Stories for March 2015

Tuesday, March 31

Confie in 3 Deals

Huntington Beach-based Confie Seguros Insurance Services has acquired three brokerages on the East Coast.

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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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CM Investor Buys EB-5 Regional Center

Costa Mesa-based real estate developer and private equity firm PDC Capital Group LLC has acquired ZGlobal Southern California EB-5 Investment Regional Center.

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JWA Permits Two Ride Share Firms

John Wayne Airport issued permits Monday afternoon for two “transportation network companies”—an industry term for taxi-like, ride-sharing operators such as Uber—to operate there, an airport spokesperson said.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.3% to 2,079.61 in midday trading.

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Ten Schools on Federal Watch List

Ten local colleges are on a list of institutions under federal financial monitoring, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

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DOT Approves New JWA-Mexico Flights

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

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Jack Peltason: Public Servant, Bridge to Private Sector

EDUCATION: Led UCI efforts to land top faculty, build Barclay

Twenty-five years ago, University of California-Irvine Chancellor Jack Peltason sat down with Irvine Company Chairman Donald Bren and decided to build University Research Park.

The Source to Open Later, Leaner With Fast-Fashion Anchor

The first big retail development to open in Orange County since the recession will be late—and it won’t have the lineup of stores once expected.

Irvine Company Takes Balancing Act Beyond OC

REAL ESTATE: NYC buy highlights push for additions away from home

The Irvine Company has added two hometown office towers to its property management portfolio in the past year and has an even larger project moving ahead in the Irvine Spectrum, consolidating its role as Orange County’s dominant real estate owner.

Unbridled Ambition

Aliso Viejo-Based Telogis Measures Progress on Global Scale

A couple of key pivots initiated by Telogis Inc.’s cofounders in the early days of the company positioned the software maker for a big growth spurt years down the road.

Monday, March 30

JWA Permits Two Ride Share Firms

John Wayne Airport issued permits this afternoon for two “transportation network companies”—an industry term for taxi-like, ride-sharing operators such as Uber—to operate there, an airport spokesperson said.

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CM Investor Buys EB-5 Regional Center

Costa Mesa-based real estate developer and private equity firm PDC Capital Group LLC has acquired ZGlobal Southern California EB-5 Investment Regional Center.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Major stock indices rose in midday trading on confidence in the housing market and equity deals in the healthcare market and in Europe.

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CHOC Takes Stake in Innovation Institute

The Innovation Institute in La Palma, founded with an investment from Irvine-based St. Joseph Health, said today that Children’s Hospital of Orange County has become its third member and investor.

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Mobilitie Man

Add Reinvention, Real Estate to His Resume

Gary Jabara has overseen two successful business startups, one major business reinvention, and a big commercial real estate buying spree—all in a little over 10 years.

Local Backers Tee Up for Concert Golf’s 2nd Fund

SPORTS: Family offices back for more on value-add strategy

Concert Golf Partners in Newport Beach is on the verge of closing a $90 million fund in order to add to its portfolio of country club golf courses.

ITExpo Makes Way To Anaheim From LV

TECHNOLOGY: October show could draw 7,000 attendees

A technology trade show previously scheduled for Las Vegas in August is planned instead to be at the Anaheim Convention Center in October.

Long View on Leases; Josephine’s 99th; Julia’s 18th

Some late additions and longer-term considerations to go with this week’s Commercial Leasing Guide, a Special Report that starts on page 19.

Home Delivery

Building Relationships One Pizza at a Time

Entrepreneurs know their efforts can take them away from their families.

Burnham-Ward Eyes Creative Redo on Westcliff

REAL ESTATE: Retail, eatery to join doctors

A prominent medical office building on one of the more eclectic streets in Newport Beach is about to get a big makeover.

Big Blocks of Space Scarce in OC’s Best Buildings

Limited New Construction Anticipated This Year

Large holes of space in Orange County’s biggest and best office buildings are quickly filling up, particularly near John Wayne Airport, and area brokerages say few development projects are in the pipeline to boost supply.

Bascom Latest OC Investor to Spend Big in Bay Area

$45.1M for 220-Unit Complex in Emeryville

Add Irvine-based Bascom Group LLC to the growing list of Orange County real estate companies spending big in the Bay Area recently.

Real Estate Deals

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

Hub Properties Trust sold an office building in the Alton Corporate Center in Santa Ana to E Alton Capital LLC for $14.3 million, or $210.03 per square foot.

South OC Industrial Sector Slows in Fourth Quarter

The South Orange County industrial market had negative net absorption and slowed activity at the end of last year.

OCBJ Calendar

This week's business and other event listings.

Hyundai Gets Artsy With LACMA Sponsorship

Signs On for 10-Year Deal Featuring Art, Technology

Korea-based Hyundai Motor Co., parent of Hyundai Motor America Inc. in Fountain Valley, is looking to elevate its brand with a 10-year sponsorship of Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Edwards, Others Give Promising Transcatheter Reports

Its Heart Valve Studies Show Positive Results

Irvine-based Edwards Lifesciences Corp. and a couple of its competitors had an eventful mid-March on the clinical trial and regulatory fronts for their less-invasive replacement heart valves.

Luxury Market Stats Reveal Extremes as Spring Starts

Biggest Home, Ultra-Luxe Properties, Slowest Sale

The springtime home-buying season is under way, and the Business Journal took stock of some interesting market facts that present challenges and opportunities for area luxury property real estate agencies:

ADDENDUM

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 38, No. 13

Quiksilver Inc. promoted Pierre Agnes from president to chief executive as part of a shakeup in the company’s top echelons.

From Land Mines to Multiple Paths

Autism Therapy Provider Adds Software, Real Estate to Portfolio

Dr. Rob Douk’s entrepreneurial instincts have led him into a number of lines of business.

New American Dream

Mortgage Lender Grows Through Recession, Into Latino Market

Growth has been a constant for New American Funding as it navigates the ever-fluctuating world of mortgage finance.

App Developer Aims to Serve Civic-Minded Customers

No Ego Offering ‘Smart Forms’ for Permits, More

Opportunities for civic and community involvement in Southern California are getting a boost from a new app developed by Huntington Beach startup Nead Inc.

Commercial Brokerages Post Fifth Year of Gains

Leasing Activity Picks Up, Sales Volumes Still Strong

A sharp increase in leasing activity, continued strength in the for-sale market, and the effects of industry consolidations propelled Orange County’s largest commercial brokerages to a banner year in 2014.

Friday, March 27

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.1% to 2,058.19 in midday trading.

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Mooney Out, McKnight Back to Quiksilver Chair

Quiksilver Inc. shares were down 12% to $1.95 and a market value of about $330 million in midday trading Friday as the news spread of the shakeup in the company’s top echelons.

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Thursday, March 26

UCI Stem Cell Researcher Gets $5M

A University of California-Irvine researcher has been awarded $5 million to develop stem cell treatments for Huntington’s disease, the university said.

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Ruby’s Founder Steps Back

Doug Cavanaugh has stepped back from day-to-day operations at Irvine-based Ruby Restaurant Group, the retro burger chain he founded 33 years ago.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.2% to 2,065.75 in midday trading.

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PE Firm Backs Water Treatment Company

Anaheim Hills-based investment firm Metrix Capital Group LLC has provided an undisclosed amount of growth capital to Superior Water Technologies Inc. in Irvine.

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Wednesday, March 25

PacSun Results Up, Shares Down

Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. beat analysts’ expectations for the fourth quarter, which ended Jan. 31, before its stock fell about 2% to $2.82 and a market value of about $195 million in midday trading Thursday

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Midday Stock Roundup

Major stock indices declined in midday trading on a market sell-off in technology stocks.

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Kofax Sells for $1B

Shares of Kofax Ltd. soared in midday trading today to a market value of about $960 million after the Irvine-based software maker said yesterday it would be sold for $1 billion to Lexmark International Inc. in Lexington, Ky.

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Kia to Sell Soul EV Beyond California

Irvine-based Kia Motors America Inc. will start selling its Soul EV in Georgia, Texas, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii, a move that comes a few months after the launch of the electric vehicle in California.

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Tuesday, March 24

Kofax Sells for $1B

Shares of Kofax Ltd. soared in afterhours trading today after the Irvine-based software maker announced it would be sold for $1 billion to Lexmark International Inc. in Lexington, Ky.

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Auto Dealer Sales Up in 2014

Automotive dealers in Orange County combined for $11 billion in sales last year, a 10% increase over 2013, according to the Newport Beach-based Orange County Automobile Dealers Association’s 2014 Economic Impact Report.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.3% to 2,098.22 in midday trading.

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Dana Point Cloud Company Sold for $25M

Dana Point-based communications company SimpleSignal Inc. has agreed to sell for $25.3 million to Vonage Holdings Corp., a Holmdel, N.J.-based provider of telephone services via broadband connection.

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Taco Bell Considers Design, Delivery

Irvine-based Taco Bell Corp. said it plans to test new store designs as well as food delivery, according to trade journal Nation’s Restaurant News.

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Monday, March 23

OC Adds Jobs; Unemployment Down

Orange County added 14,600 jobs in February, helping drive down the unemployment rate to 4.6% from a revised 5% in January.

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Jobless Rate Up on Revised Data

Orange County’s unemployment rate ticked up to 5% as an annual revision by the U.S. Department of Labor showed 21,200 fewer jobs in January than in December, for a total of 1,510,700.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.1% to 2,109.91 in midday trading.

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Levy Invests $120M in Del Taco

A group led by Chicago restaurateur Larry Levy has invested $120 million in Lake Forest-based Del Taco Holdings Inc., the first step in its previously announced acquisition of the fast food chain.

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UCI Chancellor Emeritus Peltason Dies

Jack Peltason died Saturday at 91.

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Irvine Restaurant Operator Buys Again

American Restaurant Holdings Inc. in Irvine said an affiliate bought the five Orange County locations of Costa Mesa-based Fresca’s Mexican Grill.

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OC Auto Sales Rise 10.9%

Sales of new vehicles at Orange County auto dealers increased 10.9% year-over-year in February to 12,861, according to the Newport Beach-based Orange County Automobile Dealers Association.

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Business Journal Honors Entrepreneurs

Members of the Orange County business community celebrated seven winners during a luncheon for the Business Journal’s 14th Annual Excellence in Entrepreneurship Awards.

Environmental Firms’ Work Rose 8% Last Year

Grow on Economy, Buys, Expanding Services, Goats

The largest environmental consultants with offices in Orange County billed $602 million in 2014, an 8% jump over last year’s $556 million.

‘Post-Affordable Care Act’ CEO Sought for UCI Medical Center

HEALTHCARE: New boss says search ‘unfolding’

Dr. Howard Federoff will soon take up some heavy lifting in his new job as the University of California-Irvine’s top healthcare executive.

Panasonic Avionics to Add Specialist

Lake Forest-based Panasonic Avionics Corp. is set to acquire a satellite communication services provider with headquarters in Australia, operations around the globe, and a specialty of working in extreme conditions.

Clean Energy Gains as Infrastructure Plan Slows

ENERGY: Q4 profit follows focus on fleets, less building

Clean Energy Fuels Corp. may have finally found a clearer path to profitability as it reins in construction costs for a nationwide plan it forged four years ago to dot major highways with natural-gas fueling stations.

Clock Ticks as Startup Drug Maker Seeks Lifeline

HEALTHCARE: BK filing follows several loan defaults

Irvine-based AtheroNova Inc. is searching for a buyer willing to extend the cash-strapped startup’s existence as it reviews early data on its effort to develop drugs to fight atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.

Will Times Lien in on Register? Picture This on Pimco

The $4.2 million lien slapped on Freedom Communications and its flagship Register seems to carry extra significance since it came at the request of the L.A. Times, which has a claim pending on bills for past work distributing the OC daily.

Irvine-Based Marketer Plans to Sell Latino Accent in Miami

MARKETING: Niche unit aims to get brands past cultural barriers

Think of Advantage Sales & Marketing LLC’s Hispanic Retail Selling Team as ambassadors for general-market manufacturers looking to secure shelf space at Latino grocery stores in Southern California, Arizona, Texas and New York—with a push into Miami coming soon.

Microsemi’s $389M Buy Includes Ticket to Internet of Things

TECHNOLOGY: Picks up new technology to offer chip customers

Microsemi Corp.’s latest acquisition highlights how far the company has come in a diversification effort that has taken the Aliso Viejo-based chipmaker from an aerospace and defense specialist to innovator in several fields, with a new toehold on the industrial side of the budding Internet of Things market.

OC Drones On

Newfangled Flying Machines Figure Into Local Landscape

Within hours of capturing a pair of gray whales recently in an early morning swim, Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching had the video posted on YouTube and emailed to subscribers of its digital newsletter.

How Laguna Beach Adds Up

HOSPITALITY: Music festival, trolley add to eclectic approach

The eyes of the global hospitality industry were drawn to a big splash in Laguna Beach earlier this year, when the $360 million sale of the Montage Hotel put the value of the city’s premier commercial property at about $1.4 million per room, on par with the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan.

Olloclip, Peri Get Exclusive With Amazon Exclusives

Cut Select Products With Big-Box Retailers

Irvine startup Peri Inc. and Huntington Beach-based olloclip were handpicked to distribute a limited number of products on Amazon.com Inc.’s newly launched marketplace, but the designation carries some interesting stipulations: namely, cutting ties for those products with Wal-Mart, Costco, Target and other big-box retailers.

Law Firm Makes Short Trip to New HQ at 1900 Main

Palmieri, Tyler to Move From Century Centre

Palmieri, Tyler, Wiener, Wilhelm & Waldron LLP is the latest local law firm that’s figuring out how to use less space for its operations.

Real Estate Deals

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

A five-unit apartment building in Dana Point was sold for $1.8 million, or $360,000 per unit.

OCBJ Calendar

This week's business and other event listings.

ADDENDUM

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 38, No. 12

Irvine-based Kia Motors America Inc. recalled 208,858 of its Soul and Soul EV models due to a problem with the gas pedal, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

PHILANTHROPY

City of Hope’s Inaugural “Let’s Be Frank About Cancer” Gala grossed more than $1.6 million.

Tight R&D Market Fuels Off-Market, Non-OC Deals

The research and development market in Orange County had 70,240 square feet of negative absorption in the fourth quarter, but it remained tight with a vacancy rate of 3%.

Win-Win for Mophie, Dog Rescue Group at SXSW

Recharge Batteries With St. Bernard Group

Mophie executed a clever social media stunt at the South by Southwest Music Conference and Festival that wrapped up over the weekend in Austin, Texas.

Fitch Affirms Strong Ratings on MemorialCare Finances

Frees System to Invest In ‘Strategic Initiatives’

Fountain Valley-based MemorialCare Health System’s solid debt ratings were affirmed this month by New York City-based Fitch Ratings Inc.

Ingram Micro Buys in South America

Santa Ana-based Ingram Micro Inc. said it bought businesses in Peru and Chile from Clearwater, Fla.-based Tech Data Corp., on undisclosed terms.

First American Gets NY Title Company

Santa Ana-based First American Financial Corp. said its title subsidiary bought TitleVest Holdings Group LLC in New York City on undisclosed terms.

Friday, March 20

Irvine Restaurant Operator Buys Again

American Restaurant Holdings Inc. in Irvine said an affiliate bought the five Orange County locations of Costa Mesa-based Fresca’s Mexican Grill.

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OC Auto Sales Rise 10.9%

Sales of new vehicles at Orange County auto dealers increased 10.9% year-over-year in February to 12,861, according to the Newport Beach-based Orange County Automobile Dealers Association.

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Ceradyne Founder Moskowitz Dies

Joel Moskowitz, cofounder of Costa Mesa-based Ceradyne Inc., has died, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Major indices climbed in midday training on easing fears of a hike in interest rates by The U.S. Federal Reserve.

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Kia Recalls Soul Cars

Irvine-based Kia Motors America Inc. has recalled 208,858 of its Soul and Soul EV models due to an issue with the gas pedal, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Thursday, March 19

Ingram to Pacific Life's Board

Newport Beach-based Pacific Life Insurance Co. said today that Douglas Ingram, former president of Allergan Inc., has been elected to its board, effective May 1.

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ReShape Raises $2M

San Clemente-based medical device maker ReShape Medical Inc. has raised $2 million, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.4% to 2,090.27 in midday trading.

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Wednesday, March 18

Seven Honored for Entrepreneurship

Members of the Orange County business community celebrated seven winners during a luncheon Wednesday for the Business Journal’s 14th Annual Excellence in Entrepreneurship Awards.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.7% to 2,086.62 in midday trading.

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Pyott to Retain Chair of Allergan Foundation

David Pyott will remain chair of the Allergan Foundation, according to Actavis PLC, the Ireland-based drug maker that recently wrapped up its $72.5 billion buy of Irvine-based Allergan Inc.

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Ingram Buys in South America

Santa Ana-based Ingram Micro Inc. said it bought businesses in Peru and Chile from Clearwater, Fla.-based Tech Data Corp., on undisclosed terms.

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Microsemi in $389M Deal

Microsemi Corp. has agreed to acquire Camarillo-based networking chip maker Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. for $389 million.

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Times Gets $4.2M Lien on Register

The Los Angeles Times has been granted a $4.2 million “writ of attachment” against the Orange County Register in Superior Court, according to a news report.

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Tuesday, March 17

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was about flat at 2,072.08 in midday trading.

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Actavis Wraps Up Allergan Buy; Pyott Passes on Board Seat

Actavis PLC said today that it completed its acquisition of Irvine-based drugmaker Allergan Inc., currently valued at about $72.5 billion.

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Monday, March 16

Self-Storage REITS in $145M Deal

Two real estate investment trusts affiliated with Ladera Ranch-based SmartStop Self Storage have bought 27 self-storage facilities and agreed to acquire five others for a total of $145 million from Long Beach-based DSI Properties Inc.

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El Pollo Loco to Enter Dallas

Costa Mesa-based El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc. plans to enter the Dallas market in 2016, part of an expansion plan that calls for growth to a mix of about 40 franchised and company-owned restaurants in Texas over the next several years.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 1.1% to 2,075.04 in midday trading.

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Edwards Up on Heart Valve Studies

Irvine-based Edwards Lifesciences Corp.’s shares rose today on positive results from several studies of less-invasive heart valves.

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First American Buys NY Title Co.

Santa Ana-based First American Financial Corp. said that its title subsidiary bought TitleVest Holdings Group LLC in New York City on undisclosed terms.

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QLogic Gains Ground in Growing Ethernet Market

Establishes 13% Market Share in Equipment Sales

Aliso Viejo-based networking equipment maker QLogic Corp. has made big strides in carving out a niche in the burgeoning 10-gigabit Ethernet connection market, a competitive segment that’s drawn big industry players into the ring as storage needs and speedy data transfer become increasingly important to consumers and businesses.

Google Grows App Hub in Irvine

TECHNOLOGY: Engineers, developers push use of analytics

Google Inc.’s new 140,000-square-foot office on Jamboree Road in Irvine has become a key hub for the search giant’s push to link analytics and app development to drum up monetization opportunities for its bevy of advertisers.

Vizio Claims New Territory at SXSW

MEDIA: Artful documentary up for honors at annual festival

Add bonafide filmmaker to Vizio Inc.’s credits.

Masimo In Pitch for Niche at Tennis Tourney

HEALTHCARE: Consumer twist on medical device; ESPN spot

Irvine-based medical device maker Masimo Corp. will look to win a place in the world of big-time athletics as part of a marketing effort anchored by its sponsorship of the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament in Indian Wells, which runs through this week.

Offices Top Priority for Big Investors Here Last Year

Money Shifts From Industrial, Multifamily

Deep-pocketed office investors flocked to Orange County last year looking for attractive investment yields while also betting on the market’s potential for rental growth over the next few years.

Pyott’s Long-Term Memory; Freedom’s Call on Kushner

David Pyott was graceful as ever during the Leaders & Legends luncheon hosted by the Irvine Chamber just a few days before Allergan shareholders approved the company’s $70-billion-plus sale to Actavis.

Actavis to Send Medical Dermatology Line to OC

HEALTHCARE: Still no word on job additions, cutbacks here

The “new” Allergan Inc. is set to move its medical dermatology business to Irvine as part of its specialty pharmaceutical base in the wake of Actavis PLC’s $70 billion-plus buy of the Botox maker.

Chapman, UCI Grow Business, Law Rep

EDUCATION: Lag others but show progress over last year

The full-time graduate business programs at Chapman University in Orange returned to a national ranking this year, and University of California-Irvine said graduates of its graduate business program ranked in the same report found improved job prospects from the year earlier.

Blockbuster Sales Still Strong, Move Ahead in 2015

REAL ESTATE: $100M+ Deals Already Top 2014’s

2015 has the makings of a blockbuster year for large real estate deals, based on the first few months of transactions in Orange County.

Del Taco to Be Bought for $500 Million

Blank-check company Levy Acquisition Corp. said it plans to buy Lake Forest-based Del Taco Holdings Inc. in a deal that values Del Taco at about $500 million.

MetLife Tower in Irvine Co. Fold

Donald Bren’s Irvine Company owns 97% of the 58-story MetLife building in Manhattan, one of New York City’s best-known skyscrapers, according to a Bloomberg report.

New Vice Chancellor of Health Affairs at UCI

University of California-Irvine named Howard Federoff its new vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine, effective July 1.

Apparel Company Names CEO

Fox Head Inc. appointed Paul Harrington chief executive and director.

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.

ADDENDUM

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 38, No. 11

The Walt Disney Co. said it has no plans for a third theme park at the Disneyland Resort, dispelling long-running rumors, according to the Orange County Register.

February’s Top Sales Come in Newport Beach, Dana Point

Deals for Both Homes Above $11 Million

Two Orange County homes priced north of $11 million sold in February, one in Newport Beach and the other in Dana Point, with the latter fetching the full asking price.

OCBJ Calendar

March 16-25, 2015

This week's business and other event listings.

Optimism Prevails After Tumultuous Year at Biolase

New CEO Says ‘Critical Changes’ Position it Well

Irvine-based Biolase Inc.’s chief executive said he expects what he refers to as the laser device maker’s “transformation” to continue this year.

Newport Beach, Film Festival Go on London Tour

Promote City, Event With Help of Beach-Scene Bus

Marketing folks from Newport Beach & Co. and the Newport Beach Film Festival got on a bus to bring some sunshine to wintry London last month.

Office Vacancies Decline in Central, North OC

The Central and North Orange County office markets have traditionally trailed the Greater Airport Area and South Orange County office markets in terms of vacancy, average asking lease rates, and absorption of space, and 2014 was no different.

Real Estate Deals

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

Asset Management Consultants Inc. sold an office building in Anaheim to Marshall B. Ketchum University for $10.3 million, or about $127 per square foot.

Signs Point to Top Prices Paid for Beacon Park Land

Great Park Project Nears Irvine Co. on Lot Prices

Lot prices for the latest batch of homebuilding at Great Park Neighborhoods don’t appear to be cheap.

Price of Chinese Developer’s Platinum Plan: $450M

1.7 Million SF Near Angel Stadium Would Include Luxe Hotel, Condo Tower, Surf Park

A Chinese developer has proposed a mixed-use project next to Angel Stadium that could rival L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles in terms of scope and variety of uses.

Title Work Stumbles in 2014 as Interest Rates Top 4%

New Home, Commercial Pick Up Some of Slack

Business for Orange County’s largest title insurers plummeted last year as refinance activity significantly declined.

Friday, March 13

Wet Seal Sold

Versa Capital Management LLC in Philadelphia has acquired the remnants of Foothill Ranch-based retail chain Wet Seal Inc., according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Major indices were down in midday training on a strong dollar and lower oil prices.

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Thursday, March 12

El Pollo Loco Up on Q4 Results

Shares in Costa Mesa-based El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc. are up about 14% in midday trading to a market cap of $1 billion on positive quarterly and annual numbers delivered after markets closed yesterday.

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New CEO to Octane

Finance and sales veteran Bill Carpou has been named chief executive of Irvine-based nonprofit Octane, which links startups and emerging companies with resources and investors.

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BlizzCon Dates Set

Blizzard Entertainment Inc.’s annual fanfest BlizzCon will be held Nov. 6 and Nov. 7 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 1% to 2,059.93 in midday trading.

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Chicago Buyer for Del Taco

Chicago-based blank check company Levy Acquisition Corp. plans to buy Lake Forest-based Del Taco Holdings Inc. in a deal that values Del Taco at about $500 million, according to Levy.

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Wednesday, March 11

Peri, Olloclip Part of Amazon Launch

At least two Orange County consumer electronics makers will get prime positioning on Amazon.com Inc.’s new marketplace launched today.

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Kareo Buys San Francisco Company

Irvine-based Kareo Inc. said today that it bought San Francisco-based DoctorBase Inc. for an undisclosed amount.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was flat at 2,044.73 in midday trading.

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Manhattan’s MetLife Building in Irvine Company Portfolio

Donald Bren’s Irvine Company owns 97% of the 58-story MetLife building in Manhattan, one of New York City’s best-known skyscrapers, accord to a Bloomberg report.

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UCI Names Vice Chancellor, Med School Dean

University of California-Irvine said today that Dr. Howard Federoff will be its new vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine, effective July 1.

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Tuesday, March 10

Kushner, Spitz Leave Posts at Freedom

Aaron Kushner and Eric Spitz have “resigned Tuesday from all executive duties at Freedom and the Orange County Register,” according to Freedom Communications Holdings Inc., parent company of the Register.

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Habit Shares Down After Q4 Report

Shares in Irvine-based Habit Restaurants Inc. declined in midday trading Wednesday after its most recent quarterly reported showed earnings had declined compared to the same period last year.

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Johnny Rockets in Executive Shift

Aliso Viejo-based Johnny Rockets named Charles Bruce president and chief executive, the second such senior executive-level move in the past month.

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iPourIt Plans to Add Beer Machines

Lake Forest-based iPourIt plans to supply beer vending machines from Alpharetta, Ga.-based Plug in & Pour with its brew-dispensing hardware.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Major stock indices were down today on concerns the U.S. Federal Reserve would raise rates.

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Allergan Shareholders Vote for Actavis Deal

A majority of Irvine-based Allergan Inc.’s shareholders voted this morning to accept a takeover bid currently valued at $70.7 billion from Actavis PLC.

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Alaska Airlines Seeks JWA-Mexico Routes

Alaska Airlines has applied to regulators in the U.S. and Mexico to offer service to Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos, Mexico from John Wayne Airport, according to the airline.

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Fox Head Names CEO

Fox Head Inc. appointed Paul Harrington its new chief executive and director.

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Monday, March 9

Volcom Names Ex-Quiksilver Executive CFO

Costa Mesa-based Volcom Inc. hired Brad Holman as its new chief financial officer.

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SJC Startup in $1M Seed Round

San Juan Capistrano startup GlobeChat has raised nearly $1 million in a seed round as it gets closer to bringing its video and text messaging service to the market.

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Bike Products Maker to Irvine

SureStop moved its headquarters to Irvine from Palo Alto and named consultant Al Nordin its chief executive, according to a news report.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.4% to 2,079.31 in midday trading.

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Socks Maker Raises $50M for Stores

Stance Inc. in San Clemente raised $50 million from private investors to expand into underwear and open its own stores, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Real Estate Deals

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

Hillsboro, Ore.-based Pinnacle Exhibits LLC signed a seven-year lease at 9 Holland in Irvine for $5 million.

Hidden Canyon Sees $50M in Sales in First Month

Toll Brothers Bullish On Irvine, Lake Forest Sites

Hidden Canyon, the newest high-end, new-home community in Irvine, had about $50 million in sales in less than a month after its opening, according to the project’s developer.

Emulex Corp. Sale Furthers Consolidation Trend

Third Local Industry Deal in Last Year

The $660 million sale of networking gear maker Emulex Corp. in Costa Mesa to Singapore-based Avago Technologies Ltd. highlights an ongoing consolidation in the global chip industry.

Airport Area Industrial Market Remained Tight in Fourth Quarter

The Greater Airport Area industrial real estate market, which includes Costa Mesa, Irvine, Fountain Valley, Santa Ana and Tustin, remained tight in the fourth quarter, and we expect that trend to continue through this year, resulting in increased rents and sale prices.

Country Club Teed Up for Sale?

127 Acres Along 55 Freeway Could Fetch Up to $250M

A handful of real estate developers have teed up big-dollar bids to gauge members’ interest in selling the Santa Ana Country Club.

OCBJ Calendar

March 9-18, 2015

This week's business and other event listings.

Mazda Works Magic for CX-5 With Penn and Teller

Ad Has Racked Up 14M Views on YouTube

Irvine-based Mazda North American Operations’ commercial featuring magicians Penn and Teller has amassed 14 million views on YouTube since it first aired on Super Bowl Sunday. The automaker’s ads usually get about 10,000 views.

Former Allergan Target Draws $14.5B Offer From Valeant

$10.1 Billion for Salix Pharmaceuticals in N.C.

A drugmaker linked to Irvine-based Allergan Inc. during its successful fight against an unsolicited takeover bid last year is set to be acquired by the same suitor: Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. in Canada.

ADDENDUM

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 38, No. 10

The Orange County Automobile Dealers Association in Newport Beach announced its 2015 board of directors.

PHILANTHROPY

The American Heart Association’s Orange County Go Red for Women Luncheon recently raised $435,000 to fund programs and research to fight cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

Hoag Takes Cardiac Care to Heart With New Center

HEALTHCARE: ‘Integrated’ services to keep patients in OC

Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian is boosting its heart care offerings with an eye toward keeping patients in Orange County.

SJC Firm Buys Trade Shows, Magazines

Emerald Expositions LLC in San Juan Capistrano acquired several trade shows from New York-based Vendome Group LLC and Macfadden Communications Group LLC. Financial terms of the two transactions were not disclosed.

OC Data Drill: M&A’s Long Reach

Deals Key as Alorica Tops $1B in Sales

Call center operator Alorica Inc. expects to double the size of its customer-service operations after its acquisition of several subsidiaries of Omaha-based West Corp. closed last week.

Western Digital Unit Buys Software Firm

A San Jose-based unit of Western Digital Corp. acquired a maker of storage software for public and private cloud data centers.

Real Mex Names New Chief Executive

Cypress-based Real Mex Restaurants Inc. named Bryan Lockwood its chief executive, a news report said.

Broadcom Sales Vet CEO at Numecent

TECHNOLOGY: Cloud service provider seeks global expansion

The new chief executive of Irvine-based cloud service provider Numecent comes with top-level sales experience at Broadcom Corp.

More Depart Irell in Wake of Hueston’s Move

LAW: ‘Self-contained’ group spins off; NB office sheds 14

Local law firms have been hiring attorneys away from Irell & Manella LLP’s Orange County and Los Angeles offices in the wake of the recent move by John Hueston and Brian Hennigan to form their own firm.

Largest Minority-Owned Businesses Top $14B in Sales

THE LIST: Outpace general market with 8% boost in jobs

The largest minority-owned businesses with headquarters in Orange County combined for $14.4 billion in revenue last year, a 9% increase over 2013.

Glaucoma Specialist to Take Next Regulatory Step

HEALTHCARE: Device maker in Aliso Viejo has raised $77M

A well-funded eye device startup in Aliso Viejo is making regulatory progress in its quest to bring a new product to treat glaucoma to the U.S. market.

Ben Up for Bill’s Old Spot?; Morr on Ports Drama

Anyone else see former Federal Reserve boss Ben Bernanke around Pimco’s HQ in Newport Center last week?

Allergan Purchase Pushes M&A Past $90B in 2014

Value Doubled, Even Without $70B+ Sale of Drugmaker

Orange County-based companies were buyers and sellers in 303 corporate mergers and acquisitions in 2014, a year of robust local deal activity that involved slightly fewer deals and many more dollars.

DGWB Joins With High-Profile Creative in New Venture

DGWB Advertising and Communications in Santa Ana wants more.

Mazda’s Latest Marketing Course: SXSW

Executives of Irvine-based Mazda North American Operations will aim to keep their minds open as they gauge the brand’s first year as the official automotive sponsor of the South by Southwest Music Conference and Festival in Austin, Texas, also known as SXSW.

Friday, March 6

Bike Products Maker to Irvine

SureStop moved its headquarters to Irvine from Palo Alto and named consultant Al Nordin its chief executive, according to a news report.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Stock indices were down in midday trading on concerns the U.S. Federal Reserve is moving closer to raising interest rates.

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Register Launches Evening Website

Freedom Communications Holdings Inc. in Santa Ana said its flagship Orange County Register is running a nighttime version of its ocregister.com website.

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Publisher Debuts Pet Website

I-5 Publishing LLC in Irvine said it launched Petcha.com, a pet search website that lists pets from breeders and shelters.

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Corinthian Unit Might Have Buyer

Santa Ana-based Corinthian Colleges Inc. has a buyer interested in its Canadian schools, according to a newspaper in Ontario, Can.

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Thursday, March 5

Biolase Report Could Presage Growth

Irvine-based Biolase Inc.'s reported fourth-quarter and 2014 financial results this week that closed out a year of management shake-ups and difficulties that its chief executive said are behind the company.

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Advantage Sales Buys Canada Firm

Advantage Sales and Marketing LLC in Irvine said it acquired The Linkage Group Inc.

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Juice Retailer Plans to Merge

Irvine-based Ritual Wellness Inc. said it would merge with San Francisco-based Project Juice under the latter’s name.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was flat at 2,098.49 in midday trading.

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Socks Company Raises $50M

Stance Inc. in San Clemente raised $50 million from private investors to expand into underwear and open brand stores, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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Wednesday, March 4

Higher Ed Tech Firm in Course Deal

Santa Ana-based Greenwood Hall Inc. said it would work with Boston-based curriculum provider Cengage Learning to offer online course content to Greenwood’s higher education clients.

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SJC Company Buys Tradeshows, Magazines

Emerald Expositions LLC in San Juan Capistrano acquired several tradeshows from New York-based Vendome Group LLC and Macfadden Communications Group LLC.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.5% to 2,097.40 in midday trading.

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Alliant Acquires Again in Spokane

Newport Beach-based Alliant Insurance Services Inc. has acquired Kassa Insurance Services Inc. in Spokane, Wash. on undisclosed terms.

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Tuesday, March 3

OC-Based Auto Brands Beat National Sales Pace

All four Orange County-based automakers beat the national pace of sales of new vehicles in February, according to New Jersey-based market researcher Autodata Corp.

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CSUF Gets $1.5M for Business Center

California State University-Fullerton said it received $1.5 million from Jeffrey Van Harte to start an investment management center and expand a student-managed investment fund.

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AtheroNova Files for Bankruptcy

Irvine-based AtheroNova Inc. and a subsidiary have filed for bankruptcy protection.

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WD Unit Acquires Storage Software Maker

A San Jose-based unit of Western Digital Corp. has acquired a maker of storage software for public and private cloud data centers.

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11 OCers Make Forbes List

Eleven residents of Orange County were included in a recent ranking of The World’s Billionaires by Forbes Magazine.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.5% to 2,106.78 in midday trading.

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Auction.com Buys Software Company

Auction.com LLC, an Irvine-based online real estate auction company, has acquired Channel LLC in Newport Beach on undisclosed terms.

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Real Mex Names Chief Executive

Cypress-based Real Mex Restaurants Inc. named Bryan Lockwood its chief executive, a news report said.

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Software Maker Gets $5.5 Million

Irvine-based software maker YouMail Inc. has raised $5.5 million in a Series B funding round, the company announced this morning.

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Monday, March 2

OCADA Names Board Leaders

The Orange County Automobile Dealers Association in Newport Beach announced its 2015 board of directors.

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How Henry Did It

Local Infrastructure, Global Vision Behind OC Legend

Henry Segerstrom was renowned, of course, as creator of South Coast Plaza and a patron of art and music.

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Dog Sleds to Dior: Slice of Legend’s Life

It Took an Impresario to Get Global Traction in Costa Mesa

Add one more entry next to Henry Segerstrom’s name in the history books: retail impresario who saw Tiffany jewels where lima beans once grew.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.4% to 2,112.72 in midday trading.

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Kofax Buys Dutch Software Maker

Irvine-based business software maker Kofax Ltd. has acquired a company in the Netherlands that specializes in the growing customer-management software segment.

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El Pollo Loco Plans to Expand in Utah

Costa Mesa-based El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc. said a group of Southern California franchisees have agreed to open five locations in the Salt Lake City market by 2018.

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OCMA Still Plans Move to Segerstrom Land

ARTS: Sale, price of current location could be trimmed

Plans to relocate the Orange County Museum of Art to a new facility at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa are moving forward despite uncertainty over the fate of the museum’s current location in Newport Beach.

OC Schools Aim to Fill Key Rx of Reform

EDUCATION: Pharmacy programs in various stages at 3 universities

Three local universities want to launch pharmacy schools here, and they would join six others in Southern California and a total cadre of 11 statewide.

Apartments Draw Premium in IBC

REAL ESTATE: $112 million would be highest price since 2013

A spate of apartment development going up on Jamboree Road in Irvine doesn’t appear to be scaring off investors looking for existing complexes in the same area.

Real Estate Deals

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

An apartment property in Costa Mesa was sold to an individual/personal trust for $2.2 million, or $275,000 per unit.

OCBJ Calendar

March 2-11 and 18, 2015

This week's business and other event listings.

ADDENDUM

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 38, No. 9

Asics America Corp. said it surpassed $1 billion in sales for the first time last year, a 14.9% year-over-year increase.

Wanted: Best Places to Work for OCBJ’s List

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

Is your workplace great?

This One Is All About Henry

Not many individuals can provide the spark for an entire column.

Upscale Bars Offer Comfort, Sociable Dining Alternative

Claim Center Stage With Inviting Decor, Food, Drink

Having a glass of wine with friends is no longer the cutting-edge trend. We are now having cocktails.

Kilroy Sell-Off Continues in $26M Deal for IBC Land

Fairfield Residential Plans Mix of For-Sale, Rentals

Los Angeles-based Kilroy Realty Corp. has completed the long-planned sale of a former industrial site on Von Karman Avenue in Irvine where a residential project is slated to go up.

Tech Firms’ Hard Drives Named in Espionage Report

Western Digital Mulls Info, Toshiba Denies Any Role

Two storage-product makers in Irvine are connected to one of the most advanced cyber-espionage programs to surface.

Industrial Development Stymied by Lack of Land, Residential Competition

There were 502,612 square feet of industrial space under construction at the end of the fourth quarter.

Advantage Sales Diversifies Its Marketing Toolbox

Bought Firms Focused On Promotions, Experiential

Advantage Sales & Marketing LLC recently disclosed that it acquired two marketing firms last year to bolster offerings of its in-house promotions and experiential ad agency, IN Marketing Services.

Abbott Medical Brings Out New Intraocular Lenses

Two Versions of Tecnis To Restore Vision

Santa Ana-based Abbott Medical Optics continues to forge ahead with new products.

Location, Amenities Part of Luxury Home Pricing Mix

$20M Gets You Varying Degrees of OC Posh

What will $20 million get you in Orange County? There’s a three-bedroom, two-bath, 1,774-square-foot home on a third of an acre in Emerald Bay in Laguna Beach that has a list price of nearly that.

HB Shorebreak Hotel Sells for $58.5M

Bethesda, Md.-based DiamondRock Hospitality Co. bought the Shorebreak Hotel in Huntington Beach for $58.5 million, or nearly $373,000 per room.

Toba Capital Puts $4M Into Drink Maker

Toba Capital Management in Newport Beach invested $4 million in Irvine-based True Drinks Inc.

Beauty Products Firm Reportedly for Sale

Pacific World Corp. in Aliso Viejo is up for sale, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Taco Bell Plans Expansion in Japan

A Tokyo-based restaurant operator said it would open franchises of Irvine-based Taco Bell Corp. in Japan.

Singapore Firm to Buy Emulex for $606M

Costa Mesa-based networking equipment maker Emulex Corp. announced it would be acquired for $606 million by Avago Technologies Ltd.

Pacific Club Program Aims to Make Students Leaders

EDUCATION: New academy fosters character development

The newest initiative of the Pacific Club Impact Foundation in Newport Beach has helped 150 middle school students from various backgrounds cultivate their leadership skills under the mentorship of local business executives.

Wet Seal’s Fate to Unfold With Bids

RETAIL: Philadelphia firm joins B. Riley in bargain hunt

Beleaguered teen retailer Wet Seal Inc. is still drawing interest, even if it comes in the form of some rock-bottom bidding.

Proctor to Play Role in Pick of Successor at St. Joe

HEALTHCARE: CEO guided system into Hoag partnership

Veteran Orange County healthcare executive Deborah Proctor’s imprint will be felt by her successor.

Device Maker Follows Side Effect Into New Niche

HEALTHCARE: Switch from respiratory to blood pressure aid

Rox Medical Inc. has shifted its business model as it seeks to lower the pressure—and possibly lure a buyer.

Chef Built Beloved Restaurant on Natural Talent

Mixes Ethnic Food Smarts, Hunger for Better Dining

Our now legendary Orange County lady chef and restaurateur Zov Karamardian set out to introduce the dining public to Mediterranean food 27 years ago.