Orange County Business Journal


Allergan Raises Bar on Raiders With Cost Cuts, Pledge on Profits

HEALTHCARE: Q2 report, projections put valuations well beyond $52B bid

Allergan Inc.’s promise of cost cuts and higher profits might have put the company out of its hostile suitors’ reach.

Another Business Hotel in Works for Irvine

REAL ESTATE: About 800 rooms under construction or planned in city

A two-building office site in Irvine that’s about a block from John Wayne Airport is being eyed for a hotel development.

Perfect Match Starts With Taking Care of Team

Staffing Firm Head Said It Makes Own Workers Priority

Harlan Royce was out of work for nearly three years by the time he made contact with Staffmark.

Company Culture Breeds Independence, Commitment

Tech Firm Zumasys Uses Trust to Tap Workers’ Best

Nine years ago, someone special walked into Zumasys Inc.’s Irvine headquarters for a job interview for a warehouse position.

Real Estate Company’s ‘Core Value’ Its People

Hughes Marino Involves, Builds Up Employees

When Shay Hughes, chief operating officer of commercial real estate company Hughes Marino, started to plan the business’ quarterly retreat three years ago, she wanted it to be memorable, not only for its stunning location—Pelican Hills Golf Club—but also for what people would take away from the event.

How Best Companies Make Lists

The Business Journal’s Best Places to Work lists are the result of months of surveying workers and management at local employers.

Hughes Marino’s 10 Core Values

Always do the right thing. Ask yourself these five questions: Is it right for the client? Is it right for the company? Is it ethical? Is it something you are willing to be held accountable for? Is it the right thing to do?

Pyott on Points; Goodwill Gala; Reiff Steppes Up

The quick takeaway from last week’s Allergan action: Round 1 goes to David Pyott on points—and an acquisition would knock Valeant out cold

Student Housing, Hotel for Orange Coast Campus?

REAL ESTATE: Bond money backs community college plans

Student housing, new classrooms, a parking structure, and a boutique hotel are among the more than 1.3 million square feet of new buildings and facilities being considered for the campus of Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa.

Another Round of Renovations at Hilton Anaheim

HOSPITALITY: Lobby lounge, Starbucks next for upgrades

The largest hotel in Orange County is nearly done with the most visible parts of a touch-up worth several million dollars.

Ex-LA Mayor Stars in OC Bank’s Deal

FINANCE: Featured in ads, opponents take different view

An advocacy group protesting a proposed acquisition by Irvine-based Banc of California Inc. wants former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to broker a deal and end the dispute.

I-5 Publishing Expands Distribution Business by 30%

MEDIA: Gets account for rural retailer in industry shake-up

The publisher of Cat Fancy magazine has pounced on an opportunity to add a large outside account to its distribution operations.

Chapman Sees Chance to Grow Business Links With Schmid

EDUCATION: Puts $130M into school of science and tech

Chapman University had no formal school of science six years ago.

Wienerschnitzel’s Millennial Out to Win Over Peers

MARKETING: Chain takes long view on younger customers

Monthly reports indicate that all is well at Irvine-based restaurant operator Galardi Group Inc.—sales are up at its Wienerschnitzel, The Original Hamburger Stand and Tastee Freez franchises throughout the nation.

Broadcom Backs Off Baseband Business

Irvine-based chipmaker Broadcom Corp. last week offered some details on its plans to cut about 20% of its workforce and consolidate or close 18 locations around the world as part of a restructuring plan prompted by the wind down of its unsuccessful baseband business.

Real Mex Restaurants CEO Leaves

Cypress-based Real Mex Restaurants Inc. President and Chief Executive Charly Robinson left the company, Real Mex confirmed, declining further comment.

Illinois Firm to Buy Food Distributor

Brea-based natural food products distributor Nature’s Best agreed to be acquired by KeHE Distributors LLC in Naperville, Ill., on undisclosed terms.


Newport Beach-based hotel sales and marketing company Preferred Hotel Group said it produced $420 million in reservations for member hotels in the first six months of the year, including 41 hotels added to its roster. Member hotels grew room nights 18% and bookings by 20% in the year-over-year period. The Business Journal estimates the company’s 2013 revenue at $70 million.

How High-End Agents Master Marketing of Luxe Homes

Prospect Perks Range From Cocktails to Tennis

There are distinctive techniques for marketing a luxury home that go beyond listing the house on the Multiple Listing Service and hosting an open house.

San Clemente Device Companies Make FDA Moves

One Gets Device Clearance, Other Files Submission

Two small medical device makers in South County have had recent dealings with the Food and Drug Administration.

Red Digital Takes Its Fancy Camera Work to YouTube

Channel Features Videos Shot With Red Equipment

No one is too good for YouTube. Red Digital Cinema Camera Co. in Irvine has launched an official YouTube channel, Shot on Red, which features 29 videos produced with the company’s 4K-resolution digital still and motion cameras.

Western Digital’s Share of SSD Market Safe for Now

Google, Amazon Entries Likely No ‘Big Problem’

Google Inc. and’s recent entrance into the emerging solid-state drive market doesn’t appear to pose an imminent threat to Irvine-based memory products maker Western Digital Corp. or its Cupertino rival, Seagate Technology Inc.

real estate deals

A private trust sold a 19,402-square-foot retail strip center in Lake Forest for $7.4 million to investor Jin Yu Inc.

First Quarter Sees Commercial Construction in Full Swing

Construction of speculative industrial buildings in Orange County was in full swing during the first quarter, though construction of speculative offices had yet to begin and retail remained slow.

Lease at City Plaza Backfills Old Law Firm Space

EEC to Move HQ From Santa Ana With Deal

Environmental Engineering & Contracting Inc., a Santa Ana-based environmental consulting firm, said it plans to relocate its headquarters to the City Plaza office tower in Orange in September.

Volcom’s New Vision

Paris-Based Parent Prods Change at OC Label

Volcom Inc. has outgrown its rebellious stage.

Irvine Firm Seeks Business Virtue in Catholic Practice

LAW: Recent combination aims for national client roster

Tim Busch and Michael Caspino have a clear growth plan in mind for their newly formed law partnership: make it the go-to firm for cases involving Roman Catholic entities nationwide.

Ackman Must Beat Clock to Best Pyott

HEALTHCARE: Allergan defenses run deep; CEO not targeted in board ouster

Time, it seems, is on Allergan Inc.’s side. That much started to come clear last week when activist investor Bill Ackman set off a ticking clock in the background of his hostile takeover bid for the Irvine-based drug maker.

Toba Rolls Ahead With String of Exits, IPO

FINANCE: Smith’s VC firm backs up talk of fast start, OC investments

Toba Capital, the Irvine-based venture capital firm launched by former Quest Software Inc. Chief Executive Vinny Smith, is on a roll with three recent exits and an initial public offering topping $100 million apiece.

Hotels Get Creative With Modern Looks for Lobbies

Renovations, New Construction Emphasize Open Design

Look to the lobbies of Orange County’s newest and most recently redesigned hotels to see the hospitality industry’s latest generation of interior design on display.

Tenant-Improvement Firms Ride Upturn for 29% Jump

26 Firms Combine for $677 Million in Revenue Last Year

Orange County’s tenant-improvement industry posted its strongest year in more than a decade last year, buoyed by a spate of new construction work in addition to plenty of renovations at existing properties.

Tie Goes to Pyott?; Something Cool in South Coast Metro

The Insider isn’t ready to make a flat-out prediction but will say this much on the latest turn in the Allergan-Valeant saga: It looks as though David Pyott can play for a tie while his opponents have to win—and do it in regulation time.

Corinthian Programs Could Command $140M

EDUCATION: Wells Fargo, reports cite value, $101M debt

Corinthian Colleges Inc.’s selloff of schools and programs and its closing of campuses could bring in as much as $140 million.

Swimwear Maker Adds Labels, 190,000-SF Lease

APPAREL: Will consolidate distribution to Buena Park

The biggest swimwear maker in the U.S. is getting bigger with an expansion to Buena Park following its latest acquisition.

Swiss Conglomerate Shifts Units to Irvine

A Swiss manufacturer has expanded its North American industrial piping systems division in a move from Tustin to Irvine.

Fast-Casual Pizza Co. Eyes More Units, New States

RESTAURANTS: Pieology has Yum! vet to lead expansion

Pieology Pizzeria has cooked up ambitious plans to double in size by year-end and has hired a Yum! Brands Inc. veteran to help it get there.

Menlo Sheds Irvine Office With $36 Million Sale

REAL ESTATE: Investor paid $20M for offices in 2010

A two-building office property in Irvine a few blocks from John Wayne Airport has traded hands for $36 million.