Stories for December 2014

Wednesday, December 31

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.1% to 2,077.47 in midday trading.

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OC Law Schools Make Top 10 in State

Two local law schools’ summer bar exam pass rates placed them among the top 10 American Bar Association-approved schools in the state.

Tuesday, December 30

Pac Life Adds $200B Worth of Reinsurance Business

Pacific Life Insurance Co. has assumed $200 billion worth of individual life reinsurance risk from Reinsurance Group of America Inc.

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Costa Mesa Firm Headed to Utah

Armada Skis Inc. is moving its headquarters from Costa Mesa to Park City, according to the Utah governor’s Office of Economic Development.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.5% to 2,079.94 in midday trading.

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More Passengers, Fewer Flights at JWA in November

John Wayne Airport reported an increase in total passengers of about 4% in November compared with a year earlier even as the number of commercial flights—take-offs and landings—declined by about 2%.

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Monday, December 29

Orange Bank Acquired

Orange-based First Security Business Bank has been acquired by San Diego Private Bank on undisclosed terms.

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Wells Fargo Names Irvine Exec SoCal President

Wells Fargo has named Ben Alvarado president of its Southern California region in a restructuring.

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Irvine Resort Operator Plans Napa Expansion

Irvine-based Pacific Hospitality Group has proposed a 134-room expansion to its Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa, according to a news report.

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Freedom Shutters LB Register

Freedom Communications Holdings Inc. said it stopped publishing the Long Beach Register Sunday after shutting down the Los Angeles Register in September, and other publications this year.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.1% to 2,090.51 in midday trading.

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Wednesday, December 24

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was flat at 2,081.88 in midday trading.

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Tuesday, December 23

PE Firm Invests in Apparel Company

Private equity firm Altamont Capital Partners in Palo Alto said it’s made a strategic investment in Cypress-based Hybrid Apparel.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.3% to 2,084.03 in midday trading.

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Auxilio Signs $18M Contract

Mission Viejo-based Auxilio Inc., a managed print services company focused on the healthcare industry, said it has signed a five-year, $18 million contract with the largest operating region of what it called “a top 10 U.S. health system.”

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Aliso Viejo Software Firm Gets $2M

Corent Technology Inc. in Aliso Viejo received $2.1 million in venture capital funding.

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Monday, December 22

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.1% to 2,073.26 in midday trading.

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Quality Systems Enters Cloud With New Products

Uses Annual Meeting To Talk Up Coming Debuts

Quality Systems Inc. is dipping into the world of cloud computing and recently shared some of its new products at its annual users’ group meeting.

OCBJ Calendar

This week's business and other event listings.

Kilroy Sheds Another OC Office in Westcore Sale

$25.3M for Orange Office Leased to Aecom Tech

San Diego-based real estate investor Westcore Properties has bought one of the last remaining Orange County assets of Kilroy Realty Corp.

Real Estate Deals

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

A private party sold an apartment building in Fullerton to a private investor for about $2.6 million.

Ariz. Tech Broker Has High Hopes for Entry Into OC

PlanetOne Estimates Sales Could Double With Move

A fast-growing Arizona provider of telecom and IT brokerage services is betting its recent expansion into Irvine could double business in the next 18 months.

North OC Office Market Has Strong Q3

The North Orange County office market remained strong during the third quarter and is moving steadily forward as 2014 comes to an end.

Will Vizio’s Garden Grow Smart Sprinkler Startup?

Irvine-Based Brand Kicks In Seed Money, Office Space, Taiwan Connection

A startup launched by two of Skype’s earliest employees with the backing of Vizio Inc. hopes to make its mark in the “Internet of Things” market with the debut of a smart lawn sprinkler at next month’s International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Early Indicators Point to Strength, Staying Power for OC’s Economy

Is the outlook for business in Orange County hot or strong?

Olen Adds Atlanta Apartments, Stays Patient on Deals Here

REAL ESTATE: Latest OC-based investor to buy into Georgia capital

A nationwide apartment push by Olen Properties has seen the Newport Beach-based real estate owner and investor make its first acquisition in the Atlanta area while ramping up development in other markets outside Orange County.

Bankers See Trend of Global Growth for OC Clients in 2015

FINANCE: Exports pegged to rise 8%, reach $28B in 2015

Many of the biggest commercial banks with operations in Orange County are poised to gain from international markets as the local business landscape becomes more global in character.

2015 Preview: RETAIL

Expect to see improvements for local retailers and apparel manufacturers next year, according to the 2015 Forecast by Chapman University’s A. Gary Anderson Center for Economic Research.

ADDENDUM

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 37, No. 51

Five Orange County community colleges cracked the top-25 in a national survey of enrollment growth, according to a report by Community College Week that was based on data from the federal National Center for Education Statistics in Washington D.C. Fullerton College was the fastest-growing community college in the country between fall 2012 and fall 2013 for schools with at least 10,000 students.

Hurley Riffs on Hawaiian Surfer’s Moves in New Ad

One-Minute Spot Unveils Phantom JJF Boardshorts

Hurley International LLC, a Costa Mesa-based action-sports apparel brand, introduced its Phantom JJF Elite boardshorts with a one-minute spot titled “Power in Motion.”

Friday, December 19

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.2% to 2,065.83 in midday trading.

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OC Adds 9,000 Jobs, Unemployment Rate Steady at 5%

Orange County added 9,000 jobs in November, continuing a streak of monthly job gains since a dip in August.

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Sanuk Founder Leaves for Tea Brand

Sanuk USA LLC founder Jeff Kelley said he will “transition from an active role” at the Irvine-based footwear brand by the end of the year.

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Wet Seal Revises Loan Terms With BofA

Wet Seal Inc. said it amended its loan terms with Bank of America N.A. and will now provide reports on the value of its assets to the lender on a weekly basis instead of once a month as previously agreed.

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5 JCs Here Among Fastest Growers

Five Orange County community colleges cracked the top-25 in a national survey of enrollment growth, a news report said.

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Thursday, December 18

Sanuk Founder Leaves for Tea Brand

Jeff Kelley, founder of Sanuk USA LLC, said he will “transition from an active role” at the Irvine-based footwear brand by the end of the year.

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Wet Seal Revises Loan Terms With BofA

Wet Seal Inc. said it amended its contract with Bank of America N.A. and will now provide reports on the value of its assets to the lender on a weekly basis instead of once a month as previously agreed.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Major stock indices were up strongly in midday trading, on positive signs from the Federal Reserve on interest rates in early 2015.

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Wednesday, December 17

JWA, Southwest to Add Routes

John Wayne Airport cemented deals for two new round-trip Southwest Airlines routes starting next summer.

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Brand Affinity in BK, Seeks Bidder

Brand Affinity Technologies Inc. has hired Irvine-based GlassRatner Advisory & Capital Group LLC to find potential bidders to acquire the cash-depleted advertising and social media company, according to a filing in bankruptcy court.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 1% to 1,993.21 in midday trading.

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Tuesday, December 16

Device Maker Insightra Raises $12M

Irvine-based Insightra Medical Inc. has raised $12 million in a pair of fundings, according to a regulatory filing.

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New Campus HQ for Asics America

Asics America Corp. in Irvine has moved its headquarters 3 miles northwest to a campus at Lakeview Business Center that’s tailored to the recent trend toward creative office space.

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Yard House Sales Up 3.7%

Irvine-based Yard House saw quarterly same-store sales increase by 3.7% year-over-year according to the most recent report from its parent company, Darden Restaurants Inc., in Orlando, Fla.

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Actavis to Trim Allergan Executive Ranks

Actavis PLC said today it plans to replace most of the top executives at Allergan Inc. with its own personnel when its $68 billion acquisition of the Irvine-based drug maker closes next year.

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Versant Closes $305M Fund

Healthcare-focused venture capital firm Versant Ventures has raised $305 million for its latest fund.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.5% to 1,999.11 in midday trading.

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Mitsubishi Recalls SUVs

Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc. is voluntarily recalling 54,779 Outlander Sport vehicles due to seat belt issues, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Juice It Up Taps VP for Growth

The parent company of Irvine-based Juice It Up said it hired Laina Sullivan as its first vice president of business development, with duties to include franchising, site selection and lease negotiation.

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Monday, December 15

Versant Closes $305M Fund

Healthcare-focused venture capital firm Versant Ventures has raised $305 million for its latest fund.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was fell 0.4% to 1,993.76 in midday trading.

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WD’s Former Hitachi Unit in Buy

A San Jose-based unit of Western Digital Corp. has acquired a maker of solid-state storage systems used in scaling cloud and enterprise data centers.

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Times Gets “Protective Order” on Claim Against Register

A Superior Court judge in Los Angeles has granted the Los Angeles Times’ request for a “temporary protective order” against Santa Ana-based Freedom Communications Holdings Inc.’s flagship Orange County Register.

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OC Fair Names CEO

The Costa Mesa-based OC Fair & Events Center named Kathy Kramer its new Chief Executive.

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Irvine Bank CEO and CFO to Retire

Irvine-based Pacific Enterprise Bank said Chief Executive Rick Ganulin will retire at the end of the year.

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2014 Year in Review: Finance

Gross made the biggest people-on-the-move news in the finance industry this year, leaving Pacific Investment Management Co. for much-smaller rival Janus Capital Group.

HK Buyer Adds Hotel at Gate of Disneyland Resort to OC Portfolio

REAL ESTATE: Renovation seen for 300-room Anaheim Plaza

A 300-room hotel across the street from the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim is expected to see a major renovation following its sale to a Hong Kong-based investor.

2014 in Review: Big Deals, Doings

My, how you’ve grown. What else to say about Orange County’s business landscape over the past year?

Ensign Expands San Diego Presence With Acquisitions

Hospice Care Added To Other Facilities in County

Mission Viejo-based nursing home operator Ensign Group Inc. is making moves to the south.

Brand Consultant Celebrates 3 Decades With Book

Images in Tome Are A Retrospective on Its Work

InterCommunications Inc., a brand consulting company that specializes in the real estate and hospitality industries, recently published a coffee table book, “Imaging Places”—a 288-page portfolio of projects the Newport Beach firm has taken on over its 30 years in business.

Fisker Automotive Works on New Grand Plans

Costa Mesa Car Maker In Tests for Karma Relaunch

The deep pockets funding Costa Mesa-based Fisker Automotive and Technologies Group LLC’s revival have led the automaker to test several technologies and features as it prepares to relaunch its luxury hybrid Karma.

Manufacturing, Warehouse Vacancies Down in Q3

Third-quarter vacancy rates in Orange County’s manufacturing and warehouse sector dropped to 2.2%, down 21% from a year earlier.

Real Estate Deals

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

CT Realty to Riverside for $25M Industrial Project

5-Building Project Part Of $120M JV With Prudential

CT Realty is moving ahead on a $25 million industrial project in Riverside in the first deal the Aliso Viejo-based developer has made with a large institutional investor it recently partnered with.

New Yorker’s OC Junket Puts Jannard in YouTube Picture

Much of this week’s issue is dedicated to a look back at 2014, which has proved to be a remarkable year in many respects for the community of business in Orange County (see overview, page 1; coverage by industry, pages 5 through 18).

VidCon Back to Anaheim for 2015

VidCon will return to the Anaheim Convention Center for its 2015 edition, with a three-day run scheduled to start on July 23, according to the show’s website.

2014 Year in Review: Healthcare

We picked the veteran chief executive of Irvine-based Allergan Inc. as a the person to watch for a number of reasons, including the expectation of new products and his pick of a clear No. 2 executive in Douglas Ingram, Allergan’s president.

2014 Year in Review: Real Estate

Orange County’s biggest landlord grabbed more than its share of headlines this year, confirming our choice of Doug Holte, who heads the office properties division for Irvine Company, as 2014’s person to watch for real estate.

Smart Home for the Holidays

Irvine-Based ‘Internet of Things’ Pioneer Adds Wal-Mart to Distribution

Insteon isn’t a household name, even though its technology powers millions of home-automation devices around the world.

2014 Year in Review: Hospitality

Our prediction of a healthy year for local hotels proved accurate. Our person to watch was Ralph Grippo, president of Irvine Company Resort Properties.

2014 Year in Review: Media & Marketing

Andrew Leisner, publisher of the Bonnier Motorcycle Group in Irvine, appeared on the Business Journal’s radar after a swap of six surf and skateboard publications for nine motorcycle titles from San Clemente-based TEN: Action/Outdoor Group.

2014 Year in Review: Retail

The Quiksilver Inc. boss continued to reshape the operations of the brand, which once again struggled despite its heritage as a pioneer of the surfwear sector.

2014 Year in Review: Restaurants

We said to keep an eye on Irvine-based Taco Bell Corp. Chief Executive Greg Creed as he began overseeing the brand worldwide in January.

Coastal Communities Boast Solid $10M+ Sales Year

2014 Appears To Eclipse Luxury Sales Last Year

Orange County’s coastal region is as renowned for its sophisticated yet laid-back vibe as it is for its captivating scenery.

2014 Year in Review: Technology

The Business Journal’s choice of Sailesh Chittipeddi, chief executive of Newport Beach-based chipmaker Conexant Systems Inc., hit the target.

Go-To Gift Guys

Logomark Complements Private-Label Lineup With Watch Brand Worn by President Obama

There’s a good chance the pen you used to sign that last document was made by Logomark Inc.

Bixby Seeks Creative Gem at Jewelry Brand’s Old HQ

REAL ESTATE: Plan for Tustin office continues trend

Bixby Land Co. is set to undertake its largest creative-office redevelopment project in Orange County to date at an industrial building in Tustin.

Brandman U. to Offer ‘Competency-Based’ Degree

EDUCATION: Online-only program now in test phase

Brandman University in Irvine is testing an online-only bachelor’s degree in business administration based on a “direct assessment” of student knowledge rather than a traditional university system of units per course.

OCBJ Calendar

This week's business and other event listings.

ADDENDUM

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 37, No. 50

Friday, December 12

OC Fair Names CEO

The Costa Mesa-based OC Fair & Events Center named Kathy Kramer its new Chief Executive.

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Times Gets “Protective Order” on Claim Against Register

A Superior Court judge in Los Angeles has granted the Los Angeles Times’ request for a “temporary protective order” against Santa Ana-based Freedom Communications Holdings Inc.’s flagship Orange County Register.

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Irvine Bank CEO and CFO to Retire

Irvine-based Pacific Enterprise Bank said Chief Executive Rick Ganulin will retire at the end of the year.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 declined 0.8% to 2,019.62 in midday trading.

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Thursday, December 11

El Pollo Loco Closes $200M Debt Deal

Costa Mesa-based El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc. said today it closed on a new $200 million lending agreement that cuts its interest costs by about $7 million a year.

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Mortgage Lender to Expand in OC

Stonegate Mortgage Corp. in Indianapolis said it plans to make more than 175 hires in Orange County for its recently created loan servicing subsidiary Stonegate Direct in Lake Forest.

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Private Equity Firm Gets Fox Head

Private equity firm Altamont Capital Partners in Palo Alto said it acquired a majority stake in Fox Head Inc., in a deal estimated at more than $200 million.

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British Columbia Travel Promo Uses Oculus Rift

Count British Columbia’s tourism agency as the latest enterprise to utilize the breakthrough virtual reality headset Oculus Rift developed by Irvine-based startup Oculus VR Inc.

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Brandman to Accept Units from Free Program

Brandman University in Irvine said it will accept a limited number of credits from a Washington, D.C.-based online education nonprofit that doesn’t charge for its courses.

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Quiksilver Up on Quarterly Numbers

Shares of Quiksilver Inc. rose about 30% to $1.92 and a market value of $330 million in early trading Friday, after it reported a narrower loss after markets closed yesterday.

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Alliant Acquires Employee Benefits Firm in N.Y.

Alliant Insurance Services Inc. in Newport Beach has acquired the Camps Group, a New York-based brokerage firm that specializes in employee benefits services.

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Parker Hannifin Takes Stake in Irvine Manufacturer

Freedom Innovations LLC, an Irvine-based maker of prosthetic devices, has received a minority equity investment from diversified manufacturer Parker Hannifin Corp.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Major stock indices were up strongly in midday trading.

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Wednesday, December 10

Brandman to Expand Community College Sites

Irvine-based Brandman University plans to expand its presence at community colleges, the school said.

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Yogurtland to Enter Thailand

Irvine-based Yogurtland Franchising Inc. said a new franchisee in Thailand plans to open 15 stores there.

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Wet Seal Puts BK in Picture After Weak Q3

Shares of Wet Seal Inc. sank more than 65% to 9 cents and a market value of $8 million in midday trading, after the teen and contemporary retail chain said it might “seek a restructuring or other relief under the provisions of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code” if it can't address its immediate liquidity needs.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Major stock indices were down in midday trading on a decline in oil prices.

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Freedom Adds Duties to Publisher’s Plate

Rich Mirman, interim publisher of the Orange County Register, will take on similar duties at the Riverside-based daily Press-Enterprise, according to Freedom Communications Holdings Inc. in Santa Ana.

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Broadcom Up on iPhone Sales, Shareholder Initiatives

Broadcom Corp. shares continued to modestly climb Wednesday, a day after the Irvine-based chipmaker laid out its corporate strategy to analysts for the upcoming year.

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Tuesday, December 9

Boeing Plans OC Layoffs

Boeing Co. will lay off 360 people in Southern California between Dec. 12 and Jan. 1, with about a third of the cuts in Huntington Beach, according to layoff notices posted by the California Employment Development Department.

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Hyundai to Recall 2 Models for Brake Lights

Hyundai Motor America Inc. in Fountain Valley will recall 42, 925 vehicles with faulty brake lights, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Grosses Donate $10M to Mission Hospital Laguna Beach

Pacific Investment Management Co. founder Bill Gross and his wife, Sue, president of the Gross Family Foundation, have donated $10 million to Mission Hospital Laguna Beach.

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WD: ‘Significant Progress’ With China Regulators

Irvine-based storage products maker Western Digital Corp. is a step closer to gaining regulatory approval from China’s Ministry of Commerce to integrate its Hitachi Global Storage Technologies Inc. subsidiary there.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.3% to 2,054.48 in midday trading.

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Johnny Rockets Seeks Savings With Own Software

Aliso Viejo-based Johnny Rockets Group Inc. said it and franchisees would save about $450,000 a year systemwide with new back-office operations software the retro burger chain developed in-house for $25,000.

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Monday, December 8

El Sol Neighbor Goes Global for Local Girls

Kylie Schuyler decided to create a mentoring program for girls in grades five through eight in which accomplished college-age women would serve as mentors.

Kaiser Names New Top OC Exec

Kaiser Permanente has named Mark Costa its new executive director of its Orange County service area.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.6% to 2,064 in midday trading.

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Tech Firm Acquires Cloud-Gaming Spinoff Assets

Aims to Fill Sector Niche Void After Recent Shifts

Fast-growing Irvine company Numecent has acquired employees, customers and intellectual property from Approxy, a joint venture it spun out in 2012 with private investors to deliver “cloud paging” for next-generation cloud-gaming services.

Fisker Seeks Revival for Luxury Hybrid Brand in Costa Mesa

AUTOS: China-based owner hires 100 engineers with eye on relaunch

The new Costa Mesa headquarters of Fisker Automotive and Technologies Group LLC is buzzing with optimism under a new management team that has a track record of successful turnarounds to go with financial backing from one of China’s wealthiest entrepreneurs.

OCBJ Calendar

Dec. 8-17, 2014

This week's business and other event listings.

Real Estate Deals

Marcial R. Mancillas Children’s Trust sold an industrial building in Irvine to a private investor for $3.4 million.

Pimco Blame Game? Harp-ing on Mariachi Show at Segerstrom

Is the split between Bill Gross and Pimco—now going on 3 months old—just too juicy to quiet down in the financial press?

PHILANTHROPY

The 2014 Walk To End Alzheimer’s raised $375,000 toward finding a cure for the disease.

ADDENDUM

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 37, No. 49

The family of retired Air Force Gen. William Lyon plans to give $150,000 to the Center for Oral and Public History at California State University-Fullerton, the school said.

Premium Cut on Irvine Ranch

Why Some Builders Share Profits, Even If Wall Street Wonders

Orange County’s high-end housing market is proving to be a big source of business for The New Home Co.—even if it’s been a source of confusion to some Wall Street investors and analysts who follow the homebuilder.

El Sol’s Sunny Mission

Plenty of Business Backers for Santa Ana School’s Focus on Arts, Academics, Dual Immersion

The idea of charter schools was little-known concept in Orange County in 1999, recalls Susan Mas.

Toastmasters Takes on Speakers’ Fears From Historic Home in OC

Nearly three-quarters of the U.S. adult population—74% to be exact—fears the idea of speaking in public, according to a 2013 National Institutes of Health survey.

Agency Bakes Up Videos Featuring Pretzel Mascot

O’Leary Produces Five Pieces Starring Tiny Baker

O’Leary and Partners, in its latest assignment for Wetzel Pretzels LLC, has brought the Pasadena-based chain’s blue baker mascot to life.

OC Efforts Spur Japanese Device Regulation Changes

New Law Loosens Process US Firms Have Criticized

Efforts over the past decade by several of Orange County’s better-known medical device executives to change Japanese laws are bearing fruit.

R&D Space at Premium in Third Quarter

The Orange County research and development market remained tight in the third quarter.

Pimco Tapped as Likely Buyer of Twin City Towers

5th St. Towers Could Be Latest Buy for Bond Giant

Newport Beach-based Pacific Investment Management Co. has emerged as the likely buyer of one of the most prominent office complexes in downtown Minneapolis, according to news reports from the Twin Cities.

Hotel Irvine Transformation Starts on Ground Floor

HOSPITALITY: New amenities, look for lobby, all 536 rooms

A yearlong renovation has Hotel Irvine ready for its interior close-up—with makeovers of meeting spaces and outdoor amenities scheduled for completion in January.

Equity Office Adds Costa Mesa Campus to OC Portfolio

REAL ESTATE: Blackstone unit now owns 1.5M SF in area

The office division of New York-based private equity giant Blackstone Group has added another big office complex in Costa Mesa to its growing Orange County portfolio.

KBS Spree Ranges From SJ to Va.

A $345 million acquisition spree by Newport Beach-based KBS Realty Advisors includes a prominent office tower in San Jose and a pair of deals on the other side of the country.

Avanir to Continue as OC-Based Business Under Otsuka

HEALTHCARE: $3.5B for maker of neurological drug

Aliso Viejo-based Avanir Pharmaceuticals Inc. hopes to continue its recent surge under new owner Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., which aims to beef up its neurology drug lineup following an upcoming patent expiration.

Orange County Nonprofit Groups Have Year of Growth

Every Category Is Higher, Including Costs, Clients

More people needed a lift last year, and local donors and charitable organizations responded with more money and more people to offer help.

How South Coast Repertory Works Neighborhoods

NONPROFITS: Program adapts to schools’ needs

She was about 10 years old, a painfully shy girl with huge brown eyes and a mop of shiny brown hair. She had a nice smile—when it could be coaxed to appear.

Caritas Turns Mobile Homes Into Upward Mobility

NONPROFITS: Operates 20 parks in region, three in OC

It could be hard to imagine what it must be like to escape one terrible situation, only to be trapped in a nearly identical situation a short time later.

El Sol Neighbor Goes Global for Local Girls

Kylie Schuyler knew this particular group of girls was different.

Friday, December 5

Kaiser Names New Top OC Exec

Kaiser Permanente has named Mark Costa its new executive director of its Orange County service area.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.25% to 2,076.92 in midday trading.

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Laguna Trolley Goes Year-Round

The City of Laguna Beach plans free weekend trolley service in Laguna Beach along Pacific Coast Highway to begin in March, according to a press release from Visit Laguna Beach.

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Thursday, December 4

Taco Bell in International Push

Irvine-based Taco Bell Corp. plans to add 1,300 restaurants with an aim of adding $2 billion in sales overseas by 2023, according to a report in Nation’s Restaurant News.

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Cat, Dog Magazines Set For Redo

I-5 Publishing LLC in Irvine said it will replace its long-standing Dog Fancy and Cat Fancy magazines with print versions of its websites Dogster.com and Catster.com “to meet the needs of the contemporary marketplace.”

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OCVA, “The Voice” in $5M Deal

The Irvine-based Orange County Visitors Association said it got $5 million worth of media exposure for Orange County in 12 Middle Eastern countries through a recent contest for viewers of TV show “The Voice.”

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Hyatt HB Names New GM

The Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa named Peter Rice its general manager, effective Dec. 2.

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Chapman 2015 Forecast: OC Will Add 38,000 Jobs

Orange County businesses will add nearly 38,000 jobs in 2015, growing the local employment base by 3%, according to a forecast by Chapman University’s Argyros School of Business and Economics.

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Register Parent to Cut 100 Jobs

Santa Ana-based Freedom Communications Holdings Inc. will cut about 100 positions, including executives, according to a report yesterday in the company’s flagship publication, the Orange County Register.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was flat at 2,074.22 in midday trading.

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Cole Joins WD Board

Longtime Accenture Plc executive Martin Cole has joined the board of Irvine-based storage products maker Western Digital Corp.

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Wednesday, December 3

Tilly’s Q3 Sales Surpass Expectations

Shares of Tilly’s Inc. were up 21% to $8.56 and a market value of $240.3 million in midday trading, following better-than-expected financial results for the third quarter reported after markets closed yesterday.

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PacSun Up in Q3

Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. beat analysts’ expectations for the third quarter, sending its stock up about 8% to $1.83 and a market value of about $126.7 million in midday trading Thursday.

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Chapman 2015 Forecast: OC Will Add 38,000 Jobs

Orange County businesses will add nearly 38,000 jobs in 2015, growing the local employment base by 3%, according to a forecast by Chapman University’s Argyros School of Business and Economics.

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Register Parent to Cut 100 Jobs

Santa Ana-based Freedom Communications Holdings Inc. will cut about 100 positions, including executives, according to a report today in the company’s flagship publication, the Orange County Register.

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Actavis to Cut Jobs in Corona

Actavis PLC, which is buying Irvine-based Allergan Inc., will lay off 200 workers at its operation just across the county line in Corona, acco

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 0.3% to 2,071.63 in midday trading.

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Casa Laguna Changes Hands

Casa Laguna Inn & Spa, a boutique hotel in Laguna Beach, has sold on undisclosed terms.

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Catholic Diocese Gets $20M Pledge

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange said today its foundation received a pledge of $20 million from an undisclosed individual for its Christ Cathedral campus, the former site of the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove.

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Tuesday, December 2

Actavis to Cut Jobs in Corona

Actavis PLC, which is buying Irvine-based Allergan Inc., will lay off 200 workers at its operation just across the county line in Corona, according to a state filing.

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Biggest OC Automakers Lag U.S. Sales Pace

Three of the four Orange County-based automakers trailed the pace of sales of new vehicles nationally in November, according to New Jersey-based market researcher Autodata Corp.

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Avanir to be Acquired for $3.5B

Avanir Pharmaceuticals Inc. has agreed to be acquired by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. for $3.5 billion.

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NB Restaurant Chain Sold to Applebee’s Operator

Newport Beach-based restaurant chain Roy’s is set to be sold on undisclosed terms by parent company Bloomin’ Brands, according to a report in Nation’s Restaurant News.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 0.54% to 2,064.61 in midday trading.

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Lyon Helps Fund CSUF History Work

The family of retired Air Force General William Lyon plans to give $150,000 to the Center for Oral and Public History at California State University-Fullerton, the school said.

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Monday, December 1

Golden State Foods Opens ‘Green’ Facility

Irvine-based food manufacturer and distributor Golden State Foods Corp. has opened a distribution center in Chicago focused on environmental sustainability.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 declined 0.4% to 2,058.68 in midday trading.

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Ingram Micro Gets Majority Stake in Turkish Distributor

Santa Ana-based Ingram Micro Inc. through its Dubai unit has acquired a majority stake in Armada, a technology distributor in Turkey.

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Software Company Expands HQ, Moves to Aliso Viejo

Predixion Software Inc. has tripled the size of its headquarters in a move from San Juan Capistrano to Aliso Viejo.

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Toyo Recalls Tires Under 2 Brands

Toyo Tire Holdings of Americas Inc. is voluntarily recalling about 175,000 tires for light trucks, SUVs and vans manufactured under its Toyo Tires and Nitto brand brands, due to potential tread or belt separation.

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Chinese Developer Buys A-Town Parcel in Platinum Triangle

REAL ESTATE: Plans to ask Anaheim for more units, mixed-use

A real estate company in China has bought one of the most prominent parcels of developable land in Anaheim’s Platinum Triangle, where it plans its flagship residential and commercial development project for the U.S.

Rockwell Collins to Shift In-Flight Entertainment Operations to Irvine

REAL ESTATE: Move from Tustin to Alton Corporate Plaza

Aviation electronics maker Rockwell Collins Inc. is relocating its regional operations from Tustin to Irvine after signing one of Orange County’s largest office leases of the year.

Taco Bell on Its Own in Irvine?; $3M for ‘Popcorn’ at Westin

Thanksgiving is in the books and you can see the year-end holidays from here.

Sales Up 2.3% at Biggest OC Shopping Centers

RETAIL: 32 biggest combine for $7.3 billion

Taxable sales at the top 32 shopping centers in Orange County grew for the fifth straight year, but at a slower pace, according to this week’s Business Journal list.

Westin South Coast Plaza Starts $20M Renovation

HOSPITALITY: More king beds; mini-bars, ‘popcorn’ ceilings out

The Westin South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa is scheduled to start a $20 million renovation this week, with makeovers for its 393 rooms expected to be finished in April.

First Foundation Gets Bank in Hawaii

Irvine-based financial services company First Foundation Inc. has agreed to acquire Pacific Rim Bank in Hawaii in a deal valued at about $11.8 million.

Rise From the Ashes

Entrepreneurs ‘Slowly Getting Back’ On Feet After Fire

Trantronics Inc.’s 18,000-square-foot manufacturing plant on Langley Avenue in Irvine is back up and humming, with two production lines cranking out products and prototypes for medical, aerospace and other commercial markets.

Building Business by Hand

Manufacturer in ‘Unique’ Industry Pulls on Family Ties for Gains

Eric Albert calls his company, American Handforge, more or less “hidden.”

Raised on Hardware

DeNaults Built Business Along With Family In Their Chain

Ruth DeNault and her late husband Jim made sure their children got involved in the family business by starting them off early.

Up From San Diego

Hughes Marino Brings Family Affair, Focus on Tenant Side to OC

Do the basics so well that it’s cutting edge.

New Option at Spectrum, Old Standby in Anaheim

High Marks for Del Frisco; Jägerhaus Back on Radar

Del Frisco’s Grille opened recently at Irvine Spectrum.

Auto Dealers Sales Stay Hot; Near $5B on 6.3% Increase

Fletcher Jones No. 1 Again; Several Dealerships Sold

Orange County’s car culture continues to keep pace with the revved-up national market.

Automakers Ride Strong Sales, Boost Jobs by 3.2%

6 With U.S. Headquarters Here Combine to Employ 2,279

The six automakers with U.S. operations based in Orange County combined to employ 2,279 workers here, 3.2% more than a year earlier, according to this week’s Business Journal list. 

November Shapes Up to Match October Luxury Sales

Eight $4M-Plus Homes Sold in First Half of Month

In October, Orange County boasted 19 home sales that topped the $4 million mark, with the highest closed transaction fetching $10 million for the 4,000-square-foot oceanfront villa at 11 La Senda Place in Lower Three Arch Bay in Laguna Beach.

Integrated Healthcare Vies for Joshua Tree Hospital

Works With Affiliates To Get Operations Lease

Hospital operator Integrated Healthcare Holdings Inc., one of Orange County’s lower-profile public companies, is working with some of its affiliates to lease a hospital in the High Desert community of Joshua Tree.

Next Technology Incubator to Open in OC in February

SD-Based Firm to Bring Model to Research Park

Orange County has attracted another technology incubator.

ADDENDUM

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 37, No. 48

Wet Seal Inc. hired Houlihan Lokey Capital in Los Angeles and former Tilly’s Inc. executive William Langsdorf to “identify and analyze potential strategic and financial alternatives.”

Beauty Company Taps Actress For Brand Campaign

Gabrielle Union New Face Of Home Gel Polish Line

Beauty products distributor Pacific World Corp. in Aliso Viejo selected actress Gabrielle Union to be the face of its SensatioNail at-home gel polish brand.

Industrial Vacancy Rate Hits Historical Low

There were approximately 1.1 million square feet of industrial space under construction at the end of the third quarter.

Prologis Adds to Portfolio With $18M Buena Park Buy

Price of Half-Full Property Comes to About $110 PSF

Denver-based industrial giant Prologis Inc. has picked up a large property near the Orange County-Los Angeles line.

Real Estate Deals

Independent Capital Management Inc. and Milender White Construction Co. each signed leases at 1401 Dove St. and 1375 Dove St. in Newport Beach.

Volvo's Pitch Runs on Oculus Rift

Virtual Reality Headset Key to New Model’s Intro

Put Volvo Car Corp. down as an early adopter of the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset that was born in Irvine and now operates there under Facebook Inc.’s umbrella.

OCBJ Calendar

Dec. 1-10, 2014

This week's business and other event listings.

Employee Friendly, Too

Earth Friendly Products Spreads Benefits of Growth

Earth Friendly Products is continuing on its growth course under a new generation of leadership.