OCBJ WEEKLY EDITION
Business Failure Led Vizio Co-founder to ‘Innovate Myself Out of This Situation’
William Wang owes as much to his failures as his successes.
Fashion Island Sidles Up to South Coast Plaza; A+ for Irvine Spectrum
The Irvine Company’s efforts to ensure its retail properties remain relevant to today’s click-happy shoppers have gotten noticed—and not only by the locals who descend en masse to the Irvine Spectrum Center on weekends or the well-heeled tourists flocking to Fashion Island.
REAL ESTATE: Expects to set up similar corporate hub on East Coast
Irvine has gotten the nod over Westlake Village in the merger of Standard Pacific Corp. and Ryland Group Inc.
REAL ESTATE: Upgrade, possible addition to 3-building campus
The new owner of Emulex Corp.’s headquarters in Costa Mesa is planning a creative-office redevelopment of the existing three-building campus, with additional ground-up development on excess land at the property a possibility.
Consolidation among insurance brokerages continues at a pace that had a recent Deloitte report identifying “serial acquisitions” as the “core driver of brokerage growth.” The Business Journal’s Jane Yu asked Orange County brokerage executives to share their thoughts about the consolidation trend. They discuss some key factors that are contributing to the mergers and acquisitions activity, such as low interest rates and increasingly complex regulations, as well as risks that come with the changes. Here are edited excerpts of their responses.
Biggest Firms Combine For $570M, Up 13%
Orange County’s insurance brokers grew for the fifth straight year, notching a 13% increase in combined revenue last year.
TECHNOLOGY: $3.8B deal catches Wall Street by surprise
China continued to make waves in Orange County last week with a $3.8 billion deal that will give Unisplendour Corp. Ltd. a 15% stake in Irvine-based Western Digital Corp.
HEALTHCARE: Collaboration to include Boston Scientific
The La Palma-based Innovation Institute LLC has landed another collaborator in its quest to foster the development of medical products and services intended to reduce costs and promote quality of care.
An affiliate of Aliso Viejo-based Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc. got $26.5 million on the sale of the hotel REIT’s online purchasing portal for hospitality products and services to Avendra LLC in Rockville, Md.
Campus Approach, 24 Startups in San Juan Capistrano
Defining Frost Data Capital isn’t easy, says Stuart Frost, a serial entrepreneur who founded the San Juan Capistrano-based company to invest in startups focused on “big data.”
‘Real Success Is Achieving What Others Believe to Be Impossible’
Ronald Simon started small.
Edwards Lifesciences Exec Helped Bring Breakthrough Valve to Market
Stanton Rowe’s nearly 40-year career in medical devices has been one of intersection and innovation. He has played a crucial role in the development of what’s considered one of the major advances in replacement heart valves.
5.11 Tactical Cofounder Lends Ear, Designs to First Responders
Francisco Morales, cofounder of the specialty clothing and gear manufacturer 5.11 Tactical in Irvine, credits his success as an innovator to two seemingly disparate attributes—technical capability and inexperience.
Telogis Hooks Up With AT&T on Software for Automakers
Telogis Inc.’s new deal with AT&T Inc. marks another significant turn for the Aliso Viejo-based logistics software maker under the leadership of co-founder Newth Morris.
Bistro Comes Into Its Own, Plus OC’s Best Indian Food
I mentioned two months ago that Little Sparrow in downtown Santa Ana had parted ways with its chef.
Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 38, No. 40
The former Fisker Automotive and Technology Group is now Karma Automotive.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County held its 51st annual Gourmet Dinner on Sept. 17 at the Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach.
Oct. 5-14, 2015
This week's business and other event listings.
Note Owner Change With Chinese Firm Share Buy
Newport Beach-based Alliance HealthCare Services Inc. executives recently gave shareholders an overview of the recent change in majority ownership and several other matters.
Webisode Series to Chronicle Trials, Errors
Asics America Corp. has flipped the journalism adage, “Report the story, don’t become part of it,” on its head.
The high-rise office market in Orange County ended the second quarter with steady demand, resulting in 69,314 square feet of positive net absorption.
Search Fund Acquires Local Software Maker
Poplar Capital Partners LLC’s recent buy of Yorba Linda-based business software maker mTAB LLC was backed through a rarely used investment mechanism: a search fund.
Distribution Center Project Could Start in November
The Irvine Spectrum’s industrial market is about to get a little cooler, and a creative-office redevelopment isn’t the cause this time around.
Sales and leases of offices, industrial buildings, retail space and apartments
Makoil Inc. sold an office building in Lake Forest to Habor Associates LLC for $5.5 million, or about $153 per square foot.
3 High-Profile OC Execs Count Gold Award as Precursor to Bountiful Careers
There was a budding business mind behind the cherubic face selling cookies door-to-door.
Quality Counts as City Joins SD, Louisville on Short List for Fiber Program
Irvine’s diverse economy, increasingly vibrant startup scene, affluent demographics, and residential mix all helped put Orange County’s third largest city on track for Google Inc.’s new Internet and TV service.
TECHNOLOGY: Chipmaker to put $15M or more into plant on Jamboree
Israel-based Tower Semiconductor Ltd. is investing $15 million to $20 million to upgrade its Newport Beach manufacturing plant to meet growing demand for new generations of chips for smartphones and other wireless devices.
ENGINEERING: Link to Bay Area test station runs through Irvine
Orange County has become a key pit stop in the race to develop a fully autonomous car.
40 Biggest Combine For $474M in Local Work
Orange County’s architecture firms combined for a 9.1% increase in local billings this year following a modest 1.6% increase in local billings last year, and are on track to return to the 13% surge they had in 2013.
Increase Total By 1.7% Following 1.5% Decrease
Orange County’s top engineering firms with headquarters or significant operations here have recovered from a 1.5% drop in billings last year, posting a 1.7% increase in local billings during the 12-month period ended June 30.
A lot of good lines at the Business Journal’s inaugural Innovator of the Year Awards last week, including one that helped sum up how the event reaches beyond the buzzword for a comprehensive look at one of Orange County’s most valuable and broad-based assets—businesses of all sorts that turn fresh thinking into new products, processes or practices (see news item, page 7).
HOTELS: Assessment of 2% on room rates under discussion
Buena Park’s destination marketing agency and representatives of its 21 hotels and motels are working with city officials to form a hospitality improvement district as a source of dedicated funding for promotional efforts with a preliminary annual budget of close to $1 million.
RETAIL: Nonprofit gets room to do strategic merchandising
Goodwill of Orange County plans to reshape the merchandising and logistics behind its retail business with a move to a 154,040-square-foot distribution center in Tustin by year’s end.
MARKETING: Fallas-Paredes chain also picks up 41 leases
Scott Gladstone didn’t manage to hold on to Anna’s Linens Inc.’s name, according to documents filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California in Santa Ana.
REAL ESTATE: Six buildings fetch estimated $20 million
Newport Beach-based Olen Properties Corp. has made its largest local purchase in two years, snapping up a business park in Aliso Viejo.
REAL ESTATE: Latest buy with Rialto valued at $30.5 million
The Koll Co. has made its largest reported local purchase in several years, snapping up an office tower just over the Los Angeles County line in Cerritos.
About 415 people celebrated innovation and the people who create it at the Business Journal’s inaugural Innovator of the Year awards last week at the Hotel Irvine.