Orange County Business Journal


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Fastest-Growing Private Companies Wanted for List

ECONOMY: Centerpiece of Sept. 21 Special Report

Is your company growing fast? Then let us know.

Personnel Trainer

How Chain Serves Up Talent to Southern California Restaurant Sector

Taco Bell Corp. builds more than just burritos.

Stem Cell Treatment Developer Shifts From People to Animals

HEALTHCARE: Sees quicker path to market with furry subjects

A Santa Ana-based stem cell company is changing its therapeutic direction from man to man’s best friend.

Aliso Viejo Office Sale Estimated Over $100M

REAL ESTATE: Two buildings at Summit combine for 295,000 SF

Two buildings in Aliso Viejo that hold the local operations of homebuilder Lennar Corp. and other tenants has traded hands in what looks to be the priciest office sale in South Orange County so far this year.

Game Developer ‘Geeked’ Over Deal to Supply Oculus

MEDIA: Ready at Dawn takes aim at virtual reality, proprietary IP

Irvine-based game developer Ready at Dawn could get a jump-start on its push to launch its own titles and control content, thanks to its recently struck agreement to develop video games for the highly anticipated virtual reality headset from Oculus VR Inc.


A diversity of business sectors, ample capital held by investor groups, and demographic factors are some key drivers behind a robust mergers-and-acquisitions scene in Orange County. The fast pace of M&A activity means professional services providers, such as accountants, are in high demand to carry out sound due-diligence procedures and provide guidance. The Business Journal’s Jane Yu asked local accounting firm executives to share their thoughts on M&A activity in Orange County, as well as to discuss expectations for future trends and client concerns. Here are edited excerpts of their responses:

Accounting Firms Notch 4th Year of Workforce Gains

Employment Up 4.4%, Top Spots Unchanged

Orange County’s largest accounting firms combined to grow the sector’s local workforce by about 4% over the past year, marking the fourth straight year of modest gains.

Management Consultant Gains Slow As Biggest Shrink

27 Firms Eke Out 1% Gain to 1,551 Jobs Here

The pace of employment growth at Orange County’s top management consulting firms slowed over the past year, driven primarily by job cuts at the biggest.

OCSA Gets Hand From Argyros Clan; Different Donalds

George and Julia Argyros were there for daughter Stephanie when she took on the role of co-chair of the Southern California chapter of We Day back in May, donating $1 million and opening their Harbor Island home to kick off the cause.

Allergan Deals Add Emphasis to Irvine Operations

HEALTHCARE: Minimum of $350M for buys in eye business

Allergan PLC Chief Executive Brent Saunders is living up to his word when it comes to the company’s Irvine operations.

Asics Looks for Crossover Appeal With New Shoe

MARKETING: Part of push beyond performance runners

Asics America Corp. is lacing up for the launch of a new shoe it hopes will give the brand some traction beyond its traditional stronghold in performance running.

Change at Top For Hyundai Ad Shop

The advertising arm of Fountain Valley-based Hyundai Motor America Inc. has a new boss to go with a $300 million initial public offering by its parent, Innocean Worldwide Inc.

Trend Builds as Great Park Project Eyes Own Food Hall

REAL ESTATE: Old warehouse would hold one of a few planned

Add Great Park Neighborhoods in Irvine to the growing list of areas across Orange County looking to add a hip food hall to their developments instead of a more traditional retail center.

Banc of California Sells Two Branches

Irvine-based Banc of California Inc. agreed to sell two branches to Americas United Bank in Glendale, which primarily serves Latino-American customers.

Software Maker Drawloop Acquired

Irvine-based Drawloop Technologies Inc. recently announced it was acquired by Nintex USA LLC for an undisclosed amount.

Excelsior Capital Buys Wall Art Maker

Excelsior Capital Partners LLC in Newport Beach formed two entities to acquire Artissimo Designs, a manufacturer of wall decoration products.

Payoff Gets $250M for Credit Debtors

Costa Mesa-based consumer financial services firm Payoff Inc. secured up to $250 million in debt financing to help its members pay off credit card debt.


More than 900 leaders from the Orange County legal community joined the Public Law Center for the Volunteers for Justice 2015 Annual Dinner at Hotel Irvine on June 22.


Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 38, No. 28

The Anaheim City Council voted 3-2 to extend by 30 years an admission ticket tax exemption for Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.

Ensign Buys in California, Arizona, Washington State

10-Piece Purchase Brings Total to 161 Facilities

Ensign Group Inc. is boosting its presence in several states.

Grupo Gallegos Aims to Win Latino Hearts for Xfinity

‘Perfect for Me’ Ads Highlight Comcast Brand

Grupo Gallegos’ latest campaign for Xfinity aims to help Latino-American consumers see the brand as “more human, closer to their hearts rather than their minds,” according to Carlos Tornell, the Huntington Beach-based agency’s creative director.

OCBJ Calendar

July 13-22, 2015

This week's business and other event listings.

OC High-Rise Market Continues Improvement in Q1

The high-rise market in Orange County ended the first quarter with increased demand, resulting in 476,089 square feet of positive net absorption, nearly all of which took place in the Greater Airport Area and Central Orange County.

IT Provider Nears $500M in Sales, Aims for $1 Billion

2K Customers Include Big Names Such as Vizio

Irvine-based IT consultancy and service provider Trace3 is on pace to crack $500 million in revenue this year as it attracts new Fortune 500 customers and builds up regional offices.

Vans Has Expansion Plans on Tap for Costa Mesa HQ

City Officials Say 40K SF Planned for New Campus

Comments by Costa Mesa city officials suggest that skate shoe and apparel company Vans Corp. is looking to build a sizeable expansion to the company’s planned new headquarters in the city.

Real Estate Deals

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

Tiki/Polynesian-themed restaurant and bar Don the Beachcomber in Huntington Beach was sold to an undisclosed buyer for $5 million, or $312.50 per square foot.

Ranks of Biggest Women-Owned Businesses Swell to 100-Strong

Orange County’s biggest women-owned businesses generated $3.5 billion in revenue last year, notching a 5.6% increase and extending a streak of gains to five years.

Buchan’s High Bar

Set Record on Athletic Field at Yale, New Pace for Women in World of Hedge Funds

Sports brought Jane Buchan to Orange County from New York City, and the competitive drive honed on the playing fields has continued with her rise into the ranks of the most powerful women in the world of hedge funds.

Graphene True Game Changer? OCWD Wants to Know

TECHNOLOGY: Hopes to test Lockheed product by year-end

The Orange County Water District is standing ready to test a new technology under development by Lockheed Martin Corp. that could be a game-changer on water treatment, with the potential to lower costs as municipalities and private businesses search for new ways to secure supplies in drought-stricken California.

Medical Device Maker Adds to RSM Presence In Deal Pegged at $37M

REAL ESTATE: Cox affiliate sells building, 24.5 acres near toll road

Rancho Santa Margarita-based medical device maker Applied Medical Resources Corp. has bought the largest office building in its hometown for its growing operations.

Bundles Make Big Business for Maker of Security Systems

More Than $70M in Sales To A-List Customers

Priti Sharma moved to Chicago from India at age 16 and at the time had no idea that she would one day own a multimillion-dollar company.

Scripsense Cofounders Aim to Do Well By Doing Good

Gift Card Concept Makes Giving to Charity Easier

Lori Jackson “lived scrip,” as she puts it. The mother of four children attending Serra Catholic School in Rancho Santa Margarita was retrieving gift cards worth thousands of dollars from their backpacks each month and distributing them to friends and family members around the county. The private school would get the cards at a discount, usually 1% to 13%, and resell them through students at face value to parents.

Memo to Anaheim: Entertain This!; Jay’s Judgment: Ed Rocks

“Disney tax break up for renewal,” proclaimed the L.A. Times in its business section last week.

Will NFL Deal Help Hyundai Reverse Field?

MARKETING: Takes GM’s spot in sponsorship lineup

Hyundai Motor America Inc.’s new status as the automotive sponsor of the National Football League—a deal that came at an estimated cost of $50 million a year—could be the ticket to getting the Fountain Valley-based automaker back on pace with the market.

Gross Greets Old Colleague as New Co-Manager

FINANCE: Janus acquires majority stake in Kapstream

Bill Gross got a co-portfolio manager to support his global unconstrained bond strategy for Janus Capital Group Inc.

$12.4 Million Round for Inari Medical

HEALTHCARE: Plans product improvements, clinical studies

Irvine-based startup device maker Inari Medical Inc. has raised $12.4 million in a second round of venture capital funding.

All in the Family

Swimwear Company Her Parents Started Best Fit for Vogel

Raj Manufacturing LLC co-President Lisa Vogel was recently at the pool with her 11-year-old son, Vaughn, when he lobbed a question.