Orange County Business Journal

WEEKLY EDITION

Questcor Pharmaceuticals Responds to Recent ‘Bear Raid’

Acthar Maker Says Shorts Have Caused Volatility

Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc., one of Orange County’s more volatile public companies, recently released a lengthy federal filing addressing what it characterized as a “bear raid” by short sellers.

FirmGreen Praises Ex-Im Bank on Trash-to-Gas Project

Company Built Energy Station at Brazil Dump

The chairman and president of the Export-Import Bank of the United States was in Orange County this month to get an update on a Newport Beach-based company’s large-scale project to convert methane gas into clean energy at one of the world’s most notorious garbage dumps.

M&W Activity Slow Due to Lack of Supply, Rising Demand

The vacancy rate in Orange County’s manufacturing and warehouse sector steadily decreased throughout 2013, but the fourth quarter held steady at 2.8%.

Santa Ana Apartment Buys Add Up for Fowler Property

SF Investor on 6-Month Spending Spree in OC

San Francisco-based apartment investor Fowler Property Acquisitions LLC is approaching nearly $100 million in purchases in Santa Ana over the past six months.

Inside Oakley

How Shipping Containers, ‘Surf and Turf’ Work for Brand

It would be hard to match the design of Oakley Inc.’s eerie, fortress-like headquarters atop a hill in Foothill Ranch—a building that merits its One Icon address.

Golf Not Company’s Only Game

TravisMathew Expands Image With Retail Entry

Apparel maker TravisMathew LLC carved space for itself in a niche segment of the sportswear market, first aiming at golfers, and now it sees retail as the next test of consumer appetite for the high-end brand to assert itself as a well-rounded lifestyle label.

Wall Street Backer for Cruttenden’s Main Street Micro-Investing App

FINANCE: Looks to link mass market, money managers

Walter Cruttenden, an investment banking pioneer in Orange County, has secured $5.5 million in funding from a Wall Street fund manager to bring his latest business venture to market.

Next for New Home Co.: 130 Acres in Corona

REAL ESTATE: Expected to pay $74M for land near 15 Freeway

The New Home Co. is closing in on the purchase of a nearly 130-acre, 1,200-home development site in Corona, one of several projects now in the works for the Aliso Viejo-based homebuilder following its recent initial public offering.

Robinson Eyes GM; Santa Ana Name Game; OC Hoop-La

Don’t be surprised if Mark Robinson surfaces once again as a key player on the national stage, now that General Motors is facing the legal music on a defect in ignition switches that appears to have kept some airbags from working and has been linked to 12 deaths.

Device Designer to Stay Local Under New Owner

HEALTHCARE: Sees benefit in Illinois company’s size

An Irvine design and engineering firm that develops products for medical device and biotech companies has been sold to a larger competitor.

Brady, Vorwerck Shutdown Puts Lawyers on Move

LAW: Partner wanted religious practice; firm in lease litigation

Orange County’s legal scene has experienced one of its largest shake-ups in half a dozen years following the dissolution of Orange-based Brady, Vorwerck, Ryder and Caspino.

Vorwerck Shutdown Puts Lawyers on Move

LAW: Partner wanted religious practice; firm in lease litigation

Orange County’s legal scene has experienced one of its largest shake-ups in half a dozen years following the dissolution of Orange-based Brady, Vorwerck, Ryder and Caspino.

UK Device Maker Eyes Offering Here

HEALTHCARE: Lombard’s US operations in Irvine

A British medical device maker that has its U.S. headquarters in Irvine is seeking its fortune in the U.S.

Acacia Bruised in Past Year But Expects Rebound

TECHNOLOGY: Rugged run wiped out 45% of market value

Three straight disappointing quarters for Acacia Research Corp. has zapped 45% of the company’s market value, leaving it at $789 million as of late last week, but executives say they’re confident it will bounce back through pending patent lawsuits.

Billings Down, Jobs Up for Environmental Consultants

More Work Across County Line for Biggest Offices Here

The largest environmental consultants with offices in Orange County collectively billed $594 million in 2013, a 2.7% drop from a year earlier.

Kia Motors America Exec Promoted

The head of Irvine-based Kia Motors America Inc. and the company’s manufacturing arm in Georgia has been promoted.

Union Market Announces Tenants

A mix of eateries, along with fashion and home goods retailers, were announced for the Union Market Tustin retail space.

Startup Raises $4.5M in 1st Round

Irvine startup Bitvore Corp., which mines information from email, social media and websites for business customers, closed a $4.5 million inaugural fundraising round.

5 Entrepreneurs Honored for Excellence

Members of the Orange County business community celebrated five winners of the Business Journal’s 13th Annual Excellence in Entrepreneurship Awards last week.

ADDENDUM - March 24

Irvine-based Motorcycle Industry Council hired Erik Pritchard as its general counsel. The appointment was effective immediately and fills a spot left open by the departure of Paul Vitrano, who recently joined snowmobile and ATV maker Polaris Industries as vice president for global government relations.

‘Neutral’ Luxury Market Creates Stability, Confidence

Sales Pace Has Slowed, Appreciation Now 5-6%

Surterre Properties Inc. cofounder and President Gary Legrand, entrenched in the luxury real estate market for more than 25 years, has seen it all, from the housing recession of the 1990s to the go-go housing boom of the early to mid-2000s, to the shocking drop in home prices during the Great Recession, to the rapid uptick in housing sales—and prices—during the last year.

OCBJ Calendar

This week's business and other event listings

• SoCal Insider hosted by Rick Reiff (KOCE-TV/PBS SoCal) Wednesday 5:30 p.m. Repeats Friday 7 p.m., Sunday 11:30 a.m., Monday 5:30 p.m. Guests: TBA

Fighter Gets Vulnerable for Boost Mobile Webisode

Talks About Strength in Adversity for Video Series

Boost Mobile LLC in Irvine released the latest installment of its “Be Heard” mini documentary series. The two-minute webisode, which can be seen on the brand’s YouTube channel, features mixed martial athlete Marlon Moraes, who competes for the World Series of Fighting in the bantamweight division. He speaks candidly about his struggles to succeed, as well as praying for his father’s recovery from cancer.

Allergan Growth Outlook ‘Noteworthy Exception’

Among Best Large-Cap Growth Prospects

Irvine-based Allergan Inc. is offering “a precious commodity” for pharmaceutical investors—growth, according to one analyst.

Startup Woos IP Licensing Expert, Ex-Qualcomm Exec

Steve Altman Joins MagnaCom’s Board

A Laguna Niguel chip startup launched by a former Broadcom Corp. executive has attracted the former president and vice chairman of Qualcomm Inc. to its board.

Real Estate Deals

Orange County Industrial Plastics sold an industrial building to Berry Holdings LLC in Yorba Linda for $5 million.

North, Central OC Office Markets on Rebound

The North and Central Orange County office markets are on the road to recovery.

Ritz-Carlton Sale Talk Cools as Business Improves

Deal With Shareholder Comes Amid Stock Gains

A potential sale of the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel appears to be on the back burner after the owner of the Dana Point luxury resort reached a truce with a large shareholder that had been pushing for the company to consider shedding assets.

The New Fine Print

Costa Mesa Couple’s 3-D Machines Push Envelope on Materials, Sell Fast

A startup launched by a husband and wife in Costa Mesa who had no manufacturing experience is landing big-name customers for its evolving line of 3-D printers that can churn out everything from tools and toys to car components and machine parts.

Sanuk Walks Taller Under Deckers Outdoor

APPAREL: Shoemaker takes wider view on lineup, retail

Sanuk got the comfort thing down 17 years ago with its Fur Real sandal, constructed of indoor-outdoor carpet.

Marblehead Land Back on Block?

REAL ESTATE: Taylor Morrison said to have 2nd thoughts on $215M price

The land set to hold the high-end Marblehead coastal housing development in San Clemente looks to be back in play, now that the homebuilder initially tapped to buy the 195.5-acre site has apparently gotten cold feet over the price.

Latest Sign of Telogis’ Potential: Deal on GM Commercial Vehicles

TECHNOLOGY: Software option part of automaker’s OnStar system

A deal to equip General Motors’ commercial vehicles with software that links operation centers with far-flung fleets is the latest harbinger of potential that led backers last year to invest $93 million in Telogis Inc.’s initial funding round.

Digital Divide Brings Dividends to DGWB

MARKETING: Takes tech manufacturer’s message global

DGWB Advertising & Communications’ latest mission: help bridge the digital divide across rural America, where some 40% of residents don’t have high-speed broadband access.

Walker Early to OC; Doti Direct; RMV’s Next Generation

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker will get a dress rehearsal for any presidential ambitions he might harbor—at least the part where a candidate hits up OC’s vaunted base of GOP donors.

Hoag Adds Services in 50,000-SF Expansion in HB

HEALTHCARE: Addition to existing center to open in April

Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian is doubling its presence in Huntington Beach, where it plans to provide “integrated care” through a mix of services.

St. Joe’s Cuts Reflect New Dynamics for OC Hospitals

HEALTHCARE: Some service shifts to CHOC, Hoag Irvine

Recent layoffs at one of Orange County’s bigger hospitals appear to be a reaction to a number of changes in the local hospital landscape.

Gores Group Backs Device Maker’s Buy

HEALTHCARE: San Clemente company buys in Slovenia

A San Clemente-based medical laser maker has reached into Eastern Europe with help from a private equity firm in Los Angeles.