Stories for April 2015

Thursday, April 30

22 Del Taco Sites to Sell

A number of limited partnerships plan to sell four portfolios of land and buildings that house a total of 22 Del Taco fast food restaurants in California, according to Newport Beach-based CBRE, the listing broker for the portfolios.

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Habit Revenue, Income Up

Shares in Irvine-based Habit Restaurants Inc. were up about 4% in midday trading Friday to a market cap of $850 million after the company reported it earned $3 million in its most recent quarter, an increase of 20% over $2.5 million in the same period last year.

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OCVA in China Travel Site Deal

The Orange County Visitors Association said it would launch a presence this month on Ctrip, a Chinese travel and tourism website.

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UCI Gets Up To $5 Million for Blood Work

University of California-Irvine said it will get up to $5 million over five years from the federal National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases to further develop a bloodstream infection-detection system that speeds diagnosis times and improves accuracy.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.6% to 2,094.31.

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American Vanguard Buys Herbicide Unit from DuPont

American Vanguard Corp., a Newport Beach-based maker of agricultural chemicals, has through its Netherlands-based international subsidiary, acquired the assets of an herbicide business from E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Co.

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Wednesday, April 29

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.5% to 2,104.63.

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Bernanke Joins Pimco

Pacific Investment Management Co. has tapped former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke as a senior adviser.

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Oakley Taps Raj in Swimwear Deal

Oakley Inc. selected Raj Manufacturing LLC in Tustin to develop, manufacture and distribute its women’s swimwear worldwide.

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Tuesday, April 28

Crowdfunded Hotel Investor Plans to Raise $2 Million

Newport Beach-based Hotel Innvestor LLC plans to use crowdfunding to raise about $2 million.

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Kaiser Aluminum Has Mixed Q1

Kaiser Aluminum Corp. beat Wall Street’s revenue outlook for the first quarter but fell short on earnings projections.

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Western Digital Just Misses Forecasts

Irvine-based storage products maker Western Digital Corp. after the close of intraday trading Tuesday reported March revenue and adjusted profits that narrowly missed Wall Street expectations.

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Maletta Goes to Irish Drug Maker

Matthew Maletta, a former associate general counsel with Irvine-based Allergan Inc., was named chief legal officer of Endo International plc.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.2% to 2,113.30.

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Device Maker Gets $26M Loan

Irvine-based startup Lombard Medical Inc. said today it received a $26 million loan facility from a financier.

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Montage Moves Ahead on Los Cabos

Irvine-based Montage Hotels & Resorts said today it would develop Montage Los Cabos on Santa Maria Bay in Los Cabos, Mexico, its first international property.

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Monday, April 27

Stance Socks Score NBA Deal

San Clemente-based Stance Inc. has signed a licensing agreement to become the official sock brand for the National Basketball Association.

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Education Company Nabs Investment

Santa Ana-based Greenwood Hall Inc. said Lincoln Park Capital Fund LLC in Chicago invested in the company.

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Del Taco Buyer Ticker Changes

The company that plans to buy Lake Forest-based Del Taco Holdings Inc. changed its Nasdaq markets ticker symbol Tuesday morning to “TACO.”

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.2% to 2,113.35.

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Mitsubishi Motors Taps Ally on Finance

Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc. in Cypress said it will fold its in-house financing arm, Mitsubishi Motors Credit of America Inc., and rely on Detroit-based Ally Financial Inc. as its “preferred financing source.”

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Predixion’s Series D Round Led by Software AG

Aliso Viejo-based Predixion Software has kicked off its latest venture funding round with Germany-based Software AG, one of the largest software companies globally, as the lead investor.

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Opus Q1 Loans, Deposits Up; Profit Slips

Irvine-based Opus Bank posted $11 million in first-quarter net income, down 16% from the same period a year earlier.

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Who’s Your Uncles?

Real Estate Vets Try Crowd-Investing Model for REIT

Rich uncles are nice to have—and that might be the play that real estate investment veterans Ray Wirta, Harold Hofer and Howard Makler are going for with their RichUncles LLC real estate crowd-investing platform.

Software Makers Grow Employment 4th Year Straight

Biggest Here Eke Out Modest Gain, Employ 7,991

The largest software makers in Orange County added jobs for the fourth straight year, albeit at a slower clip.

American Restaurant Holdings Sets Growth Plans for 3 Chains

RESTAURANTS: Franchises, local openings now order of day

Irvine-based American Restaurant Holdings Inc. has bought three restaurant chains over the past 15 months with combined systemwide sales “approaching $40 million,” Chief Executive Tim Betts said.

AcuFocus Casts Eye on Boomers

HEALTHCARE: Gets FDA approval for device to supplant reading glasses

Well-heeled baby boomers will be able to reach for something besides reading glasses now that Irvine-based AcuFocus Inc. can debut its flagship eye device in the U.S.

Wet Seal’s New Posture

Fashion Vet Back at Helm as Slimmed-Down Retailer Sets Out on Fresh Start

The Wet Seal brand is out to get back on track with fashion-conscious young females.

Tustin Could Turn Toward Spec on Creative Offices

REAL ESTATE: Near deal with Lincoln on 37-acre Cornerstone parcel

The city of Tustin is nearing a deal with the Southern California offices of Lincoln Property Co. to have the company take over development of a 37-acre creative-office project at Tustin Legacy.

Allergan Job Reduction Could Lead to Less Space

Expected to Exit 3 Floors At 2600 Michelson Tower

The first example of Allergan Inc. retrenching its local real estate presence in Irvine following its $72.5 billion sale to Actavis PLC is expected to take place at a high-rise office where Allergan was leasing space.

Real Estate Deals

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

Bose Family Trust sold a 17,864-square-foot industrial building in Orange to OC Baking Co. for $2.2 million, or $123.15 per square foot.

Vizio Unveils New Smart TVs in Trendy Chelsea

Lineup Follows Skip Of CES in Las Vegas

Vizio Inc.’s new product launch strategy was on full display at a recent showcase in New York City, where the Irvine-based company introduced a lineup of smart TVs and audio accessories in the trendy Chelsea neighborhood.

Inland Empire Markets Mixed in First Quarter

The momentum of substantial Inland Empire industrial growth in 2014 carried over into 2015 as gross activity spiked in the first quarter, totaling 9.9 million square feet.

Kia Teams With Yahoo for Sorento ‘Getaway’ Ads

Videos Coax Viewers To Take Vehicle on Adventures

Kia Motors America Inc. selected Yahoo Inc. as a digital partner to deliver the latest ads for the 2016 Sorento CUV.

Insurers Want More Scrutiny of Reusable-Device Makers

DC-Based Group Requests Increased FDA Tracking

A managed care lobbying group is calling for tighter controls over the approval, monitoring and maintenance of reusable medical devices, according to news reports.

OCBJ Calendar

April 27-May 6, 2015

This week's business and other event listings.

Luxury Homes Sales Blossom First 2 Weeks of April

Include Crystal Cove Home, Laguna Beach Landmark

Luxury home sales blossomed in the first two weeks of the month, with 11 above the $4 million mark between March 31 and April 15.

ADDENDUM

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 38, No. 17

Tilly’s Inc. started a search for a new chief financial officer to replace Jennifer Ehrhardt, who’s leaving in June to “pursue other professional interests.”

Private Companies Wanted for Annual List

Special Issue: List will be centerpiece of June 22 edition

The Business Journal is preparing its annual list of privately owned companies for publication in June.

Incipio Signs Deal With Luggage Maker

Incipio Technologies Inc. signed a multiyear licensing deal with Tumi Holdings Inc. to design, manufacture and distribute a range of premium mobile device accessories for the South Plainfield, N.J.-based luggage maker.

Recycler Bought By Canada Company

Anaheim-based recycling services provider Certified Recycling was acquired by Tricor Pacific Capital, a Vancouver-based private equity firm with an office in Chicago. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Financiers Loan Device Maker $12M

San Clemente-based medical device maker ReShape Medical Inc. received a $12 million loan from a pair of financiers.

UCI Taps UC Davis Dean as Provost, EVC

University of California-Irvine said Enrique Lavernia will be provost and executive vice chancellor, reporting to Chancellor Howard Gillman.

Santa Ana Offices Fetch $24 million

REAL ESTATE: 50% hike in value boost in two years

The Freeway Corporate Park office campus next to the Costa Mesa (55) Freeway in Santa Ana sold for $24 million in the latest big commercial property sale on a busy stretch of the freeway.

Greenlaw Adds to Orange Holdings With Buy

REAL ESTATE: Eyes hotel, apartments for area properties

Greenlaw Partners has added another notable property to its portfolio of offices next to the Outlets at Orange shopping center.

Yogurtland Looks to Stretch Menu, Reputation

RESTAURANTS: Greek yogurt seen as draw for lunch

Irvine-based Yogurtland hopes to grow revenue with additions to its menu intended to draw customers earlier and often.

Vinny in VR; Serial CEOs; What Tops Louisiana Purchase?

Count Vinny Smith in the class of investors who see some virtue in virtual reality.

Western Digital Hunts for New Ad Agency

MEDIA: Raises bar on campaigns for global market

Western Digital Corp., the world’s largest disk drive maker, is looking for a new advertising strategy and partner to boot.

Friday, April 24

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.3% to 2,119.55.

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Pac Life Sells Pension Business to Goldman Sachs

Newport Beach-based Pacific Life Insurance Co. has sold its pension advisory business in New York to Goldman Sachs Assets Management.

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Pac Merc Restructures SBA Group, Reports Q1 Loss

Costa Mesa-based Pacific Mercantile Bancorp Inc. swung to a loss in the first quarter, affected by a one-time cost related to a “strategic realignment” of its Small Business Administration lending group.

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Thursday, April 23

Edwards Posts Profit

Irvine-based Edwards Lifesciences Corp. reported a profit of $123.4 million, more than double the total for the same period a year ago.

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JWA March Passengers, Flights Up

John Wayne Airport reported boosts in passenger traffic and flights for March.

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SJC Startup Lands GE Investment

San Juan Capistrano-based software maker PingThings Inc. has received a venture capital investment from GE Ventures, the venture capital arm of General Electric, and Frost Data Capital.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.4% to 2,116.75.

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Wednesday, April 22

ReShape Medical Gets $12M Loan

San Clemente-based medical device maker ReShape Medical Inc. has received a $12 million loan from a pair of financiers.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.3% to 2,104.21.

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UCI Names Provost

University of California-Irvine said Enrique Lavernia will be provost and executive vice chancellor, reporting to Chancellor Howard Gillman.

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Pacific Premier Loans, Deposits Up; Profit Down on Acquisition Costs

Irvine-based Pacific Premier Bancorp Inc. posted $1.8 million in first-quarter profit, down 32% from the same period a year ago.

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Taco Bell Revenue Up

The parent company of Irvine-based Taco Bell Corp. said new store openings and same-store sales increases boosted the Mexican-themed fast food chain’s revenue by 9% in the first quarter of this year.

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Kia's Georgia Facility Back Online After Shooting

A Kia Motors America Inc. manufacturing plant in Georgia is back online this morning after an employee there shot a co-worker in the leg Tuesday.

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Incipio Inks Luggage Co. Deal

Incipio Technologies Inc. said it signed a multiyear licensing deal with Tumi Holdings Inc. to design, manufacture and distribute a range of premium mobile device accessories for the South Plainfield, N.J.-based luggage maker.

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Tuesday, April 21

Correction & Clarification: Thomas in Charge at Wet Seal

Chief Executive Ed Thomas remains in charge of The Wet Seal, LLC in Foothill Ranch, along with interim Chief Financial Officer Thomas Hillebrandt.

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Broadcom Beats Forecasts on Q1

Irvine-based chipmaker Broadcom Corp. after the close of intraday trading reported first-quarter revenue and adjusted profits that beat Wall Street expectations and provided a revenue target for the current quarter in line with estimates.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was flat at 2,100.38.

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Monday, April 20

Tilly’s CFO to Depart

Tilly’s Inc. said it has started a search for a new chief financial officer, to replace Jennifer Ehrhardt, who is leaving in June to “pursue other professional interests.”

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FDA Clears AcuFocus Inlay

The Food and Drug Administration has approved Irvine-based AcuFocus Inc.’s Kamra corneal inlay for treating presbyopia.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 1% to 2,101.71.

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Anaheim Recycling Company Sold

Anaheim-based recycling services provider Certified Recycling has been acquired by Tricor Pacific Capital, a Vancouver-based private equity firm with an office in Chicago.

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UC Irvine Health Opens Tustin Specialty Center

The healthcare enterprise of the University of California-Irvine said today that it opened a new specialty healthcare center in Tustin.

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Vietnamese Paper Files for Bankruptcy

The Little Saigon News Inc. in Garden Grove filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, according to documents filed with U.S. Bankruptcy Court Central District of California in Santa Ana.

Circuit Board Maker Aims to Buck Sunset Trend

Hopes New Technology Will Cut Costs, Spur Sales

Murrietta Circuits, one of Orange County’s oldest technology companies, believes a new licensed technology will dramatically improve its process for manufacturing circuit boards, positioning the 35-year-old family-run business for growth in a declining U.S. industry.

ADDENDUM

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 38, No. 16

The U.S. Department of Education fined a subsidiary of Santa Ana-based Corinthian Colleges Inc. $29.7 million for alleged misrepresentation of job placement rates in 947 cases by San Francisco-based Heald College.

Share Sale Cuts Top Habit Owner’s Stake

The private equity firm that has controlled Irvine-based Habit Restaurants Inc. since leading an investor group in a 2007 buyout of the fast-casual burger chain was expected to trim its holdings to less than a majority stake through a secondary share offering.

Startup Raises $23M for Investment App

Newport Beach startup Acorns Grow Inc. raised $23 million in a Series C round to fuel the growth of its smartphone app, which aims to bring microinvesting to the masses.

PHILANTHROPY

The Orange County chapter of JDRF, a global organization that provides funding for Type 1 diabetes research, hosted its annual Dream Gala “Join the Revolution” on March 28 at the Island Hotel in Newport Beach.

Private Companies Wanted for Annual List

Special Issue: List will be centerpiece of June 22 edition

The Business Journal is preparing its annual list of privately owned companies for publication in June.

Mohamed’s Moxie; NB’s Big Week; I Heart Ballet

The Insider has heard more than once that former Pimco CEO Mohamed El-Erian is a favorite for a cabinet-level job if Hillary Clinton wins the White House in 2016.

Real Estate Deals

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

Los Angeles-based Cohen Asset Management Inc. sold a flex building in Brea to Boston-based Intercontinental Real Estate Corp. for $14 million, or about $138 per square foot.

OCBJ Calendar

This week's business and other event listings.

Irvine Company Redefines High End of Portfolio

REAL ESTATE: Penthouse planned atop Manhattan tower already leased

Irvine Company has found some extra space to lease in its most valuable building, where it’s poised to create the priciest floor in its nearly 500-building office portfolio.

Quality Systems Buys Into Big Data

Irvine-based healthcare software maker Quality Systems Inc. continued its diversification effort with the recent acquisition of a “big data” specialist.

Western Realco Eyes More Industrial in Brea

REAL ESTATE: 3rd speculative project would be 216,000 SF

Newport Beach-based Western Realco has bought nearly 10 acres of land in Brea, where the developer is planning its third big speculative industrial project in the city since 2012.

Medtronic Valve Gets FDA OK for Use in Procedure

Product For Patients With High, Extreme Risks

Medtronic CoreValve, a less-invasive heart valve that has Orange County roots, recently received the green light from the Food and Drug Administration for use in what’s known as “valve-in-valve” procedures for treating people whose surgical aortic valves have failed.

Steadfast Cos.’ Buying Binge Gets National Attention

Apartment Portfolio Now 30,000 Units, Ranked 40th

A healthy amount of acquisitions across the country over the past year has vaulted Irvine-based Steadfast Cos. into the ranks of the largest owners of apartments in the U.S.

Yokohama’s Push for Social Good, Playgrounds

Partners With Nonprofit, Plans Campaigns

Yokohama Tire Corp. said it has expanded its relationship with KaBoom!, a national nonprofit that has opened or improved nearly 16,000 playgrounds since its inception in 1996.

Q&A

The Business Journal’s Jane Yu asked a group of local chief financial officers how they perceive their roles in building corporate culture. The CFOs also discuss factors about Orange County that have an impact on the development of culture. Edited excerpts of their responses follow.

Security Bigger Part of CFO Role as Big Data Grows

Trend Affects Company Image, Viability, Execs Say

Chief financial officers are increasingly becoming an essential part of the conversation about data security, a topic much discussed today as businesses rely more on collection and analysis of “big data” for various aspects of their operations.

Laser Maker Uses Time to Advantage With Board Revamp

Newport Corp. Takes Age Limits as Cue for Makeover

Newport Corp. went to great lengths in the past few years to revamp its board with big names in the science and corporate worlds.

Newport Sets Sail for Ensenada

Annual Race Tests Mettle of Crews, Helps Kids in Baja

Len Bose has been a part of 29 editions of the Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race, the next of which is set for this weekend.

Liftoff for Office Landlords?

REAL ESTATE: Shift suggests spec development on horizon

Advantage landlords. That’s the picture that emerges from the most recent data on Orange County’s roughly 100-million-square-foot office market, which wrapped up the first quarter in its strongest position since the onset of the Great Recession.

CapRock Buys Irvine Office, Plans Creative Redo

REAL ESTATE: $9.6M estimate for 55,474-SF low-rise

Irvine-based CapRock Partners LLC has snapped up an office just off the Costa Mesa (55) Freeway for its latest local creative-office project.

Ups, Downs Even Out as Aerospace Holds Steady on Jobs

THE LIST: IFE sector offsets cuts at top-ranked Boeing

Employment at Orange County’s largest aerospace and defense contractors was roughly flat for the third straight year.

Solar Outfit Buys Los Al Aerospace Firm

Los Alamitos-based Alliance Spacesystems LLC, which manufactures composite structures for the aerospace industry, was acquired by SolAero Technologies Corp., an Albuquerque, N.M.-based solar panels maker.

Register Publisher Refocuses Growth Plans

MEDIA: Sees potential in local focus, baby boomer audience

The days of “entrepreneurial expansion” at the Orange County Register have given way to more modest hopes for growth based on “ultra-local” coverage and baby boomers as a key readership group.

Friday, April 17

UC Irvine Health Opens Tustin Specialty Center

The healthcare enterprise of the University of California-Irvine said today that it opened a new specialty healthcare center in Tustin.

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Private Companies Wanted for Annual List

The Business Journal is preparing its annual list of privately owned companies for publication in June.

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Allergan Laying Off 577 in Irvine

Allergan Inc., now a business unit of drugmaker Actavis PLC, will lay off 577 workers in Irvine, according to a state filing.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Major stock indices declined in midday trading on overseas news that included a strong Euro, financial woes in Greece, and new stock trading regulations in China.

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OC Adds Jobs in March, Unemployment Down

Orange County employers added 9,800 jobs in March, helping drive down the unemployment rate to 4.4%.

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Thursday, April 16

HB Insurance Brokerage Acquired

Madison Risk & Insurance Services in Huntington Beach has been acquired by Itasca, Ill.-based Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. on undisclosed terms.

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M-Flex CFO Resigns

Multi-Fineline Electronix Inc. Chief Financial Officer Tom Liguori has resigned to pursue other opportunities, the Irvine-based printed circuit board maker announced after the close of intraday trading.

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Irvine Restaurant Group Plans 12 OC Franchises

Irvine-based American Restaurant Holdings Inc. said it signed an Orange County franchisee for Muscle Maker Grill, the restaurant chain in Colonia, N.J. that an affiliate acquired in January.

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Allergan Laying Off 577 in Irvine

Allergan Inc., now a business unit of drugmaker Actavis PLC, will lay off 577 workers in Irvine, according to a state filing.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.1% to 2,107.26.

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Wednesday, April 15

Wet Seal Sale Final

Mador Lending LLC completed the acquisition of Wet Seal Inc., the affiliate of Philadelphia-based Versa Capital Management LLC announced Wednesday.

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Del Taco Plans Debt Pare Down, TACO Ticker

Lake Forest-based Del Taco Holdings Inc. would cut its debt by $139 million—or more than 40%—if its acquisition by Chicago-based Levy Acquisition Corp. closes as planned in June, according to documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.5% to 2,106.91.

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Plaza Q1 Profit Slips on Acquisition Costs, Lending Up

Irvine-based Plaza Bank posted $1.6 million in first-quarter profit, down about 5% from the same period a year ago.

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Tuesday, April 14

Los Al Aerospace Company Acquired

Los Alamitos-based Alliance Spacesystems LLC, which manufactures composite structures for the aerospace industry, was acquired by SolAero Technologies Corp., an Albuquerque, N.M.-based solar panels maker.

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Cajun Fusion Chain to Enter OC

Houston-based La. Crawfish said a franchisee plans to open the chain’s first restaurant in Orange County, in Anaheim, and that the company is negotiating with a Los Angeles-based restaurant operator for an area development deal to cover the rest of OC and L.A.

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Corinthian Unit Fined $29.7 Million

The U.S. Department of Education said today it fined a subsidiary of Santa Ana-based Corinthian Colleges Inc. $29.7 million.

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Little Saigon News In BK

The Little Saigon News Inc. in Garden Grove has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, according to documents filed with U.S. Bankruptcy Court Central District of California in Santa Ana.

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Habit Top Shareholder Trims Stake

The private equity firm that has controlled Irvine-based Habit Restaurants Inc. since leading an investor group in a 2007 buyout of the fast-casual burger chain is expected to trim its holdings to less than a majority stake through a secondary share offering that’s set to close tomorrow, the company and news reports said.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.1% to 2,095.34.

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Monday, April 13

NB Startup Raises $23M

Newport Beach startup Acorns Grow Inc. has raised $23 million to fuel the growth of its smartphone app that aims to bring microinvesting to the masses.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 0.2% to 2,105.55.

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Medical Office Project Moves Ahead in NB

REAL ESTATE: Land buy, redesign for Birch Street project

A long-planned medical office development in the Santa Ana Heights area of Newport Beach is moving ahead following a recent sale of the nearly 4½-acre site and a redesign of the proposed project.

Sun’s AVP Inks Deal With NBC

SPORTS: Broadcast, cable streaming part of picture

Donald Sun has inked a new broadcasting deal with NBC Sports Group, ensuring his Costa Mesa-based Association of Volleyball Professionals with a significant chunk of revenue and exposure before players hit the sand next month for the 2015 tour opener in New Orleans.

Panel’s Prediction: Predictive on Rise

Industry Execs Caution on Trade-Off of Privacy

The chief marketing officer of the future could look more like Star Trek’s Captain Kirk than the guys from the “Mad Men” show.

Broad Range for UCI’s Push on Innovation

EDUCATION: Blueberries to microchips, toothpaste

The $5 million in seed funding that Newport Beach-based Beall Family Foundation provided for the University of California-Irvine’s new Institute for Innovation is bearing commercial fruit.

How to Unchain Your Dragon

Apparel Maker’s Ambitions Tied to Costa Mesa HQ, China Production

Dragon Crowd Garment Inc. relocated its headquarters three years ago from downtown Los Angeles to Costa Mesa to be closer to a bunch of OC-based customers, including Oakley Inc., Vans Inc., Quiksilver Inc. and Pacific Sunwear of California Inc.

Signs of Fresh Start for Fisker

AUTOS: Company circles April 20 amid buzz about new name, model

It appears April 20 will mark another milestone in the tumultuous run of the Fisker brand.

Way Up In Arts District

Proposal for Luxury Condo Tower to Costa Mesa Planners

The owners of the Avenue of the Arts Wyndham Hotel are moving ahead on plans to build the first high-rise condominium tower in Costa Mesa’s arts district.

Real Estate Deals

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

A living trust sold an industrial building in Anaheim to Los Angeles-based Rexford Industrial for $7.7 million, or about $119 per square foot.

OCBJ Calendar

April 13-22, May 30, 2015

This week's business and other event listings.

ADDENDUM

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 38, No. 15

Quick Bridge Funding LLC, an alternative lender specializing in short-term financing moved its headquarters from Orange to Irvine, taking 17,000 square feet at Market Place Center.

Apple Nears Samsung at Top of Broadcom’s List

Brisk iPhone, Phablet Sales Account for $1.4B

Record sales of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus helped push Apple Inc. last year to the cusp of overtaking Samsung Electronics Co. as Broadcom Corp.’s largest customer.

LBA Realty Nears Another Office Purchase From Dell

Report of Nashville Deal Follows Buy in Aliso Viejo

Irvine-based LBA Realty is poised for a big investment in Nashville, Tenn., according to reports there.

Low-Rise Market Hot in Q4 and Getting Hotter

Low-rise office buildings might not get the same amount of attention in the news as the high-rise buildings in Orange County, though they’re a significant part of the office market, accounting for more than half—nearly 55.2 million square feet—of the county’s office space. One can’t ignore the level of recent activity in the low-rise market.

Autobytel Brings ‘Digital Concierge’ to Scion Website

Has Stake in Firm That Developed Technology

Online car shopping does not have to be a solitary experience, according to folks at Autobytel Inc.

Griffin-American Inks $353M Worth of Deals in Q1

Adds 18 Properties Spread Over 11 States

Irvine-based real estate investor Griffin-American Healthcare REIT had a busy first quarter, with $353.7 million worth of acquisitions encompassing 18 healthcare properties in 11 states.

Investors, Developers Drawn to Luxury Spec Homes

See Potential for Big Returns in Luxe Approach

Investors and developers are putting their time and resources into building luxury spec homes along the Southern California coast, from The Strand in Dana Point to the Balboa Peninsula and beyond.

Bella Terra Gets New Ownership

Prudential Real Estate Investors said it acquired a 75% stake in the Bella Terra Shopping Center in Huntington Beach.

New Executives at Top for Kia Motors

Kia Motors America Inc. in Irvine named Jang Won Sohn president and chief executive to replace Byung Mo Ahn, who will become a company adviser.

CareTrust REIT Adds Nursing Home

San Clemente-based CareTrust REIT Inc. bought a nursing home in Washington state for $9.1 million.

Irvine Firm Buys 35 Pilates Studios

Irvine-based LAG Fit Inc. acquired Club Pilates, a franchised chain of 35 Pilates studios in the U.S. and Australia.

Toshiba Unit in Irvine All Over New Arena in Vegas

MARKETING: Joins Coke as “co-founding partner”

Toshiba America Business Solutions Inc.’s sponsorship of AEG and MGM Resorts International’s $375-million Las Vegas Arena comes with the sort of perks that are in the spotlight lately.

ReShape Gets Pass on FDA Panel for Obesity Device

HEALTHCARE: Could get final approval for market in June

A San Clemente-based medical device maker cleared a big regulatory hurdle and landed on a faster track to commercialization.

Pac Life Offers ‘Swell’ Idea for Younger Investors

FINANCE: ‘Cause-themed’ portfolios include big givers

Pacific Life Insurance Co. has rolled out a research subsidiary that’s targeting younger people with the prospect of adding an element of social consciousness to their portfolios.

Aitken on Angels; Segerstom Memorial; OC-China Update

Anyone who doubts Wylie Aitken’s will probably hasn’t seen him in a court of law.

Printers Reach Beyond Paper, Ink for Revenue Gains

Use of Data to Help Clients Refine Targets One Key

The largest commercial printers based in Orange County combined for $585 million in revenue last year, a 7.5% increase from their total in 2013.

Ad Agencies Top $1 Billion, Led by Gains at Top

Newcomers Help Boost List’s Total, Account for 40%

Orange County’s largest advertising agencies posted an estimated 9% gain in revenue last year, enough to push the group over the $1 billion benchmark.

Friday, April 10

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.5% to 2,100.97

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Thursday, April 9

Allergan Ends Legal Battle With Ackman, Valeant

Allergan Inc., the Irvine drug maker that is now part of Dublin-based Actavis Plc., has ended its court fight with Canada-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. and activist investor Bill Ackman’s New York City-based Pershing Square Capital Management LP.

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Irvine Firm Buys 35 Pilates Studios

Irvine-based LAG Fit Inc. has acquired a franchised chain of 35 pilates studios in the U.S. and Australia from a competitor in Del Mar.

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Southwest to Set New JWA Flights

Southwest Airlines said it seeks two new routes from John Wayne Airport with flights to begin in November.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 0.1% to 2,084.45.

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Wednesday, April 8

New Execs for Kia

Kia Motors America Inc. in Irvine has named Jang Won Sohn president and chief executive to replace Byung Mo Ahn, who will become a company advisor.

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Habit Sets $175M Share Sale

Irvine-based Habit Restaurants Inc. said it would offer up to 5.75 million shares of its Class A common stock owned by various stockholders, including some officers and directors, for sale on April 9.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 0.1% to 2,078.76.

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Alternative Lender to Irvine HQ

Quick Bridge Funding LLC, an alternative lender specializing in short-term financing, has moved its headquarters from Orange to Irvine, taking 17,000 square feet at Market Place Center.

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CareTrust Buys Nursing Home for $9.1M

San Clemente-based CareTrust REIT Inc. said today that it bought a nursing home in Washington state for $9.1 million.

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Tuesday, April 7

St. Joseph Health Taps Chief Medical Officer

Irvine-based St. Joseph Health said today that Dr. Jack Cox is its new senior vice president and chief medical officer.

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Toshiba Unit Sponsors Vegas Arena

Toshiba America Business Solutions Inc. signed on as the founding sponsor of the yet-to-be-completed $375 million Las Vegas Arena.

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Habit Sets $175M Share Sale

Irvine-based Habit Restaurants Inc. said it would offer up to 5.75 million shares of its Class A common stock owned by various stockholders, including some officers and directors, for sale beginning April 10 and expected to close April 15.

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Ambry Buys Software Company

Aliso Viejo-based Ambry Genetics Corp. acquired Delray Beach, Fla-based Progeny Software LLC for an undisclosed price.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 0.3% 2,086.91.

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Bren Imposter Sentenced to Time Served, $1.1M in Restitution

The convicted bank robber who stole the identity—and a $1.4 million tax refund—of Irvine Company Chairman Donald Bren was sentenced to time served, restitution and supervised release, according to court records.

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Bella Terra Gets New Ownership

Prudential Real Estate Investors said it has acquired a 75% stake in Huntington Beach's Bella Terra Shopping Center.

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Monday, April 6

WonderCon to Leave Anaheim in 2016

WonderCon will move from the Anaheim Convention Center to the Los Angeles Convention Center in March 2016, according to several news reports.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Stock indices were up in midday trading as the price of oil topped $50 a barrel.

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American Vanguard in Deal for European Business

American Vanguard Corp., a Newport Beach-based maker of specialty chemicals and agriculture products, has acquired the European insecticide business assets of Adama Agricultural Solutions Ltd.

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Johnny Rockets Plans 100 Units in China

Aliso Viejo-based Johnny Rockets has signed a deal to franchise 100 restaurants in China over the next 10 years, with the first set to open next year in either Shanghai or Beijing.

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$500M Deal for Del Taco Points to Familiar Path

RESTAURANTS: Blank-check buyer to take chain public

The $500 million acquisition of Lake Forest-based Del Taco Holdings Inc. by Levy Acquisition Corp. is set to turn the Mexican-themed fast-food chain into Orange County’s newest public company and pave the way for a growth plan that resembles the path taken by Costa Mesa-based El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc. in more ways than one.

Western Digital Helium Drives Break Newer Ground

TECHNOLOGY: Opens new big-data troves, more capacity

Western Digital Corp.’s breakthrough helium-based drives are getting strong demand from the world’s largest data center customers, ensuring the Irvine-based company a steady pipeline of business in coming years in the lucrative segment of high-capacity storage products.

Wet Seal to Emerge Smaller, Private

RETAIL: Will take new corporate name under Mador

Teen retailer Wet Seal Inc. is slated to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy around April 15 as a privately held company with a new corporate moniker—Seal123 Inc.

Filings Cite Twists, Turns on Way to Pyott’s Payout

HEALTHCARE: Cashes stock for $534M after Allergan sale

David Pyott’s big payout from the sale of Allergan Inc. to Actavis PLC came with twists and turns for both companies and two other drugmakers involved in a deal of their own, according to filings made public last week.

Brief Stint on Nasdaq Helps Kofax Fetch Premium

TECHNOLOGY: $1B sale comes to 50% premium

Kofax Ltd.’s short stint as a U.S. public company ended with a bang.

Pyott’s Play: Cash Out and Carry On; F&M’s New Starter

This week’s Special Issue on OC-based public companies marks a farewell appearance for perennial leader Allergan, which has held the top spot ever since the Business Journal switched its ranking criteria for our annual list from revenue to market cap some years ago.

Real Estate Deals

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

Lucca Investment GP sold an office building in Irvine to Trinity Property Consultants for $8.3 million, or about $196 per square foot.

SunCal Back in Development Game in SoCal Region

Buys Arts District Land in LA for Reported $130M

Master developer SunCal Cos. is starting to make big waves in its backyard again.

Kofax CEO to Help Craft Integration Plan Before Exit

Bish: Will Stay About A Year ‘Out of Respect’

Expect business software maker Kofax Ltd. to maintain its big Irvine presence after its $1 billion sale to Lexmark International Inc. closes, but the clock appears to be ticking on the tenure of its chief executive.

Irvine Balks at County’s Plans Near Great Park

REAL ESTATE: High-density, mixed-use projects eyed for sites

Officials with the city of Irvine have expressed concern over massive commercial development plans proposed for a pair of county-owned land sites totaling about 144 acres next to Orange County Great Park.

CSUF Survey: OC Execs Remain Bullish for Q2

ECONOMY: Revenue, job growth seen; view on earnings stable

Local company executives continued a recent run of optimism about the economy and their own business prospects going into the second quarter, according to the latest index published by California State University-Fullerton’s Mihaylo College of Business and Economics.

Bixby Envisions New Ride for Kawasaki HQ

REAL ESTATE: Plans biggest makeover yet after $44.3M buy

The purchase of Kawasaki Motors Corp. U.S.A.’s Irvine headquarters is the keystone in a redevelopment plan by Bixby Land Co. that could top $70 million when the costs for a makeover of the existing building and an adjacent parcel of land are considered.

Irvine Company Eyes Another Spectrum Tower

REAL ESTATE: Plans indicate office on par with project now in works

The Irvine Company is considering doubling down on its high-rise office development plans in the Irvine Spectrum.

Broadcom’s Small Lineup

Looks for Young Comers in ‘Internet of Things’ to Complement Roster of Global Brands

Broadcom Corp. is out to complement its position as the leading supplier of connectivity chips to the world’s largest consumer electronics brands with a customer base made up of hot startups and emerging companies in the Internet of Things market.

ADDENDUM

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 38, No. 14

California State University-Fullerton President Mildred Garcia was named to a national commission that will seek “practical solutions” to the increasing cost of a college education, the university said.

PHILANTHROPY

The Illumination Foundation hosted its annual Table for 10 culinary extravaganza on March 15 at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa in Anaheim.

Musings on Departing Eateries, Good, Bad Memories

Charlie Palmer Latest In String of Closings in OC

It came as a shock to serious diners that Charlie Palmer is closing his eponymous restaurant at Bloomingdale’s South Coast Plaza at the beginning of May.

Printronix Replaces Retiring Chief

Industry veteran Werner Heid was named chief executive of Irvine-based Printronix Inc.

Airport Adds Second Mexico Servicer

The U.S. Department of Transportation approved Seattle-based Alaska Airlines flights between John Wayne Airport and Mexico that are set to start in October.

Quiksilver Cuts Mooney, Likely to Keep His Strategy

APPAREL: Turnaround plan included trim of product lines

Quiksilver Inc.’s board of directors fired Chairman and Chief Executive Andy Mooney late last month, according to its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 9

Retail Market Improves in Q4, More Growth Expected

Consumer confidence is pushing retail sales and encouraging retail expansion, resulting in increased Orange County occupancy rates.

NB Film Festival Secures High-End Sponsors

Will Include Fashion Show, Celebration of ‘Diviner’

The Newport Beach Film Festival, scheduled for April 23 to 30, has secured a roster of new high-end sponsors, including Orange County BMW dealerships and Remy Cointreau.

CryoPort Seeks Move to Nasdaq, Warrant Offering

Could Get $34.6 Million for Additional Stability

Lake Forest-based Cryoport Inc. is looking to raise money and shift its stock exchange listing.

OCBJ Calendar

April 6-15, 2025

This week's business and other event listings.

Public Companies Pass $200B on Allergan Effect

Drugmaker’s Sale Brings Much of Big Lift; Edwards, Broadcom Chip In; HCP Moves In

Orange County’s 100 biggest public companies combine for more than $207 billion in market capitalization, a gain of 62% from a year earlier.

Friday, April 3

Midday Stock Roundup

The markets are closed today in observance of Good Friday.

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Alliant Buys in Idaho

Newport Beach-based Alliant Insurance Services Inc. has acquired North Idaho Insurance LLC on undisclosed terms.

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Thursday, April 2

U.K. Investor Puts $14.8M in Habit

Irvine-based Habit Restaurants Inc. said in a regulatory filing March 24 that Boston-based Numeric Investors LLC, an affiliate of London-based Man Group Plc, bought about 477,000 shares of the burger chain’s Class A common stock.

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JWA Sees More Flights, Fliers in February

John Wayne Airport reported increases in the numbers of fliers and flights in February compared with the same month last year, the first time both numbers have increased on a year-to-year basis in about six months.

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CSUF’s Garcia on National Panel

California State University-Fullerton President Mildred Garcia has been named to a national commission formed to find “practical solutions” to the increasing cost of a college education, the university said.

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Latham & Watkins Names New OC Managing Partner

Global law firm Latham & Watkins LLP has named B. Shayne Kennedy its Orange County office managing partner.

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Partner Ups Stake in Buena Park Place

Coventry Real Estate Advisors has transferred its majority ownership share of Buena Park Place to DDR Corp. in Beachwood, Ohio, its former joint venture partner.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.3% to 2,065.62 in midday trading.

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Crystal Cathedral Founder Schuller Dies

Rev. Robert Schuller, a televangelist who founded the 35-acre Crystal Cathedral campus in Garden Grove, died this morning in Artesia, Calif., at age 88.

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Most OC-Based Auto Brands Beat National Sales Pace in March

All but one Orange County-based automaker beat the relatively flat national sales pace for new vehicles in March, according to New Jersey-based market researcher Autodata Corp.

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Wednesday, April 1

Herbert Lists Nixon Estate for $75M

Gavin Herbert, Sr., has put a $75 million price tag on the 5.5-acre estate in San Clemente that once served as President Richard Nixon’s “Western White House”, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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Judge Approves Sale of Wet Seal

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Christopher S. Sontchi today in Delaware approved the sale of Wet Seal Inc. to private equity firm Mador Lending LLC.

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Irvine Printer Maker Names CEO

Industry veteran Werner Heid has been named chief executive of Irvine-based Printronix Inc.

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Pyott Gets $534M on Allergan Sale

David Pyott, the former chief executive of Irvine-based Allergan Inc., converted stock to a total of $534 million in cash following Allergan’s $72.5 billion acquisition by Actavis Plc, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 declined 0.4% to 2,058.38 in midday trading.

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Taco Bell Japan to Open

Irvine-based Taco Bell Corp. has set an April 21 opening for its first restaurant in Japan under a franchising deal with Tokyo-based Asrapport Dining Co. Ltd., according to the Wall Street Journal.

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