Stories for January 2015

Friday, January 30

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.7% to 2,006.55 in midday trading.

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Montage LB Sells for $360M

Chicago-based Strategic Hotels & Resorts Inc. has bought the Montage Laguna Beach for $360 million, the Chicago-based hotel investor said on Thursday.

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Tech Coast Angels Tally $16M

Irvine-based angel investor network Tech Coast Angels invested $16.4 million in 61 deals in 2014.

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Thursday, January 29

Jobs Site Signs 146 Western Dental Offices

Mission Viejo-based Jobrivet said it had signed to provide employment services to 146 offices in Southern California of Orange-based Western Dental Services Inc.

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Disney to Lay Off 85

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts notified the state Employment Development Department on Jan. 15 it will lay off 85 employees from a Fullerton location, effective May 29.

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OC Networking Rivals Report Results

Orange County’s two publicly traded rivals in the networking equipment market posted solid quarterly reports Thursday after the close of trading, but one of the company's projections for the current quarter caused shares of its stock to fall Friday morning.

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Broadcom Beats Q4 Estimates, Sales Forecast in Line

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

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Montage LB Sells for $360M

Strategic Hotels & Resorts Inc. has bought the Montage Laguna Beach for $360 million, the Chicago-based hotel investor said on Thursday.

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Tech Coast Angels Tally $16M

Irvine-based angel investor network Tech Coast Angels invested $16.4 million in 61 deals in 2014.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.3% to 2,007.51 in midday trading.

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$15M for Crossover Health

Aliso Viejo-based Crossover Health Inc. said it received $15 million in equity financing.

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Anaheim Engineering Firm Buys Two

Willdan Group Inc. in Anaheim purchased two privately held engineering companies for approximately $21.2 million—360 Energy Engineers in Lawrence, Kan. and Abacus Resource Management Co. in Beaverton, Ore.

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Wednesday, January 28

Anaheim Engineering Firm Buys Two

Willdan Group Inc. in Anaheim purchased two privately held engineering companies for approximately $21.2 million—360 Energy Engineers in Lawrence, Kan. and Abacus Resource Management Co. in Beaverton, Ore.

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UCI Gets $2M Keck Grant

University of California-Irvine has received $2 million from the W.M. Keck Foundation in Los Angeles to build a “photonic” microscope that can detect and examine “dark matter.”

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Angel Investor to Chapman Center

Chapman University in Orange named angel investor and entrepreneur Dr. Shan Steinmark the new director of its Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics.

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Solis Invests in SA Safety Gear Maker

Newport Beach-based private equity firm Solis Capital Partners has acquired an equity stake in Santa Ana-based ML Kishigo Manufacturing Co.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.1% to 2,032.65 in midday trading.

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Restaurant Firm Buys 55-Unit Chain

Irvine-based American Restaurant Holdings Inc. said an affiliate bought Colonia, N.J.-based Muscle Maker Grill.

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Tuesday, January 27

OC Weekly on Sales Block

OC Weekly is up for sale, according to Denver-based Voice Media Group Inc., parent of the alternative newspaper.

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Western Digital Beats Expectations

Irvine-based storage products maker Western Digital Corp. after the close of trading Tuesday reported revenue and adjusted profits for the December quarter that beat Wall Street expectations.

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JWA Continues Traffic Trends

John Wayne Airport reported more passengers flying on fewer commercial flights in December, the fourth straight month of airlines flying fuller planes.

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OC Auto Sales Up 6.8% in 2014

Auto sales rose 6.8% in Orange County last year, and are expected to increase 4.1% this year, according to the Orange County Automobile Dealers Association.

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USGI Medical Gets $19.5M

San Clemente-based USGI Medical Inc. has raised more than $19.5 million from equity and debt investors.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 1% to 2,035.99 in midday trading.

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Allergan Sets Meeting on Actavis Deal

Irvine-based Allergan Inc. has set a March 10 special meeting to get shareholder approval of its acquisition by Actavis PLC in a cash-and-stock deal currently valued at about $70 billion.

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Western Digital in $29M VC Investment

The venture capital arm of Irvine-based Western Digital Corp. co-led a $29 million funding for memory products maker Everspin Technologies Inc.

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JWA Director to Step Down

The Orange County Board of Supervisors will meet in closed session today to plan the search for a successor to John Wayne Airport Director Alan Murphy, who will step down from the post on Feb. 5.

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Auction.com Launches Hotel Division

Irvine-based Auction.com LLC said it has formed a unit focused on selling hotel properties.

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Grupo Gallegos Lands Industry Salute

Grupo Gallegos in Huntington Beach made Advertising Age’s "Agencies to Watch" List.

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Mitsubishi Plans Spanish-Language Ad for Super Bowl

Cypress-based Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc. said it plans to advertise during NBC Universo’s Spanish-language telecast of the Super Bowl on Feb. 1.

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Monday, January 26

NextVR Broadcasts Live Event

NextVR Inc. in Laguna Beach said it conducted the “first ever live, broadcast-quality transmission of a virtual reality experience” over the weekend.

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Kia Recalls Forte Sedans

Irvine-based Kia Motors America Inc. has recalled 86,880 of its Forte sedans due to an increased risk of fire, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Western Digital in VC Investment

The venture capital arm of Irvine-based Western Digital Corp. co-led a $29 million funding for memory products maker Everspin Technologies Inc.

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Q4 Profit Up for Opus

Irvine-based Opus Bank reported $12.6 million in fourth-quarter profit, up 76% from the same time a year earlier.

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SJC Big Data Firm Raises $10.8M

San Juan Capistrano-based search engine Maana Inc. has raised $10.8 million, according to a recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.1% to 2,054.07 in midday trading.

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Ketchum Pays $10.3M for Eye Care Digs

Fullerton-based Marshall B. Ketchum University paid $10.3 million for a building of about 85,000 square feet on La Palma Avenue in Anaheim and will move its University Eye Center there, the school said.

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Office Market Moves Up in Fourth Quarter

The Orange County office market, building on an already-successful 2014, is gaining momentum through the turn of the year.

Platinum Triangle Preps for 2nd Act of Development

Office, For-Sale Projects Eyed Alongside More Apartments

The development of the Platinum Triangle area in Anaheim is entering its second decade, and the 820-acre swath of land around Angel Stadium remains poised to be a hub of apartment construction.

Mints to Marketing, Coffee to Cabbies

Orange County’s hotel and resort properties have spawned an industry of local companies that help with everything from purchasing and Pinterest to mints on the pillow.

Ingram Micro Sets Up Shop in Irvine

REAL ESTATE: Park Place lease could bring sale of Santa Ana HQ

Ingram Micro Inc., Orange County’s largest company by sales, is expected to move its headquarters from Santa Ana to Irvine after signing a large office lease at the Park Place mixed-use campus.

Can Lu Lift Fisker?

AUTOS: Chinese billionaire vows to restart stalled luxury hybrid brand

About 140 employees at Fisker Automotive and Technologies Group LLC are packed in a conference room to meet the man behind the automaker’s comeback bid.

Stem Cells Step Forward With OC Manufacturing

HEALTHCARE: Latest FDA trial, manufacturing set to start here

What could be the most advanced attempt to bring stem cell treatments to the market could start any day now in Orange County.

OCBJ Calendar

This week's business and other event listings.

ADDENDUM

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 38, No. 4

San Clemente-based automotive customer service firm DealerSocket Inc. acquired DealerFire, a Web design and digital marketing firm based in Oshkosh, Wis., on undisclosed terms.

PHILANTHROPY

Wells Fargo gave $100,000 to the Illumination Foundation to support local workforce development and job creation.

Wanted: Best Places to Work for OCBJ’s List

CALL FOR ENTRIES: Website set to take entries until March 20

Is your workplace great? We want to know.

Jobs Decline at Top Foreign-Owned Cos.

THE LIST: Blizzard buyout tipped field’s total

The biggest foreign-owned companies in Orange County employ just more than 27,000 workers here, a decrease of about 1% from a year earlier.

Irvine Startup Adds Deal With Disney’s ABC Network

Verys Now Has About 50 Workers in OC, Dallas

Startup Verys is on a hot streak, landing a deal with Disney ABC Television Network to build its internal marketing management system.

Irvine Co. Gets Santa Clara Offices for $137 Million

Silicon Valley Portfolio Now Tops 4 Million SF

Irvine Company has made another pricey office investment in the Silicon Valley city of Santa Clara.

Real Estate Deals

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

Turner Real Estate Fund II LP sold an office building in Newport Beach to The Halpern Group for $9 million, or $297.42 per square foot.

Mophie Puts $4.5M Into Super Bowl Ad, Hopes for OT

Smartphone Case Maker Bets on ‘Extra Time’

Two Orange County-based advertisers are coughing up $4.4 million each for a 30-second Super Bowl 2015 spot—one a veteran of the big game and another making its first appearance.

Senate Again Tackles Medical Device Tax Repeal

Industry Leaders Monitor Debate Over Hated Levy

A new Congress is in session, and one of its first actions took up a top goal of the medical device industry in Orange County and elsewhere: the repeal of a federal tax on companies’ revenues.

Builders Named for Great Park Homes

Irvine-based Standard Pacific Corp. is the lone locally based homebuilder tapped to build homes at Beacon Park, the second community planned for Great Park Neighborhoods.

Alliant Buys Australia Firm’s US Arm

Newport Beach-based Alliant Insurance Services Inc. agreed to pay about $300 million to acquire QBE US Agencies, the U.S. operations of Sydney, Australia-based QBE Insurance Group Ltd.

Two Colleges to Add 4-Year Degrees

Santa Ana College and Cypress College were named to a list of 15 community colleges in the state that can offer four-year college degrees, according to the California Community Colleges chancellor’s office.

Del Taco to Expand to Northeast US

Lake Forest-based Del Taco LLC said it will begin franchising in New Jersey, its first restaurants in the Northeast.

Auto Club Diamonds, Travel + Leisure Nods for OC Hotels

HOSPITALITY: High-end resorts compare well with LA, SD

A couple of annual rankings and ratings of hotels, resorts and restaurants provide some fresh perspective on Orange County’s hospitality trade, which shows up strongest at the highest end when compared with neighbors to the north and south.

Kodiak Capital to Fold NY Office Into OC Base

FINANCE: NB-based firm busy with small-stake strategy

Newport Beach-based investment firm Kodiak Capital Group LLC is off to a busy start this year with several deals on the books and plans to consolidate its East Coast operations in Orange County in coming months.

Cosmetics Brand Takes Creative Office in Irvine

REAL ESATE: Too Faced adds space amid reports of sale

Too Faced Cosmetics LLC, an Irvine-based cosmetics company that’s said to be considering a sale, has inked a lease for a much larger headquarters in its hometown.

Times Taps OC for Big Hire; Revenge of Mt. Rushmore?

The L.A. Times plucked its latest big hire from the OC Register’s backyard, tapping UCI grad and Monarch Beach resident Don Reis as chief revenue officer.

Industrial Market Clients Scrounge for Space in Q4

The Orange County industrial market was tight throughout most of 2014, a sign that the region is in need of a significant amount of new construction and development projects on top of its current 253 million or so square feet.

Irvine Land Deals Top $100M, Usher in New Plans

Offices Could Join 1,600 Planned Apartments

Nearly 30 acres along a busy stretch of Jamboree Road in Irvine have sold over the past few weeks or are expected to soon, with plans for apartment and office development expected to start on the sites.

Friday, January 23

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.1% at 2,060.78 in midday trading.

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Pac Merc Swings to Profit

Costa Mesa-based Pacific Mercantile Bancorp swung to a profit in the fourth quarter, logging $390,000 in net income compared with a loss of $14.8 million in the year-earlier period.

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Jobs Grow, Unemployment Falls to 4.4%

Orange County businesses added 33,500 jobs in 2014, up 2.3% to 1,515,300 jobs.

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El Pollo Loco a Takeover Target?

Costa Mesa-based El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc. has been mentioned as a possible takeover target after news reports that a Philippines-based restaurant company is shopping for a U.S.-based regional fast food chain worth at least $1 billion.

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Thursday, January 22

Microsemi Earnings In-line Q1, Tempers Q2 Outlook

Aliso Viejo-based chipmaker Microsemi Corp. reported revenue and adjusted profits for the December quarter in line with Wall Street with estimates but provided a sales outlook for the current quarter below Wall Street expectations.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.8% to 2,048.11 in midday trading.

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City National Sold For $5.4B

The parent of City National Bank has been acquired by Royal Bank of Canada for $5.4 billion.

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Opus Buys Escrow Company

Irvine-based Opus Bank has agreed to pay $25 million for Commerce Escrow Co. and its affiliate business RPM Investments Inc.

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Janus Confirms Gross Put Own Money Into Fund

Janus Capital Group Inc. Chief Executive Dick Weil confirmed that Bill Gross has put more than $700 million of his own money into the Janus Unconstrained Bond Fund, which Gross manages.

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Del Taco to Enter N.J.

Lake Forest-based Del Taco LLC said it will begin franchising in New Jersey, its first restaurants in the Northeast U.S.

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Wednesday, January 21

Profit Up for CalFirst

Irvine-based California First National Bancorp posted $3.6 million in profit for the three months ended Dec. 31, up 63% from the same period a year ago.

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3 OC Resorts Make Travel Mag List

Three Orange County resorts—the Montage Laguna Beach, the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel in Dana Point, and the Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Coast—made Travel & Leisure magazine’s annual list of the world’s 500 best hotels.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.2% to 2,027.18 in midday trading.

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Acacia Shares Drop on Patent Ruling

Shares of Acacia Research Corp. dipped sharply after the company received an unfavorable ruling on patent infringement claims it made against some large technology companies.

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Pacific Premier Profit Up for 2014

Irvine-based Pacific Premier Bank had $16.6 million in net income last year, an 85% increase from 2013.

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Tuesday, January 20

Santa Ana, Cypress Colleges Plan Bachelor’s Degrees

Santa Ana College and Cypress College were named to a list of 15 community colleges statewide that can offer four-year college degrees, according to the California Community Colleges chancellor’s office.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.2% to 2,014.84 in midday trading.

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Alliant in $300M Deal to Buy QBE Units

Newport Beach-based Alliant Insurance Services Inc. has agreed to pay about $300 million to acquire QBE US Agencies, the U.S. operations of Sydney, Australia-based QBE Insurance Group Ltd.

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San Clemente Auto Software Firms Buys Marketer

San Clemente-based automotive customer service firm DealerSocket Inc. has acquired DealerFire, a web design and digital marketing firm in Oshkosh, Wis.

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9 Builders Tapped for 2nd Great Park Home Site

Irvine-based Standard Pacific Corp. is the lone locally-based homebuilder tapped to build homes at Beacon Park, the second community planned for the Great Park Neighborhoods.

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2015 Preview: REAL ESTATE

Speculative development isn’t a dirty word anymore for area commercial real estate developers.

2015 Preview: FINANCE

Local financial industry professionals are banking on an improving U.S. economy that could feed business growth here.

2015 Preview: HOSPITALITY

Local hotels had steady increases in occupancies and room rates this year, reflecting national upward trends as the industry continued to climb out of post-recession declines.

2015 Preview: HEALTHCARE

Orange County’s healthcare sector marks the beginning of a new era in 2015—one that no longer features Allergan Inc. as a locally based company.

2015 Preview: TECHNOLOGY

2015 holds the potential for some game changers in Orange County’s diverse technological landscape.

PHILANTHROPY

Goodwill of Orange County held its inaugural gala on Nov. 15 at the Laguna Cliffs Marriott in Dana Point.

2015 Preview: RESTAURANTS

The first two words we offered in last year’s preview of the OC restaurant business were “fast-casual.”

Summit Picks Brains About Healthcare Accelerators

Institute Hosts Event On Helping Efforts Succeed

The La Palma-based Innovation Institute, a provider of business services and products and investment management services to health systems, is taking a broad role in championing its cause.

Vizio Ad Works Against the Curve of Competitors

Spot Takes Aim at Curved TVs, Their Drawbacks

Vizio Inc. is taking a stab at its competitors’ curved TV sets with a new ad for “anti-curved glasses.”

Pimco’s ‘Fade’; Oakley’s Got Games; ‘Musco Match’

Anyone else take note of some particularly colorful words that turned up in a story about Pimco in the Dec. 15 issue of the Wall Street Journal?

Canadian Buyer for San Clemente SUP Maker

SPORTS: Founder keeps stake, gets support for expansion

Kayak Distribution Inc. has acquired San Clemente-based paddleboard company Corran SUP in a bid to complement its outdoor-adventure offerings with a product for a growth segment of the market.

Report Puts Apria On Sales Block

Lake Forest-based Apria Healthcare Group Inc. is up for sale, according to an industry website.

Charity’s Local Office Wraps Shoeboxes Full of Joy

NONPROFITS: At Operation Christmas Child’s Western hub

Nearly a million Christmas stories are just beginning from a run-of-the-mill warehouse in Huntington Beach.

Monday, January 19

Sunstone Gets New CEO

Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc. president John Arabia has been appointed chief executive of the Aliso Viejo-based company.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The markets are closed today in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.

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Times’ Former Parent Seeks Partners on Costa Mesa Plant

21-Acre Site Now Unused, Redevelopment Planned

Development activity could move ahead this year at a former Los Angeles Times printing plant in Costa Mesa that’s long been a source of speculation of a potential sale or redevelopment, according to its owner.

ADDENDUM

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 38, No. 3

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 38, No. 3

OCBJ Calendar

Jan. 19-28, Feb. 4, 2015

This week's business and other event listings.

Mexican Connection

Imperio Auto Group Bases OC Bet on Nissan Brand, Grass-Roots Financing, New License Law

Orange County’s position at the heart of California’s car culture might be enough all by itself to draw the interest of some auto dealers.

Oculus Moves HQ to Silicon Valley

TECHNOLOGY: Sets up shop next to Facebook’s new campus

One of Orange County’s most promising technology companies has moved to Silicon Valley.

Auto R&D Plant Bound for Irvine

REAL ESTATE: Self-storage to rise on 10 acres next door

A 14-acre property in Irvine near the Tustin Legacy development site is expected to be converted into a manufacturing center for a Japan-based automotive research and development company, with a self-storage facility slated for next door.

Allergan Execs Hold Own at Operations Level

An early look at Actavis PLC’s plans to integrate its $68 billion acquisition of Allergan Inc. signals that operations executives from the Irvine-based drugmaker will maintain a strong presence in the combined company.

Hyden's Other Marathon

Latham & Watkins Partner Finished Boston Just in Time for Allergan Saga

Cary Hyden used to think a marathon covered 26 miles, 270 yards.

Law Firms Add Attorneys After Two Years of Cuts

Headcount Up 3.2%; More Make List Due to Growth

The biggest law firms in Orange County grew their workforces in 2014, breaking a two-year streak of cuts in attorney headcount.

Q&A

The Business Journal’s Jane Yu asked local law firms whether the pace of associate hires has picked up in recent years after a long slowdown hiring in the industry following the recession. Yu also asked attorneys how they’re grooming young talent for their firms’ future leadership. Here are edited excerpts of their responses:

Real Estate Deals

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

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

TVs Scarce at CES as Other Products Take Spotlight

No Toshiba Tube Launch, Vizio Doesn’t Even Show

Two notable trends at this year’s International CES convention in Las Vegas may provide a glimpse into the quickly changing habits and demands of consumers.

Retail Market Benefits From Improving Economy

The Orange County retail market continued to improve in the third quarter as demand increased.

Apparel Brands Unveil 2015 Marketing Agendas

2 Silos for Element as Women’s Line Grows

Several Orange County apparel brands in attendance at the Agenda trade show in Long Beach this month shared news from their marketing departments:

Edwards Reaches to Roots for Engineer Training

U. of Oregon Partnership Helps Teach Engineers

Irvine-based Edwards Lifesciences Corp., maker of replacement heart valves and other cardiovascular devices, is working with the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Ore., on a technical training program.

Legal Pros Focus on Fine Arts, Plan UCI Collaboration

Attorneys Work With UCI Program to Boost Fine Arts

Put together a few attorneys sharing a passion for the arts and a local university that fosters artistic talent, throw in some creative thinking and readiness to provide support, and you’ll get Off-Center, a collective launched by a committee of local lawyers and educators in concert with University of California-Irvine’s art department.

2014 Sales End on Satisfying Note, 2015 Starts Strong

17 $4M-and-Up Homes Sell in Month on OC Coast

Seventeen homes in coastal Orange County closed for $4 million or more between Dec. 1 and the week ending Jan. 8, according to public records and the Redfin website.

Wanted: Best Places to Work for OCBJ’s List

CALL FOR ENTRIES: Website set to take entries until March 20

Is your workplace great?

Incipio in Deal With Snowboard Firm

Incipio Technologies Inc. in Irvine said it signed a multiyear licensing deal with Burton Snowboards to manage the manufacturing and distribution of accessories for various mobile devices for the Burlington, Vt.-based company.

Plaza Bank to Buy Bank of Manhattan

Irvine-based Plaza Bank agreed to acquire Bank of Manhattan in El Segundo in a deal valued at about $52 million.

UCI Medical Center Head to Retire

UC Irvine Medical Center Chief Executive Terry Belmont said he plans to retire from his post on June 30.

La Palma Hospital Switches to Nonprofit Status

Ontario-based Prime Health Services said it donated La Palma Intercommunity Hospital to the Prime Healthcare Foundation.

St. Joseph Hoag, Irvine Company Extend Partnership

HEALTHCARE: 2nd edition of concept at Jamboree Center

St. Joseph Hoag Health has laid another building block for the integrated regional care delivery it is establishing in Orange County.

LB Energy Drink Now Amway Product

FOOD: Buys XS Energy to draw young entrepreneurs

A Laguna Beach-based energy drink maker with $150 million in sales was sold Jan. 9 to Ada, Mich.-based Amway Corp., its exclusive distributor, the two companies said.

Wahoo’s Lam Hits CES to Help Tout Startup Eco App

TECHNOLOGY: Works show floor for Aliso Viejo company

Wahoo’s Fish Taco cofounder Wing Lam helped Aliso Viejo-based startup My Open Road Corp. grab some industry attention at the recent International CES convention in Las Vegas.

Lincoln Properties Buys Biggest Office in Los Al

REAL ESTATE: 2 buildings, 150,000 SF on 10 acres

The local office of Dallas-based Lincoln Properties Corp. has bought the largest office property in Los Alamitos.

Maseeh in Middle; Plenty of Ties to Presidential Timber

What does St. Margaret’s Episcopal School have in common with UCI, USC, MIT and Portland State University?

Friday, January 16

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.9% to 2,009.59 in midday trading.

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Pimco Hires Ex-White House Adviser

Newport Beach-based Pacific Investment Management Co. has tapped former White House economic adviser Gene Sperling as a consultant on U.S. economic policy.

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Lyon Starts Mortgage Arm With Stearns

Newport Beach-based homebuilder William Lyon Homes has partnered with Stearns Lending LLC in Santa Ana to create William Lyon Mortgage LLC.

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NB Investor Buys Furniture Maker

Newport Beach-based investment firm Excelsior Capital Partners LLC has acquired office furniture maker Via Seating Inc.

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Wet Seal Files Chapter 11

Foothill Ranch-based retail chain Wet Seal Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Thursday, and said it plans to continue to operate its recently pared-down business under the jurisdiction of the court.

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Thursday, January 15

Montage EVP Named President, COO

Irvine-based Montage Hotels & Resorts promoted Executive Vice President Jason Herthel to president and chief operating officer, new positions for the company.

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VC Deals Up in 2014

Orange County companies drew $702.3 million in venture capital funding in 2014, up about 1% from a year earlier.

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Bruxie Taps Brand Man as President

Anaheim-based Bruxie Gourmet Waffle Sandwiches named Dave Barrows its first president, according to a news report.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.9% to 1,993.79.

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Convention Bureau Gives Details on Expansion Plan

The Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau on Wednesday detailed its $240 million expansion plan for the Anaheim Convention campus, which includes the Hilton Anaheim, Anaheim Marriott and Sheraton Park Hotel.

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Incipio Signs Deal with Snowboard Firm

Incipio Technologies Inc. in Irvine said it signed a multiyear licensing deal with Burton Snowboards to manage the manufacturing and distribution of accessories for various mobile devices for the Burlington, Vt.-based company.

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Wednesday, January 14

La Palma Hospital Goes Nonprofit

Ontario-based Prime Health Services said today that it donated La Palma Intercommunity Hospital to the Prime Healthcare Foundation.

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Plaza Bank, Bank of Manhattan Combine

Irvine-based Plaza Bank has agreed to acquire Bank of Manhattan in El Segundo in deal valued at about $52 million.

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OC Firms Outpace US Patent Growth

Orange County companies received 3,520 U.S. patents in 2014, up 12% year-over-year.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Stock indices declined in midday trading on news of a projected decline in global economic growth.

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UCI Medical Center Chief to Retire

UC Irvine Medical Center Chief Executive Terry Belmont said today that plans to retire from the post on June 30.

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Tuesday, January 13

Beer Tap Company Taps $1M Funding

Lake Forest-based iPourIt has received $1 million in angel funding from a group led by Tech Coast Angels, with the potential for another $250,000, according to the company.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was flat at 2,027.61 in midday trading.

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SJC Eye Drug Maker Gets $20M from South Korean Pharma

San Juan Capistrano-based Allegro Opthalmics LLC said today that it raised $20 million from South Hanmi Pharmaceutical in South Korea.

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Ice Cream Franchise Enters OC

OC Ice Cream LLC plans 10 locations of Millbrae, Calif.-based Cream Inc. in Orange County in the next three to four years, Cream said.

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Monday, January 12

Volcom CFO Jumps to 5.11 Tactical

5.11 Tactical, Irvine-based gear and clothing manufacturer, nabbed a new chief financial officer from Costa Mesa-based Volcom Inc.

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Hyundai Introduces Concept Truck

Hyundai Motor America Inc. revealed a crossover truck concept car Monday at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

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BBQ Chain Expands in OC

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit said it plans to have 10 locations in Orange County within about six months, as current operators seek to lease space and new franchise agreements are added in key cities.

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NB Company Invests in Biotech Firm

Newport Beach-based CureDuchenne Ventures LLC said today that it invested $1 million in Capricor Therapeutics Inc. to fund research for treating heart disease associated with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.7% to 2,029.82 in midday trading.

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Allergan, Actavis Deal Advances

Irvine-based Allergan Inc. and Dublin-based Actavis Plc said the U.S. Federal Trade Commission granted early termination of a federal regulatory waiting period and set a ‘shareholder-of-record’ date for the $68 billion acquisition of Allergan by Actavis.

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Wanted: Best Places to Work in OC

CALL FOR ENTRIES: Website set to take entries until March 20

Is your workplace great? We want to know.

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CashCall Mortgage Arm to Be Bought

Irvine-based Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc. agreed to acquire the mortgage operations of CashCall Inc. Terms were not disclosed.

ADDENDUM

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 38, No. 2

Wet Seal Inc. hired restructuring lawyers and may file for bankruptcy as early as next week, sources familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal.

Olson In $103M Deal on 3 Hotels

REAL ESTATE: Development push extends to Silicon Valley

Irvine-based R.D. Olson Development is under contract to sell a trio of its recently built hotels here for $103 million to a Virginia-based investor.

Irvine Hotel Seeks Food Ideas for Chain

The Irvine Marriott will be one of the hotel chain’s first sites to cultivate food and beverage business ideas under a new program for chef-entrepreneurs by Bethesda, Md.-based Marriott International Inc.

Newport Beach Promoted in London

The destination marketing organization for Newport Beach is using images gathered by a drone to promote the city at U.S. trade shows and in London.

PHILANTHROPY

More than 700 Pacific Investment Management Co. employee volunteers, friends and family members gathered at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa on Dec. 6 to pack 16,000 boxes with a holiday meal for needy families in Southern California.

OCBJ Calendar

Jan. 12-21, 2015

This week's business and other event listings.

Low-Rise Office Market Continues Upward Trend

Activity in the low-rise office sector continued its positive momentum in the third quarter, generating 145,774 square feet of positive net absorption.

HB Startup Olloclip to Pursue $7.5M From Investors

Aims to Increase Brand Awareness, Sales Efforts

Huntington Beach startup olloclip has hired Irvine-based Moss Adams LLP to help the company attract institutional investors.

KBS, LBA Sign $248M Deal for Emeryville Offices

Three-Building Campus Last Sold for Reported $130M

LBA Realty and KBS Realty Advisors, two of Orange County’s most active commercial property investors through much of 2014, wrapped up the year with a blockbuster transaction in Northern California.

Clean Energy Sells Dallas Facility Stake

Newport Beach-based alternative fuel developer and supplier Clean Energy Fuels Corp. sold its majority stake in a biomethane production facility in Dallas to a minority owner for $40.6 million.

Habit Chain Signs First Overseas Deal

Irvine-based Habit Restaurants Inc. signed its first international expansion deal, an agreement with an area franchiser in the Middle East to develop 50 restaurants in six countries over the next 10 years.

Wet Seal Closes Two-Thirds of Stores

Wet Seal Inc. said it is closing 338 stores and will lay off 3,695 full- and part-time employees “after assessing its overall financial condition” and failing to “successfully negotiate meaningful concessions from its landlords.”

2015 Preview: MEDIA & MARKETING

Advertising spending in the U.S. is expected to increase 2.7% in 2015 to $169.5 billion, according to the Magna Global research firm in New York, which reported a 4% hike this year.

For-Profit University Posts Big Gains, Seeks More in Anaheim

EDUCATION: Draws from ethnic communities here, overseas

A for-profit school in a modest office park in the shadow of Angel Stadium in Anaheim has quietly grown sixfold in three years—and it has its sights on more.

Wanted: Best Places to Work for OCBJ’s List

CALL FOR ENTRIES: Website set to take entries until March 20

Is your workplace great?

Real Estate Deals

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

Shabani Investments LLC sold an industrial building in Tustin for $3.6 million, or $197.22 per square foot, to Subaru Research and Development Inc.

Hoag Irvine Expansion Plan Aims to Deliver ‘Healthcare Village’

HEALTHCARE: 3-building center expected to open in 2016

Put Irvine and Hoag down as a good match.

Joint Venture for Anton & Chia

Newport Beach-based accounting firm Anton & Chia LLP has entered into a joint venture with Morine & Co. Chartered Accountants LLP in Vancouver.

Call Center Operator Set to Double on $275M Deal

SERVICES: Alorica grows list of industries, geographic reach

Alorica Inc. has purchased some units of Omaha, Neb.-based West Corp. for $275 million.

Hilton Irvine Sold to Investor in San Jose

HOTELS: $53M estimate for 302-room property near JWA

The Hilton Irvine/Orange County Airport has been sold to a San Jose-based investor.

OC Tech on Target; Sage Hill’s Science Scholar; Early Picks

Anyone who doubts that science and technology are all over the place—or that Orange County is all over tech—can check our Chris Casacchia’s front-page piece on the CES show in Las Vegas.

Hotels Add Little Space, Numerically and Spatially

Up 1.3% As More Small Rooms Meet New Demand

Orange County hotels added little meeting space last year, but what they did bring online came creatively in a market where occupancy and room rates are growing.

Local Meetings Clients Won With Shoe Leather, Pizazz

Venues Get Creative, Find Niches to Home in On

Out-of-town groups that book rooms, meeting space, food and beverage, and an interesting evening event or two spend more than 80% of dollars spent on meetings in Orange County.

How to Mind the Gaps: Teamwork, Planning, Creativity

Hotels Reach Beyond Big Groups to Meet Needs

Going “dark” in the meetings and conventions business is a bad thing.

Q&A

Meetings and conventions venues, which host many events that involve guests eating and drinking, typically experience trends taking place at restaurants in the community, and Orange County is no exception. Local operators observed some similar patterns last year and expect many in common this year. The Business Journal’s Paul Hughes asked a sampling of venue executives about significant food and beverage trends and how the hospitality industry is responding to them in the meetings business arena. Here are edited excerpts of their responses.

St. Regis Show Adds to OC’s Stature as Center of Swimwear

APPAREL: Summer in January for labels, buyers at Monarch Beach

Major swimwear brands and retailers will gather this week for the Swim Collective at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, sipping on bubbly and looking for sales.

Exec Sentiment Up for New Year

ECONOMY: 65% surveyed for CSUF index expect Q1 growth

Orange County executives are starting 2015 with increased optimism, according to the latest quarterly index by California State University-Fullerton’s Mihaylo College of Business and Economics.

Local Tech Covers Spread in Vegas

Games, Drones & Automobiles

The diversity of Orange County’s technology sector was on full display in Las Vegas for the International CES convention last week, as chipmakers, smart-products manufacturers, component suppliers, and the biggest auto brand based here launched products and teased others in development.

Friday, January 9

Call Center Operator Names CFO

Alorica, Inc. in Irvine named James Molloy chief financial officer, replacing Jack Pollock, who has been with the company since it was founded in 1999.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.6% to 2,048.86 in midday trading.

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Wet Seal Exploring Bankruptcy

Wet Seal Inc. has hired restructuring lawyers and may file for bankruptcy as early as next week, sources familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal.

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Thursday, January 8

Incipio Gets $55M Financing

Irvine-based mobile device accessories maker Incipio Technologies Inc. secured $55 million in financing from Monroe Capital LLC.

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Wienerschnitzel Parent Shutters Fast Casual Restaurant

Irvine-based Galardi Group Inc. closed its Two Madres Mexican Kitchen restaurant in Mission Viejo and ended its foray into fast-casual Mexican-style food, according to a news report.

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Busch, Caspino to Split

The heads of Irvine-based law firm Busch & Caspino have announced they are forming two separate law firms.

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Hissin to Sapphire Culinary

Sapphire Culinary Group in Laguna Beach named Dieter Hissin its director of operations, a new position, the company said.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Major indices were higher in midday trading on a decline in jobless claims and mortgage rates.

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Impac Buys CashCall’s Mortgage Business

Irvine-based Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc. has agreed to acquire the mortgage operations of CashCall Inc.

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Wednesday, January 7

Habit Plans Middle East Expansion

Irvine-based Habit Restaurants Inc. said it signed its first international expansion deal, an agreement with an area franchisor in the Middle East to develop 50 restaurants in six countries over the next 10 years.

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Hueston Leaves Irell for Own Firm

Trial attorneys John Hueston and Brian Hennigan have left Irell & Manella LLP and launched Hueston Hennigan LLP.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 1.1% to 2,025.20 in midday trading.

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Broadcom Notes Design Wins at CES

Broadcom Corp. announced two design wins this week at International CES in Las Vegas and also showcased several chipsets geared for the automotive, cable and home networking markets.

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Wet Seal Closes 338 Stores, Lays Off 3,695

Wet Seal Inc. said it is closing 338 stores and laying off 3,695 full and part-time employees “after assessing its overall financial condition” and failing “to successfully negotiate meaningful concessions from its landlords.”

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Alliant Buys Employee Benefits Firm

Newport Beach-based Alliant Insurance Services Inc. has acquired American Benefits Consulting in New York.

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UCI, CSUF, Brandman Get Nods for Online Programs

Three Orange County universities have made the most recent lists of online degree programs from U.S. News & World Report.

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Tuesday, January 6

OC Investor Takes Fast-Casual Stake

An Orange County investor has taken “a significant minority stake” in a fast-casual restaurant chain based in the Silicon Valley, a spokesperson for the investor said.

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Deals for Ensign in Three States

Mission Viejo-based Ensign Group Inc. has bought several skilled nursing, home healthcare and hospice operations.

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UCI Clean Energy Innovator Dies

Former University of California-Irvine physics Professor Norman Rostoker died Christmas Day at the age of 89, the school said.

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Kia Leads OC Auto Brands on December Sales

Kia Motors America Inc. in Irvine surpassed the national pace of sales of new vehicles in December, scoring the biggest percentage gain among Orange County-based auto brands.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 declined 0.8% to 2,004.33 in midday trading.

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Insteon Partners With Nest

Irvine-based home-automation technology provider Insteon has gained Nest certification and launched a program for developers to build software applications for its products, the company announced Tuesday in Las Vegas at the world’s largest technology convention.

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NB Tourism Group Markets Via Images

The destination marketing organization for Newport Beach is using images gathered by a drone to promote the city at U.S. trade shows and, separately, in London.

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OCBJ Calendar

This week's business and other event listings.

Irvine Marriott Food & Beverage Lab for Chain

The Irvine Marriott is set to be one of the hotel chain’s first two sites to cultivate a new restaurant idea under a program for chef-entrepreneurs, Bethesda, Md.-based Marriott International Inc. said.

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Monday, January 5

Midday Stock Roundup

Major indices were down broadly on the continued decline in fuel prices.

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Clean Energy Sells Majority Stake in Dallas Plant

Newport Beach-based alternative fuel developer and supplier Clean Energy Fuels Corp. has sold its majority stake in a biomethane production facility in Dallas to a minority owner for $40.6 million.

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Restaurants: Steve Sather

Market Cap Near $800M After El Pollo Loco Leaves ‘No Stone Unturned’

El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc. President and Chief Executive Steve Sather is our Business Person of the Year for restaurants—but it took nearly a decade to pull it off.

Technology: Palmer Luckey

Virtual Reality Gets Real

Catching up with Palmer Luckey is a lot more difficult these days.

Finance: Mordy Rothberg

Busy Buyer Builds Regional Insurance Brands With Latino Focus

Confie Seguros Insurance Services is getting big with a lot of small moves.

Ode to Local Pioneer; New Twists in Familiar Places

Larry Cano Left Stamp On Ever-Dynamic Food Scene

We recently lost Larry Cano, a true icon not only in Orange County dining but a major player in introducing America to sit-down Mexican dining and cuisine at a sophistication level way above the familiar taco genre.

OC Real Estate Specialists Predict 2015 Lux Trends

Rising Prices, Strong Sales Among Expected Patterns

Orange County’s coastal luxury market posted a solid sales year in 2014.

More Investor Attention for Edwards’ Valves Expected

Leerink: High-Growth Markets to Get More Cash

High-growth medical technology markets, such as transcatheter heart valves—a bellwether product for Irvine-based Edwards Lifesciences Corp. (see story, page 3)—will continue to draw increasing levels of investor attention this year, according to a recent report by Boston-based investment bank Leerink Partners.

Same Pitchman, New Sheriff in Kia’s Latest Campaign

Replaces Horse in Wild West, Visits Ancient Rome

Kia Motors America in Irvine released a new series of television commercials featuring NBA all-star Blake Griffin.

2015 Will Bring Tech Trends Benefiting Local Firms

Predictions Include a 3-D Printing Revolution

'Tis the season for predictions.

South OC Office Market Has Healthy Quarter

The South Orange County office market performed well in the third quarter, recording 42,339 square feet of positive net absorption, though the activity fell short of that in the second quarter, which totaled 152,559 square feet of positive net absorption.

Taylor Morrison Buys Newport Beach Housing Site

‘Echo Beach’ Plan Would Raze 1970s-Era Apartments

A midsize apartment complex steps from the ocean in Newport Beach has been acquired by a new owner with plans for a for-sale residential project at the site.

Real Estate Deals

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

Tyler Leeson of Marcus & Millichap’s Newport Beach office had the exclusive listing to market an apartment building in Anaheim on behalf of the seller, a limited liability company.

ADDENDUM

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 38, No. 1

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

Pyott's Premium

$68B Deal Puts Allergan Boss in First Position

David Pyott expected 2014 to be a year of hunting for deals.

Obamacare Provides Lift for Central OC

REAL ESTATE: Provider, insurers snap up former subprime turf

Obamacare was a boon to the health of Central Orange County’s office market in 2014.

Patient Safety Push Addresses Employers

HEALTHCARE: Clinton expected at Masimo-backed summit in Irvine

The new leader of an Orange County-based patient safety movement is calling for more employer involvement as participants get ready for an annual conference slated to take place in Irvine this month.

Telogis Leads OC’s Rookie Lineup at CES

TECHNOLOGY: Hitches ride with GM for debut at tech’s big show

More than 100 Orange County companies will be in Las Vegas this week for the world’s largest technology convention.

Allergan Effect: Healthcare Hotter Than Ever Here

Healthcare remains integral and then some to OC’s economy, even as Irvine-based drugmaker Allergan Inc. gets ready to exit the stage as the largest publicly traded company based here

Edwards In $50M Round for NorCal Device Maker

HEALTHCARE: Gets option to buy Menlo Park-based startup

Irvine-based Edwards Lifesciences Corp. has dipped its toe into the investment waters of the medical device business.

Olen Flips Santa Ana Business Park for $31.7M

REAL ESTATE: Sheds odd fit, uses some of profit in Atlanta

Newport Beach-based Olen Properties has sold one of its local holdings, a business park in Santa Ana that it owned for less than three years.

RJI Acquires IE Accounting Firm

Irvine-based RJI Ramirez Jimenez International CPAs has acquired an accounting firm in the Inland Empire on undisclosed terms.

Hospitality: Richard ‘Dick’ Pickup

Longtime Equities Investor Puts $65 Million Into Family Ties

Dick Pickup sips an Arnold Palmer and wonders why all the attention.

Real Estate: Emile Haddad

Great Park Developer Lands Broadcom for Commercial Anchor

Emile Haddad caught the big fish in Orange County’s office market last year.