Orange County Business Journal

OCBJ WEEKLY EDITION

Preferred Outcome

Marketing Programs Behind Growth of Service Provider for Independent HotelsPreferred Hotel Group’s 1,600-point hotel inspection is intense.

By Kari Hamanaka February 15, 2014 midnight   $$ Share

Entrepreneur Crafts Encore

AEROSPACE: Positions second company for $100 million in sales

James Downey is replicating the business model that made him one of Orange County’s wealthiest executives.

Retooled Mitsubishi Message

AUTOMOTIVE: Once figured for exit, increases sales 29.8%

Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc., despite a slim model lineup, is out to prove all the doubting Thomases wrong.

Airport Plots Out Bigger Travel Plans

TRANSPORTATION: JWA aims for more passengers, Mexico service

John Wayne Airport plans to reintroduce incentives for an airline to offer new routes to Mexico as part of its 2015 flight plan, which also includes more passengers and 15 additional flights by Southwest Airlines.

Quiksilver Cofounder Mulls His, Company’s Future

APPAREL: Board names new execs as it aims for turnaround

Robert McKnight Jr., co-founder of Quiksilver Inc., is leaving his post as the company’s executive chairman at the end of the month as the Huntington Beach-based action sports apparel and footwear manufacturer struggles with reduced quarterly revenues.

Allergan Takeover Rhetoric Intensifies Amid Skepticism

HEALTHCARE: Ackman goes on offensive, questions continue

Irvine-based Allergan Inc.’s long-running battle to stay independent marches on as hostile pursuer rhetoric heats up and many analysts express doubt about the deal going through.

Manufacturers That Survived Storm on Path of Growth

Expanding Local Plants, Adding Training Facilities

Manufacturing in Orange County is in growth mode, with many local companies—those that have weathered the recession and managed to notch consistent business gains—making investments in facility expansions and upgrading their training resources.

Companies Look to New Generation for Future

Recovery Growth, Offshore Jobs Return, Spur Hunt

Manufacturing companies and industry organizations are aggressively searching for young talent, with schools and businesses coming together to showcase advanced technologies and provide opportunities for hands-on work experience.

UCI’s Deep Bench; Evan in Snyc?; Ask Ellermeyer

The search is on for a new executive vice chancellor and provost at UCI—a job that’s about on par with a COO’s post in the business world, while the chancellor of the school functions more like a CEO.

Creative Designs in Mind for Anaheim, Irvine Sites

REAL ESTATE: $10M redo for offices next to Angel Stadium

Tenant demand for creative-office space in Orange County is about to get its biggest test yet at an office complex across the street from Angel Stadium of Anaheim.

High-Rise Costa Mesa Projects Knocked Down a Notch

REAL ESTATE: Planned Costa Mesa towers to become rentals

High-rise condominium plans in Costa Mesa’s ritzy restaurant, shopping and arts center are coming back down to earth.

Register Head Shares Early Plans

Register Head Shares Early Plans

Richard Mirman, three days on the job as interim publisher and chief executive of the Orange County Register and Freedom Communications Holdings Inc.’s other publications, counted the perks his new role has to offer.

Irvine Startup Links With Big Players for Growth

TECHNOLOGY: Device headed for Finish Line stores

Irvine-based startup Pear Sports LLC has signed a deal with Finish Line Inc. to distribute its wearable device in the Indianapolis-based company’s growing line of specialty running stores.

Lifestyle Healthcare Company Grows, Rumored for IPO

HEALTHCARE: Alphaeon closes in on nine figures

Irvine-based Alphaeon Corp.’s focus on “lifestyle healthcare” is pushing the company close to nine figures in revenue and positioning it for a potential initial public offering.

Irvine For-Profit College Marks Year of Expansion

EDUCATION: Equipment, new programs at Stanbridge

Stanbridge College added an associate of veterinary technology program this year, and President and Chief Executive Yasith Weerasuriya showed a recent visitor the cat cadavers to prove it.

Irvine Ad Tech Firm to Combine With Kitara

Future Ads LLC, an Irvine-based advertising technology company, will combine with Jersey City, N.J.-based Kitara Media Corp., which focuses on video advertising. The transaction is expected to close by Dec. 31.

REIT Spends $59 Million on Properties

Irvine-based Sabra Healthcare REIT Inc. said it bought eight properties in three states for $59.1 million.

$1.3M to UCI for Lung Treatment Work

Four University of California-Irvine materials science and engineering researchers will receive $1.3 million from the National Science Foundation for work that could be used to develop lung disease treatments.

Yard House Chooses Interim Chief Exec

Darden Restaurants Inc., the parent company of Irvine-based Yard House USA Inc., named President and Chief Operating Officer Gene Lee Yard House’s interim chief executive.

ADDENDUM

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 37, No. 42

The Wet Seal Inc. said it will cut 78 filled and open positions, including 66 at its Foothill Ranch corporate office, a 24% decrease, and 12 at the store management level, a 20% drop.

Historic Laguna Home Once Hosted Hollywood Elite

Agent Says Fewer Modern Features Offset by Assets

The historic mansion perched high above a private cove in Laguna Beach at 2592 Coast Highway is reminiscent of an old-time movie setting with its dramatic location overlooking the ocean.

Edwards Lifesciences’ Pipeline Cited on Upgrade

Plus Good Clinical Trial News, Valve’s US Release

Irvine-based heart valve maker Edwards Lifesciences Corp.’s pipeline and positive second-quarter news recently landed it an upgrade from Chicago-based Zacks Investment Research to a “buy” ranking.

Oakley Takes to the Powder in New Feature Film

Major Snowboarders Tell Their Stories

Oakley Inc. followed some of the biggest names in snowboarding—Shaun White, Mark McMorris, Ståle Sandbech, Jake Blauvelt and Nicolas Müller—down the slopes in Finland, British Columbia, Norway and Japan to produce “Snowboarding: For Me.”

OCBJ Calendar

Oct. 20-28, 2014

This week's business and other event listings.

Low-Rise Market Has Strong Second Quarter

Activity in Orange County’s low-rise office sector continued its positive momentum in the second quarter, generating 166,503 square feet of positive net absorption. That brought the year-to-date net absorption total to 162,554 square feet.

Microinvestment App Debuts on Android Devices

Acorns’ Product Follows 60,000 iOS Downloads

Newport Beach startup Acorns, established by OC investment banking pioneer Walter Cruttenden and his son Jeff, has launched an Android app in its efforts to bring microinvesting to the masses.

New Medical Group Lands Next to CHOC, St. Joseph

24,000-SF Lease Near Top For Medical Offices in ’14

A new medical practice specializing in spine and sports medicine has signed a big lease in an Orange office next to St. Joseph Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Orange County.

Real Estate Deals

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

Terra Enterprises Inc. sold the Birch Corporate Center in Brea to SOC Resources Inc. for $10.1 million.

Virtual Reality Check

OC Emerges as Hub

One minute you’re on stage with Coldplay.

College Campuses Craft Commerce

EDUCATION: OC schools aim to breed viable commercial enterprises

Orange County colleges and universities are going beyond education to cultivation.

FivePoint Increases Stake in Great Park

REAL ESTATE: Buys out early investor as next phase of project nears

The developer of the Great Park Neighborhoods in Irvine is increasing its ownership stake in the massive project at the former El Toro Marine Corps air station, where a new batch of residential, commercial and park construction is about to begin.

OC Exec a Key to NBA’s Ambitions for India

SPORTS: Apparel entrepreneur now partner in Sacramento franchise

Raj Bhathal is a key player in the NBA’s bid to extend its brand to his native India.

Healthcare Behind Another Big Move in Mission Viejo

REAL ESTATE: 4-story office planned next to Mission Hospital

A four-story medical office development is being planned for a spot across the street from Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo in the latest big real estate deal involving property next to the St. Joseph Health-run facility.

MBA Programs Combine To Post 11% Decrease

Trend Comes With Economic Recovery

Enrollment in master of business administration programs serving Orange County fell 11% over the past year while the number of graduations was up at some schools.

Colleges Increasingly Engage Companies on Business

Research Meets Real Life In Industry Applications

The ivory tower is lowering the drawbridge as Orange County’s college campuses more directly connect their research and education efforts with business concerns.

Higher Ed Nonprofit Efforts Span County, Globe

EDUCATION: Research, Charity, Social Change Programs Up

Some of the smaller colleges and universities in Orange County are increasing nonprofit work, ranging from research and study—already within the scope of a school—to local charitable efforts and global social change.

Allergan’s Obvious Reply: Gross X 2; Gilyard’s A List

Would-be raiders Valeant Pharmaceuticals and Bill Ackman appear to be running out of room for their argument that Allergan CEO David Pyott and his fellow board members overlook shareholders as they fight the hostile bid for the Irvine-based drug maker.

OC Law Schools Up ABA Ante, Raise Bar on Skills

Further Integrate ‘Practice Ready’ Trend in Training

The “practice-ready” trend in law schools that began taking shape locally last year heated up this summer when the American Bar Association House of Delegates revised its Standard 303 to increase the number of credit hours.