Orange County Business Journal

OCBJ WEEKLY EDITION

Eureka’s Moment?

Startups Seek Cumulative Edge at 3-Acre Campus in Irvine

Entrepreneur Jennifer Bell left a “very toxic relationship” in the middle of a December night in 2014, she said.

NextVR Seeks to Add Role of Content Guide

TECHNOLOGY: Fox deal, headset rollouts may spur adoption

NextVR Inc. is developing the TV Guide of virtual reality content as the sizzling nascent segment draws more viewers with the launch of several headset systems.

CT Realty Gets 25 Acres in Aliso Viejo

REAL ESTATE: Estimated $33.6M price; 500,000-SF, medical emphasis

The U.S. Postal Service has completed the sale of one of the last big parcels of developable commercial land in Aliso Viejo, which is now slated for a mixed-use property emphasizing medical uses that will total more than 500,000 square feet.

Register Reports To LA in Wake of Sale

MEDIA: Now one of 11 dailies in Digital First’s SoCal regional group

The bankruptcy sale of Freedom Communications Inc. to Digital First Media indicates The Orange County Register will be overseen by executives in Los Angeles with responsibility for a regional publishing operation with 11 daily newspapers stretching from the San Fernando Valley to the Inland Empire.

Praise for Allergan Ongoing; El-Erian’s OCSA Lunch Tab

Belated validation has been pouring in lately for the job that the leadership of erstwhile Allergan Inc. did in fending off the raiding team of hedge funder Bill Ackman and Valeant Pharmaceuticals.

Apparel Co. TravisMathew to Quiksilver’s Old HQ

REAL ESTATE: Expands into Surf City creative-office space

Apparel maker TravisMathew LLC is moving its headquarters to a larger facility in Huntington Beach that previously served as the home of Quiksilver Inc.

Liquidmetal in Line For $63M Injection

MANUFACTURING: 40% stake would go to investor

Rancho Santa Margarita-based Liquidmetal Technologies Inc. said it expects Chinese businessman Yeung Tak Lugee Li to invest up to $63.4 million to take a controlling interest in the producer of alloys used in medical devices and consumer electronics.

Exec Changes at William Lyon Homes

Newport Beach-based homebuilder William Lyon Homes made a series of executive management changes, including a new role for the company’s namesake and founder, Gen. William Lyon, and a new stand-alone chief executive.

SWELL Head Named Parent’s Co-CEO

Australia-based online retailer SurfStitch Group Ltd. named Lex Pedersen and Justin Stone co-chief executives.

Hospital Operator Cuts Nearly 200 Jobs

Fountain Valley-based MemorialCare Health System will cut 194 jobs as part of its planned closure of the San Clemente location of its Saddleback Memorial Medical Center, according to a state filing.

Healthcare Vet Brings Once-Shelved Device to Market

HEALTHCARE: Incontinence prevention product sold online

Longtime OC medical device executive Thomas Berryman is back in business with a new company and device to battle female stress urinary incontinence.

PHILANTHROPY

Music and wine proved to be a perfect pairing at the ninth Pacific Coast Wine Festival benefitting Pacific Symphony.

ADDENDUM

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 39, No.13

Santa Ana College President Erlinda Martinez announced plans to retire at the end of June after 11 years at the helm. The Rancho Santiago Community College District has launched a nationwide search to fill the position.

OCBJ Calendar

March 28-April 7, 2016

This week's business and other event listings.

Insurance Unit Signs Deal With Drug Store Chain

Members Can Get Rx At Walgreens or By Mail

A unit of Minnesota health insurance giant UnitedHealth Group Inc. with an office in Irvine has struck a long-anticipated “preferred partnership” with a major drugstore chain.

Vans Gets Artistic With 50th Anniversary Campaign

Features French Drawings, LA-Produced Soundtrack

Cypress-based action sports footwear and apparel brand Vans Inc. launched The Story of Vans, a marketing campaign that combines “a mix of artistic methods to highlight iconic moments from the brand’s 50-year history.” It includes five short videos—one depicting “the journey of the Vans brand” and four others that “emphasize Vans’ core forms of creative expression.” 

Western Digital Makes Post-SanDisk Purchase Plans

International Restructure, Integration on Horizon

Western Digital Corp. plans to restructure its international operation “shortly after” closing its highly leveraged $17 billion acquisition of SanDisk Corp. in Milpitas.

Q4 Mixed for South OC Industrial Sectors

The South Orange County industrial market saw 39,262 square feet of negative net absorption in the fourth quarter, though the year-to-date total remained positive at 314,049 square feet.

San Clemente’s Largest Office Sells to LA Investor

$14.2M Sales Price Is Discount on 2007 Trade

The largest office building in San Clemente has been sold to a Los Angeles-based value-add investor.

Purchasing Platform Startup Wins ‘Most Fundable’

Aims to Boost Small Medical Device Makers

A Newport Beach-based startup won the “Most Fundable” award at Tech Coast Angels’ Celebration of Entrepreneurship on March 10.

He Felt Your Pain

Proove Helps Docs Manage Patients’ Discomfort

Brian Meshkin sought a way to help doctors make better decisions in the specialty of pain management, acting on the desire in 2009 when he created Irvine-based Proove Biosciences Inc.

Experian Offers New Experience

Seeks to Change Reputation From Credit Judge to Consumer Ally

No one wants to be seen as the bearer of bad news, even if it’s part of their job description. Experian plc, one of three major credit reporting agencies, is no exception.

Greenlaw Plans Rentals, Hotel Near Outlets Mall

REAL ESTATE: For-sale project in IBC also on developer’s agenda

Real estate investor and developer Greenlaw Partners is pushing ahead with plans to build more than 900 apartments and for-sale homes and a hotel in separate projects on land it owns in Orange and Irvine.

Comcast to Put $40M Into Supplier in Santa Ana

TECHNOLOGY: Cable outfit aims for Internet of Things

The largest U.S. cable TV provider plans to invest nearly $40 million in Santa Ana-based remote control maker Universal Electronics Inc. over the next six years.

Wylie and George Walk Into a Bar…; Re: Leader Board

Call it a St. Patrick’s Day miracle—or maybe just a simple, human reminder that it’s possible for folks to line up as political opponents rather than enemies, a distinction that can keep friendships alive, come what may.

LBA Sheds More Light on 9-Acre Mixed-Use Project

REAL ESTATE: 423,000 SF of space across from Park Place

LBA Realty Inc. has disclosed more details, plus early-stage renderings, of the mixed-use campus it’s targeting for a 9.4-acre site at the intersection of Jamboree Road and Michelson Drive in Irvine.

Volt Campus in Orange to Hines JV for $36 Million

REAL ESTATE: 15-year leaseback planned for office

The Irvine office of real estate developer and investor Hines Interests LP has made its first purchase in the city of Orange, picking up the office campus of Volt Information Sciences Inc.

Two OC Components Makers Join Forces

San Clemente-based rubber products maker IRP Group Holdings recently agreed to combine with Garden Grove-based ProPlas Technologies on undisclosed terms.

PIMCO Names Overseer, Eyes Cost Cuts

Newport Beach-Based Pacific Investment Management Co. will have a new “overseer” on July 1, when Jacqueline “Jackie” Hunt assumes responsibility for the U.S. asset management and life insurance businesses for PIMCO parent company Allianz, a Munich, Germany-based insurer.

UC-Irvine MBA Program Up in Ranking

The University of California-Irvine Paul Merage School of Business full-time MBA program rose five spots in the U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate Schools rankings, tying with Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business in Dallas at No. 48.

Device Maker Focal Raises $3.8 Million

Aliso Viejo-based Focal Therapeutics Inc. raised about $3.8 million in venture capital, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Taco Bell to Open First China Location

Taco Bell Corp. is planning to open its first location in China by the end of the year, executives of the Irvine-based chain said during a Bank of America Merrill Lynch consumer and retail conference in New York.

More Than One Way to Pull a Hill

Pedego Co-Founder Saw His Spot in Electric Bikes

A taxing task led to a global business for Don DiCostanzo. Tired of peddling his bike uphill on Superior Avenue in Newport Beach for volunteer work and recreation, he knew there had to be an easier way. His solution? An electric bike.

True Believer

Personal Philosophy Produces Impressive Track Record

It’s hard to believe that Twila True, co-founder of Newport Beach-based True Family Enterprises, was ever intimidated by Orange County.

Much More Than a Spaghetti Dinner

Anaheim White House’s Serato Gives as Restaurant Shines

Bruno Serato, owner of the Anaheim White House Restaurant, may be better known nationally and internationally for his charity work than his success as a business owner.

Environmental Consultants Feel Effect of Energy Slump

Slight Declines Seen In Jobs, Billings Flat

Orange County’s largest environmental consultants faced a tough landscape last year, with no big increase in government spending—a staple of the segment—and aftershocks from the difficulties in the energy sector.

Intelligent Reinvention

Husband-and-Wife Team Lead $40 Million Juice & Food Chain

Seeing Steve and Alexis Schulze at the podium at a Business Journal event is like NFL great Jim Brown arriving in the end zone—seems like they’ve been there before.