Come

Offer Clients Option to Big Software Makers

An Irvine startup launched by former UST Global Inc. executives is finding early success with big-name companies that need custom software development and Web design.

Greatest Airport Area Office, Industrial Markets Healthy in Q3

REAL ESTATE WATCH: AIRPORT/CENTRAL COAST AREA

Absorption in the Greater Airport Area office market in the third quarter was 83,307 square feet, compared to 37,956 square feet in the second quarter.

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Accounting Firm Moss Adams to Move Next-Door

Leases Space in Knobbe Martens’ High-Rise

Accounting firm Moss Adams LLP will move its Irvine operations one high-rise to the right late next year.

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Friday, December 6

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 1.04% to 1,803.51 in afternoon trading Friday.

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PacSun Bright Spot in Rugged Retail Landscape

Anaheim-based action sports apparel retailer Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. reported a strong start to its holiday selling season as other chains offered Wall Street disappointing guidance that sent the shares of some plunging earlier this week.

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Mitsubishi Lowers Price on Electric Model

Cypress-based Mitsubishi Motors Corp. cut the price on the 2014 model year of its all-electric vehicle by about 20% in a bid to spur sales.

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Costa Mesa Lamborghini Dealer Does Bitcoin Deal

Lamborghini Newport Beach in Costa Mesa accepted Bitcoin—a virtual currency—as payment for used Tesla Model S electric vehicle.

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Jewelry Exchange Gets Gold Mine

The Jewelry Exchange, a Tustin-based jewelry manufacturer and retailer said it has acquired a mine with deposits of quartz and gold in the Twentynine Palms area of San Bernardino County.

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Yorba Linda Power Supply Company Acquired

Yorba Linda-based electrical equipment maker Radius Power has been acquired by Astrodyne Corp. on undisclosed terms.

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Real Mex Announces Raft of Executive Appointments

Cypress-based Mexican restaurant chain operator Real Mex Restaurants Inc. has a new chief financial officer among several other new executives handling responsibilities that range from operations to human resources.

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Johnny Rockets Hires U.S. Franchise Chief

Aliso Viejo-based American diner chain Johnny Rockets Restaurant Group Inc. said it hired Chief Development Officer James Walker to handle domestic franchising for the chain.

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Thursday, December 5

Costa Mesa Lamborghini Dealer Does Bitcoin Deal

Lamborghini Newport Beach in Costa Mesa accepted Bitcoin—a virtual currency—as payment for used Tesla Model S electric vehicle.

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Jewelry Exchange Gets Gold Mine

The Jewelry Exchange, a Tustin-based jewelry manufacturer and retailer said it has acquired a mine with deposits of quartz and gold in the Twentynine Palms area of San Bernardino County.

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PacSun Bright Spot in Rugged Retail Landscape

Anaheim-based action sports apparel retailer Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. reported a strong start to its holiday selling season as other chains offered Wall Street disappointing guidance that sent the shares of some plunging earlier this week.

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Real Mex Announces Raft of Executive Appointments

Cypress-based Mexican restaurant chain operator Real Mex Restaurants Inc. has a new chief financial officer among several other new executives handling responsibilities that range from operations to human resources.

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Johnny Rockets Hires U.S. Franchise Chief

Aliso Viejo-based American diner chain Johnny Rockets Restaurant Group Inc. said it hired Chief Development Officer James Walker to handle domestic franchising for the chain.

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Mitsubishi Lowers Price on Electric Model

Cypress-based Mitsubishi Motors Corp. cut the price on the 2014 model year of its all-electric vehicle by about 20% in a bid to spur sales.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 slipped 0.33% to 1,786.81 in afternoon trading Thursday.

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Wet Seal Shares Sink on Red Ink for Holiday

Foothill Ranch-based Wet Seal Inc. joined a string of fellow retailers in reporting disappointing guidance for the current quarter on Wednesday.

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Edwards Names New CFO

Irvine-based Edwards Lifesciences Corp. has appointed Scott Ullem as its new corporate vice president and chief financial officer.

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Kofax Begins Trading on Nasdaq

Irvine-based business software maker Kofax Ltd. began trading on the Nasdaq exchange Thursday after pricing its shares as part of its listing in the U.S.

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Anaheim Staffing Firm Sold

Anaheim-based staffing firm Midcom Corp. has been acquired by HKA Enterprises Inc. in Duncan, S.C. on undisclosed terms.

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Newport Beach PE Firm Buys Gas Valve Maker

Newport Beach-based private equity firm Windjammer Capital Investors has acquired Engineered Controls International LLC in Elon, N.C. on undisclosed terms.

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Banc of California Raises $20M

Banc of California Inc. in Irvine is raising $20 million through a private placement of its common stock to Philadelphia-based private equity investor Patriot Financial Partners LP.

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Wednesday, December 4

Wet Seal Shares Sink on Red Ink for Holiday

Foothill Ranch-based Wet Seal Inc. joined a string of fellow retailers in reporting disappointing guidance for the current quarter on Wednesday.

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Banc of California Raises $20M

Banc of California Inc. in Irvine is raising $20 million through a private placement of its common stock to Philadelphia-based private equity investor Patriot Financial Partners LP.

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Newport Beach PE Firm Buys Gas Valve Maker

Newport Beach-based private equity firm Windjammer Capital Investors has acquired Engineered Controls International LLC in Elon, N.C. on undisclosed terms.

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Subprime Auto Lender in $304M Securitization

Irvine-based automobile financing company CarFinance Capital LLC has completed a sale of $304 million worth of debt backed by a pool of its loans.

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OC Automakers Get Strong Start to Holiday

Most OC-based automakers rallied in November, posting big sales gains as the holiday selling season got underway.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 fell 0.67% to 1,783.13 in afternoon trading Wednesday.

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Tuesday, December 3

OC Automakers Get Strong Start to Holiday

Most OC-based automakers rallied in November, posting big sales gains as the holiday selling season got underway.

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Subprime Auto Lender in $304M Securitization

Irvine-based automobile financing company CarFinance Capital LLC has completed a sale of $304 million worth of debt backed by a pool of its loans.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 fell 0.61% to 1,789.91 in afternoon trading Tuesday.

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OC Auto Sales Up 3.2% in October

Orange County auto dealers sold 12,085 new vehicles in October, a 3.2% increase from a year earlier.

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Quiksilver Expects to Sell off Remaining ‘Non-Core’ Assets

Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver Inc. is unloading the rest of its non-core assets in the company’s latest push to focus on its core brands.

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South Coast Plaza Adds Disneyland Resort Ticket Sales to Concierge

Tickets and annual passes to the Disneyland Resort's two theme parks can now be purchased at South Coast Plaza.

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Irvine Staffing Firm Sold for $94M

Irvine-based staffing firm CyberCoders Inc. has agreed to be acquired by On Assignment Inc. for $94 million, with the potential for an additional $11 million in milestone payments.

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New Owner for RSM Machine Tool Parts Maker

Rancho Santa Margarita-based machine tools company ATS Workholding Inc. has been acquired by Grey Mountain Partners, a Boulder, Colo.-based private equity firm.

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Costa Mesa Engineering Business Sold to Jacobs

Some assets of Costa Mesa-based engineering firm Marmac Field Services Inc. have been acquired by Jacobs Engineering Group in Pasadena.

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Monday, December 2

OC Auto Sales Up 3.2% in October

Orange County auto dealers sold 12,085 new vehicles in October, a 3.2% increase from a year earlier.

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South Coast Plaza Adds Disneyland Resort Ticket Sales to Concierge

Tickets and annual passes to the Disneyland Resort's two theme parks can now be purchased at South Coast Plaza.

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Irvine Staffing Firm Sold for $94M

Irvine-based staffing firm CyberCoders Inc. has agreed to be acquired by On Assignment Inc. for $94 million, with the potential for an additional $11 million in milestone payments.

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Costa Mesa Engineering Business Sold to Jacobs

Some assets of Costa Mesa-based engineering firm Marmac Field Services Inc. have been acquired by Jacobs Engineering Group in Pasadena.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 0.11% to 1,807.79 in afternoon trading Monday.

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Sunday, December 1

Nonprofit Organizations Grow Along With Economy

Combine for 9% revenue jump and 6% employment increase

Orange County’s largest nonprofit organizations grew over a recent 12-month stretch as they combined to increase revenue by 9% to roughly $2.2 billion. Includes the 2013 OC's LARGEST NONPROFITS list for download (pdf)

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Lincoln Club’s Quest; Old Irvine? Doti Star Turn Prompts Rival

OC INSIDER by Jerry Sullivan

Alliance Shares Rebound on Post-Recession Hopes

HEALTHCARE: Costs were cut, hospital relationships endured

Alliance HealthCare Services Inc.’s new chief executive is settling into the job with some wind at his back, thanks to a big run-up of its shares on Wall Street.

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Irvine Drinks Maker Raises $5.2 Million

Irvine-based beverage company True Drinks Holdings Inc. raised $5.2 million through a sale of convertible preferred stock.

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Santa Ana-Based Security Company Acquires IPC International

Santa Ana-based securities services firm Universal Protection Service acquired IPC International Corp. in Bannockburn, Ill., on undisclosed terms.

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Logistics Company Moves to Fullerton

3PL Global LLC, a Carson-based provider of third-party logistics services, is moving its Irvine and Santa Ana operations to Fullerton after signing one of the largest industrial leases in North County in the past few months.

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Ensign Group Calls Its Business Spinoff Different

HEALTHCARE: Plans separate operating, real estate companies

The Ensign Group Inc. is shrugging off comparisons to others in its industry as it prepares to split off its operating and real estate businesses into a pair of publicly traded companies.

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More Than Dollars for These Scholars

Ron Simon’s Foundation Marks 10 Years of Comprehensive Support

A constant in Isela Arias’ life while growing up in Santa Ana was her mother’s belief in education.

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Fresh Seafood Order of the Day at New Tustin Eatery

Plus, Food Mystery Solved, Hawaii Standout Revisited

Bonefish Grill has come to Orange County.

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Nonprofit Probes Hospitals’ Community Spending

Says Spending for Tax Breaks Not Appropriate

The question of whether hospitals in Orange County and other parts of California are providing “appropriate” amounts of community benefit spending surfaced again last month.

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Western Digital’s Outlook Rises on Helium Drive

TECHNOLOGY: Tests draw top customers; higher margins eyed

A unit of Irvine-based Western Digital Corp. has attracted an impressive list of customers to test a new storage drive that could reshape the industry and fuel a wave of innovation to ease the increasing demands of the data explosion.

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Santa Ana Business Center Buy Prelude to Makeover

MCA’s Largest Purchase; $70M Goal for 2014

MCA Realty, a Santa Ana-based investments and management firm that started operations in 2011, has made its largest purchase to date with the buy of a business and retail center in its hometown.

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Smith Micro Gets OK to Continue on Nasdaq

Software Maker Was in Danger of Delisting

Aliso Viejo-based Smith Micro Software Inc. has regained compliance to continue trading on the Nasdaq Capital Market.

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Retail Execs Talk Authenticity, Technology Trends

Gensler Panel Agrees That New View of Culture Outweighs Demographics

Local retail executives visited the recently expanded Newport Beach office of architecture firm Gensler to discuss technology, authenticity and other trends making a difference in their businesses.

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Hotel Irvine Jamboree Center Names GM

The former head of a Hilton property in Huntington Beach will lead operations of the newly renamed Hotel Irvine Jamboree Center.

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Yamaha Plays New Notes

U.S Arm Has HQ Here, $560M in Sales, Growth Strategy

Fourteen-year-old pianist Valerie Narumi of Yorba Linda will join a couple of other young musicians who each will perform original pieces at the National Association of Music Merchants convention in Anaheim.

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Fresh Fish Concept’s Founders Sink Their Teeth Into Middle East

RESTAURANTS: Startup that grew from food truck plans 75 units there

Slapfish sells fish so fresh they’ll slap you.

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PBS SoCal Goes Hollywood With Stars Roundtable

Holiday Series in Concert With Hollywood Reporter

Costa Mesa-based PBS SoCal will air Hollywood Reporter Roundtables, a five-part series featuring Hollywood’s leading stars—including Oprah Winfrey, George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Emma Thompson, Matthew McConaughey and Forest Whitaker.

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Kofax Set for Debut on U.S. Exchange

TECHNOLOGY: Software maker will keep listing in London

Irvine-based business software maker Kofax PLC has priced shares for an initial public offering in one of the last requirements before its long-awaited debut on an American exchange.

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Low-Rise Office Market Experienced Less Activity in Q3

REAL ESTATE WATCH: LOW-RISE OFFICE SPACE

Activity in Orange County’s office sector decreased during the third quarter, especially in the low-rise category.

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Centerstone Plaza in Irvine Fetches $51M

REAL ESTATE: Institutional investors stay busy in area

Centerstone Plaza, a six-building office and retail complex in Irvine, has traded hands for about $51 million in the latest sizable sale of an Orange County commercial property to a large institutional investor.

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