Orange County Business Journal

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Ingram Micro Gets Majority Stake in Turkish Distributor

Santa Ana-based Ingram Micro Inc. through its Dubai unit has acquired a majority stake in Armada, a technology distributor in Turkey.

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Software Company Expands HQ, Moves to Aliso Viejo

Predixion Software Inc. has tripled the size of its headquarters in a move from San Juan Capistrano to Aliso Viejo.

Employee Friendly, Too

Earth Friendly Products Spreads Benefits of Growth

Earth Friendly Products is continuing on its growth course under a new generation of leadership.

Building Business by Hand

Manufacturer in ‘Unique’ Industry Pulls on Family Ties for Gains

Eric Albert calls his company, American Handforge, more or less “hidden.”

First Foundation Gets Bank in Hawaii

Irvine-based financial services company First Foundation Inc. has agreed to acquire Pacific Rim Bank in Hawaii in a deal valued at about $11.8 million.

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JWA Traffic Up in October

Airline passenger traffic at John Wayne Airport increased 2.6% in October compared with a year earlier, the airport said.

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Irvine Security Firm Moves HQ to Carlsbad

A cyber security start-up in Irvine has moved its headquarters to Carlsbad, where it recently opened a new office.

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OCADA: October Auto Sales Up 6.5%; Prediction for 2015

October sales of new vehicles at Orange County auto dealers increased 6.5% year-over-year to 12,869, according to the Orange County Automobile Dealers Association.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.13% to 2,070.07 in midday trading.

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OCADA: October Auto Sales Up 6.5%; Prediction for 2015

October sales of new vehicles at Orange County auto dealers increased 6.5% year-over-year to 12,869, according to the Orange County Automobile Dealers Association.

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Fed Lifts Enforcement Action on Pac Merc

The Federal Reserve Board has terminated its enforcement action with Costa Mesa-based Pacific Mercantile Bancorp.

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.

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Gross-Managed Fund Gets $500M from Soros

Billionaire hedge fund manager George Soros has put $500 million in a fund managed by Bill Gross at Janus Capital Group Inc.

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OC Adds 15,800 Jobs, Unemployment Falls to 5%

Orange County employers added 15,800 jobs in October, helping push down the unemployment rate to 5%.

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NB Title Company Acquired for $36M

Newport Beach-based title insurance company Experience 1 Inc. has been acquired by Solutionstar Holdings LLC for $36 million in cash.

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Universal Protection Buys Guard Services Firms

Universal Protection Service in Santa Ana has acquired two guard services companies on undisclosed terms.

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Allergan Acquired by Actavis for $66B

Irvine-based Allergan Inc. has agreed to be acquired for $66 billion by Actavis PLC.

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Cal Republic Raises $90M, Swings to Profit in Q3

Irvine-based California Republic Bancorp has raised about $90 million in equity and debt offerings.

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.

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.

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:

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Subprime Auto Lender in Deal, Loses Irvine HQ

The owner of CarFinance Capital LLC is combining the Irvine-based subprime auto lender with another such company in its portfolio.

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Irvine Mortgage Bank Sold

Irvine-based mortgage lender American Interbanc Mortgage has been acquired by Seashine Financial LLC, also in Irvine.

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LoanDepot Buys Massachusetts Firm

Foothill Ranch-based mortgage lender loanDepot.com LLC has acquired Mortgage Master Inc. on undisclosed terms.

LED Manufacturer Sets Up in Anaheim

MANUFACTURING: Shifts West Coast center from IE

MaxLite Inc., a lighting products manufacturer in New Jersey, has relocated the base for its West Coast operations to Orange County, where it has expanded its facility space as part of a bid for growth.

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Irvine Insurance Brokerage Acquired

Irvine-based NuWest Insurance Services Inc. has been acquired by Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC on undisclosed terms.

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Pimco Brings Exec Back as Co-CIO

Pacific Investment Management Co. has re-hired Marc Seidner as a chief investment officer, making him the firm’s sixth co-CIO.

Kodiak to Buy $5M in Alt Energy Stock

Newport Beach-based investment firm Kodiak Capital Group LLC agreed to buy $5 million worth of common stock of Cirque Energy Inc., a Detroit-based developer of alternative energy sources.

Fastest Growers Keep Pace

Public Cos. Combine for 24% Hike to $83B in Sales

The latest batch of Orange County’s fastest-growing public companies kept pace with last year’s mix, combining for a 24% growth rate on revenue.

Need for Speed

Why Fast-Growing Companies Matter to Local Economy

Fast growth matters. Having a deep pool of fast-growing public companies is a plus on many fronts for Orange County’s economy and community.

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Opus Misses Estimates on Q3 Profit

Irvine-based Opus Bank’s third-quarter net income fell short of Wall Street estimates.

Financial Firms Add Advisers, Cut Total Workforces

Reps Jump 3.4%, Overall Staff Down 5% at Top 23

Orange County’s financial advisory firms combined to deepen the pool of registered advisers here while reducing the size of their overall employment bases.

OC Lures Professionals in More Ways Than One

Chance for Independence, Creativity Part of Appeal

Sunny winters aren’t the only draw for financial industry professionals to move to Orange County from Wall Street and other finance centers on the East Coast.

Boot Barn Holdings Gives IPO Details

Irvine-based Boot Barn Holdings Inc. has announced details of its initial public offering, including the number and price of shares to be sold.

Irvine Renewable-Energy Firm Eyes $270M Loan From China Ex-Im Bank

The Export-Import Bank of China last week signed a letter of intent to provide a $270 million loan to Irvine-based BlueFire Renewables Inc.

Pacific Premier to Acquire Bank

Irvine-based Pacific Premier Bancorp Inc. has agreed to pay $71.5 million to acquire Independence Bank in Newport Beach.

OC-India Connection’s 2-Way Street

Financial Services Here Look for Roles on Both Ends of Deals

A number of financial services firms in Orange County are setting themselves up as conduits for deals in India, drawn by the country’s growing upper and middle classes, a raft of highly educated workers, and a number of industries that offer potential for cross-border links.

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El-Erian Backs Costa Mesa Startup

Mohamed El-Erian, former chief executive of Pacific Investment Management Co., has joined Costa Mesa-based startup Payoff Inc. as an investor and board member.

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Pac Merc Narrows Q3 Loss

Costa Mesa-based Pacific Mercantile Bancorp narrowed its third-quarter loss to $693,000, versus a loss of $1.4 million in the same quarter a year earlier.

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Irvine Renewables Energy Firm to Get $270M Loan from China

The Export-Import Bank of China has signed a letter of intent to provide a loan of up to $270 million to BlueFire Renewables Inc., an Irvine-based renewable fuels company.

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First Foundation to List on Nasdaq

Shares of Irvine-based First Foundation Inc. will start trading on the Nasdaq exchange next month.

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Quarterly Profit Up for CalFirst Bancorp

Irvine-based California First National Bancorp reported net income of $2.5 million in the September quarter, an increase of about 34% from the same time a year earlier.

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Pacific Premier Acquires Independence Bank

Irvine-based Pacific Premier Bancorp Inc. has agreed to pay $71.5 million to acquire Independence Bank in Newport Beach.

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Plaza Bank Q3 Profit Dips on Lower Noninterest Income

Irvine-based Plaza Bank reported $1.4 million in net income for the third quarter, down about 2% from the same time a year ago.

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Boot Barn Gives IPO Details

Irvine-based Boot Barn Holdings Inc. has announced details of its initial public offering, including the number and price of shares to be sold.

Companies Look to New Generation for Future

Recovery Growth, Offshore Jobs Return, Spur Hunt

Manufacturing companies and industry organizations are aggressively searching for young talent, with schools and businesses coming together to showcase advanced technologies and provide opportunities for hands-on work experience.

Manufacturers That Survived Storm on Path of Growth

Expanding Local Plants, Adding Training Facilities

Manufacturing in Orange County is in growth mode, with many local companies—those that have weathered the recession and managed to notch consistent business gains—making investments in facility expansions and upgrading their training resources.

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OC Adds 12,100 Jobs, Unemployment Falls

Orange County employers added 12,100 jobs in September, helping bring down the unemployment rate to 5.1%.

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VC Funding Drops in Q3

Venture capital deal flow slowed in Orange County in the third quarter.

Gross Pushes ‘Small, Flexible’ as Calling Card at Janus

FINANCE: First comments in public focus on new nimble

Bill Gross chose to field two questions out of nearly 200 in his first public comments as part of Janus Capital Group Inc.—and his answers to both emphasized his contention that “small and flexible” is good for an investment management firm.