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

OC Drones On

Newfangled Flying Machines Figure Into Local Landscape

Within hours of capturing a pair of gray whales recently in an early morning swim, Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching had the video posted on YouTube and emailed to subscribers of its digital newsletter.

How Laguna Beach Adds Up

HOSPITALITY: Music festival, trolley add to eclectic approach

The eyes of the global hospitality industry were drawn to a big splash in Laguna Beach earlier this year, when the $360 million sale of the Montage Hotel put the value of the city’s premier commercial property at about $1.4 million per room, on par with the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan.

Microsemi’s $389M Buy Includes Ticket to Internet of Things

TECHNOLOGY: Picks up new technology to offer chip customers

Microsemi Corp.’s latest acquisition highlights how far the company has come in a diversification effort that has taken the Aliso Viejo-based chipmaker from an aerospace and defense specialist to innovator in several fields, with a new toehold on the industrial side of the budding Internet of Things market.

Irvine-Based Marketer Plans to Sell Latino Accent in Miami

MARKETING: Niche unit aims to get brands past cultural barriers

Think of Advantage Sales & Marketing LLC’s Hispanic Retail Selling Team as ambassadors for general-market manufacturers looking to secure shelf space at Latino grocery stores in Southern California, Arizona, Texas and New York—with a push into Miami coming soon.

Will Times Lien in on Register? Picture This on Pimco

The $4.2 million lien slapped on Freedom Communications and its flagship Register seems to carry extra significance since it came at the request of the L.A. Times, which has a claim pending on bills for past work distributing the OC daily.

Clock Ticks as Startup Drug Maker Seeks Lifeline

HEALTHCARE: BK filing follows several loan defaults

Irvine-based AtheroNova Inc. is searching for a buyer willing to extend the cash-strapped startup’s existence as it reviews early data on its effort to develop drugs to fight atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.

Clean Energy Gains as Infrastructure Plan Slows

ENERGY: Q4 profit follows focus on fleets, less building

Clean Energy Fuels Corp. may have finally found a clearer path to profitability as it reins in construction costs for a nationwide plan it forged four years ago to dot major highways with natural-gas fueling stations.

Panasonic Avionics to Add Specialist

Lake Forest-based Panasonic Avionics Corp. is set to acquire a satellite communication services provider with headquarters in Australia, operations around the globe, and a specialty of working in extreme conditions.

‘Post-Affordable Care Act’ CEO Sought for UCI Medical Center

HEALTHCARE: New boss says search ‘unfolding’

Dr. Howard Federoff will soon take up some heavy lifting in his new job as the University of California-Irvine’s top healthcare executive.

Environmental Firms’ Work Rose 8% Last Year

Grow on Economy, Buys, Expanding Services, Goats

The largest environmental consultants with offices in Orange County billed $602 million in 2014, an 8% jump over last year’s $556 million.

Business Journal Honors Entrepreneurs

Members of the Orange County business community celebrated seven winners during a luncheon for the Business Journal’s 14th Annual Excellence in Entrepreneurship Awards.

First American Gets NY Title Company

Santa Ana-based First American Financial Corp. said its title subsidiary bought TitleVest Holdings Group LLC in New York City on undisclosed terms.

Ingram Micro Buys in South America

Santa Ana-based Ingram Micro Inc. said it bought businesses in Peru and Chile from Clearwater, Fla.-based Tech Data Corp., on undisclosed terms.

PHILANTHROPY

City of Hope’s Inaugural “Let’s Be Frank About Cancer” Gala grossed more than $1.6 million.

ADDENDUM

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 38, No. 12

Irvine-based Kia Motors America Inc. recalled 208,858 of its Soul and Soul EV models due to a problem with the gas pedal, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Fitch Affirms Strong Ratings on MemorialCare Finances

Frees System to Invest In ‘Strategic Initiatives’

Fountain Valley-based MemorialCare Health System’s solid debt ratings were affirmed this month by New York City-based Fitch Ratings Inc.

Win-Win for Mophie, Dog Rescue Group at SXSW

Recharge Batteries With St. Bernard Group

Mophie executed a clever social media stunt at the South by Southwest Music Conference and Festival that wrapped up over the weekend in Austin, Texas.

OCBJ Calendar

This week's business and other event listings.

Tight R&D Market Fuels Off-Market, Non-OC Deals

The research and development market in Orange County had 70,240 square feet of negative absorption in the fourth quarter, but it remained tight with a vacancy rate of 3%.

Olloclip, Peri Get Exclusive With Amazon Exclusives

Cut Select Products With Big-Box Retailers

Irvine startup Peri Inc. and Huntington Beach-based olloclip were handpicked to distribute a limited number of products on Amazon.com Inc.’s newly launched marketplace, but the designation carries some interesting stipulations: namely, cutting ties for those products with Wal-Mart, Costco, Target and other big-box retailers.

Law Firm Makes Short Trip to New HQ at 1900 Main

Palmieri, Tyler to Move From Century Centre

Palmieri, Tyler, Wiener, Wilhelm & Waldron LLP is the latest local law firm that’s figuring out how to use less space for its operations.

Real Estate Deals

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

A five-unit apartment building in Dana Point was sold for $1.8 million, or $360,000 per unit.

Price of Chinese Developer’s Platinum Plan: $450M

1.7 Million SF Near Angel Stadium Would Include Luxe Hotel, Condo Tower, Surf Park

A Chinese developer has proposed a mixed-use project next to Angel Stadium that could rival L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles in terms of scope and variety of uses.

Google Grows App Hub in Irvine

TECHNOLOGY: Engineers, developers push use of analytics

Google Inc.’s new 140,000-square-foot office on Jamboree Road in Irvine has become a key hub for the search giant’s push to link analytics and app development to drum up monetization opportunities for its bevy of advertisers.

Vizio Claims New Territory at SXSW

MEDIA: Artful documentary up for honors at annual festival

Add bonafide filmmaker to Vizio Inc.’s credits.

Masimo In Pitch for Niche at Tennis Tourney

HEALTHCARE: Consumer twist on medical device; ESPN spot

Irvine-based medical device maker Masimo Corp. will look to win a place in the world of big-time athletics as part of a marketing effort anchored by its sponsorship of the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament in Indian Wells, which runs through this week.

Offices Top Priority for Big Investors Here Last Year

Money Shifts From Industrial, Multifamily

Deep-pocketed office investors flocked to Orange County last year looking for attractive investment yields while also betting on the market’s potential for rental growth over the next few years.

Title Work Stumbles in 2014 as Interest Rates Top 4%

New Home, Commercial Pick Up Some of Slack

Business for Orange County’s largest title insurers plummeted last year as refinance activity significantly declined.

Pyott’s Long-Term Memory; Freedom’s Call on Kushner

David Pyott was graceful as ever during the Leaders & Legends luncheon hosted by the Irvine Chamber just a few days before Allergan shareholders approved the company’s $70-billion-plus sale to Actavis.

Actavis to Send Medical Dermatology Line to OC

HEALTHCARE: Still no word on job additions, cutbacks here

The “new” Allergan Inc. is set to move its medical dermatology business to Irvine as part of its specialty pharmaceutical base in the wake of Actavis PLC’s $70 billion-plus buy of the Botox maker.

Blockbuster Sales Still Strong, Move Ahead in 2015

REAL ESTATE: $100M+ Deals Already Top 2014’s

2015 has the makings of a blockbuster year for large real estate deals, based on the first few months of transactions in Orange County.

Chapman, UCI Grow Business, Law Rep

EDUCATION: Lag others but show progress over last year

The full-time graduate business programs at Chapman University in Orange returned to a national ranking this year, and University of California-Irvine said graduates of its graduate business program ranked in the same report found improved job prospects from the year earlier.

Del Taco to Be Bought for $500 Million

Blank-check company Levy Acquisition Corp. said it plans to buy Lake Forest-based Del Taco Holdings Inc. in a deal that values Del Taco at about $500 million.

MetLife Tower in Irvine Co. Fold

Donald Bren’s Irvine Company owns 97% of the 58-story MetLife building in Manhattan, one of New York City’s best-known skyscrapers, according to a Bloomberg report.

New Vice Chancellor of Health Affairs at UCI

University of California-Irvine named Howard Federoff its new vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine, effective July 1.

Apparel Company Names CEO

Fox Head Inc. appointed Paul Harrington chief executive and director.

Wanted: Best Places to Work for OCBJ’s List

CALL FOR ENTRIES: Website set to take entries until March 20

Is your workplace great? We want to know.