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

People Mover

JWA Director’s Busy Year: Renovation, Port of Entry Status

Barry Rondinella says he has a simple job.

New Generation in OC Seeks Own Bite of Apple

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.

Cuts Start at Top In Aftermath Of Broadcom Sale

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.

Lennar, Toll Bros. Head for Hills at Great Park

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.

2016 Looks Like Another Hot Year for M&As

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.

Q&A

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:

International Case Gives Attorney Career High

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?

Volunteers Help Solo Litigants Navigate Court Maze

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. 

Top Law Firms Flat on Attorney Count, Add Partners

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.

Aitken Defers; Medley Shows; Hartenstein Sticks

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.

$50M Venture Fund Will Play to OC Strength

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.

Manufacturer’s Recent Buy to Boost Sales by 50%

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.

Ambry Genetics Adds Test Lab in Aliso Viejo

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.

Drugmaker’s New CEO Sets No. 1 Drug Category Goal

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 moves Sanuk to its Goleta HQ

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.”

Georgia-Pacific to Close BP Plant

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 to Shift Workers from NorCal

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.

PE Firm Acquires Canadian Companies

Windjammer Capital Investors, a private investment firm in Newport Beach, added two Canadian companies to its portfolio. Terms weren’t disclosed.

ADDENDUM

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.

Convenience, Security Drive Call for ‘Smart’ Homes

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.

Calendar Feb

• 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

Alphaeon Diversifies With Technology, Hires Execs

Buy of Digital Company Deepens Social Efforts

Irvine-based Alphaeon Corp. is continuing to grow its healthcare technology presence.

JetSuite Makes Long Pass in Super Bowl Empties Deal

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.

Netlist Partners With Samsung in $23M Memory Deal

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.

Real Estate Deals

A two-story office building in Orange was sold to S&S Law Corp. for $895,830, or $195 per square foot.

Retail Market Closes Year on Good Note

The Orange County retail market ended 2015 with minor but notable improvements that are continuing to propel the region forward.

CT Realty’s Office Investment Plan Leads to Orange

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.

VC Matchmaker’s Vow: No Startup Left Behind

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.

New Scene for Startups

Longtime Home of Innovation, Entrepreneurial Grit Builds ‘Ecosystem’

The Fender guitar. Vizio TVs. Vans shoes.

Road More Traveled

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.

Year of Reckoning for Costa Mesa Developers

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.

Kia’s Road to Driverless Car Runs Through Irvine

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.

Creative-Office Trend to Great Park

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.

Q&A

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.

Banks’ Local Deposits Make Biggest Jump in Years

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.

Panattoni’s Local Boss Departs for Own Venture

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.

Medical Device Component Maker Set to Exit OC

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.