OCBJ WEEKLY EDITION
JWA Director’s Busy Year: Renovation, Port of Entry Status
Barry Rondinella says he has a simple job.
TECHNOLOGY: New products in position to ride brand’s wave
Broadcom Corp. rode the Apple wave for years, growing fast on sales of connectivity chips that powered Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth applications for the iPhone and other devices.
TECHNOLOGY: Chipmaker’s top executives yield to Avago vets
Chief Executive Hock Tan cleared out nearly the entire management team at Broadcom Corp. following last week’s close of Avago Technologies Ltd.’s $37 billion buy of the Irvine-based chipmaker.
REAL ESTATE: Joint venture for 840 upscale houses on 272 acres
Toll Brothers Inc. and Lennar Corp. have entered into a blockbuster deal to build more than 800 homes at a future phase of development at Great Park Neighborhoods in Irvine.
Law Firms Expect Robust Deal Flow Across Sectors
2015 was another sizzling year for mergers and acquisitions, and Orange County law firms handled some of the biggest transactions. Latham & Watkins and Rutan & Tucker LLP, both based in Costa Mesa, and Newport Beach-based Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth PC all got robust M&A business last year and said they anticipate the same this year.
The Business Journal’s Deirdre Newman asked locally based attorneys about their offices’ plans to innovate and grow this year and what they expect in general this year, including any foreseen effects of the presidential election in November. Here are edited excerpts of their responses:
Says US Supreme Court Win Boosts OC Law Cred
If someone buys a Eurail pass online in the U.S. and then gets injured on a train in Austria, does he or she have the legal right to sue overseas entities in U.S. courts?
Those With No Legal Reps Include Business Owners
Juan Rodriguez said he never imagined when he and his ex-girlfriend split up that eight years later he would still be in the throes of litigation over custody of their children. He wasn’t sure where to turn for help when he decided to appeal fees paid to a therapist who was not court-appointed.
List of 86 Offices Includes Nine Newcomers
Partner ranks at Orange County law firms grew more in the past year while the number of overall attorneys and firm employees were flat.
The Insider was ready to call Wylie Aitken true to our school when it came to his role in the recent selection of Matthew Parlow to succeed Tom Campbell as dean of the Fowler School of Law at Chapman U in Orange.
HEALTHCARE: Eye-related opportunities on the agenda
Aliso Viejo-based OCTANe announced that it’s raising a $50 million venture capital fund to invest in ophthalmology startups.
TECHNOLOGY: LoJack adds to satellite-heavy CalAmp’s line
CalAmp Corp.’s latest acquisition strengthens the company’s long-running diversification strategy crafted by Chief Executive Michael Burdiek.
Genetic testing provider Ambry Genetics Corp. will open a new, 65,000-square-foot laboratory across the street from its Aliso Viejo headquarters this month.
HEALTHCARE: Aims to lead in central nervous system drugs
Aliso Viejo-based Avanir Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s newly appointed chief executive has what he calls a “very simplistic” vision for the drugmaker.
Deckers Outdoor Corp. said it will move Irvine-based sandal maker Sanuk USA LLC to Deckers’ headquarters in Goleta to help “streamline brand operations and reduce infrastructure costs.”
A 465,000-square-foot corrugated box-producing plant in Buena Park run by Atlanta-based Georgia-Pacific LLC will close by Sept. 1, the company said.
Fox Head Inc. in Irvine said it plans to close its offices in Morgan Hill in Santa Clara County in June and relocate its finance, IT and sales operations to the motocross apparel and accessories manufacturer’s headquarters in Irvine.
Windjammer Capital Investors, a private investment firm in Newport Beach, added two Canadian companies to its portfolio. Terms weren’t disclosed.
Two out of four Orange County-based automakers exceeded the national sales pace for new vehicles in January, according to New Jersey-based market researcher Autodata Corp. Hyundai Motor America in Fountain Valley sold 45,011 vehicles, up 1.1% over a year earlier and the best January in its history.
Buyers Now Want Practical Innovation in Retrofits
A recent survey by Coldwell Banker reveals that the growth curve of connected-home devices, such as smart thermostats, door locks, smoke detectors and light switches, is on track to beat that of smartphones and tablets over the next five years, expanding from 20.7 million units in 2014 to 35.9 million units by 2017.
• Studio SoCaL hosted by Rick Reiff and Elizabeth Espinosa (KOCE-TV/PBS SoCal), Friday 7 p.m., Repeats Sunday 5 p.m., Monday 5:30 p.m., Wednesday 5:30 p.m., Guests: TBA
Buy of Digital Company Deepens Social Efforts
Irvine-based Alphaeon Corp. is continuing to grow its healthcare technology presence.
Marks Anniversary With $50 Flights for Charters
Irvine-based JetSuite Inc., the fourth largest private jet charter company in the U.S. based on hours flown, marked Super Bowl 50 by offering $50 “Suite-Deals”—its empty flights on Feb. 6 and 7 were sold for $50. Clients pay $3,000 to $6,000 an hour on average for the charter, depending on jet size.
Co-Developed Product To Be Unveiled This Year
Netlist Inc.’s new joint venture with the world’s largest electronics company paves a path to produce a new hybrid storage-class memory product geared for cloud computing, big data, and server and storage customers that could ultimately reshape the Irvine-based company’s story on Wall Street.
A two-story office building in Orange was sold to S&S Law Corp. for $895,830, or $195 per square foot.
The Orange County retail market ended 2015 with minor but notable improvements that are continuing to propel the region forward.
Centrum South Follows Nearby $44M CHOC Deal
CT Realty Investors, one of Orange County’s biggest industrial investors and developers in recent years, has added another local office building to its portfolio.
East Meets West, Aims For Global Reach
Irvine-based VCNetwork, an online matchmaker that aims to connect startups and venture capitalists, has launched in Irvine.
Longtime Home of Innovation, Entrepreneurial Grit Builds ‘Ecosystem’
The Fender guitar. Vizio TVs. Vans shoes.
Taco Bell Exec Credits Early Itinerary as Effective Prep
Liz Williams doesn’t sit still, even when she stays in the same place for a while.
General Plan, Slow-Growth Measures Headline Agenda
2016 is shaping up to be a year of heavy suspense for a nearly 3-mile swath in Costa Mesa just north of the San Diego (I-405) Freeway in terms of potential residential and commercial development.
TECHNOLOGY: Strategy hinges on voice of North American HQ
A 12-man team at the Irvine headquarters of Kia Motors America Inc. is a key part of a global engineering and development effort to bring an autonomous vehicle to the market by 2030.
REAL ESTATE: Anchors FivePoint’s revised plan for 73-acre site
The developer of Great Park Neighborhoods in Irvine has earmarked a 73-acre portion of the former El Toro Marine Base for a commercial project featuring creative-office buildings, among others.
Reporter Michael de los Reyes asked a sampling of Orange County bank executives, presidents, managers and others in the banking and credit union industry what they’re expecting in terms of further interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve and how their institutions are preparing for that possibility. Edited excerpts of their responses follow.
Numbers for 43 Biggest Up About 16%, Ranks Shift
Orange County banks and thrifts increased local deposits 15.8% for a total of $96.9 billion in the year ended June 30.
REAL ESTATE: Follows strong run with industrial developer
The head of Panattoni Development Co.’s investment and development activities in Orange County and the Inland Empire has left the Newport Beach-based real estate company to start his own venture.
MANUFACTURING: Irvine, Anaheim operations to close
Balda C. Brewer Inc. USA, a maker of plastic molds used in medical devices and other products, is closing a plant in Irvine this month and cutting 193 jobs.