Stories for July 2017

Monday, July 31

CSUF Arts Gets Warhol $100K

The Grand Central Art Center in downtown Santa Ana received a $100,000 grant from the New York City-based Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

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NB Property in Record $55M Sale

A 3.5-acre Newport Beach property overlooking the harbor sold for an Orange County record of $55 million.

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Ubiquity Agrees to Stock Revocation

Irvine-based Ubiquity Inc. has agreed to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s division of enforcement’s recommendation that its stock be revoke

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 0.1% in midday trading to 2,473.85.

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Not Standing Still

How OC’s Wealthiest Grew Firms and Fortunes

Orange County’s wealthiest people enjoyed a good year. Most on our 2017 list, see page 16 of stand-alone Special Report, grew their fortunes, some substantially. The roster grew by two, nearly 5% from 45 to 47. The Business Journal’s “cutoff” is $250 million.

Ahmansons Bring OC Arts Work North to LA

Corona del Mar philanthropists Howard F. Ahmanson Jr. and Roberta Green Ahmanson will create an art gallery, studio space, and an artist-in-residence program in Los Angeles.

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Incubator Gets $4.5M for Device Maker

Aliso Viejo-based medical device company incubator Inceptus Medical LLC said it helped Okami Medical Inc. complete a $4.5 million series B financing with U.S. Venture Partners in Menlo Park and other individual investors.

OC Gains Public Co. in 167-Year-Old Firm’s Move

AEROSPACE: Ducommun HQ to Santa Ana office

Orange County’s public company ranks will gain another member with the recent headquarters move of Ducommun Inc., Los Angeles’ oldest company.

‘Favorite Issue’

In managing this week’s OC’s Wealthiest issue—my first, our 17th—I placed a call to a source to confirm a few figures in our write-up.

Pacific Life CEO Jim Morris on the Company at 150

FINANCE: CEO bullish on annuities and airplanes

Next year Pacific Life Insurance Co. will celebrate its 150th anniversary since being founded by Leland Stanford.

OC Banks’ Q2 Mostly Positive

FINANCE: One CEO says more work needed

Four of the five biggest banks based in Orange County reported last week that profits improved in the second quarter.

County Wins Round Over Airport FBO

The Federal Aviation Administration denied a Part 16 complaint against Orange County filed by Signature Flight Services Corp. over fixed-base operations at John Wayne Airport.

Real Estate Deals

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

Clarmont Equipment Inc. sold a warehouse building in Fullerton to Rainbow Glazing Inc. for nearly $2 million, or $235 per square foot.

Phone Deal Step Toward Hopeful Crackberry Revival

TCL Dials Up Sprint For 1st Distribution of Relaunch

The BlackBerry smartphone, relaunched by Irvine-based TCL Communication Technology Holdings Ltd.’s North American operation, has lined up its first distribution deal with a major U.S. carrier.

Irvine’s Great Far East Looks to SGV for Latest Deal

Diamond Bar Value-Add Office Trades for $27.3M

Irvine-based real estate investor and developer Great Far East has its hands full getting a big office and hotel development next to John Wayne Airport through the entitlement stages, but it still found time this month to snap up one of the best office properties in the San Gabriel Valley city of Diamond Bar.

OCBJ Calendar

July 31-Aug. 9, 2017

This week's business and other event listings.

Brandman U. Seeks to Set Self Apart With Arty Ads

Highlight Emphasis On Helping Mature Students

Brandman University in Irvine launched a “Your Partner is Here” campaign designed to help it stand out in the higher education marketing crowd.

Masimo Gets European Approval for Two Sensors

Pulse Strength Measurer, Blood O2 Checker OK’d

Masimo Corp. expands its European market with two new approvals on the continent: one for RPVi, a noninvasive and continuous measurement of perfusion—or pulse strength—index, the other for the rainbow Super DCI-mini sensor, a reusable spot-checker that detects changes in blood oxygen level.

High-End Condominiums Offer Hotel-Like Amenities

‘White Glove’ Services, More Go for Pretty Penny

The Orange County coast is dotted with high-end residential condos that boast hotel-like amenities.

Interactive Food Diary Provider Seeking $1 Million

Yummi Users Share Moments Sans Pressure

An Irvine-based tech company is seeking to raise a seed round of $1 million to officially launch and scale growth.

Fastest-Growing Private Companies Wanted for OCBJ List

ECONOMY: Centerpiece of Sept. 18 Special Report

Is your company growing fast?

United Capital Buys 3 Advisory Firms

United Capital Financial Advisers LLC of Newport Beach said it bought three wealth advisory firms with a combined $758 million in assets under management and offices in four states.

St. Joseph Hire Points Up Tech ‘Pivot’

Providence St. Joseph Health appointed Venkat Bhamidipati as executive vice president and chief financial officer, effective today.

OC's Wealthiest

Irvine’s red-hot economy is doing wonders to the bottom line of Orange County’s dominant businessperson.

Friday, July 28

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.2% in midday trading to 2,469.49.

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Pacific Life Seeks New Ways to Grow in Old Industry

CEO bullish on reinsurance, annuities, term life, airplanes

Around 2007, Pacific Life Insurance Co. offered an annuity that nowadays makes investors drool: a guaranteed 10% annual return for 10 years and then a 5% annual return for the rest of a customer’s life.

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Edwards Q2 Beats Expectations

Irvine-based Edwards Lifesciences Corp. reported $186 million in profit on sales of $842 million—up 47% and 11% respectively—for the quarter ended June 30.

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Thursday, July 27

Apparel Brand Posts Mixed Results

Costa Mesa-based Volcom Inc. posted $123.2 million in revenue for the first half of 2017, a 4.4% decrease compared to the same period last year, according to Kering, its Paris-based parent.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.7% in midday trading to 2,461.31.

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A Slapfish Story

RESTAURANTS: $1.5 million per-unit sales and growing

He’s gonna need a bigger boat.

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Wednesday, July 26

Sunstone Buys Key West Resort

Aliso Viejo-based Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc. has paid $175 million for a newly-built resort property in Key West, Fla.

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Chapman Gets $2M Award

Chapman University won Children’s Hospital of Orange County’s first Philanthropic Venture Funding Competition.

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Fish House Files Furlough Notice

King’s Fish House in Laguna Hills plans a temporary layoff of 92 workers, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notice (WARN) it filed with the state Employment Development Department July 17.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was flat in midday trading at 2,477.62

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Kingston’s HyperX Hosts Esports Stars

TECHNOLOGY: 10,000 watch live Jenga Match on Twitch TV

It’s early afternoon at HyperX’s Fountain Valley headquarters.

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Hughes Marino Team Lives, Breathes ‘Core Values’

10 Guiding Principles Keep Staff on Same Team

All over America, companies large and small adorn their offices with images of the values that guide them, reminders of how they should conduct business on a day-to-day basis.

Tuesday, July 25

United Capital Buys 3 Firms

United Capital Financial Advisers LLC of Newport Beach said it bought three wealth advisory firms with a combined $758 million in assets under management and offices in four states.

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Ex-Microsoft Exec Joins St. Joseph

Providence St. Joseph Health appointed Venkat Bhamidipati as executive vice president and chief financial officer, effective July 31.

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Incubator Gets $4.5M for Okami

Aliso Viejo-based Inceptus Medical LLC said it helped Okami Medical Inc. raise a $4.5 million series B financing from U.S. Venture Partners in Menlo Park and other individual investors.

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Rebound Raises $16.5M

Irvine-based medical device company Rebound Therapeutics Corp. raised $16.5 million in Series B financing.

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Allegro Raises $10.7M

Allegro Ophthalmics LLC in San Juan Capistrano raised $10.7 million in equity financing. Terms were not disclosed.

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SEC Recommends Ubiquity Stock be Revoked

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement has recommended the stock of Irvine-based Ubiquity Inc. be revoked, according to SEC documents.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 0.4% in midday trading to 2,480.20.

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OC Wins One at FAA

The Federal Aviation Administration denied a Part 16 complaint against Orange County filed by Signature Flight Services Corp. over fixed-base operations at John Wayne Airport.

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NB Activist Restarts Battle

Newport Beach-based Engaged Capital LLC renewed its battle against Rent-A-Center Inc. (NASDAQ: RCII).

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OC Soccer’s Reboot

REAL ESTATE: OCSC caps busy year with new home

James Keston will cap a whirlwind first year of sports ownership under the bright lights by moving his club into Orange County’s newest stadium.

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Monday, July 24

Vans Up in Q2

Vans, the largest and fastest-growing brand for parent VF Corp., posted a 9% uptick in revenue in its second quarter, which ended July 1.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.1% in midday trading to 2,470.10.

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Luxe Deal: South Coast Plaza Buys Out Sears

$187M for Several Sites at Costa Mesa Mall

The owners of South Coast Plaza have bought back a large chunk of property at the Costa Mesa shopping center from department store operator Sears Holdings Corp., the Business Journal has learned.

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Vizio’s China Outlook Impacted by Failed Venture

Lawsuit Against LeEco Lays Out Accusations

Vizio Inc. will have to reboot its efforts in China after its planned joint venture with LeEco never materialized.

OCBJ Calendar

July 24-Aug. 2, 2017

This week's business and other event listings.

PHILANTHROPY

Creative youth development nonprofit organization The Wooden Floor welcomed nearly 200 guests for the opening night reception of its 34th Annual Concert: Connected Spaces at the Irvine Barclay Theatre on June 8.

Architect Works on Post-9/11 Project

Irvine-based architecture firm Ware Malcomb’s chief executive, Lawrence Armstrong, designed a memorial to honor military service members who died “in the war on terror.”

OC Register’s Parent Sells Distributor

Digital First Media and co-owner Los Angeles Times sold their CIPS Marketing Group to ACI Last Mile Network on undisclosed terms.

Sri Lanka Gets First Taco Bell Location

A Taco Bell franchisee opened the restaurant’s first location in Sri Lanka, a local news report said.

Tech Firm Moves OC Office to Irvine

Denver-Colo.-based SendGrid signed a lease for a 22,000-plus square-foot office at 400 Spectrum Drive in Irvine that will nearly triple its existing space. The landlord is the Irvine Co.

How Best Companies Make Lists

The Business Journal’s Best Places to Work lists are the result of months of surveying workers and managers at local employers.

Ephesoft Lands Cash To Fuel More Growth

TECHNOLOGY: Ex-Kofaxers’ software firm doubled sales in ’16

A fast-growing business software maker with a management team stacked with former Kofax executives has attracted its first venture capital investment.

Law Firm Employees Testify to Unmatched Culture

Managers Go Above Board To Make Them Feel Valued

It’s not unusual for lawyers and their teams to log long hours. What is unusual, though, is when they do so not only without complaint but willingly, even eagerly. That’s the scenario that Bisnar Chase LLC Managing Partner Scott Ritsema experienced when he found himself in a severe time crunch as he prepared an important case.

Cianna Medical Pushes Ahead With Radar Technology

HEALTHCARE: CEO says there are a number of applications

Cianna Medical Inc., a medical device company in Aliso Viejo that focuses on developing devices used in breast cancer treatment, plans to aggressively grow the company with its latest Scout radar localization technology, which received Food and Drug Administration approval late last year.

Trust, Transparency, Togetherness Make Firm Tops

Employees Collaborate To Keep Recruiter Competitive

They were trapped. The room was nearly dark, the scant light increasing the shadows rather than alleviating them. As the numbers on the timer continued their inexorable descent, the group searched fruitlessly for an escape route—a key to unlock a door, a hidden escape hatch, anything—growing ever more desperate. Meanwhile, they knew they were being watched via surveillance cameras and …

Best Places to Work Give Employees More Than Pay

100 That Came Out on Top Offer Perks, Extra Dough

Looking for a job with an unlimited number of vacation days? Check in with DKN Hotels in Irvine.

Dale and the Dominoes

We all know Pacific Life, the humpback whale, but I’m betting there are revelations for readers of Peter J. Brennan’s wide-ranging conversation with the 149-year-old insurer’s 14th CEO, Jim Morris.

Hoverboard Billed as Less Risky Attracts $3 Million

Firm Creates ‘Mozzie’ For Rising ‘Rideables’ Market

A Newport Beach-based hoverboard creator just completed its seed round of funding, raising $3 million. Cutting Edge Products LLC plans to launch Mozzie in late August, when it will begin another round of funding, co-founder Nigel Stobart said.

Glendale Latest LA Hotel Site Eyed By R.D. Olson

147-unit ‘Hotel Louise’ Near Americana Center

Newport Beach-based R.D. Olson Development plans to build another hotel on an infill site in Los Angeles County, this time in Glendale.

Real Estate Deals

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

Add On Computer Peripherals sold a research and development building in Rancho Santa Margarita to Reaction Audio Visual LLC for $2.5 million, or $258 per square foot.

Friday, July 21

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.1% in midday trading to 2,470.65.

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Brands Try to Swim Away From Pack

Biannual Tradeshow Showcases New Moves

Local swimwear makers’ approach to growth varied as much as the designs they presented at Swim Collective, a biannual trade show held last week at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa.

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OC Unemployment 3.8%

Orange County’s unadjusted unemployment rate rose to 3.8% in June from a revised 3.1% in May and below the 4.3% reported for the same period last year, the state Employment Development Department said.

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Thursday, July 20

John Wayne Traffic Flat in June

John Wayne Airport said 902,059 passengers moved through the facility in June, compared with 902,673 in the same month last year.

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PacLife Gives $1M to HomeAid

Pacific Life Foundation gave $1 million to HomeAid Orange County to help pay for the group’s new Family CareCenter.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.1% in midday trading to 2,475.69.

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Kofax Extends Sales Streak

TECHNOLOGY: Irvine software firm sold for 3rd time in 3 years

They say good things come in threes.

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Wednesday, July 19

Register Parent Sells Distributor

Digital First Media and co-owner Los Angeles Times sold their CIPS Marketing Group to ACI Last Mile Network on undisclosed terms.

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Kaiser Beats the Street

Kaiser Aluminum Corp. reported revenue and earnings for the June quarter that beat Wall Street expectations.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.4% in midday trading to 2,471.26.

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ShiftPixy Expansion to Follow IPO

SERVICES: Restaurant industry temp agency shares up 63%

ShiftPixy Inc. will add a new app and new markets after a June 30 initial public offering sold 7% of the Irvine-based food-service temp agency to the public for $12 million.

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Tuesday, July 18

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.1% in midday trading to 2,455.79.

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Opus Bank Accuses First Foundation of Employee Theft

FINANCE: First Foundation moves to countersue

Opus Bank is suing over what it calls a theft of its employees by smaller rival First Foundation Bank.

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Email Delivery Firm to Irvine

SendGrid announced today that it’s signed a lease for a new office space in Orange County.

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Monday, July 17

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.1% in midday trading to 2,462.60.

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Investors Make Medical Deals Near Hoag-Newport

REAL ESTATE: Welltower adds 2nd new area medical office

A pair of healthcare-related properties in the vicinity of Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach have changed hands in separate transactions valued at close to $63 million together.

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Taco Bell Enters Sri Lanka

A Taco Bell franchisee opened the restaurant’s first location in Sri Lanka, a local news report said.

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Fastest-Growing Private Companies Wanted for OCBJ List

ECONOMY: Centerpiece of Sept. 18 Special Report

Is your company growing fast?

MVE Teams With China Developer to Build ‘Blue Bay’

Talks Up New, Less Costly Building Materials Mix

The planned seven-story, 120-unit Blue Bay condominium project has no bay view.

Healthcare Players Embrace Architectural Change

Workplace Design Enables Safety, Healing, Teamwork

People interact with buildings on a daily basis—in workplaces, neighborhoods and the places of business we frequent. In fact, we spend quite a lot of time inside them, and our behaviors are influenced by our surroundings.

Many Tenants Now Seek ‘Pitch Room’ With Sizzle

Tenants upgrading nowadays are trying to impress their clients with conference rooms that have the latest audio visual equipment, like touch screens, and for their brands to be everywhere in the office, according to Daniel Walker, vice president of development for the Irvine office of brokerage JLL.

Mazda Dealerships Redo Mirrors New HQ Office

Incorporates ‘Subtle Japanese Influences’

Mazda North American Operations, in the midst of a “Retail Evolution,” has chosen a different agency to help it implement a new dealership design concept.

Lennar Latest With Plans for Downtown Anaheim

REAL ESTATE: Just-bought site entitled for 161 for-sale homes

Lennar Corp. has bought a sizeable infill housing development site in downtown Anaheim, in what looks to be the homebuilder’s largest purchase in the city in several years.

Ingram Heads to Boston for New Role

HEALTHCARE: Unlike prior deal, not looking to exit via sale

When Sarepta Therapeutics Inc. announced Douglas Ingram as president and chief executive officer, the general consensus was that the Cambridge, Mass.-based biotech company tapped the former Allergan president to execute a buyout, given Ingram’s past experiences at Allergan PLC and Chase Pharmaceuticals Corp.

DC Firm to Pump $200M Into UST

Carlyle Group in Washington, D.C., one of the largest private equity firms in the U.S., will invest $200 million for a 15% to 20% stake of Aliso Viejo-based UST Global, valuing the company at over $1 billion, according to multiple news reports.

Santa Ana Cable Firm Purchased

Cable Exchange, a Santa Ana-based company with 200 employees, was bought by CommScope Holding Co. on undisclosed terms.

Lake Forest Firm Plans Acupuncture Sites

Golden State Management Corp. in Lake Forest plans 25 to 30 locations of Modern Acupuncture in Orange County over the next three years as part of a commitment of 65 sites that includes San Diego County and the Inland Empire.

Alliant Insurance Expands in Northeast

Newport Beach-based Alliant Insurance Services acquired Boynton & Boynton Insurance Professionals to continue its expansion in the Northeast. Terms of the agreement were undisclosed.

Edwards Takes a Leap With New Tissue Heart Valve

HEALTHCARE: Develops more resilient tissue, ‘first-of-its-kind’

Edwards Lifesciences Corp. received Food and Drug Administration approval for a new aortic heart valve, Inspiris Resilia.

Industry Posts 33rd Quarter of Modest Expansion

MANUFACTURING: But labor shortage, costs, crimp job creation

For the 33rd straight month, Orange County’s manufacturers expanded output—albeit modestly—as measured by Chapman University’s quarterly survey of purchasing managers.

Luxury Amenities Elevated to Envy-Worthy Heights

Some Boast Perks That Save Trips to Town

Fully equipped gyms, home movie theaters, and kitchens with commercial-grade appliances are almost a given in today’s luxury homes. Even indoor pools and elaborate wine rooms have become somewhat commonplace. And guesthouses are simply a bonus—in fact, there are 45 luxury homes on the market that boast a guesthouse among their selling points.

Launches Run Gamut From Finance to Baby Skincare

One Recent Startup Led By Four 70-Somethings

Multiple Orange County startups have made this a bit of a launching season.

OCBJ Calendar

July 17-27, 2017; Aug. 5-6

This week's business and other event listings.

Diagnostic Provider MDxHealth Launches New Test

Urine-Based Test Aims to Cut Invasive Procedures

MDxHealth SA in Irvine has rolled out its third test, AssureMDx. The noninvasive urine-based test assesses the risk of bladder cancer in patients diagnosed with hematuria—blood in the urine.

Too Faced Cosmetics Marks Anniversary Makeup-Free

20th Birthday Bash Ushers In Big Global Brand Plans

Too Faced Cosmetics LLC plans to mark its 20th anniversary with a fresh face. It partnered with the New York-based Wilhelmina International Inc. agency on a search for the brand’s next spokesperson, who will be “the face” of its 20th Birthday Campaign.

Conexant Taps Into China Market With Voice Deal

To Release Kits, Designs For AI Devices Like Siri

Irvine-based Conexant Systems LLC has connected with China’s largest internet search provider in another strategic deal involving voice recognition and command.

Real Estate Deals

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

Peterson Family Trust sold a manufacturing building in Huntington Beach to Transistor Lane LLC for $3 million, or $155 per square foot.

CSUF Student Housing Site Eyed for Renovations

Dana Point Investor Nabs OC Apartments

Fullerton University Village, a 100-unit student housing community within walking distance of California State University-Fullerton, has been sold to a Dana Point investor that’s planning a renovation of the 45-year-old property.

Q1 2017’s Outstanding SoCal Performer: Orange County

Orange County is the fourth largest office market on the West Coast and one of the top 30 largest office markets in the United States, totaling 101.5 million square feet.

Business Bites

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 40, No. 29

Argosy University in Orange said it will launch a master of law in compliance online degree program with a health law concentration in September.

Tenant-Improvement Contractors ‘Crazy Busy’ in OC

33 Firms Pass $1 Billion In Sales With 19% Jump

Orange County’s tenant contractor industry is “crazy busy,” according to David Smith, president at Smith and Severson Builders of Lake Forest.

OC runs middle leg in LA Olympic win

L.A. gets the Olympics—2028. This Olympics won’t be OC-centric like 1984, when Laguna Beach’s Peter Ueberroth helmed the effort, $0 in the bank and national malaise—finished with a $250 mill surplus and the Games’ financial viability restored.

Friday, July 14

Fastest-Growing Private Companies Wanted for Business Journal’s Annual List

ECONOMY: Centerpiece of Sept. 18 Special Report

Is your company growing fast?

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.4% in midday trading to 2,458.74.

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Optimism Still Reigns in Survey of OC Execs

ECONOMY: Gov’t regulation cited as their biggest concern

For the first time since the onset of the recession, business owners and executives here share a bigger worry than the overall economy, according to the latest California State University-Fullerton’s Orange County Business Expectations Survey.

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Thursday, July 13

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.2% in midday trading to 2,448.19.

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Sanpower Group Completes $820M Dendreon Buy

Company Now in OC, Targets U.S., China Growth

Dendreon Pharmaceuticals LLC received the Food and Drug Administration’s thumbs-up for its prostate-cancer therapy Provenge in 2010, and analysts projected $4.3 billion in annual sales by 2020, yet it was a blockbuster that failed to premiere.

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Wednesday, July 12

Argosy Starts Health Law Program

Argosy University in Orange said it will launch a Master of Law in Compliance online degree program with a health law concentration.

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Santa Ana Tech Firm Bought

Cable Exchange, a Santa Ana-based company with 200 employees, was bought by CommScope Holding Co. on undisclosed terms.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.7% in midday trading to 2,443.59.

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Tustin Creative Offices Take Flight

8 Buildings, Food Hall in 1st Construction Phase

Construction has started on Orange County’s first substantial ground-up creative-office project in Tustin.

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Alliant Expands in Northeast

Newport Beach’s Alliant Insurance Services acquired Boynton & Boynton Insurance Professionals to continue its expansion in the northeast. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed

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Tuesday, July 11

Vizio Seeks $110M in Damages from LeEco

Vizio Inc. filed two separate lawsuits today against LeEco, contending the Chinese conglomerate made false financial statements and claims in the run up to its proposed $2 billion acquisition, which ultimately collapsed in April.

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Ubiquity Judgment Dropped

A U.S. District Judge in Illinois issued an order clearing Irvine-based Ubiquity Inc. of a $7.7 million judgment, according to news reports.

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Squar Milner Expands to Valley

Squar Milner LLP, the largest Orange County-based independent accounting firm, said three partners and all of the associates of Sobelman, Cohen, Moss & Associates LLP will be joining Squar Milner in its Encino office.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 fell 0.2% in midday trading to 2,422.44.

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Dale Dykema Recalled With Great Reverence

OBITUARY: His good works benefitted a good many

Dale Dykema died on July 4.

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Monday, July 10

Hotel Construction Down; Planning Up

The number of hotels and rooms under construction in Orange County as of the end of June declined year-over-year but the number of hotels and rooms in development—which includes hotels in planning—is up.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.2% in midday trading to 2,430.05.

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Ambry Snatched Up For $800M+ By Konica

Japanese Printer Maker Ups Game in Diagnostics With Buy

Ambry Genetics Corp., a closely held genetic diagnostics company in Aliso Viejo, just sold for $800 million—maybe more. The Japanese photocopier and printer maker Konica Minolta signed a definitive agreement to buy the Aliso Viejo-based company comprised of $800 million upon closure and an additional payment of up to $200 million over the next two years if certain financial goals are met.

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Ivascyn: Yields Could Stay Low

Dan Ivascyn, chief investment officer of Newport Beach-based Pacific Investment Management Co., told Barron’s that bond yields could stay low for a long time.

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Maseeh Donates to Alma Mater

Portland State University in Oregon said alumnus and OC resident Fariborz Maseeh will give $5 million to renovate Neuberger Hall at its downtown campus.

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NB Activist Investor Targets Hain

Newport Beach activist investor Engaged Capital LLC is targeting Hain Celestial Group (NASDAQ: HAIN), a maker of organic drinks and ingredients.

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MIND Names CEO

The board of Irvine-based MIND Research Institute named Brett Woudenberg chief executive to replace co-founder Matthew Peterson, who’ll focus on innovation as the organization’s chief research and development officer.

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Carlyle Will Put $200M into UST

Carlyle Group in Washington D.C., one of the largest private equity firms in the U.S., will invest $200 million for a 15% to 20% stake Aliso Viejo-based UST Global—valuing the company at over $1 billion—according to multiple reports.

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Acupuncture Franchise Signs OC Developer

Golden State Management Corp. in Lake Forest plans 25 to 30 locations of Modern Acupuncture in OC over the next three years, part of a commitment of 65 sites that includes San Diego County and the Inland Empire.

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Business Bites

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 40, No. 28

Kia Motors America Inc. in Irvine hired Bill Peffer as vice president of sales, a position Michael Sprague held until he was promoted to chief operating officer in 2015.

Luckey’s Huntington Beach Buys Lead to Litigation

Brokers Say Deal Cut Them Out of Commission

Palmer Luckey’s recent purchase of a marina in Huntington Beach hasn’t gone over well with two brokers who claim they were stiffed on their commissions for a related portion of the transaction.

Real Estate Deals

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

Surfas Family Trust sold a retail storefront building in Tustin to Kimberly D. Conroy for $1.2 million, or $369 per square foot.

Supreme Court Ruling Latest Blow to Acacia Research

Friendly Courts Likely To Hear Fewer Patent Cases

A recent Supreme Court ruling regarding where patent lawsuits can be heard is another bruising hit for Newport Beach-based Acacia Research Corp. and could affect the local economy.

Landmark Health Expands Home-Based Care

Now Includes Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing

Landmark Health LLC, a home-based medical care provider in Huntington Beach in its fourth year, has expanded its care delivery platform with the newly rolled out Landmark Connect.

Q&A

Business executives are excited about the prospect of tax reform, according to some of Orange County’s top accountants.

Vision Technology Company Sees Green in Seed Round

NuEyes Raises Money To Stimulate Growth

Newport Beach-based NuEyes Technologies Inc. closed a seed round in excess of a million dollars, co-founder and President Justin Moore said. The company will use the funds to fuel its growth in helping the legally blind live more independent lives.

OCBJ Calendar

July 10-19, 2017

This week's business and other event listings.

Cherished Tradition Continues

NONPROFITS: Irrelevant Week benefits charities

Trends come and go, the political needle moves back and forth, and change is the only constant. But in Newport Beach, one constant remains: Doing something nice for someone for no particular reason.

PHILANTHROPY

In June, Bank of America awarded $610,000 in economic mobility grants to 40 Orange County nonprofits.

Cylance Taps New Market

TECHNOLOGY: Looks to protect the home and all in it

Security software maker Cylance Inc. is entering the consumer market.

Data Management Firm Kaygen Expands Footprint

HEALTHCARE: Added Texas, plans to expand Irvine office

Data management provider Kaygen Inc. has expanded its footprint, adding an office in Plano, Texas. The space, a suite in Spring Creek Parkway Executive Center, has 10 employees.

Meet Orbee’s David Kim, Car Dealers’ Digital Ally

AUTOS: Bot detection tech, digital marketing optimized

In the market for a new vehicle? Talk to Daniel Kim.

Irvine Co.’s Placentia Rental Sale Tops in OC for Year

REAL ESTATE: 3rd local sale, $104M Fairfield buy

Irvine Co. has sold its only known commercial holding in Placentia and one of the largest apartment complexes in the city in what’s apparently Orange County’s biggest rental property sale of the year to date.

Acacia Invests In Restaurant Robotics

Acacia Research Corp. led a $3.1 million investment in Miso Robotics Inc. and signed an intellectual property agreement with the company to commercialize its main product for the restaurant industry.

Apparel Firm Names Americas President

Huntington Beach-based Boardriders Inc., which owns the Quiksilver, Roxy and DC Shoes brands, named Nate Smith president of its Americas region. He replaces Global President Greg Healy, who will transfer to Australia to lead the Asia Pacific market.

AutoGravity Adds Investor VW Credit

AutoGravity Corp. in Irvine received an undisclosed investment from VW Credit Inc., and its software will power the Volkswagen Credit smartphone app to provide financing for Volkswagen and Audi buyers in the U.S. Volkswagen financing is also offered on AutoGravity’s platform.

Advantage Picks Up Netherlands Firm

Advantage Smollan Ltd. in London, a holding company Irvine-based Advantage Solutions Inc. set up in 2015 with Smollan Group in Johannesburg, plans to acquire Netherlands-based Hamilton Bright Group B.V. on undisclosed terms.

Jannard Product Opens Firm to Consumers

TECHNOLOGY: Device brings 3-D, VR sans awkward aids

Jim Jannard, founder of Irvine-based Red Digital Cinema Camera Co., has figured out a way to allow viewing of 3-D and virtual reality content without the need for a pesky headset or glasses.

Behr Expands Santa Ana Ops in Year’s Biggest Office Lease

REAL ESTATE: 230,000-SF lease at old Powerwave HQ

Behr Process Corp., a Santa Ana-based manufacturer and supplier of architectural paint and exterior wood care products that’s one of the largest employers in its hometown, is planning a big expansion of local operations.

Accounting Firms Grow Again on ‘Positive Trends’

6th Consecutive Rise In Employees 2% Bump

Orange County’s largest accounting firms increased their employee counts 2.3%, the sixth consecutive year of gains.

Consulting Firms Report 2.2% Rise in Headcount

List Adds Consultants From Accounting Firms

Orange County’s top management consulting firms reported a 2.2% bump in consultants to 1,924 in the year ended June 30, based on research for the Business Journal’s annual list.

Friday, July 7

Carlyle Will Pump $200M into UST

Carlyle Group in Washington D.C., one of the largest private equity firms in the U.S., will invest $200 million for a 15% to 20% stake Aliso Viejo-based UST Global—valuing the company at over $1 billion—according to multiple reports.

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Acupuncture Franchise Signs OC Developer

Golden State Management Corp. in Lake Forest plans 25 to 30 locations of Modern Acupuncture in OC over the next three years, part of a commitment of 65 sites that includes San Diego County and the Inland Empire.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.7% in midday trading to 2,426.64.

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Orange County’s Mortgage Industry Prominence is Back

Four Nonbank Lenders Rank in Top 25 Nationally

Orange County made a national name for itself in mortgage lending in the 1980s and 1990s. Then its reputation tanked along with subprime mortgage lending in the 2008 financial meltdown.

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Axonics Gets $20.5M Series C

Irvine-based device maker Axonics Modulation Technologies Inc. completed a $20.5 million second closing of its series C, bringing the total amount of capital raised for the round to $35 million.

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Thursday, July 6

Acacia Invests in Restaurant Robotics

Acacia Research Corp. led a $3.1 million investment in Miso Robotics Inc. and signed an intellectual property agreement with the company to commercialize its main product for the restaurant industry.

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Donation Will Benefit Planetarium

Orange Coast College Foundation received a gift of $1 million from retired Spanish Professor Mary McChesney.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.7% to 2,415.50.

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Jannard Unveils ‘Mind-Numbing’ Product

Irvine-based Red Digital Cinema Camera Co. is now making Hydrogen One, a smartphone that “seamlessly switches between traditional 2D content, holographic multi-view content, 3D content and interactive games,” founder Jim Jannard posted on the company’s online users forum this morning.

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Konica Will Buy Ambry for $800M+

Konica Minolta has signed a definitive agreement to buy Aliso Viejo-based genetic testing company Ambry Genetics Corp., the companies said.

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Almost Famous: VR Hospitality the New, New Thing

Technology is in OC Hotel, DMO Video

Imagine your next vacation. Roll out of bed mid-morning, rub the sleep out of your eyes from last night’s late night, and walk a hundred steps from your beachfront cottage for a quick dip in the ocean before that sumptuous breakfast.

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AutoGravity Adds Investor VW

AutoGravity Corp, in Irvine received an undisclosed investment from VW Credit Inc. and its software will power the Volkswagen Credit smartphone app to provide financing for Volkswagen and Audi buyers in the U.S.; Volkswagen financing is also offered on AutoGravity’s platform.

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Wednesday, July 5

CSUF Center Gets Nod

California State University-Fullerton’s Center for Insurance Studies was named a Global Center of Insurance Excellence by the International Insurance Society, an award to be presented in July at the IIS Global Insurance Forum in London.

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Ubiquity Faces Stock Revoke

The Securities and Exchange Commission said it has started the process of revoking the stock of Irvine-based Ubiquity Inc., which was due to update its filings with the SEC by June 30 but missed the deadline.

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Dale Dykema Dies

Dale Dykema died Tuesday, July 4, at age 87.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.1% in midday trading to 21,475.32

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Blizzard Blazes Cultural Trail, Profits With ‘Overwatch’

Content Creators Move in More Inclusive Direction

Blizzard Entertainment Inc. has taken plenty of flak over the years for developing characters that feed into certain stereotypes.

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Advantage Buys in Netherlands

Advantage Smollan Ltd. in London—a holding company Irvine-based Advantage Solutions Inc. set up in 2015 with Smollan Group in Johannesburg—plans to acquire Netherlands-based Hamilton Bright Group B.V. on undisclosed terms.

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Monday, July 3

OC Automakers Trail National Pace

The four largest Orange County-based automakers trailed the national sales pace for new vehicles in June, according to New Jersey-based market researcher Autodata Corp.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.2% in trading to 2,429.01 as the market closed early to celebrate July 4th.

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Gold Standard: $180M OC Office Deal Pending

Goldman Sachs Said to be Under Contract for Towers

Finance giant Goldman Sachs is nearing a deal to buy one of Newport Beach’s more prominent office complexes, a sign of increased institutional investor interest in the area’s office market.

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Report: Ambry Price $890M

Ambry Genetics Corp. in Aliso Viejo will sell to Tokyo-based Konica Minolta Inc. for about $890 million, a report in Nikkei Asian Review said Sunday.

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Kia Finally Lands Sales Exec

Kia Motors America Inc. in Irvine hired Bill Peffer as its new vice president of sales, a position Michael Sprague held until he was promoted to chief operating officer in 2015.

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ShiftPixy Goes Public

Irvine-based ShiftPixy Inc. went public Friday, raising $12 million on an offering of 2 million shares.

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TrafFix Prevails in Court

Fisher Phillips said client TrafFix Devices Inc. won a race discrimination and wrongful termination case in Orange County Superior Court.

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New Alliance Seeks to Unify SoCal Entrepreneurs

STARTUPS: Priority is getting top tier VC money into region

Over several generations, substantial entrepreneurial ecosystems have sprouted in Southern California. San Diego is known for biotech, Orange County for med-tech and life sciences. And Los Angeles has spawned social media, entertainment and esports startups.

Spreading the word: “Pro-Tech Beach Hub”

One month into my burst into the middle of OC business—every day three yards and a cloud of everything, and a standout observation. There is—at last—progress on a unified, OC economic-growth strategy.

Largest Women-Owned Firms Made Gains in 2016

10-Year Trend in OC Keeps Pace With U.S.

Revenue generated by Orange County’s largest women-owned businesses grew about 35% since the recession and is on par with the national growth for the same time period.

Western Digital, Toshiba to Argue in Court Over Flash

WD Seeks Injunctive Relief Over Sale to Asian Firms

Circle July 14 on the calendar.

Mortgage Lender’s New Campaign Promotes Perks

Ads Talk Up Interest Rate Guarantee, Free Insurance

LoanDepot LLC is in the midst of a “multimillion-dollar” branding campaign called “We believe in you,” featuring 30- and 60-second TV spots airing daily on broadcast and cable networks nationwide, including ESPN, CNBC, E!, MSNBC, Fox News, CNN and Direct Sports.

CHOC Joins Rady Children’s to Improve Diagnosis

Genome Sequencing Meant to ID Disease Genes

Children’s Hospital Orange County is collaborating with Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego to further improve molecular diagnosis of rare and common complex genetic diseases in children.

OCBJ Calendar

July 3-12, 2017

This week's business and other event listings.

B2B Augmented Reality Company Raises $1 Million

Meridian Will Use Funds For Hires and Expansion

A Tustin-based company that’s combined augmented reality and cognitive computing for use in enterprise and business applications raised $1.2 million in early-stage funding from strategic partners, high net-worth individuals and local investors.

Japan’s Nikken Eyeing Another Office Sale in Irvine

Paid $10.3M in ’14; Now On Market For 57% More

Nikken Inc., a Japanese health and nutritional product maker with local operations in Irvine, could be on the move again, depending on the results of the sale of its Orange County office.

Real Estate Deals

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

Trowbridge Vaughen Vivos Trust sold La Plaza Pacific, a multitenant retail and office building in Dana Point to Raintree Evergreen LLC for $6.6 million, or about $463 per square foot.

Chao Family Gives UCI Health $5 Million

UC Irvine Health’s Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center said two new leukemia endowed research chairs would be named through a $5 million gift from the Chao family.

Luxury Homes Selling for Nearly Full Listing Price

Average 96% in First Two Weeks of June

Across Orange County, homes in the $4 million-plus market are fetching an average of 96% of their latest list prices, according to online real estate aggregator Redfin. Here’s a breakdown of OC’s most exclusive communities and how close selling prices are to list prices:

Ex-Sunstone Executives Buy, Renovate Boutique Hotels

REAL ESTATE: Alpha Wave investors also after apartments

An affiliate of private equity investor Alpha Wave Investors LLC in San Juan Capistrano will buy a hotel in Redmond, Ore., this month, its second purchase this year after one in Colorado Springs, Colo., in May.

Costa Mesa’s Press Project Moves Closer to Kickoff

REAL ESTATE: Former LA Times site to hold 2 new offices

Redevelopment of the former Los Angeles Times printing plant in Costa Mesa into Orange County’s largest creative-office reuse project could begin in earnest early next year, with ground-up development of two new offices at the iconic property taking place in future phases of construction.

Unpretentious, Delicious ‘Middle Menus’ Gain Steam

In Most Every Town, But Hop In the Car For More

For some reason, I recently had the thought that Orange County has a knot in its britches about who and what we are in the culinary psyche. People will not leave their hometown enclaves to experience things across the county. No wonder the jammed traffic saps the adventurous spirit to try what’s new.

Abbott Medical Optics is ‘No Longer a Small Company’

HEALTHCARE: J&J CEO says company’s not done buying

Johnson & Johnson Chairman and Chief Executive Alex Gorsky discussed the company’s $4.3 billion acquisition of Abbott Medical Optics Inc. in Santa Ana—rebranded Johnson & Johnson Vision—at the fourth OCTANe Ophthalmology Technology Summit held at Island Hotel in Newport Beach on June 23 and 24. Gorsky noted that “the day a company enters J&J, it’s no longer a small company,” though the Fortune 10 healthcare giant aims to strike a balance.

New Boss at Weight-Loss Firm Lindora

Costa Mesa-based Lindora Medical Clinics Inc. named William Righeimer chief executive.

ADOMANI Market Value Tops $1B

Shares of ADOMANI Inc. surged last week closing at $15.69 on Thursday, the highest price in its short public history on the NASDAQ Capital Market.

Another ROC Lawsuit Resolved

The Irvine Company reached an agreement with Real Office Centers on one of the properties about which it had filed an eviction-based lawsuit against, an Irvine Co. spokesperson told the Business Journal.

MemorialCare Unit Grows Pediatric

HEALTHCARE: Miller, UCLA Mattel partner in joint venture

Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach has partnered with UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital. The collaboration, in addition to bringing together research expertise and care services, will expand Miller Children’s presence in Southern California via an outpatient care model.

Conversion Business Model: The Trend is Their Friend

MARKETING: No guesswork, process leads to e-commerce sales

There’s a chance that the face cream you just bought online was developed by a local ad shop.