Orange County Business Journal


Edwards Gets Taste of Better Days on Comparison Trial

HEALTHCARE: Shares up 13% this year after rugged 2013

Investors are once again taking a shine to Irvine-based Edwards Lifesciences Corp. after a tough 2013.

Biolase Shareholder in Mood for Fight

HEALTHCARE: East Coast investor nominates 4 to board

Irvine-based medical device maker Biolase Inc. is facing the prospect of a proxy fight with its largest shareholder.

Autobytel Market Value Rises as Comeback Continues

MARKETING: On lookout for acquisition opportunities

Autobytel Inc. is nowhere near the 1999 heyday when the company’s market value hovered around $285 million.

Mortgage Lender Chooses COO for Growth Push

FINANCE: Firm aims to capitalize on industry changes

Fast-growing mortgage lender loanDepot. com LLC has tapped industry veteran and former Nationstar Mortgage LLC executive David Norris as president and chief operating officer.

Anaheim Industrial Property Goes for $27.2M

REAL ESTATE: Biggest industrial spec sale in years

A recently built industrial facility in Anaheim just outside the Platinum Triangle has been sold to a logistics company that is expanding its local operations.

Anaheim Company Plans Factory in Ohio

Anaheim-based food packaging company L&L Foods Inc. is planning to open a $3.1 million distribution facility in Wilmington, Ohio.

Software Maker Sells Majority Stake

A private equity firm in Palo Alto acquired a majority stake in Irvine-based software developer AutoAlert Inc. on undisclosed terms.

SJC Manufacturer to Join NY Company

San Juan Capistrano-based network camera manufacturer IQinVision agreed to merge with Vicon Industries Inc. in Edgewood, N.Y., in an all-stock transaction.

Investor Buys Canyon Fireside Grille

Irvine-based American Restaurant Holdings Inc., an investor in restaurants and food manufacturing companies, acquired Canyon Fireside Grille on undisclosed terms.

Seafood Lovers, Food Writers Mourn Chef’s Passing

Bluewater Grill Veteran Shared Passion With Smile

Orange County lost a beautiful person and passionate chef last month in Brian Hirsty, executive chef of the Bluewater Grill restaurants. He was only 48, and though he had a rare bone marrow disease, his death was completely unexpected.


Foothill Ranch-based Oakley Inc. is now the official eyewear sponsor of Little League Baseball and Little League Softball. Terms of the sponsorship were undisclosed, but similar partnerships have helped “maintain low team affiliation fees and provide valuable training, educational resources and expertise,” the company said.

Sale Prices Closer to Listings Despite Slowdown

Sample Ranges From 94% to 98% of Asking

Sellers of luxury homes have been pricing them closer to new market levels since the pace of sales slowed late last year after rapid acceleration in the first half of 2013

OCBJ calendar

April 7, 2014

This week's business and other event listings

real estate deals

Richard Kruper sold an industrial building to Noel Shenoi in Orange for $1.5 million.

Facebook’s OC Focus

$2B Deal on Heals of Google Hookup With Oakley

Orange County gave Silicon Valley and the rest of the world plenty to talk about in a 24-hour burst last week.

Luck Didn’t Hurt

Shutterbug Built Olloclip Business With Persistence, Help From Unforseen Events

Three years ago, Patrick O’Neill was making the final tweaks on a prototype double-sided camera lens that users could attach to their iPhone 4s.

No IPO, No Problem for City Ventures

REAL ESTATE: Homebuilder raises $345 million with land sales

City Ventures Inc. has shown that there are other ways to raise money, even as some fellow Orange County-based homebuilders have opted to join a recent trend of initial public offerings.

Bixby Gets 7-Building Campus in Silicon Valley

REAL ESTATE: $110M buy eyed for creative makeover, near new stadium

Irvine-based Bixby Land Co. has bought a seven-building office campus in Silicon Valley, the commercial real estate developer and investor’s largest acquisition in nearly seven years.

McKernan to Join Horatio Alger’s OC Contingent

HONORS: Auto Club chairman due in D.C. for this week’s ceremony

Life got more humbling for Thomas McKernan as this week’s Horatio Alger Award ceremony in Washington, D.C., approached.

Zuckerberg’s Reality

Facebook Inc.’s eye-popping $2 billion acquisition of Irvine startup Oculus VR Inc. is a long-term bet on the future of computing, Mark Zuckerberg told analysts last week.

Different Lens on Oculus; Oakley’s Swagger; OC’s ID

No cynics allowed here, but give a bit of room for some healthy skepticism on Facebook’s $2 billion deal for Irvine-based startup Oculus VR.

Will Others Follow Irvine Company Rent Hikes?

REAL ESTATE: Landlord seeks biggest jumps since recession

The Irvine Company, Orange County’s dominant office landlord, appears to be undertaking its most aggressive office rent hikes for its local buildings in years.

New Pharmacy School Gets ‘Leg Up’ From Allergan

EDUCATION: Drug maker gives Chapman program $500K

Chapman University’s new School of Pharmacy is offering a five-year, fast-track path to a doctor of pharmacy degree with the help of a $500,000 grant from the Allergan Foundation, the charitable arm of Irvine-based drug maker Allergan Inc.

Chapman Approves Doti’s Successor

EDUCATION: No immediate shift planned at Orange campus

Chapman University’s board of trustees named Chancellor Daniele Struppa “presidential designate,” making him the eventual successor to President Jim Doti.

Gordon’s Opus

From Recapitalization to $4B in Assets, Eye on More

Stephen Gordon was unabashedly proud of the company he kept at the Business Journal’s 13th Annual Excellence in Entrepreneurship Awards.

Map of American Dream

Sunil Tolani Eyes Coast-to-Coast Portfolio of Hotels

A U.S. map on the wall of Sunil Tolani’s office in Fullerton is dotted with pushpins marking the hotels his company owns and operates.

Call Your Mom!

Incipio’s Fast Growth Keeps Fathollahi Busy

Andy Fathollahi characterized Incipio Technologies Inc. as “the famous case maker that makes everything and cases.”

New Mission

Planning Helped Yogurt Chain Take Off, Founder Refocuses That Skill

Phillip Chang stepped down as chief executive of Irvine-based Yogurtland Franchising Inc. at the end of last year, but he’s not slowing down.

Startup Device Maker Raises $32.5M

Irvine-based Axonics Modulation Technologies Inc. completed a $32.5 million first round of financing.

Element Skateboards Names Global GM

The parent of Element Skateboards promoted from within for the job of global general manager at the Costa Mesa-based brand.

Tourism Promoter Starts Site in Chinese

A new website of the Orange County Visitors Association promoting the county’s tourism industries and attractions to Chinese travelers is now running.

Inventor Tied to Moon Landing Dies

Newport Beach resident Marlan Bourns, whose inventions were instrumental in the Apollo 11 moon landing and the Mars Rover expedition, died this month. He was 93.

ADDENDUM -- Week of March 31

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in Arlington, Va., awarded Boeing Co.’s operations in Huntington Beach a $30.7 million contract to support development of a system to use aircraft for satellite launches at a cost savings compared to rocket-fueled launches.

PHILANTHROPY -- Week of March 31

Retirement Benefits Group, for the 15th consecutive year, sponsored the PGA Tour stop at the 20th Annual Toshiba Golf Classic, led by principals Michael Castner and Gary Josephs.

Big-Dollar Sales Drove Brokerage Gains Last Year

About $18B In Sales, Leases Result In Nearly 14% Jump

Orange County’s largest commercial brokerages continued to benefit from investor interest in local properties in 2013, and to a lesser extent, tenant demand.

Property Managers Build Portfolios in Brisk Market

Two Dominate, Group Combines for 8.7% Jump

A flurry of large office purchases by institutional investors, a smattering of development, and new out-of-town accounts helped boost the bottom lines of Orange County’s largest commercial property managers last year.

Vans Skatepark Project Investment in Its ‘Heritage’

Partners With City to Give Back to Fans, Donates $2M

The Vans Off the Wall Skatepark in Huntington Beach opened March 22, thanks to a $2 million investment from the Cypress-based shoe and apparel company.