Orange County Business Journal

FINANCE

Recent and archived news stories on: Banks, Credit Unions, Mortgage Lending, SBA, Stocks/Bonds, Venture Capital, Wealth Management...

Quality Systems Buys Into Big Data

Irvine-based healthcare software maker Quality Systems Inc. continued its diversification effort with the recent acquisition of a “big data” specialist.

CapRock Buys Irvine Office, Plans Creative Redo

REAL ESTATE: $9.6M estimate for 55,474-SF low-rise

Irvine-based CapRock Partners LLC has snapped up an office just off the Costa Mesa (55) Freeway for its latest local creative-office project.

Solar Outfit Buys Los Al Aerospace Firm

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.

Startup Raises $23M for Investment App

Newport Beach startup Acorns Grow Inc. raised $23 million in a Series C round to fuel the growth of its smartphone app, which aims to bring microinvesting to the masses.

Share Sale Cuts Top Habit Owner’s 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 was expected to trim its holdings to less than a majority stake through a secondary share offering.

Vietnamese Paper Files for Bankruptcy

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

Private Companies Wanted for Annual List

Special Issue: List will be centerpiece of June 22 edition

The Business Journal is preparing its annual list of privately owned companies for publication in June.

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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.