Stories for March 2014

Monday, March 31

Quiksilver, Kelly Slater End Partnership

Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver Inc. said it is ending its partnership with professional surfer Kelly Slater.

Tease photo

SJC Camera Maker in Merger Agreement

San Juan Capistrano-based network camera manufacturer IQinVision has agreed to merge with Vicon Industries Inc. in Edgewood, N.Y. in an all-stock transaction.

Tease photo

Irvine Investor Adds RSM Restaurant

Irvine-based American Restaurant Holdings Inc., an investor in restaurants and food manufacturing companies, has acquired Canyon Fireside Grille on undisclosed terms.

Tease photo

PacSun Sales Up, Loss Narrowed for Year

Anaheim-based Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. took another step on the comeback trail with a gain in net sales and a narrowed loss for the year ended Feb. 1.

Florida Company Buys Irvine IT Unit

An information technology provider in Florida has acquired the Irvine operations of Reston, Va.-based GovPlace, which sells IT equipment and related services to local, state and federal government agencies.

Tease photo

Newport Film Festival Starts Ad Campaign

The Newport Beach Film Festival, less than a month from curtain call, has launched an ad campaign to “celebrate the power of film and its ability to change people in unexpected ways.”

Tease photo

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.76% to 1,871.74 in afternoon trading Monday.

Tease photo

Mazda Taps Mitsubishi for Solar Panels at Irvine R&D Center

Irvine-based Mazda North American Operations' research-and-development facility recently added solar panels to its rooftop in a move that brought two big names in Orange County together.

Tease photo

Inventor Tied to Moon Landing Dies

Newport Beach resident Marlan Bourns, whose inventions were instrumental in the Apollo 11 moon landing and the Mars Rover expedition, died this month. He was 93.

Tourism Promoter Starts Site in Chinese

A new website of the Orange County Visitors Association promoting the county’s tourism industries and attractions to Chinese travelers is now running.

Property Managers Build Portfolios in Brisk Market

Two Dominate, Group Combines for 8.7% Jump

A flurry of large office purchases by institutional investors, a smattering of development, and new out-of-town accounts helped boost the bottom lines of Orange County’s largest commercial property managers last year.

Big-Dollar Sales Drove Brokerage Gains Last Year

About $18B In Sales, Leases Result In Nearly 14% Jump

Orange County’s largest commercial brokerages continued to benefit from investor interest in local properties in 2013, and to a lesser extent, tenant demand.

Luck Didn’t Hurt

Shutterbug Built Olloclip Business With Persistence, Help From Unforseen Events

Three years ago, Patrick O’Neill was making the final tweaks on a prototype double-sided camera lens that users could attach to their iPhone 4s.

Questcor Pharmaceuticals Responds to Recent ‘Bear Raid’

Acthar Maker Says Shorts Have Caused Volatility

Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc., one of Orange County’s more volatile public companies, recently released a lengthy federal filing addressing what it characterized as a “bear raid” by short sellers.

McKernan to Join Horatio Alger’s OC Contingent

HONORS: Auto Club chairman due in D.C. for this week’s ceremony

Life got more humbling for Thomas McKernan as this week’s Horatio Alger Award ceremony in Washington, D.C., approached.

Santa Ana Apartment Buys Add Up for Fowler Property

SF Investor on 6-Month Spending Spree in OC

San Francisco-based apartment investor Fowler Property Acquisitions LLC is approaching nearly $100 million in purchases in Santa Ana over the past six months.

M&W Activity Slow Due to Lack of Supply, Rising Demand

The vacancy rate in Orange County’s manufacturing and warehouse sector steadily decreased throughout 2013, but the fourth quarter held steady at 2.8%.

FirmGreen Praises Ex-Im Bank on Trash-to-Gas Project

Company Built Energy Station at Brazil Dump

The chairman and president of the Export-Import Bank of the United States was in Orange County this month to get an update on a Newport Beach-based company’s large-scale project to convert methane gas into clean energy at one of the world’s most notorious garbage dumps.

Vans Skatepark Project Investment in Its ‘Heritage’

Partners With City to Give Back to Fans, Donates $2M

The Vans Off the Wall Skatepark in Huntington Beach opened March 22, thanks to a $2 million investment from the Cypress-based shoe and apparel company.

PHILANTHROPY -- Week of March 31

Retirement Benefits Group, for the 15th consecutive year, sponsored the PGA Tour stop at the 20th Annual Toshiba Golf Classic, led by principals Michael Castner and Gary Josephs.

ADDENDUM -- Week of March 31

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in Arlington, Va., awarded Boeing Co.’s operations in Huntington Beach a $30.7 million contract to support development of a system to use aircraft for satellite launches at a cost savings compared to rocket-fueled launches.

Element Skateboards Names Global GM

The parent of Element Skateboards promoted from within for the job of global general manager at the Costa Mesa-based brand.

Startup Device Maker Raises $32.5M

Irvine-based Axonics Modulation Technologies Inc. completed a $32.5 million first round of financing.

New Mission

Planning Helped Yogurt Chain Take Off, Founder Refocuses That Skill

Phillip Chang stepped down as chief executive of Irvine-based Yogurtland Franchising Inc. at the end of last year, but he’s not slowing down.

Call Your Mom!

Incipio’s Fast Growth Keeps Fathollahi Busy

Andy Fathollahi characterized Incipio Technologies Inc. as “the famous case maker that makes everything and cases.”

Map of American Dream

Sunil Tolani Eyes Coast-to-Coast Portfolio of Hotels

A U.S. map on the wall of Sunil Tolani’s office in Fullerton is dotted with pushpins marking the hotels his company owns and operates.

Gordon’s Opus

From Recapitalization to $4B in Assets, Eye on More

Stephen Gordon was unabashedly proud of the company he kept at the Business Journal’s 13th Annual Excellence in Entrepreneurship Awards.

Chapman Approves Doti’s Successor

EDUCATION: No immediate shift planned at Orange campus

Chapman University’s board of trustees named Chancellor Daniele Struppa “presidential designate,” making him the eventual successor to President Jim Doti.

New Pharmacy School Gets ‘Leg Up’ From Allergan

EDUCATION: Drug maker gives Chapman program $500K

Chapman University’s new School of Pharmacy is offering a five-year, fast-track path to a doctor of pharmacy degree with the help of a $500,000 grant from the Allergan Foundation, the charitable arm of Irvine-based drug maker Allergan Inc.

Will Others Follow Irvine Company Rent Hikes?

REAL ESTATE: Landlord seeks biggest jumps since recession

The Irvine Company, Orange County’s dominant office landlord, appears to be undertaking its most aggressive office rent hikes for its local buildings in years.

Different Lens on Oculus; Oakley’s Swagger; OC’s ID

No cynics allowed here, but give a bit of room for some healthy skepticism on Facebook’s $2 billion deal for Irvine-based startup Oculus VR.

Zuckerberg’s Reality

Facebook Inc.’s eye-popping $2 billion acquisition of Irvine startup Oculus VR Inc. is a long-term bet on the future of computing, Mark Zuckerberg told analysts last week.

Bixby Gets 7-Building Campus in Silicon Valley

REAL ESTATE: $110M buy eyed for creative makeover, near new stadium

Irvine-based Bixby Land Co. has bought a seven-building office campus in Silicon Valley, the commercial real estate developer and investor’s largest acquisition in nearly seven years.

No IPO, No Problem for City Ventures

REAL ESTATE: Homebuilder raises $345 million with land sales

City Ventures Inc. has shown that there are other ways to raise money, even as some fellow Orange County-based homebuilders have opted to join a recent trend of initial public offerings.

Facebook’s OC Focus

$2B Deal on Heals of Google Hookup With Oakley

Orange County gave Silicon Valley and the rest of the world plenty to talk about in a 24-hour burst last week.

Friday, March 28

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.69% to 1,861.73 in afternoon trading Friday.

Tease photo

Report: El Pollo Loco Eyeing IPO

The owners of Costa Mesa-based El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc. are looking to take the company public, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.

Tease photo

Buena Park Mall Partners with South Korea Entertainment Company

Officials at The Source retail and entertainment project currently under construction in Buena Park said they've struck a deal with a South Korea-based record label and talent agency that will bring recording studios and 2,000-seat concert venue.

Tease photo

Hotel Happenings: Renovation Celebrations; Embassy Suites GM Switches

The 335-room Wyndham Irvine-Orange County Airport held a launch party Thursday evening following the completion of several property improvements.

Tease photo

Thursday, March 27

Buena Park Mall Partners with South Korea Entertainment Company

Officials at The Source retail and entertainment project currently under construction in Buena Park said they've struck a deal with a South Korea-based record label and talent agency that will bring recording studios and 2,000-seat concert venue.

Tease photo

Report: El Pollo Loco Eyeing IPO

The owners of Costa Mesa-based El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc. are looking to take the company public, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.

Tease photo

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was off 0.14% to 1,849.91 in afternoon trading Thursday.

Tease photo

Marlan Bourns: Engineering Innovator, Newport Beach Resident

Newport Beach resident Marlan Bourns, whose inventions were instrumental in the Apollo 11 moon landing and Mars Rover expedition, died earlier this month at the age of 93.

Tease photo

Retail Roundup: Packing House Opening Set, Cupcakes on Way

Orange County’s retail and restaurant landscape continues to reflect the focus on storefronts selling one-of-a-kind, artisan offerings.

Tease photo

Local Corp. Tests Retail Ad Tool in 2 Markets

Irvine-based advertising technology provider Local Corp. introduced a new mobile ad service for retailers at ad:tech in San Francisco.

Tease photo

Wednesday, March 26

Local Corp. Tests Retail Ad Tool in 2 Markets

Irvine-based advertising technology provider Local Corp. introduced a new mobile ad service for retailers at ad:tech in San Francisco.

Tease photo

Retail Roundup: Packing House Opening Set, Cupcakes on Way

Orange County’s retail and restaurant landscape continues to reflect the focus on storefronts selling one-of-a-kind, artisan offerings.

Tease photo

Marlan Bourns: Engineering Innovator, Newport Beach Resident

Newport Beach resident Marlan Bourns, whose inventions were instrumental in the Apollo 11 moon landing and Mars Rover expedition, died earlier this month at the age of 93.

Tease photo

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 0.18% to 1,868.97 in afternoon trading Wednesday.

Tease photo

$32.5 Million for Irvine Device Maker

Irvine-based Axonics Modulation Technologies Inc. said today it completed a $32.5 million first round of financing.

Pac Merc Adds Silicon Valley Vet

Costa Mesa-based Pacific Mercantile Bancorp has named former Silicon Valley Bank executive Tom Wagner as manager of the northern division of its Pacific Mercantile Bank subsidiary.

Tease photo

Garden Grove Manufacturer Takes Stake in 3D Printer

A Garden Grove manufacturer has taken a minority stake in Beijing-based 3D printing company TierTime Technology Co. Ltd.

Tease photo

Sonendo Raises $10 Million

Sonendo Inc., a Laguna Hills-based dental device company, closed a $10 million venture debt financing with Alexandria, Va.-based Oxford Finance LLC.

Element Skateboards Names Global GM

The parent of Element Skateboards has promoted from within for the job of global general manager at the Costa Mesa-based brand.

Tease photo

Tuesday, March 25

Sonendo Raises $10 Million

Sonendo Inc., a Laguna Hills-based dental device company, closed a $10 million venture debt financing with Alexandria, Va.-based Oxford Finance LLC.

Facebook to Pay $2B for Irvine Startup

Irvine-based start-up Oculus VR Inc. has agreed to a $2 billion sale to Facebook Inc.

Tease photo

Element Skateboards Names Global GM

The parent of Element Skateboards has promoted from within for the job of global general manager at the Costa Mesa-based brand.

Tease photo

Pac Merc Adds Silicon Valley Vet

Costa Mesa-based Pacific Mercantile Bancorp has named former Silicon Valley Bank executive Tom Wagner as manager of the northern division of its Pacific Mercantile Bank subsidiary.

Tease photo

$32.5 Million for Irvine Device Maker

Irvine-based Axonics Modulation Technologies Inc. said today it completed a $32.5 million first round of financing.

Garden Grove Manufacturer Takes Stake in 3D Printer

A Garden Grove manufacturer has taken a minority stake in Beijing-based 3D printing company TierTime Technology Co. Ltd.

Tease photo

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 0.54% to 1,867.42 in afternoon trading Tuesday.

Tease photo

Oakley on Google Glass Development, Design Team

Foothill Ranch-based eyewear maker Oakley Inc. will collaborate on the development and design of eyewear for Google Glass as part of a deal between its parent company and Google Inc.

Tease photo

Member of Bridgford Family Steps Down From Foodmaker’s Board

Bridgford Foods Corp. said that Allan Bridgford, Jr., a grandson of founder Hugh Bridgford, resigned as a member of its board of directors.

Tease photo

Fisker Deal to Wanxiang America Closes

The sale of Costa Mesa-based luxury hybrid automaker Fisker Automotive Inc. has been completed, the company said Monday.

Tease photo

Chapman Names Eventual Doti Replacement

Chapman University’s Board of Trustees named Chancellor Daniele Struppa as “presidential designate” and successor to President Jim Doti, effective upon Doti’s eventual retirement.

Tease photo

Monday, March 24

Member of Bridgford Family Steps Down From Foodmaker’s Board

Bridgford Foods Corp. said that Allan Bridgford, Jr., a grandson of founder Hugh Bridgford, resigned as a member of its board of directors.

Tease photo

Chapman Names Eventual Doti Replacement

Chapman University’s Board of Trustees named Chancellor Daniele Struppa as “presidential designate” and successor to President Jim Doti, effective upon Doti’s eventual retirement.

Tease photo

Miven Portfolio Company Goes Public

A company in the portfolio of Newport Beach-based entrepreneurs Victor and Janie Tsao remained slightly above its initial price of $15 per share today, with a market value of about $156 million.

Tease photo

OCVA Website for Chinese Travelers Goes Live

A new website from the Orange County Visitors Association promoting the county's tourism industries and attractions to Chinese travelers is now running.

Tease photo

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 slipped 0.60% to 1,855.36 in afternoon trading Monday.

Tease photo

Union Market Announces Tenants

A mix of eateries, along with fashion and home goods retailers, were announced for the Union Market Tustin retail space.

Kia Motors America Exec Promoted

The head of Irvine-based Kia Motors America Inc. and the company’s manufacturing arm in Georgia has been promoted.

Acacia Bruised in Past Year But Expects Rebound

TECHNOLOGY: Rugged run wiped out 45% of market value

Three straight disappointing quarters for Acacia Research Corp. has zapped 45% of the company’s market value, leaving it at $789 million as of late last week, but executives say they’re confident it will bounce back through pending patent lawsuits.

Device Designer to Stay Local Under New Owner

HEALTHCARE: Sees benefit in Illinois company’s size

An Irvine design and engineering firm that develops products for medical device and biotech companies has been sold to a larger competitor.

UK Device Maker Eyes Offering Here

HEALTHCARE: Lombard’s US operations in Irvine

A British medical device maker that has its U.S. headquarters in Irvine is seeking its fortune in the U.S.

Robinson Eyes GM; Santa Ana Name Game; OC Hoop-La

Don’t be surprised if Mark Robinson surfaces once again as a key player on the national stage, now that General Motors is facing the legal music on a defect in ignition switches that appears to have kept some airbags from working and has been linked to 12 deaths.

Next for New Home Co.: 130 Acres in Corona

REAL ESTATE: Expected to pay $74M for land near 15 Freeway

The New Home Co. is closing in on the purchase of a nearly 130-acre, 1,200-home development site in Corona, one of several projects now in the works for the Aliso Viejo-based homebuilder following its recent initial public offering.

Wall Street Backer for Cruttenden’s Main Street Micro-Investing App

FINANCE: Looks to link mass market, money managers

Walter Cruttenden, an investment banking pioneer in Orange County, has secured $5.5 million in funding from a Wall Street fund manager to bring his latest business venture to market.

Golf Not Company’s Only Game

TravisMathew Expands Image With Retail Entry

Apparel maker TravisMathew LLC carved space for itself in a niche segment of the sportswear market, first aiming at golfers, and now it sees retail as the next test of consumer appetite for the high-end brand to assert itself as a well-rounded lifestyle label.

Inside Oakley

How Shipping Containers, ‘Surf and Turf’ Work for Brand

It would be hard to match the design of Oakley Inc.’s eerie, fortress-like headquarters atop a hill in Foothill Ranch—a building that merits its One Icon address.

Brady, Vorwerck Shutdown Puts Lawyers on Move

LAW: Partner wanted religious practice; firm in lease litigation

Orange County’s legal scene has experienced one of its largest shake-ups in half a dozen years following the dissolution of Orange-based Brady, Vorwerck, Ryder and Caspino.

Startup Woos IP Licensing Expert, Ex-Qualcomm Exec

Steve Altman Joins MagnaCom’s Board

A Laguna Niguel chip startup launched by a former Broadcom Corp. executive has attracted the former president and vice chairman of Qualcomm Inc. to its board.

Ritz-Carlton Sale Talk Cools as Business Improves

Deal With Shareholder Comes Amid Stock Gains

A potential sale of the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel appears to be on the back burner after the owner of the Dana Point luxury resort reached a truce with a large shareholder that had been pushing for the company to consider shedding assets.

North, Central OC Office Markets on Rebound

The North and Central Orange County office markets are on the road to recovery.

Real Estate Deals

Orange County Industrial Plastics sold an industrial building to Berry Holdings LLC in Yorba Linda for $5 million.

Allergan Growth Outlook ‘Noteworthy Exception’

Among Best Large-Cap Growth Prospects

Irvine-based Allergan Inc. is offering “a precious commodity” for pharmaceutical investors—growth, according to one analyst.

Fighter Gets Vulnerable for Boost Mobile Webisode

Talks About Strength in Adversity for Video Series

Boost Mobile LLC in Irvine released the latest installment of its “Be Heard” mini documentary series. The two-minute webisode, which can be seen on the brand’s YouTube channel, features mixed martial athlete Marlon Moraes, who competes for the World Series of Fighting in the bantamweight division. He speaks candidly about his struggles to succeed, as well as praying for his father’s recovery from cancer.

OCBJ Calendar

This week's business and other event listings

• SoCal Insider hosted by Rick Reiff (KOCE-TV/PBS SoCal) Wednesday 5:30 p.m. Repeats Friday 7 p.m., Sunday 11:30 a.m., Monday 5:30 p.m. Guests: TBA

‘Neutral’ Luxury Market Creates Stability, Confidence

Sales Pace Has Slowed, Appreciation Now 5-6%

Surterre Properties Inc. cofounder and President Gary Legrand, entrenched in the luxury real estate market for more than 25 years, has seen it all, from the housing recession of the 1990s to the go-go housing boom of the early to mid-2000s, to the shocking drop in home prices during the Great Recession, to the rapid uptick in housing sales—and prices—during the last year.

ADDENDUM - March 24

Irvine-based Motorcycle Industry Council hired Erik Pritchard as its general counsel. The appointment was effective immediately and fills a spot left open by the departure of Paul Vitrano, who recently joined snowmobile and ATV maker Polaris Industries as vice president for global government relations.

5 Entrepreneurs Honored for Excellence

Members of the Orange County business community celebrated five winners of the Business Journal’s 13th Annual Excellence in Entrepreneurship Awards last week.

Startup Raises $4.5M in 1st Round

Irvine startup Bitvore Corp., which mines information from email, social media and websites for business customers, closed a $4.5 million inaugural fundraising round.

Vorwerck Shutdown Puts Lawyers on Move

LAW: Partner wanted religious practice; firm in lease litigation

Orange County’s legal scene has experienced one of its largest shake-ups in half a dozen years following the dissolution of Orange-based Brady, Vorwerck, Ryder and Caspino.

Billings Down, Jobs Up for Environmental Consultants

More Work Across County Line for Biggest Offices Here

The largest environmental consultants with offices in Orange County collectively billed $594 million in 2013, a 2.7% drop from a year earlier.

Friday, March 21

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 0.30% to 1,877.65 in afternoon trading Friday.

Tease photo

Wet Seal Slumps on Guidance, Turns to $27M Private Placement for Growth Plan

Foothill Ranch-based Wet Seal Inc. said it is looking to raise as much as $27 million in a private placement that would help it grow its e-commerce and plus-size businesses as the company pushes to make headway on a turnaround.

Tease photo

Device Maker Presbia Files for IPO

Irvine-based eye device maker Presbia PLC on Thursday filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission to offer $90 million in common stock.

Tease photo

Thursday, March 20

Wet Seal Turns to $27M Private Placement for E-commerce, Plus-Size Growth

Foothill Ranch-based Wet Seal Inc. said it is looking to raise as much as $27 million in a private placement that would help it grow its e-commerce and plus-size businesses.

Tease photo

Device Maker Presbia Files for IPO

Irvine-based eye device maker Presbia PLC today filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission to offer $90 million in common stock.

Tease photo

Obama Accepts UCI Commencement Invitation

University of California-Irvine Chancellor Michael Drake said President Barack Obama has accepted the school’s invitation to deliver the commencement address at its 2014 graduation ceremony on June 14, at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.

Tease photo

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 0.62% to 1,872.26 in afternoon trading Thursday.

Tease photo

OC Dealers’ New-Vehicle Sales Up 7.8%

Orange County auto dealers sold 11,594 new vehicles in February, a 7.8% increase from a year earlier.

Tease photo

Tilly’s Expects Continuing Teen Retail Challenges

Irvine-based Tilly's Inc. shares were trading down on Thursday afternoon, a day after the retailer said it expects business to be tough in the current quarter.

Tease photo

Dealer Groups on Automotive News List

Five Orange County auto dealership groups made Automotive News’ list of the top 125 in the country.

Wednesday, March 19

Dealer Groups on Automotive News List

Five Orange County auto dealership groups made Automotive News’ list of the top 125 in the country.

Tilly’s Falls on Weak Outlook

Irvine-based Tilly's Inc. shares fell in after-hours trading Wednesday after the retailer said it expects business to be tough in the current quarter.

Tease photo

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.06% to 1,873.28 in afternoon trading Wednesday.

Tease photo

PacSun Shares Up as Turnaround Continues

Investors sent shares of Anaheim-based Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. up on Wednesday, a day after the retailer reported continued improvement in its business.

Tease photo

AtheroNova Offering $15M in Stock, Plans Exchange Move

Irvine-based AtheroNova Inc. has filed papers with the Securities and Exchange Commission to sell $15 million worth of common stock and move its listing to the New York Stock Exchange.

Tenants Announced for Union Market Tustin

A mix of eateries along with fashion and home goods retailers have been announced for the Union Market Tustin retail space.

Tease photo

Motorcycle Industry Council Hires GC

Irvine-based Motorcycle Industry Council said it hired Erik Pritchard to be the organization's general counsel.

Tease photo

Residence Inn Irvine Spectrum Names GM

The 112-suite Residence Inn Irvine Spectrum announced the appointment of Julie Buettner to general manager.

Tease photo

Business Journal Honors 5 Entrepreneurs

Members of the Orange County business community celebrated five winners of the Business Journal’s 13th Annual Excellence in Entrepreneurship Awards on Tuesday.

Tease photo

Concierge Association Releases ‘Preferred Vendor’ List

The Newport Beach-based Orange County Concierge Association recently released its annual list of preferred vendors.

Tuesday, March 18

Business Journal Honors 5 Entrepreneurs

Members of the Orange County business community celebrated five winners of the Business Journal’s 13th Annual Excellence in Entrepreneurship Awards on Tuesday.

Tease photo

AtheroNova Offering $15M in Stock, Plans Exchange Move

Irvine-based AtheroNova Inc. has filed papers with the Securities and Exchange Commission to sell $15 million worth of common stock and move its listing to the New York Stock Exchange.

PacSun Shares Jump as Turnaround Continues

Investors sent shares of Anaheim-based Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. up in extended trading Tuesday after the retailer reported continued improvement in its business.

Tease photo

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 0.75% to 1,872.83 in afternoon trading Tuesday.

Tease photo

Kia Motors America Chief Promoted to Vice Chair

The head of Irvine-based Kia Motors America Inc. and the company's manufacturing arm in Georgia has been promoted.

Tease photo

Advantage Sales Buys Texas Brokerage

Advantage Sales & Marketing LLC in Irvine said it has acquired Longhorn Food Brokers LP, a San Antonio, Texas-based food brokerage company.

Tease photo

$4.5M Round for Irvine Data Miner

An Irvine startup that mines information from websites, blogs, social media and email for business customers closed a $4.5 million inaugural fundraising round.

Slapfish Strikes New Franchise Deal

Huntington Beach-based fast-casual seafood restaurant concept Slapfish inked a new franchise agreement for Southern California.

Tease photo

Monday, March 17

Slapfish Strikes New Franchise Deal

Huntington Beach-based fast-casual seafood restaurant concept Slapfish inked a new franchise agreement for Southern California.

Tease photo

Auction.Com Adds Oracle Vet to Board

Irvine-based Auction.com, an online real estate auction company, said it has added Jeff Epstein, former Oracle chief financial officer, to its board of directors.

Tease photo

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 0.96% to 1,858.88 in afternoon trading Monday.

Tease photo

Voila Hotel Rewards Adds Central, Eastern Europe Properties

Hotel loyalty program Voila Hotel Rewards, whose Americas headquarters are in Newport Beach, said it added Mamaison Hotels & Residences to its roster of member properties.

Tease photo

LA Kiss Shoots for Touchdown With Preseason Ads

Tries to Get More Bang for Its Limited Pile of Bucks

Professional arena football team LA Kiss, with less than a month till the start of its inaugural season, has a flurry of marketing activities in the works.

OCBJ calendar

March 17, 2014

This week's business and other event listings.

real estate deals

A family trust sold the Lakeside Plaza office building in Mission Viejo to a private investor for $3.3 million.

Sanuk Walks Taller Under Deckers Outdoor

APPAREL: Shoemaker takes wider view on lineup, retail

Sanuk got the comfort thing down 17 years ago with its Fur Real sandal, constructed of indoor-outdoor carpet.

Marblehead Land Back on Block?

REAL ESTATE: Taylor Morrison said to have 2nd thoughts on $215M price

The land set to hold the high-end Marblehead coastal housing development in San Clemente looks to be back in play, now that the homebuilder initially tapped to buy the 195.5-acre site has apparently gotten cold feet over the price.

Latest Sign of Telogis’ Potential: Deal on GM Commercial Vehicles

TECHNOLOGY: Software option part of automaker’s OnStar system

A deal to equip General Motors’ commercial vehicles with software that links operation centers with far-flung fleets is the latest harbinger of potential that led backers last year to invest $93 million in Telogis Inc.’s initial funding round.

Digital Divide Brings Dividends to DGWB

MARKETING: Takes tech manufacturer’s message global

DGWB Advertising & Communications’ latest mission: help bridge the digital divide across rural America, where some 40% of residents don’t have high-speed broadband access.

Walker Early to OC; Doti Direct; RMV’s Next Generation

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker will get a dress rehearsal for any presidential ambitions he might harbor—at least the part where a candidate hits up OC’s vaunted base of GOP donors.

St. Joe’s Cuts Reflect New Dynamics for OC Hospitals

HEALTHCARE: Some service shifts to CHOC, Hoag Irvine

Recent layoffs at one of Orange County’s bigger hospitals appear to be a reaction to a number of changes in the local hospital landscape.

Gores Group Backs Device Maker’s Buy

HEALTHCARE: San Clemente company buys in Slovenia

A San Clemente-based medical laser maker has reached into Eastern Europe with help from a private equity firm in Los Angeles.

Kia Loads First Full Luxury Sedan With Expectations

AUTOS: Seeks halo effect for whole lineup with new model

Kia Motors America Inc. sees 2014 as the year of the luxury sedan—and the time to push up market perceptions of its brand.

Vizio Sticks With ‘Beautifully Simple’ for Marketing

MARKETING: Targets Hollywood with ultra-HD

Vizio Inc.’s marketing strategy for 2014 is just like its latest ad campaign: “beautifully simple.”

$2.6B Edison Mission Asset Sale Approved

A bankruptcy judge in Chicago approved the sale of most of the assets of Santa Ana-based Edison Mission Energy, a unit of Edison International, the Rosemead-based parent of Southern California Edison.

Swiss Manufacturer Puts U.S. Unit in OC

A Swiss commercial printing equipment maker established its North American headquarters in Laguna Niguel.

Mitsubishi Electric to Consolidate in HB

Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America Inc. plans to consolidate its regional operations in Huntington Beach.

Irvine Medical Device Maker Seeks IPO

Lombard Medical Inc., a British medical device maker with U.S. headquarters in Irvine, filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an $80 million initial public offering on the Nasdaq exchange.

ADDENDUM

Min Kun Kim, who most recently served as chief executive coordinator at Kia Motors America Inc.’s headquarters in Irvine, was promoted to president and chief executive of Kia Canada Inc.

PHILANTHROPY

“Mentorship is one of the single most important gifts you can give to youth, especially those facing adversity,” says Melissa Beck, chief executive of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County.

Nonlocal Investors Drive Top Real Estate Sales in 2013

Distressed Deals Down, Development on Comeback

Nonlocal investors produced the bulk of activity last year in Orange County’s commercial real estate market, the first year since the onset of the recession that distressed deals didn’t make up a large portion of sales activity.

British Heart Team Uses Edwards Valve in Implants

Doctor Said Device Could Extend, Improve Lives

Edwards Lifesciences Corp. recently hit another milestone with one of its less-invasive heart valves.

Microsemi Prevails in Lawsuit On Old Business Line

Wins $5.3M in Damages From Local Company

Aliso Viejo-based chipmaker Microsemi Corp. was awarded $5.3 million in damages from another local technology company in a breach-of-contract lawsuit filed four years ago.

Greater Airport Area Office Market Dips, Lease Rates Up Slightly

Absorption in the Greater Airport Area office market in the fourth quarter was negative 42,007 square feet compared to positive 83,307 square feet in the third quarter.

Irvine Co. Nears Blockbuster Lease in Santa Clara

Ericsson Eyes 440,000 SF in Silicon Valley Project

Newport Beach-based Irvine Company is making more waves in the Silicon Valley office market, with a blockbuster lease for a development reportedly in the works.

The New Fine Print

Costa Mesa Couple’s 3-D Machines Push Envelope on Materials, Sell Fast

A startup launched by a husband and wife in Costa Mesa who had no manufacturing experience is landing big-name customers for its evolving line of 3-D printers that can churn out everything from tools and toys to car components and machine parts.

Hoag Adds Services in 50,000-SF Expansion in HB

HEALTHCARE: Addition to existing center to open in April

Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian is doubling its presence in Huntington Beach, where it plans to provide “integrated care” through a mix of services.

Title Insurers Turn to Buys As Refinancings Dry Up

Interest Rate Hikes Bring 13% Decline in Business

Business for Orange County’s largest title insurers took a step back in 2013 as rising interest rates brought about a steep drop in refinance work during the second half of the year.

Friday, March 14

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 0.07% to 1,847.62 in afternoon trading Friday.

Tease photo

Opus Bank Files for IPO

The largest bank based in Orange County’s has filed documents with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation for an initial public offering.

Tease photo

Irvine Firm Gets $25.9M Contract for 91 Freeway

The Riverside County Transportation Commission awarded a $25.9 million, three-year contract to Irvine-based Cofiroute USA for an all-electronic tolling system for an extension of the 91 Express Lanes that connects Orange and Riverside counties.

Busch, Caspino Form New Law Firm

Orange County attorneys Tim Busch and Michael Caspino have formed Busch & Caspino, a new law firm with a focus on business, estate and tax planning; corporate real estate; business litigation as well as religious organizations and canon law.

Tease photo

Thursday, March 13

Busch, Caspino Form New Law Firm

Orange County attorneys Tim Busch and Michael Caspino have formed Busch & Caspino, a new law firm with a focus on business, estate and tax planning; corporate real estate; business litigation as well as religious organizations and canon law.

Tease photo

Opus Bank Files for IPO

The largest bank based in Orange County’s has filed documents with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation for an initial public offering.

Tease photo

Irvine Firm Gets $25.9M Contract for 91 Freeway

The Riverside County Transportation Commission awarded a $25.9 million, three-year contract to Irvine-based Cofiroute USA for an all-electronic tolling system for an extension of the 91 Express Lanes that connects Orange and Riverside counties.

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 1.13% to 1,847.06 in afternoon trading Thursday.

Tease photo

Device Maker Plans $80M U.S. IPO

Lombard Medical Inc., a British medical device maker with U.S. headquarters in Irvine, has filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an $80 million initial public offering on the Nasdaq exchange.

Tease photo

Former Irvine Exec Named Kia Canada CEO

A former executive at Kia Motors America Inc.'s Irvine headquarters has been promoted to president and chief executive of Ontario-based Kia Canada Inc.

Tease photo

Merage School Moves Up on U.S. News’ Rankings

U.S. News & World Report ranked the MBA program at University of California Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business No. 45 on its list of best business schools in the nation, a four-spot hike from last year’s ranking.

Wednesday, March 12

Merage School Moves Up on U.S. News’ Rankings

U.S. News & World Report ranked the MBA program at University of California Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business No. 45 on its list of best business schools in the nation, a four-spot hike from last year’s ranking.

Former Irvine Exec Named Kia Canada CEO

A former executive at Kia Motors America Inc.'s Irvine headquarters has been promoted to president and chief executive of Ontario-based Kia Canada Inc.

Tease photo

Device Maker Plans $80M U.S. IPO

Lombard Medical Inc., a British medical device maker with U.S. headquarters in Irvine, has filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an $80 million initial public offering on the Nasdaq exchange.

Tease photo

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.14% to 1,864.93 in afternoon trading Wednesday.

Tease photo

Anaheim Convention Center $180M Expansion Approved

The Anaheim City Council on Tuesday night approved the 200,000-square-foot expansion of the city's convention center.

Tease photo

Standard Pacific CEO Stowell Joins Pacific Mutual Board

Scott Stowell, chief executive officer and president of Irvine-based homebuilder Standard Pacific Corp., has been named to the board of Newport Beach’s Pacific Mutual Holding Co., the ultimate parent company of Pacific Life Insurance Co.

Tease photo

BK Court OKs Edison Mission Asset Sale

A bankruptcy judge in Chicago approved the sale of most of the assets of Santa Ana-based Edison Mission Energy.

Tease photo

FDA Clears Pair of Irvine Company’s Medical Devices

Ellipse Technologies Inc., an Irvine medical device maker, said the Food and Drug Administration recently gave it marketing clearance for a pair of its products.

Tease photo

Stearns Tops U.S. Market Share for Wholesale Residential Loans

Santa Ana-based Stearns Lending Inc. was ranked No. 1 wholesale residential lender for 2013 by Inside Mortgage Finance Publications Inc. in Bethesda, Md.

Tuesday, March 11

Stearns Tops U.S. Market Share for Wholesale Residential Loans

Santa Ana-based Stearns Lending Inc. was ranked No. 1 wholesale residential lender for 2013 by Inside Mortgage Finance Publications Inc. in Bethesda, Md.

FDA Clears Pair of Irvine Company’s Medical Devices

Ellipse Technologies Inc., an Irvine medical device maker, said the Food and Drug Administration recently gave it marketing clearance for a pair of its products.

Tease photo

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 fell 0.28% to 1,871.84 in afternoon trading Tuesday.

Tease photo

OC Hotels Up in January

Orange County hotels started off the year seeing strong growth across several key metrics.

Tease photo

Swiss Manufacturer Enters OC

A Swiss commercial printing equipment maker has established its North American headquarters in Laguna Niguel.

Tease photo

Freedom Sets April 16 for LA Daily

Santa Ana-based Freedom Communications Holdings Inc. has set April 16 as the launch for the Los Angeles Register and more than a dozen community newspapers covering cities in Los Angeles County.

Tease photo

FCB Drops Draft

The Irvine office of advertising agency Draftfcb will now be called FCB Irvine as part of a brand-name change announced by global Chief Executive Carter Murray.

Tease photo

Monday, March 10

OC Hotels Up in January

Orange County hotels started off the year seeing strong growth across several key metrics.

Tease photo

Freedom Sets April 16 for LA Daily

Santa Ana-based Freedom Communications Holdings Inc. has set April 16 as the launch for the Los Angeles Register and more than a dozen community newspapers covering cities in Los Angeles County.

Tease photo

FCB Drops Draft

The Irvine office of advertising agency Draftfcb will now be called FCB Irvine as part of a brand-name change announced by global Chief Executive Carter Murray.

Tease photo

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.33% to 1,871.93 in afternoon trading Monday.

Tease photo

Jobless Rate Rises to 5.8%

Orange County’s economy lost 22,200 jobs in January, when the jobless rate rose to 5.8%.

Tease photo

Mitsubishi Electric Moving to Huntington Beach

Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America Inc. plans to consolidate its regional operations in Huntington Beach.

Tease photo

Wet Seal Names Three to Expanded Board

Foothill Ranch-based Wet Seal Inc. announced the addition of three board members that signal a push by the teen and contemporary retailer to grow its e-commerce business and social media presence.

Tease photo

Lantronix Wows With Cool Products It Helps Power

Small Embedded Wireless Device Key to Innovations

Irvine-based Lantronix Inc. turned some heads late last month at the Embedded World 2014 show in Nürnberg, Germany, with some cool demos of its networking technology using a humanoid robot, a drone and a Wi-Fi-enabled electric bike.

Volume Here Bucks Nat’l Trend for 3% Jump on 310 Deals

Number of Deals Down 11% in U.S.; Total Value Up

The pace of merger-and-acquisition activity by Orange County businesses rose by about 3% in 2013, capping the year at 310 deals.

Volcom Returns to Silver Screen for Brand Push

In 70 Theaters Around the World, Previewed Online

Volcom Inc. released “True To This,” an original feature film that “captures the energy and artistry of board-riding in its purest forms.”

ADDENDUM

Banc of California in Irvine acquired RenovationReady in Greenwood Village, Colo. on undisclosed terms. RenovationReady provides home-renovation lending services. Its president and co-founder, Jim Fraser, will join the bank as senior vice president and director of construction and renovation lending.

10 OC Residents Make Top Billionaire List

Ten of Orange County’s wealthiest were named on Forbes’ latest list of top billionaires in the world.

Freedom Community Papers Weekly Again

MEDIA: Two had gone daily in circulation push for Register

Santa Ana-based Freedom Communications Holdings Inc. is reverting to a weekly publication schedule for its community newspapers that serve Irvine, Newport Beach and Costa Mesa.

Ad Shop’s Future Uncertain After Client, Staff Losses

MARKETING: 27-year-old Costa Mesa agency goes quiet

A midday knock on Marshall Advertising & Design’s front door last week went unanswered. So were calls to the Costa Mesa-based advertising agency. And its website was also down.

Thumbs Up, ‘Hands Down’ for New Merage School Dean

Eric Spangenberg must be feeling plenty flattered over the recruiting job done by UCI to land him as dean for its Paul Merage School of Business.

Costa Mesa Firm’s Route to Hollywood Runs SXSW

Hotel Conference Producers Take Bow at Austin Film Festival

There’s no business like show business, suggests the popular tune by Irving Berlin.

Convention-al Wisdom: Size Matters

Convention centers throughout Southern California and the nation battle in a never-ending contest to win the business of everyone from comic book geeks to medical device makers.

Pacifica’s Play: Stay at Beach, Add Services

HOSPITALITY: Hotel operator looks to grow management services

Investing in coastal properties has been a no-brainer for Pacifica Hotels ever since 1993, when it got started in Santa Barbara as the hotel investment and management wing of private equity firm Invest West Financial Corp.

Uptown Newport Alters Ownership, Moves Ahead

Shopoff Buys Out DRA, Brings in Picerne Group

The Uptown Newport mixed-use development on Jamboree Road is preparing for its first major round of construction following a few changes in ownership for the high-visibility Newport Beach project.

West OC Industrial Sees Decrease in Vacancy, Rise in Sale Prices

The fourth quarter in West Orange County continued to demonstrate positive trends the submarket has been consistently witnessing.

Real Estate Deals

John Higman sold an industrial and manufacturing building in Brea for $5.5 million to Air Treatment Corp., an HVAC systems equipment and design contractor.

Medical Device Tax Repeal Bid Emerges in New Form

Latest in String of Efforts To Kill 2.3% Revenue Tax

A longtime effort to repeal a federal tax on medical device makers’ revenue is bubbling up again.

Home Sale Sets Four-Year San Juan Capistrano Record

Nets $5.6M, Most Per Square Foot Since 2010

A home at 31831 Paseo Cielo sold on Feb. 20 for $5.6 million, the highest price per square foot in San Juan Capistrano and the nearby city of Laguna Niguel and community Coto de Caza since 2010.

Lawyers Benefit From Deals Uptick, Relationships

Transactions in the Billions Result From Clients’ Trust

Orange County’s merger-and-acquisition lawyers stayed busy last year with a steady flow of deals that included well-watched transactions and a good number of local businesses buying and selling.

Google Capital Puts $50M in Auction.com

Irvine-based Auction.com, an online real estate auction company, reportedly received a $50 million investment from Google Capital, an investment arm of the Internet giant.

Company’s Tough Computers Produce Steady Growth

TECHNOLOGY: Irvine-based Getac supplies military, cops

Getac Inc.’s line of rugged computers are built to withstand the harshest conditions on the battlefield and some of the most extreme climates on earth. Its U.S. operation, headquartered in Irvine, supplies the Department of Defense and several U.S. law enforcement agencies with specialized laptops and tablets.

DJM Hears Skeptics, Gets ‘Aggressive’ on Pacific City

REAL ESTATE: Joins list of OC retail projects in works

DJM Capital Partners Inc. has more than a big hole to fill along Pacific Coast Highway when it comes to its long-awaited Pacific City retail project in Huntington Beach.

UCI Cancer Center Adds Trial, Treatment Options

HEALTHCARE: $5M paves way for more advanced trials

A new center for cancer research and clinical trials at the University of California, Irvine, has the potential to give patients who want to use advanced therapies a chance to stay in Orange County for treatments.

OCBJ Calendar

March 10, 2014

This week's business and other event listings.

Top Minority-Owned Businesses Reach $12.8B in Revenue

ECONOMY: 5.5% increase in sales; 2.2% gain on OC jobs

The biggest minority-owned businesses based in Orange County combined for $12.8 billion in revenue last year, a 5.5% increase from a year earlier.

Friday, March 7

Jobless Rate Rises to 5.8%

Orange County’s economy lost 22,200 jobs in January, when the jobless rate rose to 5.8%.

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 fell 0.16% to 1,874.04 in afternoon trading Friday.

Tease photo

Quiksilver Narrows January Quarter Loss, Misses Street Estimates

Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver Inc. narrowed its adjusted loss for the January quarter, and the apparel maker and retailer said it continues to make headway on its turnaround plan.

Tease photo

Freedom to Consolidate Spanish-Language Weeklies

Santa Ana-based Freedom Communications Holdings Inc. plans to consolidate two Spanish-language weekly newspapers into a zoned, regional publication called Unidos en el Sur de California.

Tease photo

Anaheim/OC Visitor Bureau Adds to Sales Staff

The Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau announced a raft of additions to its sales department as part of a plan to beef up local and national sales.

Tease photo

Irell & Manella Names New Managing Partner

Los Angeles-based law firm Irell & Manella LLP has named Michael Ermer the new managing partner for its Orange County office.

Tease photo

San Clemente Company in Slovenia Deal With Gores Group

Technology4Medicine LLC in San Clemente and Los Angeles-based private equity firm Gores Group have acquired Fotona d.d, a medical laser maker in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Thursday, March 6

San Clemente Company in Slovenia Deal With Gores Group

Technology4Medicine LLC in San Clemente and Los Angeles-based private equity firm Gores Group have acquired Fotona d.d, a medical laser maker in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Irell & Manella Names New Managing Partner

Los Angeles-based law firm Irell & Manella LLP has named Michael Ermer the new managing partner for its Orange County office.

Tease photo

Anaheim/OC Visitor Bureau Adds to Sales Staff

The Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau announced a raft of additions to its sales department as part of a plan to beef up local and national sales.

Tease photo

Quiksilver Narrows January Quarter Loss, Misses Street Estimates

Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver Inc. narrowed its adjusted loss for the January quarter, and the apparel maker and retailer said it continues to make headway on its turnaround plan.

Tease photo

UCI Gets Washington State Dean for Business School

The University of California, Irvine, has named Eric Spangenberg as dean of its Paul Merage School of Business.

Tease photo

BJ’s Jumps on Activist Investor News

Two activist investors are making moves on Huntington Beach-based BJ's Restaurants Inc.

Tease photo

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.26% to 1,878.60 in afternoon trading Thursday.

Tease photo

Smile Brands Names New Chief Executive

Irvine-based Smile Brands Group Inc. has appointed Dan Wechsler as its president and chief executive.

Tease photo

10 OC Billionaires on Forbes List

Ten of Orange County’s wealthiest were named on Forbes’ latest list of top billionaires in the world.

Tease photo

Taco Bell Boss to Address UCI Business School Grads

Taco Bell Corp. Chief Executive Greg Creed will be the “distinguished executive speaker” at UC Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business graduation ceremony on June 16 at the Bren Events Center.

Tease photo

Wednesday, March 5

Taco Bell Boss to Address UCI Business School Grads

Taco Bell Corp. Chief Executive Greg Creed will be the “distinguished executive speaker” at UC Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business graduation ceremony on June 16 at the Bren Events Center.

Tease photo

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 0.07% to 1,875.21 in afternoon trading Wednesday.

Tease photo

Google Capital Puts $50M in Auction.com

Irvine-based Auction.com, an online real estate auction company, said it will receive a $50 million investment from Google Capital, an investment arm of the Internet giant.

Tease photo

Latham & Watkins Names New OC Managing Partner

Global law firm Latham & Watkins LLP has named Michele Johnson managing partner for its Orange County office.

Tease photo

Ensign Buys Arizona Nursing Home

Mission Viejo-based nursing home operator Ensign Group Inc. said today that it bought Horizon Post-Acute and Rehabilitation Center in Glendale, Ariz. A purchase price wasn’t disclosed.

Tease photo

JWA’s Cabo Service Set for Switch to Southwest

AirTran Airways' service from John Wayne Airport to Cabo San Lucas will switch carriers in August.

Tease photo

Credit Union Makes Educational Donation

California State University Fullerton will recognize SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union for its $500,000 naming gift to the College of Education’s Center for Creativity and Critical Thinking during a March 5 event at the university’s Pollak Library.

Tease photo

Tuesday, March 4

Credit Union Makes Educational Donation

California State University Fullerton will recognize SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union for its $500,000 naming gift to the College of Education’s Center for Creativity and Critical Thinking during a March 5 event at the university’s Pollak Library.

JWA’s Cabo Service Set for Switch to Southwest

AirTran Airways' service from John Wayne Airport to Cabo San Lucas will switch carriers in August.

Tease photo

Ensign Buys Arizona Nursing Home

Mission Viejo-based nursing home operator Ensign Group Inc. said today that it bought Horizon Post-Acute and Rehabilitation Center in Glendale, Ariz. A purchase price wasn’t disclosed.

Tease photo

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 1.47% to 1,872.82 in afternoon trading Tuesday.

Tease photo

Time Warner to Shift 72 Sales Jobs From Cypress

Time Warner Cable Inc. has cut 72 jobs from an office in Cypress, according to a filing with the state’s Economic Development Department.

Tease photo

OC Automakers Hit Sales Slump in February

Orange County automakers saw sales fall in February with their national counterparts recording a mixed bag for the month.

Tease photo

Monday, March 3

OC Automakers Hit Sales Slump in February

Orange County automakers saw sales fall in February with their national counterparts recording a mixed bag for the month.

Tease photo

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 fell 0.84% to 1,843.84 in afternoon trading Monday.

Tease photo

HB Insurance Brokerage Buys in Texas

Huntington Beach-based Confie Seguros Insurance Services has acquired Ida Tunnell Insurance in Marble Falls, Texas, on undisclosed terms.

Tease photo

Freedom Sells Dailies in High Desert

Santa Ana-based Freedom Communications Holdings Inc.’s plans to sell the Daily Press in Victorville and the Desert Dispatch in Barstow to New Media Investment Group Inc. in New York for $8 million.

Tease photo

Sanuk Sales Continue Rise in Q4

Irvine-based footwear company Sanuk USA LLC saw fourth-quarter net sales rise 45.2% from a year earlier to $22.2 million.

Tease photo

New Details Out on Stokehouse Women's Brand

More details, including a name, on the women’s start-up that’s part of Paul Naude’s Stokehouse Unlimited have been released.

Tease photo

Pelican Hill Offers Food, More for Locals, Guests

Trio of Restaurants Get Fifi’s Seal of Approval

There’s so much happening at The Resort at Pelican Hill all during the year. I’ll try to capsulize it but nevertheless want to bring you the best of the resort.

Passion for Food, Sharing It Make Dubray Stand Out

Pelican Hill Executive Chef Leads With Strength, Smiles

Our Chef of the Year, Jean-Pierre Dubray, has been engaging the public in appreciation of gorgeously showcased and inherently delicious food for more than three decades.

ADDENDUM

Chase Bank is laying off 168 employees from its mortgage operations in Irvine by early March.

Fundraising and All That Jazz

Garth Hogan, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank’s executive managing director of Global Healthcare Services;

Yamaha Motor Taps Local Ad Agencies

Cypress-based Yamaha Motor Corp. USA chose two local ad shops to handle its advertising, ending a three-month review for the national account.

M-Flex to Consolidate in China, Close UK R&D

Irvine-based printed circuit board maker Multi-Fineline Electronix Inc. will consolidate its factories in China and close a research and development center in the U.K. as part of a restructuring plan intended to return the company to profitability.

Companies Forge Scrap Recycling Program

Kaiser Aluminum Corp. in Foothill Ranch and Chicago-based Boeing Co. recently started the largest scrap aluminum recycling program of its kind to date, according to the companies.

‘Cosmeceutical’ Pioneer Sees Fast Growth on ZO Line

HEALTHCARE: Irvine skincare line at $20M, 55 workers

Irvine-based ZO Skin Health Inc. wants to redirect women from the cosmetic counter to their doctor’s office.

New Emulex Chair; McCluney to Octane

TECHNOLOGY: Dissidents add three to gear maker’s board

Networking gear maker Emulex Corp. has a new Orange County-based chairman and three directors from outside the area.

Sign of Confidence in South OC: Maserati Dealership

AUTOS: Home development fuels addition; Alfa next?

Buongiorno, South Orange County!

Verizon Job Cuts Prompt Give-Back on Lease

REAL ESTATE: Irvine Company to redo 2 of 5 Spectrum buildings

A portion of the regional headquarters of Verizon Wireless in the Irvine Spectrum will be converted into a multitenant office park, a result of the telecom’s recent decision to trim its local head count by more than 40%.

Equity Office Eyes Addition to Portfolio in South Coast Metro

REAL ESTATE: Deal for Santa Ana towers pegged at nearly $130M

The office division of private equity giant Blackstone Group is poised to become one of the two largest landlords in the South Coast Metro business district, based on an impending deal for the Griffin Towers office complex in Santa Ana.

Goodwill Gets Into Boutiques

RETAIL: $48 million retailer spiffs up on new approach

Donated books and records repurposed into a whimsical chair display and a funky dress on a store mannequin are proof of what good merchandising can do for Goodwill of Orange County—or any retailer, for that matter.

Oakley’s Next Brand Plan

Seeks Ad Shop For Estimated $100M Campaign to Highlight Company Culture

Oakley Inc. is looking for an advertising agency to handle the creative work on a global marketing campaign that will give an inside view of the $1.5 billion eyewear and apparel brand.

Ahoy in Anaheim

Anaheim-based boat maker Willard Marine Inc. is “recreating itself.”

Beall Foundation Gives UCI Boost on Tech Transfer

EDUCATION: $5M for center to speed up commercialization

University of California, Irvine, is creating a new campuswide center that aims to speed up commercialization of its research and support technology development.

Allergan Ups Retinal Disease R&D With Collaboration

Will Work With Voyant on Possible New Drugs

Irvine-based Allergan Inc. is adding to its programs for potentially treating age-related macular degeneration.

Burress by the Hour; Doti’s Roadmap; Bealls’ Starry Night

Jay Burress had a lot of good news to go over on his first full year as president and CEO of the Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau.

Affliction Exec Buys Observatory Theater in Santa Ana

$10M Deal Includes 47,319-SF Office

A cofounder of apparel company Affliction Inc. has bought the Santa Ana building that holds the Observatory OC concert venue where he’s an investor, as well as an adjacent office.

Pair of Tech Companies Improve Cash Positions

Quantum, Netlist Avoid Delistings, Build Up

Two Orange County technology companies that faced delistings on the Nasdaq exchange last year have recently raised money in public offerings to shore up their cash positions.

Real Estate Deals

Pro-Mo Properties LLC sold a manufacturing building to On Target Electric Inc. in Irvine for $2.8 million.

Vans Taps Deeper Into Creative Roots for SXSW

In Music Festival Again, Releases Documentary

Cypress-based Vans Inc. is returning to this year’s SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas.

Low-Rise Office Demand Sees Modest Rise of Its Own

Activity in the low-rise office sector picked up in the fourth quarter, as the overall market recorded 47,341 square feet of positive net absorption. That was an improvement over the third quarter’s negative absorption of 32,498 square feet.

OCBJ Calendar

March 3-12

This week's business and other event listings.

Primo Restaurants for Fresh, Creative Spring Fare

From French Countryside to Sushi With a Flair

Springtime brings thoughts of colorful flowers emerging, a climate conducive to beaches and boating, and getting out as the winter fades, even though we’ve had such a mild winter.