Orange County Business Journal

OCBJ WEEKLY EDITION

Allergan Buyer Could Make Irvine HQ For Specialty Pharma

HEALTHCARE: Boss of N.J.-based Actavis likes OC’s appeal, talent

Orange County will remain a nerve center for Allergan Inc., according to the chief executive of its future parent company.

Biggest Employers Churn Out Another Modest Increase

ECONOMY: Top 79 combine for 258,796 jobs, 17% of county’s total

Orange County’s biggest employers grew their combined workforce by 1% in the past year, a modest but steady pace of growth for the fourth straight year.

Microsemi Boss Sees Rally in Defense Sector

TECHNOLOGY: Chipmaker projects ‘new cycle’ on outlays

Aliso Viejo-based chipmaker Microsemi Corp. enters a new fiscal year with a record backlog of contracts fueled by a resurgence in defense and security spending.

Herberts’ Triple Play; Allergan Name Game; Bully for Campbell

It seemed altogether fitting that three generations of Herberts—all Gavins, by the way—were on hand for the Business Journal’s 15th annual Family-Owned Business Awards last week (see related item, page 8; profiles of winners in next week’s edition).

Debt Deal Puts Newport Center Values at New High

REAL ESTATE: Irvine Company takes $250M on 3 office buildings

Wells Fargo might not have its logo atop the newest office building on Newport Center Drive, but its name is on something just as important for the building: loan documents.

Habit to Hone Focus on Company-Owned Stores

RESTAURANTS: Newly public, debt-free chain targets Fla., D.C.

Habit Restaurants Inc. Chief Executive Russ Bendel said the Irvine-based fast-casual burger chain plans to grow largely by units it owns and operates, not franchises, after its Nov. 20 initial public offering.

UCI Health Partners With IE Hospital

UC Irvine Health has struck a deal on an affiliation with Corona Regional Medical Center, a midsize hospital just across the Riverside County line.

Milk Processor Board Lands License Deals on ‘Got Milk?’

MARKETING: South OC-based trade group owns famous slogan

A classic children’s storybook starts off with, “If you give a mouse a cookie, he’s going to ask for a glass of milk.”

Kaiser Considers Internal Candidates For Top Executive in OC

HEALTHCARE: Harrier interim; final choice expected next month

Julie Miller-Phipps says Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Health Plan will likely stick with the familiar as it seeks to fill her role as its top executive in Orange County, where consideration of internal candidates is under way.

NB Amusement Operator Doubles Food, Drink Sales

HOSPITALITY: National accounts, franchises spur growth

Newport Beach-based leisure parks operator Palace Entertainment Inc. has doubled food and beverage sales in seven years, the company said.

Business Journal Honors Family Firms

A crowd of more than 350 turned out for a Nov. 19 luncheon at the Hotel Irvine to celebrate five honorees of the Business Journal’s 15th annual Family Owned Business Awards.

Nonprofit to Buy 56 Corinthian Schools

Santa Ana-based for-profit schools operator Corinthian Colleges Inc. said it will sell 56 campuses of its Everest College and WyoTech to Zenith Education Group Inc., an affiliate of Oakdale, Minn.-based student loan guarantor agency ECMC Group.

Honda Center Nets NCAA Hoops Opp

The Honda Center in Anaheim will host the West Regional of the NCAA basketball tournament in 2016, the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee announced.

PHILANTHROPY

More than 450 Southern California business and community leaders helped raise over $900,000 to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County’s professionally supported one-on-one mentoring relationships with at-risk youth.

ADDENDUM

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 37, No. 47

The last surviving child of the founders of Knott’s Berry Farm died at 92.

OCBJ Calendar

Nov. 24-Dec. 3, 2014

This week's business and other event listings.

Seattle Drugmaker With Local Plant Files for Bankruptcy

Performance of Dendreon Provenge Drug Elusive

Five years ago, the Business Journal wondered whether a “biotech beachhead” was going to take root in Orange County, an area long known for its domination by the medical device industry.

Oculus Software Gives Designers Hand on Samsung’s Gear

More Headset Apps To Come in Next Few Months

The virtual reality ecosystem got another boost with the recent launch of two software development kits for Samsung’s new Gear VR headset, which allows users to experience VR through an app played on Samsung’s Note 4 smartphone.

Pimco Takes New Approach on Life After Gross

Website Promotes Bond Heavyweight’s Services

Pacific Investment Management Co. is promoting the shared strengths of its leadership team on wearepimco.com, a new website of the Newport Beach-based firm.

Real Estate Deals

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

Makena Resources Inc. sold a 14,458-square-foot retail property in Mission Viejo to a private investor for $8 million.

West Orange County Lease Rates Rise As Supply Shrinks

It is no surprise that with hardly any new construction on the horizon in West Orange County, the trend of increasing lease rates continued in the third quarter.

Sares-Regis Adds Auto Tech School to Long Beach Site

Douglas Park Lands UTI For Long-Term Lease

Sares-Regis Group’s massive Douglas Park development site in Long Beach, once a base for the aviation industry, is slowly turning into an automotive hub of sorts.

Food Inc.: Entrepreneurs Take Recipes to Market

MANUFACTURING: Range from 2 people to $100M sales

The food business fills its plate as it fills ours.

All In On Aluminum

Laguna Hills Nonprofit Gets Body Shops Ready for Ford’s New Truck

The all-aluminum Ford F-150 trucks are set to roll off dealer lots next month—and you can bet that some will wind up in body shops before the new-car scent wears off.

BlizzCon’s Math: 3 New Games, 14 Languages

MEDIA: Crowd of 25,000 hears about 1st new franchise in 17 years

Blizzard Entertainment Inc.’s latest game in development marks another milestone for the Irvine-based company as it continues to offer new types of games in an ambitious schedule of product releases.

Another 180,000-SF Flip in South Coast?

REAL ESTATE: Would be 6th trade in 7 years for Costa Mesa office

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: The distinctive Costa Mesa office that once held the headquarters of ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc. and later Valeant Pharmaceuticals International could soon have a change in ownership.

New Allergan Suitor Puts Friendly Face on Takeover Talk

HEALTHCARE: Could arrive at special meeting with two offers

A new bidder has brought a decidedly different tone to talks on a takeover of Irvine-based Allergan Inc.

TRI Pointe in Full-Service Push for 2015 Sales Growth

REAL ESTATE: Adds mortgage, title services in wake of Weyerhaeuser deal

TRI Pointe Homes Inc. continues to build the foundation of an ambitious growth plan in 2015, despite some lingering questions over the health of the national homebuilding industry.

Q&A

The Business Journal’s Jane Yu asked local bankers to discuss their and their clients’ thoughts on how to manage operations in a changing interest rate environment, where rates are expected to rise. Here are edited excerpts of their responses:

Banks Post Biggest Jump in Assets Since Predownturn

23 Together See 35% Rise To $18.5 Billion In Year

Orange County-based commercial banks have notched the biggest year-over-year asset growth in the ongoing economic recovery and even since the few years prior to the recession.

Biggest Credit Unions Account for Bulk of Growth

Group’s Assets to $16.9B, Despite Declines for Most

Orange County’s credit unions built assets at a faster clip over the past year, when the biggest of the group pulled most of the gains.

Hope for Hangars? South Coast Redux; Act II for Churm?

Are the powers that be rethinking the fate of the two hangars on the former Marine base in Tustin now that Google has signed a 60-year lease worth $1.2 billion for a similar structure and several others on surrounding grounds in the Silicon Valley?

Habit Looks to Trade on ‘Better-Burger’ Standing in IPO

RESTAURANTS: Recent growth, timing of offering look favorable

The Habit Restaurants Inc. in Irvine appears to have a number of factors working in its favor for an initial public offering that’s expected sometime this week, including some that reflect its strong run of recent years and others that indicate the chain is well-positioned for the future.

Software Deal Points to Resumption of Fisker Production

TECHNOLOGY: Pact with Quantum could bring stake in IP

Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide Inc.’s new deal to supply key vehicle operations software for the relaunch of the Fisker Karma and potentially other models rekindles a relationship that had soured before the luxury automaker crashed two years ago.

Retail ‘Boot Camp’ Ahead of NAMM

HOSPITALITY: Show also hosts media on day before opening

The National Association of Music Merchants plans a “Retail Boot Camp” for music retailers on the day before its Jan. 22-25 show at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Small Restaurants Seek Big League Through Franchises

RESTAURANTS: Approach allows fast growth at limited cost

Small local restaurant companies plan to expand by franchise in 2015.

Vocational School Bucks One Trend, Taps Another

EDUCATION: Placements, demand for training strong

Caleb Everett said he has put $1 million into Career College of California and taken no salary since his Fortuna Education LLC bought it in 2010.