Stories for March 2017

Friday, March 31

Doheny Blues Foundation to Launch

Doheny Blues Festival Founder Rich Sherman said he’ll create the Doheny Blues Foundation in honor of the 20th anniversary of the festival, which runs May 20-21 in Dana Point.

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Southwest Adds Sacramento From Long Beach

Southwest Airlines will fly to Sacramento from Long Beach Airport starting in August.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was flat at 2,367.76 in midday trading.

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Chicago Firm Tapped To Buy J.C. Penney DC

REAL ESTATE: Buena Park facility one of OC’s largest

A Chicago-area industrial real estate owner and developer looking to grow its West Coast presence is expected to buy J.C. Penney Co.’s massive logistics and distribution facility in Buena Park.

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New CEO for Irvine Homebuilder

MBK Homes LLC President and Chief Executive Timothy Kane has announced his retirement from the Irvine-based homebuilder.

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Ex-Airport FBO in Suit Vs. County, Board

An affiliate of Signature Flight Support Corp. petitioned Orange County Superior Court on Wednesday to overturn the results of an Orange County Board of Supervisors vote that would replace its operations at John Wayne Airport with services provided by a new company.

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Thursday, March 30

Kelley Blue Book Rolls Out Overseas

AUTOMOTIVE: Vehicle valuator’s Portuguese site may be first of many

Kelley Blue Book Co. Inc., after about 90 years in business, is dipping its tires into international waters.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.3% in midday trading to 2,367.26.

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Wednesday, March 29

Lobel Weiland Wins Award

Costa Mesa-based Lobel Weiland Golden Friedman LLP was awarded the Turnaround M&A Atlas Award, which it will receive on April 4 at the Metropolitan Club in New York City

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Chuck Martin Dies

Chuck Martin, an Orange County businessman well-known for investments, education and charity work, died on Tuesday. He was 80.

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Diagnosis: Symbiosis

UCI Collaboration Birthed From Vibrant OC Eye Cluster

What do you get when you cross a Botox pioneer with the Bond King?

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was flat in midday trading at 2,359.17.

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ASICS Opens Boston Studio

ASICS America Corp. plans to open a product design studio in Boston, according to news reports.

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Tuesday, March 28

El Pollo Loco Grows Texas Deal

El Pollo Loco said a Texas franchisee has agreed to nearly triple the number of units the local operator will open.

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Chapman Dean Adds Pharma Group Duties

Nancy Alvarez, assistant dean of experiential education and continuing professional development for Chapman University’s School of Pharmacy, was inducted Monday as the 162nd president of the American Pharmacists Association.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 0.6% in midday trading to 2,354.90.

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Gaming Vets Sign on for Own Adventure

TECHNOLOGY: Blizzard, Riot alums plan first release

An Irvine startup launched by a trio of former developers at Blizzard Entertainment Inc. and Riot Games is ready to launch its first title.

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St. Joe Fills Chief Medical Slot

St. Joseph Hospital-Orange said Scott Rusk would be chief medical officer, effective immediately, with a mandate to “improve clinical quality and outcomes,” Chief Executive Jeremy Zoch said.

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Monday, March 27

Cloudvirga Raises $15 Million

Irvine-based mortgage software developer Cloudvirga raised $15 million in Series B funding.

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Ubiquity Investor Wants New Execs, Board

One of Ubiquity Inc.’s largest shareholders wants to immediately replace the Irvine-based media and technology company’s top executives.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.1% in midday trading to 2,341.27.

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PIMCO, Gross Settle Lawsuit

Bond investor Bill Gross settled a lawsuit against the company he co-founded, Pacific Investment Management Co.

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GSF Beefs Up C-Suite

Golden State Foods in Irvine named several new senior executives to its leadership team, including a new chief administrative officer and chief financial officer.

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JWA Passengers Down in February

John Wayne Airport’s passenger count fell 7.5% in February, year-over-year, in the first monthly decline in two and a half years.

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$4.2M Landed for Drug Study, Program

BioCorRx Inc. in Anaheim secured $4.2 million in financing, including $940,000 in equity financing from nine investors and $1.7 million from Alpine Creek Capital, effective by March 24, a press release said.

On California

How Cost of Housing Relates to High-Tech Jobs

In my previous installment of “On California,” I argued that a sharp drop in the Inland Empire’s job growth last year occurred as its home price appreciation far outpaced that of Orange County since 2009.

Addendum

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 40, No. 13

Satellite launch company Rocket Lab moved its headquarters from Los Angeles to Huntington Beach as it completed a $75 million funding round led by San Francisco-based venture capital fund Data Collective.

Mediterranean Chain Franchises for Growth

RESTAURANTS: Panini Cafe also rebrands locations

Mediterranean restaurant chain Panini Cafe is changing the name of its 13 locations and selling franchises in a series of shifts that also include a new logo and ambitious plans.

Firm Offers ‘Capital Staircase’ to Growing Companies

Portal Connects Them With Varied Financing

Investor Ken Hubbard last week launched Newport Beach-based CapStack West, a private social community portal providing companies access to a variety of financing options.

Real Estate Deals

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

Jean Burns of William H. Griffith Trust and Leeann David of San Pasqual Trust Co. sold an office building in Anaheim to Cardinal Development Co. for $3.6 million, or about $137 per square foot.

Alteryx Insiders to Control Direction Following IPO

Top Execs, Investors Will Hold Most Voting Rights

Alteryx Inc. insiders will control the vast majority of voting rights after the company’s initial public offering last week.

OCBJ Calendar

March 27-April 5, 2017

This week's business and other event listings.

Berkshire Hathaway Campaign Homes in on Image

New Spots Say Franchise Network ‘Good to Know’

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices in Irvine launched a national brand campaign that positions the real estate brokerage franchise network as a brand that’s “good to know” when selling or buying homes.

Compound Demonstrates Promise for Cystic Fibrosis

Aeolus Product May Also Have Other Applications

Aeolus Pharmaceuticals Inc., a biotechnology company developing compounds used in treatments for fibrosis, inflammation, nerve damage and infection, announced that new compound AEOL 20415 is a potential treatment for cystic fibrosis—an inherited disease that causes thickened mucus to form in the lungs, pancreas and other organs.

Study Shows May’s the Charm for Home Sales

First Two Weeks Of Month Particularly Active

Conventional wisdom in the real estate profession has always been that the best time to put a home on the market is the spring.

Arts School Foundation Raises $1M

The Orange County School of the Arts Foundation raised a net $1 million in support of the school’s students at a recent gala fundraiser.

Drugmaker Gets FDA Nod for Skin Gel

Allergan PLC received Food and Drug Administration approval to market hyaluronic acid dermal filler Juvederm Vollure XC.

Southwest Adds Two Long Beach Slots

Southwest Airlines Co. gained two permanent slots at Long Beach Airport to add to several slots it has flown from since last year.

IRWD Plans Midsized Office Near Sand Canyon HQ

REAL ESTATE: Wants tenant before starting 71,000 SF office

The worst of a long drought is apparently over, and the Irvine Ranch Water District should now have more time on its hands to pursue other business opportunities, in particular real estate development.

Garden Grove Bank Rebounds by Raising $21 Million

FINANCE: Investors flock to once-troubled institution

Garden Grove-based US Metro Bank, once under regulatory consent orders, has raised $21 million in capital to help finance expansion of branches and lending.

Bank Proceeds With Stadium Name Rights 

FINANCE: Banc of California making initial $10M payment 

Banc of California is moving forward with the controversial $100 million naming rights to a new 22,000-seat soccer stadium in downtown Los Angeles.

Starwood’s $150M Bet on TRI Pointe Pays Off Again

REAL ESTATE: Stock sale follows years of growth, IPO

A $150 million investment in then-upstart builder TRI Pointe Group Inc. in 2010 has proven to be a big money-maker for Greenwich, Conn.-based private equity firm Starwood Capital Group.

Steelberg Brothers Aim for Hot Tech Sector

TECHNOLOGY: Veritone seeks IPO with revenue issues

Veritone, founded in 2014, sped out of the gate with nearly $14 million in revenue in 2015, its first full year of business.

Eye Opener for El-Erian; Logo Logic

Mohamed El-Erian did what any dad who happens to be a globally renowned economic forecaster might do if his young kid expressed a desire to go into show business—he set a benchmark.

6% Bump in Local Billings for Environmental Firms

Uptick Reverses Last Year’s Slight Decline

Orange County’s largest environmental consultants, as ranked by local billings, experienced an increase last year in those numbers after a small decrease in 2015.

Friday, March 24

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.1% in midday trading to 2,347.60.

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OC Unemployment Down

Orange County’s unadjusted unemployment rate fell to 3.7% in February from a revised 3.9% in January and below the 4.1% reported in the same period last year, the state Employment Development Department said.

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Alteryx Shares Rise After IPO

Shares of Irvine-based Alteryx Inc. surged in its first trading session on the New York Stock Exchange.

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American Advertising Federation OC Chapter Names Winners

The American Advertising Federation of Orange County held its annual awards gala Thursday at the Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach.

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Thursday, March 23

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.2% in midday trading to 2,352.46.

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Wednesday, March 22

Forbes Billionaires Include 12 in OC

Twelve members of the Business Journal’s annual OC’s Wealthiest list made this year’s Forbes ranking of the world’s billionaires.

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Anaheim Drugmaker Raises $4.2M

BioCorRx Inc. in Anaheim secured $4.2 million financing, including $940,000 in equity financing from nine investors and $1.7 million from Alpine Creek Capital, effective by March 24, a press release said.

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Ubiquity Inc. Stock Suspended

The Securities and Exchange Commission said this week it would temporarily suspend the stock of Irvine-based Ubiquity Inc., from March 20 to March 31, due to “a lack of current and accurate information about the company.”

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 0.1% in midday trading to 2,347.17.

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Microsemi Closes China Plant

Microsemi Corp. has closed a manufacturing plant in China, the Aliso Viejo-based chipmaker said after the close of intraday trading Tuesday.

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Southwest Adds 2 Long Beach Slots

Southwest Airlines Co. gained two permanent slots at Long Beach Airport to add to several slots it has flown from since last year.

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Puzder to Leave CKE

CKE Restaurant Holdings Inc. Chief Executive Andrew Puzder will step down from his post next month and be replaced by Jason Marker, who most recently led U.S. operations for KFC Corp.

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Tuesday, March 21

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 1% in midday trading to 2,350.56.

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Monday, March 20

OC-Based Crowdfunder Launches

A former board member of Freedom Communications and his sister launched an online crowdfunding platform for Orange County individuals and nonprofit groups.

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FDA OKs Allergan Dermal Filler

Allergan PLC received Food and Drug Administration approval to market hyaluronic acid dermal filler Juvederm Vollure XC.

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El-Erian Matches $250K in OCSA Gifts

The Orange County School of the Arts Foundation raised $1 million net in support of the school’s students at last weekend’s gala fundraiser.

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Irvine Firm Buys in Munich

Advantage Smollan Ltd. in London—a holding company Irvine-based Advantage Solutions set up in 2015 with Smollan Group in Johannesburg—plans to acquire Combera Group GmbH in Munich on undisclosed terms.

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OC Schools Rank in New Report

University of California-Irvine snagged several high rankings in U.S. News & World Report’s annual schools rankings.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.1% in midday trading to 2,376.88.

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Starwood Exits TRI Pointe

Starwood Capital Group is exiting TRI Pointe Group Inc. with the sale of 12 million shares, or 7.5% of the Irvine-based homebuilder.

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Kelley Blue Book Expands Overseas

Kelley Blue Book in Irvine launched vehicle pricing and valuation website KBB.PT in Portugal that it plans to adapt to other international markets.

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Law Firm’s Patronage Puts Marketing in New Gear

Cycling Helps Knobbe Martens’ PR Go ’Round

When Ellen Noble pedaled to first place in the Under 23 division of the European World Cup Series—the equivalent of the Tour de France for cyclo-cross, or cross-country cycling—the logo of Irvine-based Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP law firm was prominently visible on her shoulders.

Allergan Pays $90M for Genomic Eye Programs

HEALTHCARE: Not known if acquisitions to land in Irvine

Allergan PLC acquired through wholly-owned subsidiary Allergan Pharmaceuticals International Ltd. exclusive access and the option to license up to five of Cambridge, Mass.-based Editas Medicine Inc.’s genome editing ocular programs.

New Vantis Hotel in Aliso Viejo Sells for $38 Million

REAL ESTATE: Texas investor gets Homewood Suites

A recently built Homewood Suites hotel in Aliso Viejo has become the first acquisition here by a Texas-based investor that specializes in the hospitality market and is on the lookout for more deals this year.

NB, Irvine Rate as Cybersecurity Hubs

TECHNOLOGY: Amenities, pay help; knock on affordability

Two Orange County cities are among the top destinations in the country for cybersecurity professionals, according to recent report by GoodCall LLC.

PIMCO Adds 9 Managing Directors

Newport Beach-based Pacific Investment Management Co., one of the world’s largest investment firms, with $1.47 trillion in assets under management, appointed nine new managing directors, who join 63 managing directors already listed on its web page.

Anaheim Hotel to Get Wyndham Flag

Ramada Plaza Anaheim will become a Wyndham Garden hotel after a $4 million renovation scheduled to take six months.

Software Maker Alteryx Prices IPO

Irvine-based analytics software maker Alteryx Inc. will sell 9 million shares of Class A common stock valued between $12 and $14 per share under terms of its initial public offering, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

RSM Company Buys 38 Wendy’s Spots

Cotti Foods Corp. in Rancho Santa Margarita bought 38 Wendy’s International Inc. franchises in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, a news report said.

Coins to Commercial Real Estate

Teenage Hobby Eventually Topped Banking, Led to 5-Million-SF Portfolio

John Saunders has made a fortune through buying and selling some of the smallest and most valuable collectables in the world.

No Doubts

Protein Nutrition Maker Believes in His Ideas

Take a world-champion body builder and a new form of protein supplement, and Power Crunch—protein-energy, cream-filled wafer cookies—is born. Sounds easy, right?

Left Brain, Right Brain

Ad Industry Innovator Leveraged Math Skills for Venture

Peter Nguyen got a perfect score on the math portion of the SAT, so naturally, he took up online advertising.

PHILANTHROPY

Orangewood Foundation joined with the University of California-Irvine’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering on Feb. 23 to celebrate National Engineers Week.

ADDENDUM

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 40, No. 12

University of California-Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business launched a master’s degree program in business analytics, which the school says is in response to high demand from businesses, recruiters and students.

OCBJ Calendar

March 20-29, 2017

This week's business and other event listings.

Allegro Adds to Clinical Affairs With 3 Drugs in Phase 2

Eye Firms Vet to Focus On US, Global Programs

Allegro Ophthalmics LLC appointed Melvin Sarayba as vice president of clinical affairs, a newly created position.

Kia Extends Women’s Golf Sponsorship for 2 Years

Will Continue as Auto Partner, Be at 7 Events

Irvine-based Kia Motors America Inc. renewed its sponsorship of the Ladies Professional Golf Association in a multiyear deal that enables it to continue as Official Automotive Partner and to have a presence at seven tournaments, including the ANA Inspiration and the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

Real Estate Watch: Strong Investment Demand for Industrial Assets Continues­

Vacancy in Orange County is at an all-time low. Sale prices and deal counts have pushed up to new peaks and surpass those of the last cycle in 2006 and 2007. Industrial sale prices grew 8.2% last year and transaction counts by 5%.

Blizzard Adds Another Spectrum Office to Local Ops

Lease Follows Abandoned Office Buy Near Its HQ

Blizzard Entertainment Inc. still is in growth mode when it comes to its local real estate presence. It appears it’s also still very much a renter rather than an owner.

Kingston USB Drive Packs Storage Power, Big Price Tag

Caters to Niche Users That Requested Extra Space

Fountain Valley-based Kingston Technology Inc. has packed 2 terabytes of storage into a USB flash drive the size of a pack of bubble gum.

Real Estate Deals

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

B & B-Live Oak 15 LLC sold a 17-unit apartment building, The Mayflower Townhouse Apartments, in Fullerton to Peckham Properties LLC for $4.5 million, or $262,353 per unit.

Edwards Makeover Comes Amid Growth Streak

HEALTHCARE: Device maker adds 1,300 workers overall, revamps HQ

Edwards Lifesciences Corp. has added 1,300 employees over the past 12 months, a trend that’s likely to continue as the heart valve maker continues to spend about $500 million a year on research and development.

Firms Hold Back on Attorney Hires for Second Year

Numbers Again Flat After Modest Post-Recovery Gains

Law firms in Orange County held attorney counts steady over the past year for the second year in a row after two years of modest gains.

He Got Technical

Illuminate Education Helps Schools Maximize Data

The intersection of teaching and technology proved to be the perfect convergence to launch Lane Rankin into entrepreneurship.

LBA Plans 6-Story Office Addition at Park Place

Building Would Overlook 405, Total 184,000 SF

LBA Realty has begun to market space for lease at a new six-story office it’s planning at the Park Place campus in Irvine, adding another potential sizeable office development to the area around John Wayne Airport.

Corent’s Outlook Cloudy and Bright

Aliso Viejo-Based Software Maker Offers Faster Migration

Feyzi Fatehi more than decade ago set out to recreate Intel Corp.’s business model for the software industry.

Finnish Roots, Latin Name, OC Preference

TECHNOLOGY: Continuity point of difference for software developer

Finland-based Vincit Group PLC drew its name from “amor vincit omnia”—Latin for “love conquers all.”

Deal With Key Shareholder Likely To Ease CEO Search

FINANCE: Activist fund backs off proxy fight over Banc of California

It appears that Banc of California can strike proxy-battle skills from its list of job requirements when searching for a new chief executive.

Q&A

Lawyers are watching policy changes and new initiatives that might affect their practices as the Trump administration’s direction takes early shape, and many say they already see areas likely to create new work.

Industry Still Grapples With Dearth of Minority Lawyers

Many Say More Work Needed to Attain Diversity

The general counsel of Palo Alto-based HP Inc. recently put its outside law firms on notice that the company could withhold up to 10% of all amounts invoiced by law firms that don’t meet or exceed its minimal staffing requirements regarding diversity.

SCP’s Creamy, Dreamy B-Day; Sofar So Good

The music was lovely and the dancing superb, but it was the dreamily effective costumes and stage designs for “Whipped Cream” that made the American Ballet Theatre’s redux of the 1924 Viennese affair feel like just the right performance to celebrate South Coast Plaza’s 50th birthday with a March 15 worldwide debut at the Segerstrom Center …

Friday, March 17

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.1% in midday trading to 2,382.90.

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Thursday, March 16

Merage Adds Data-Based Degree

University of California-Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business launched an M.S. in business analytics, which the school says is in response to high demand from businesses, recruiters and students.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.2% in midday trading to 2,381.17.

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Veritone Inc. Files IPO

Newport Beach-based startup Veritone Inc. aims to raise up to $15 million in an initial public offering, according to a registration statement filed yesterday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Wednesday, March 15

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.4% in midday trading to 2,373.91.

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Tuesday, March 14

Restaurant Co. Buys 38 Wendy’s

Cotti Foods Corp. in Rancho Santa Margarita bought 38 Wendy’s International Inc. franchises in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, a news report said.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.4% in midday trading to 2,363.98.

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Bank Strikes Deal With Activist Investors

Irvine-based Banc of California Inc. said it has reached an agreement with Legion Partners Asset Management LLC to avoid a proxy battle.

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Monday, March 13

Tilly’s Report Mixed; Shares Down

Irvine-based Tilly’s Inc. beat Wall Street expectations on revenue and earnings for the January quarter, but its shares fell about 11% to $8.80 on a downbeat forecast for the current quarter.

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Chapman Names New Trustees, Governors

Chapman University today named the newest members of its Board of Trustees and Board of Governors.

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PIMCO Names 9 New Managing Directors

Newport Beach-based PIMCO, one of the world’s largest investment firms, with $1.47 trillion in assets under management, appointed nine new managing directors.

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Alteryx Prices IPO

Irvine-based analytics software maker Alteryx Inc. will sell 9 million shares of Class A common stock valued between $12 and $14 per share under terms of its initial public offering, according to a filing today with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Whittier Trust Appoints Doti

Whittier Trust, a private family office in South Pasadena that serves 349 families and has $11 billion in assets under advisement, has appointed Jim Doti to its board of directors.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.1% in midday trading to 2,369.96.

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Pelican Hill Names Managing Director

Tom Donovan will join Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Coast at the end of the month as managing director.

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Disney-Area Ramada to Reflag

Ramada Plaza Anaheim plans to become a Wyndham Garden hotel after a $4 million renovation set to take six months.

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OC Small Business Owners’ Optimism Outpaces Broader West Coast View

Optimism about the U.S. economy among Orange County small businesses jumped to 63% from 38% a year earlier, according to the 18th annual Small Business Economic Survey by MUFG Union Bank.

Other Mitsubishi’s Power Play

Electric Unit—No Relation to Auto Brand—in Solar Push

Mitsubishi Electric U.S. Inc. in Cypress plans to ramp up its solar equipment sales by lending a hand to the next generation of independent systems installers and integrators.

Life After Broadcom at URP

Irvine Company Lands Toshiba to Start New Phase for 11 Buildings, 836,000 SF

Irvine Company has started to prepare for life after Broadcom Ltd., one tenant at a time.

Johnny Rockets in Transition

Homemade Pickle With That Jukebox App?

This time they mean it. Johnny Rockets Group Inc. will change the look and feel and food of the burger chain systemwide with alterations to all aspects of its operations, from color scheme and design to the pickles on its burgers.

Blizzard’s $1B Rebound: Overwatch

New Franchise Basis for Esports League

Blizzard Entertainment Inc. took 18 years to develop a new franchise—the first-person, futuristic shooter “Overwatch.”

Offices Now Investments for Area’s Ultra-Wealthy

Top Deals of ’16 Led By Handful of Rich Buyers

High-net-worth investors in some areas of the country are known for collecting an assortment of fancy cars, jewelry, mansions and other luxury items.

Irish Eyes; UCI Medal; DTSA Cool

Céad míle fáilte to Tom Donovan, whose fine Irish surname might not sound like a natural match for the Italian influences of the Resort at Pelican Hill, where he signed on as managing director just in time for St. Patrick’s Day and is slated to report for duty later this month.

Plans Weighed for Trinity Broadcasting Site

REAL ESTATE: First deal in OC for Pasadena venture

It was the second sale of the building this month. Irvine-based Greenlaw Partners bought it directly from Trinity Broadcasting, and shortly after the deal closed, Greenlaw sold it for a slight profit to Alliance South Coast.

United Capital’s ‘Bionic Adviser’ Vs. Robos

FINANCE: Firm on rise marries tech, humans to fight new rivals

The demise of human financial advisers and the rise of robo advisers aren’t so assured if United Capital Financial Advisers LLC has anything to say about it.

Quiksilver Cuts More Than Corporate Name

APPAREL: New owner says overhead now in line with size

Oaktree Capital Management LP really cleaned house at Quiksilver Inc. in Huntington Beach.

Business Journal Fetes Entrepreneurs

More than 300 members of the Orange County business community celebrated five winners during a luncheon at the Business Journal’s 16th Annual Excellence in Entrepreneurship Awards.

Alignment Health Gets $115 Million

Orange-based Alignment Healthcare secured a $115 million investment from New York-based private equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC to support its U.S. expansion.

Phone Battery Case Maker Head Named

ZAGG Inc. named Chris Ahern president of Mophie LLC, its Tustin-based subsidiary.

CoreLogic Promotes COO to CEO Post

Irvine-based CoreLogic named Frank Martell president and chief executive to succeed Anand Nallathambi, who died this month after a brief illness.

Wanted: Best Places to Work for OCBJ’s List

CALL FOR ENTRIES: Website set to take entries until March 17

Is your workplace great?

ADDENDUM

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 40, No. 11

Michael Drake, former chancellor of the University of California-Irvine, and his wife, Brenda, will receive the UCI Medal at the Lauds & Laurels celebration on March 30.

Guggenheim’s Estate Changes Hands for $10 Million

Guggenheims Built In ’72; Donated to CHOC, Others

The home at 88 Linda Isle in Newport Beach sold on Feb. 27 for $9.72 million. The estate is considered a piece of Southern California history, according to the seller’s agent.

Sabra Tweaks Planned Sale of Skilled Nursing Assets

Will Sell 35 Properties Leased to Genesis

Irvine-based Sabra Health Care REIT Inc.’s 2017 outlook is largely hinged on the completion of the sale of 35 properties leased by Genesis Healthcare Inc. this year, which would reduce its exposure to skilled nursing and free up liquidity for acquisitions.

Mazda Cultivates Place to Share Passions at SXSW

Festival Studio Lets Fans Discover Brand Experience

Mazda North American Operations—South by Southwest’s official automobile sponsor—returned to the nine-day conference and festival with its own venue in tow.

OCBJ Calendar

March 6-15, 2017

This week's business and other event listings.

IBC Apartment Development Cuts into Jobs Base

Employment Down About 13.5% From 2006 Levels

The boom in residential development in the Irvine Business Complex over the past few years appears to be having an effect on the area’s base of jobs.

TCL Pins Hopes on Return of Coveted Keyboard

Qwerty Awaited By Die-Hard Blackberry Fans

The wait is over for those clamoring for the return of the Qwerty keyboard.

Real Estate Deals

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

Kelemen Caamaño Investments sold a 33,915-square-foot office building in Aliso Viejo for $11.8 million, or $347 per square foot.

Customer Support Company Wants to Have a Chat

HappyFox Offering Features Many Integrations

An Irvine-based company that created a customer support software platform has launched a live chat program.

Title Insurers Seek More Buys in Face of Rate Hikes

Brokerage Business, Data Firms on Shopping List

Orange County’s largest title insurance providers are looking at acquisitions both inside and outside their core business lines to help them grow operations and improve efficiencies in a climate of interest rate hikes likely to cut into their refinancing work.

KPC Healthcare Bets on ESOP

Program Comprised of Company’s 4 OC Hospitals

Santa Ana-based KPC Healthcare Inc. is betting that its employee stock ownership program is aligned with contemporary standards for healthcare systems, adding incentive for employees to provide better care and better results for patients and shareholders.

Friday, March 10

Disney-Area Ramada to Reflag

Ramada Plaza Anaheim plans to become a Wyndham Garden hotel after a $4 million renovation set to take six months.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.1% in midday trading to 2,366.14.

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El Pollo Loco’s Sather to Retire

El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc. president and Chief Executive Steve Sather plans to retire by year-end, the company said on Thursday.

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Thursday, March 9

Grand Californian Gets Redo

Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa in Anaheim is being renovated with changes to its guest rooms, lobby, pool and other areas in “the most extensive refurbishment since” the 948-room property opened in 2001.

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JWA January: Up 1%

John Wayne Airport passenger traffic was up about 1% in January compared with the same month last year.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.1% in midday trading to 2,365.49.

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Alignment Snatches $115M

Irvine-based Alignment Healthcare secured a $115 million investment from New York-based private equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC to support its U.S. expansion.

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Wednesday, March 8

Spitz Gets Callahan for Freedom Fight

Eric Spitz, a former partner and president of Freedom Communications Inc., has retained attorney Daniel J. Callahan to resolve a pension dispute with the bankruptcy creditors of the company that previously owned the Orange County Register.

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Five Entrepreneurs Feted

More than 300 members of the Orange County business community celebrated five winners during a luncheon at the Business Journal’s 16th Annual Excellence in Entrepreneurship Awards.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.1% in midday trading to 2,370.10.

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New Corporate Name for Quiksilver

Quiksilver Inc. in Huntington Beach changed its corporate name to Boardriders Inc. today.

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Tuesday, March 7

New President for Mophie

ZAGG Inc. named Chris Ahern president of Mophie LLC, its Tustin-based subsidiary.

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County Named in New FAA Filing

Signature Flight Services Corp. filed a complaint today with the Federal Aviation Administration in response to the Orange County Board of Supervisors’ recent decision to award a contract to operate one of two fixed-based operations at John Wayne Airport to a competitor.

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Del Taco Adds in Fla., Ga.

Del Taco Restaurants Inc. in Lake Forest said franchisees would open 10 restaurants in West Palm Beach County, Fla., a new market for the fast food chain, and six in Georgia, over the next several years.

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Clean Energy Shares Jump on Q4

Shares of Clean Energy Fuels Corp. surged in afterhours trading after the Newport Beach-based company reported sales and adjusted earnings in the fourth quarter that easily beat Wall Street expectations.

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Bank Shifts Funds for Stadium Deal

Irvine-based Banc of California plans to reallocate $3.5 million in sponsorships to partially offset the costs for the naming rights to the new $350 million stadium of the Los Angeles Football Club.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.2% in midday trading to 2,371.72.

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Monday, March 6

Drakes to Get UCI Medal

Michael Drake, former chancellor of the University of California-Irvine, and his wife, Brenda Drake, will receive the UCI Medal at the Lauds & Laurels celebration on March 30.

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Capital Bank Promotes Execs

San Juan Capistrano-based Capital Bank promoted Danna Murphy to chief operating officer, a new position, in addition to her role as chief financial officer.

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CoreLogic Names Martell CEO

Irvine-based CoreLogic has named Frank Martell its new president and chief executive.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.3% in midday trading to 2,376.48.

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CoreLogic’s Nallathambi Dies

CoreLogic President and Chief Executive Anand Nallathambi died after a brief illness, the company said.

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Harbor Audit Asks Money Questions

An audit of some services provided by an outside operator at Dana Point Harbor couldn’t validate the firm’s reported gross receipts at the facility and said its “rent payments are not calculated or reported in accordance with lease agreements” the operator has with the County of Orange, which owns the harbor, the county auditor said in a report.

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PBS Chief Joins National Board

Andrew Russell, chief executive of Costa Mesa-based PBS SoCal, is a new trustee of America’s Public Television Stations (APTS), a nonprofit national trade group in Arlington, Va.

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Boston Firm Buys Wet Seal Name, IP

Gordon Brothers Brands LLC in Boston, a 114-year-old restructuring and investment firm, bought the Wet Seal name and other intellectual property for $3 million in a March 2 auction, according to documents filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

Investment in OKC Brings Angel Fund Big Return

Hefty Exit Comes From Midwest, Unexpectedly

Irvine-based Tech Coast Angels’ ACE Fund II, short for Angel Capital Entrepreneur, scored an almost eight-fold return on its investment in the Oklahoma City-based WeGoLook platform.

Hyundai Gets J.D. Power Props for Dependability

Carmaker Leaps on Annual List to Sixth Position

Hyundai Motor America Inc. in Fountain Valley ranks No. 6 on Costa Mesa-based J.D. Power and Associates’ 2017 Vehicle Dependability Study—up 13 spots from last year.

Startup Investor Forum Organizers Work Bugs Out

Summit Meant to Connect Companies, Resources

The second StartUpOC Investor Summit, held on Feb. 22 at The Cove, drew 13 companies, including seven healthcare firms that span medical device, diagnostics and drugs.

Homebuilders Take Stock of Improved Inland Empire

More Projects Likely to Start As Sales Pick Up

Orange County’s biggest homebuilders are again turning more of their attention to projects in the Inland Empire.

OCBJ Calendar

March 6-15, 2017

This week's business and other event listings.

Real Estate Deals

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

The Khosraviani Trust sold an eight-unit apartment building for $1.5 million, or about $188,250 per unit.

Startup Bases Fast Growth on Customers’ Cloud Needs

Beacon Resources Founders At It Again

A Costa Mesa-based startup launched by two executives with a track record of success in Orange County is off to a fast start.

PHILANTHROPY

Women’s Circle of Wishes hosted its fourth annual signature event on Feb. 12 at the Island Hotel in Newport Beach.

Wanted: Best Places to Work for OCBJ’s List

CALL FOR ENTRIES: Website set to take entries until March 17

Is your workplace great?

New Creative Chief for Mazda Ad Shop

Mazda North American Operations’ advertising agency of record hired Erich Funke as chief creative officer, effective March 6.

Aitken to Chapman Board Chair

Chapman University said attorney Wylie Aitken is the new chairman of its board of trustees for a two-year term.

Drinks Manufacturer Raises $3.6 Million

True Drinks Holdings Inc. in Irvine raised $3.6 million in equity backing, the company and regulatory filings said.

Banc of California Focus Wins Fans

FINANCE: Move to shed mortgages, cut jobs lifts shares

Irvine-based Banc of California’s plans to shed its main residential mortgage line, cut its headcount almost in half and concentrate on commercial banking is winning fans on Wall Street.

Ladera Ranch Fintech Lands South Korea Link

FINANCE: Money360 provides commercial bridge loans in US

Evan Gentry is back in the real estate game, with a touch of fintech this time around.

New ZPizza Tap Rooms Tap EB-5 Franchisees

RESTAURANTS: 10 sites go to Iranians seeking visas

ZPizza International Inc. has sold 10 franchises of its ZPizza Tap Room concept to 10 Iranian nationals pursuing U.S. residency under a federal visa program that provides green cards in exchange for investments that create jobs.

There and Back All Around OC

“There and back” can carry myriad meanings—and become more interesting when folks get specific.

Dine Around the World One Tasty Plate at a Time

Fifi Tours OC’s Under-The- Radar Ethnic Restaurants

Orange County keeps getting richer and richer with dining possibilities. We are lucky to have so many family-owned, individual places interspersed with the big, fancy restaurants.

Food Dreams on Okinawa Unfold at South Coast Plaza

Sushi Master Lives To Delight With His Creations

This is a story of a little boy in Japan who knew what he wanted to be when he grew up, and us food lovers are all the better for it.

Alteryx Valuation Could Range to $900M on IPO

Irvine-based Alteryx Inc.’s planned initial public offering could snap a nearly two-year drought in Orange County.

J&J Gives Santa Ana HQ Status on Eye Devices

Local Operations Expected to Stay Intact Under New Owner, Leader

Johnson & Johnson Vision has double vision.

Invesco Pays $112M for Fullerton Apartments, Dell Inc. Office in AV

Dallas-based Invesco Real Estate, one of the most active institutional investors in Orange County in the past few years, has added a newly built apartment complex in Fullerton and another office in Aliso Viejo to its local portfolio.

Belief in Bricks and Mortar

Boot Barn Bucks Trend, Adds Stores Organically, Through Acquisitions

A 200-store base might be too much of a bet for a lot of retailers these days.

ThreeSixty Vision: Big Growth on Brand Revivals

Pays $42M for New HQ in Spectrum, Plans Steady Hires Through Year

ThreeSixty Group is on a shopping spree.

ADDENDUM

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 40, No. 10

California State University-Fullerton President Mildred García is scheduled to receive the 2017 Reginald Wilson Diversity Leadership Award on March 14 from the American Council on Education in Washington, D.C.

Friday, March 3

PBS Chief Joins National Board

Andrew Russell, chief executive of Costa Mesa-based PBS SoCal, is a new trustee of America’s Public Television Stations (APTS), a nonprofit national trade group in Arlington, Va.

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CoreLogic’s Nallathambi Dies

CoreLogic President and Chief Executive Anand Nallathambi died after a brief illness, the company said.

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Harbor Audit Asks Money Questions

An audit of some services provided by an outside operator at Dana Point Harbor couldn’t validate the firm’s reported gross receipts at the facility and said its “rent payments are not calculated or reported in accordance with lease agreements” the operator has with the County of Orange, which owns the harbor, the county auditor said in a report.

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January Unemployment Up

OC’s unadjusted unemployment rate rose to 3.9% in January from revised 3.5% in December and below the 4.1% reported in the same period last year, the state Employment Development Department said.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.1% in midday trading to 2,378.71.

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Boston Buyer for Wet Seal IP

Gordon Brothers Brands LLC in Boston, a 114-year-old restructuring and investment firm, bought the Wet Seal name and other intellectual property for $3 million during a March 2 auction, according to documents filed today in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

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Thursday, March 2

Habit Up on Q4, Full-Year

Shares in Habit Restaurants Inc. in Irvine were up more than 10% in Friday trading to a market cap of about $475 million on its quarterly and full-year report, issued after markets closed Thursday.

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Montage-Pendry in $360M Desert Deal

Montage International in Irvine and lead developer Robert Green Co. in Encinitas said the companies would break ground this summer on the $360 million SilverRock Resort in La Quinta.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.4% in midday trading to 2,386.62.

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Wednesday, March 1

OrthAlign Appoints CEO

Aliso Viejo-based OrthAlign Inc. appointed Eric Timko as chief executive and the chairman of the board.

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February Mixed for OC Automakers

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

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CSUF President Gets Diversity Nod

California State University-Fullerton President Mildred García will receive the 2017 Reginald Wilson Diversity Leadership Award on March 14 from the American Council on Education in Washington, D.C., the group said.

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True Drinks Raises $3.6M

True Drinks Holdings Inc. in Irvine raised $3.6 million in equity backing, the company and regulatory filings said.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Markets were up strongly in midday trading in a positive response to an address by President Donald Trump to Congress yesterday.

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Banc of California Sells Home Loan Unit

Irvine-based Banc of California plans to cut its headcount almost in half with the sale of its home loan division to Caliber Home Loans Inc.

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Clean Energy Sells Unit to BP

Shares of Clean Energy Fuels Corp. surged today after the Newport Beach-based company said it would sell its renewable gas business for $155 million to BP Plc.

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