Orange County Business Journal


Recent and archived news stories on: Banks, Credit Unions, Mortgage Lending, SBA, Stocks/Bonds, Venture Capital, Wealth Management...
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OC Adds Jobs in March, Unemployment Down

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

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HB Insurance Brokerage Acquired

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

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M-Flex CFO Resigns

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

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Irvine Restaurant Group Plans 12 OC Franchises

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

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Allergan Laying Off 577 in Irvine

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

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Wet Seal Sale Final

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

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Del Taco Plans Debt Pare Down, TACO Ticker

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

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Plaza Q1 Profit Slips on Acquisition Costs, Lending Up

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

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Los Al Aerospace Company Acquired

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

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Cajun Fusion Chain to Enter OC

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

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Corinthian Unit Fined $29.7 Million

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

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Little Saigon News In BK

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

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Habit Top Shareholder Trims Stake

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

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NB Startup Raises $23M

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

Way Up In Arts District

Proposal for Luxury Condo Tower to Costa Mesa Planners

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

Broad Range for UCI’s Push on Innovation

EDUCATION: Blueberries to microchips, toothpaste

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

Medical Office Project Moves Ahead in NB

REAL ESTATE: Land buy, redesign for Birch Street project

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

Pac Life Offers ‘Swell’ Idea for Younger Investors

FINANCE: ‘Cause-themed’ portfolios include big givers

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

ReShape Gets Pass on FDA Panel for Obesity Device

HEALTHCARE: Could get final approval for market in June

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

Irvine Firm Buys 35 Pilates Studios

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

CareTrust REIT Adds Nursing Home

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

Bella Terra Gets New Ownership

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

Investors, Developers Drawn to Luxury Spec Homes

See Potential for Big Returns in Luxe Approach

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

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

Adds 18 Properties Spread Over 11 States

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

LBA Realty Nears Another Office Purchase From Dell

Report of Nashville Deal Follows Buy in Aliso Viejo

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