Orange County Business Journal


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.

Kia Loads First Full Luxury Sedan With Expectations

AUTOS: Seeks halo effect for whole lineup with new model

Kia Motors America Inc. sees 2014 as the year of the luxury sedan—and the time to push up market perceptions of its brand.

Vizio Sticks With ‘Beautifully Simple’ for Marketing

MARKETING: Targets Hollywood with ultra-HD

Vizio Inc.’s marketing strategy for 2014 is just like its latest ad campaign: “beautifully simple.”

$2.6B Edison Mission Asset Sale Approved

A bankruptcy judge in Chicago approved the sale of most of the assets of Santa Ana-based Edison Mission Energy, a unit of Edison International, the Rosemead-based parent of Southern California Edison.

Swiss Manufacturer Puts U.S. Unit in OC

A Swiss commercial printing equipment maker established its North American headquarters in Laguna Niguel.

Mitsubishi Electric to Consolidate in HB

Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America Inc. plans to consolidate its regional operations in Huntington Beach.

Irvine Medical Device Maker Seeks IPO

Lombard Medical Inc., a British medical device maker with U.S. headquarters in Irvine, filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an $80 million initial public offering on the Nasdaq exchange.


Min Kun Kim, who most recently served as chief executive coordinator at Kia Motors America Inc.’s headquarters in Irvine, was promoted to president and chief executive of Kia Canada Inc.


“Mentorship is one of the single most important gifts you can give to youth, especially those facing adversity,” says Melissa Beck, chief executive of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County.

OCBJ calendar

March 17, 2014

This week's business and other event listings.

LA Kiss Shoots for Touchdown With Preseason Ads

Tries to Get More Bang for Its Limited Pile of Bucks

Professional arena football team LA Kiss, with less than a month till the start of its inaugural season, has a flurry of marketing activities in the works.

British Heart Team Uses Edwards Valve in Implants

Doctor Said Device Could Extend, Improve Lives

Edwards Lifesciences Corp. recently hit another milestone with one of its less-invasive heart valves.

Microsemi Prevails in Lawsuit On Old Business Line

Wins $5.3M in Damages From Local Company

Aliso Viejo-based chipmaker Microsemi Corp. was awarded $5.3 million in damages from another local technology company in a breach-of-contract lawsuit filed four years ago.