Orange County Business Journal

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Nissan Takes $2.2B Mitsubishi Stake

Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. said it will take a controlling stake in Mitsubishi Motors Corp., the parent company of Cypress-based Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc., for about $2.2 billion.

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OCVA to Nab China MICE

The Orange County Visitors Association in Irvine has added a “Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions” effort to its Beijing office.

Behr Ads Aim to Inspire Homeowners of All Stripes

Campaign Encourages DIYers’ Self-Expression

Paint maker Behr Process Corp. in Santa Ana released a flight of four TV spots that celebrate self-expression and aim to “inspire DIYers to transform their homes with colors that bring them joy,” according to Jodi Allen, the brand’s chief marketing officer. “This campaign is all about finding a color that’s right for you with paint that will give you a beautiful, lasting finish and a space that is all your own.”

Vans Takes on Olympian Challenge

Brand Hopes New Skate Circuit Will Lead to Tokyo Games

Vans Inc. is betting its future on what some consider a lifestyle rather than a sport.

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Autobytel Shares Crater on Q1 Results

Autobytel Inc. in Irvine reported mixed results for its March quarter, exceeding Wall Street expectations on revenue but delivering below forecasts on earnings

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Working Wardrobes HQ to Irvine

Working Wardrobes, a non-profit that provides career training, job placement assistance and professional wardrobe services, is moving from Costa Mesa to Irvine.

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Most OC Carmakers Beat U.S. Pace

Three of four Orange County-based automakers exceeded the national sales pace for new vehicle sales in April, according to New Jersey-based market researcher Autodata Corp.

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Sock Maker Raises $30M

San Clemente-based Stance Inc. received $30 million in Series D funding led by Mercato Partners in Salt Lake City.

Speedo's Splash

New Line Launches in Time to Catch Buzz of Summer Olympics

It’s not your mother’s aqua aerobics, but both of you are welcome to join in.

‘The Voice’ Contestant Pays Her Dues Selling Boots

Chain Takes Advantage Of On-Air Banter

Boot Barn Inc. in Irvine recently hired country music star Kelsea Ballerini as the face of women’s apparel brand Shyanne, but the real buzz is coming from its employee who is competing on NBC’s “The Voice.”

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Anaheim Apparel Maker to Be Sold

Midlothian, Texas-based Ennis Inc. said it plans to sell Alstyle Apparel LLC in Anaheim to the newly formed Alstyle Operations LLC for $76 million in cash and $12 million to cover a 60-month equipment lease.

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Mitsubishi: U.S. Cars OK With EPA

Cypress-based Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc. said the fuel economy data for its vehicles model years 2013 to 2017 sold in the U.S. is accurate and is not affected by testing irregularities its Japan-based parent revealed last week.

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PacSun CFO Departs

Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. named Ernie Sibal its chief financial officer after Chris Tedford resigned “to pursue other endeavors.”

Western Digital Breaks Funny Again With Drive Ads

Mini Mystery Plots ‘Purple Surveillance’ Heroism

Ads for Irvine-based Western Digital Corp.’s Purple Surveillance Drive appeal to IT professionals’ inner geek—the product “saves the day” while starring in a comic strip.

Kelley Blue Book Shifts Focus

A new marketing campaign by Irvine-based Kelley Blue Book aims to help the 90-year-old company build a reputation as a “go-to resource” for new-car buyers, alongside its longstanding status as a guide on used-car valuations.

New Plaza Regency’s Alternative to Powerhouse Centers

Gourmet Grocer Anchors Unique Mix at Center

Developer Regency Centers wanted to build more than just another strip mall in Brea—it envisioned a retail and dining hub that prompts nearby residents to abandon the comforts of online shopping and walk over for a bite or a drink with a neighbor. It also had to stand apart from the surrounding offerings, a plethora of middle-of-the-road chain stores and restaurants that often make one street corner look like the next.

How Oil Patch Pain Hits OC Chain

Boot Barn Adjusts as Energy Sector’s Cuts Trickle Down to Core Customers

What does the price of oil have to do with sales at Irvine-based Boot Barn Holdings Inc.?

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Santa Margarita Toyota Sold

Jim Graham, owner of Santa Margarita Ford, acquired Santa Margarita Toyota from John Dinsmore.

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DFM Taps Register Opinion Editor

Digital First Media expanded Brian Calle’s duties as opinion editor at the Orange County Register in Santa Ana and Riverside-based Press-Enterprise to include oversight of the editorial board and opinion content for its entire Southern California News Group.

Volcom Taps Agency Vet as Head of Women’s Business

Volcom Taps Agency Vet as Head of Women’s Business

Volcom Inc. in Costa Mesa picked agency vet Lyndsey Roach as its global head of women’s business, a new position.

Aston–tatious Saleswomanship

Luxe Brand’s Americas Head Puts Promotion in High Gear

Laura Schwab’s latest marketing move resembles a Depression-era anecdote about a mother feeding a whole family with one potato.

DFM Flips Register Land to Harrah

MEDIA: New owner sees route to profits as renter with 11 SoCal dailies

Digital First Media holds the reins at the Orange County Register, but the 14.3 acres surrounding the daily newspaper’s operations at 625 N. Grand Ave. in Santa Ana went to developer Mike Harrah for $34 million.

Ad Shops’ Revenue Up 12.8%, Combine for $1.36B

Year of Corporate Tweaks; Advantage Remains No. 1

Orange County’s largest advertising agencies posted an estimated 12.8% gain in revenue last year, the second consecutive year the group has surpassed the $1 billion benchmark.

Yokohama Tire Gets Olympic Boost

MARKETING: LPGA deal benefits from schedule shift

Yokohama Tire Corp.’s namesake Ladies Professional Golf Association tournament will help decide who will compete in the Rio Summer Olympics—a task that’s necessary for the first time since the sport was removed from the Olympic lineup 112 years ago.

Printers Flat on Sales in 2015, Trend Offset Still Tops

30 Biggest Combine to Stay About Even at $618M

The local printing industry isn’t dead, but it’s not growing either. That’s the takeaway from a review of Orange County’s 30 largest commercial printers, which combined for $617.7 million in sales last year, about the same as in 2014.

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PacSun Files BK

Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. in Anaheim filed for bankruptcy protection and said it will convert debt into equity for creditor Golden Gate Capital.

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PacSun to File for Bankruptcy

Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. is preparing to file for bankruptcy next week, according to news reports.

New SaaS Firm Name Reflects Evolution

TECHNOLOGY: Avetta helps companies vet suppliers

PICS Auditing LLC, an Irvine-based software-as-a-service company that specializes in prequalification of vendors, dropped the Pacific Industrial Contactor Screening acronym and rebranded itself Avetta.

eBay Buys Irvine Automotive Marketer

Cargigi Inc. in Irvine was acquired by eBay Inc. on undisclosed terms.

Agencies Take Home Load of OC ADDY Awards

Winners Move to Next Round in Contest

The American Advertising Federation of Orange County held its annual awards ceremony at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana.

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Mitsubishi Beats National Sales Pace

Only one of four Orange County-based automakers exceeded the national sales pace for new vehicles in March, according to New Jersey-based market researcher Autodata Corp.

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Top Digital First Editor to Oversee Register Newsroom

Digital First Media’s Executive Editor Frank Pine will be in charge of the Orange County Register in Santa Ana and the Press-Enterprise in Riverside, according to sources close to the matter.

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Mirman Exits Freedom

Freedom Communications Inc. Chief Executive Rich Mirman was let go Thursday along with about 70 staffers, including Editor and Senior Vice President of Content Rob Curley; Vice President of Circulation Bruce Blair; and Lake Trout, senior vice president of sales.

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Bloomingdale’s to Join Orange Outlets

The Outlets at Orange said it will add a Bloomingdale’s outlet to its 120-tenant lineup at a shopping center in Orange.

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New Owner Cuts Execs at Register

Digital First Media, the new owner of the Orange County Register, has parted ways with several members of prior owner Freedom Communications Inc.’s senior management team, according to sources close to the matter.

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eBay Buys Irvine Auto Marketer

Cargigi Inc. in Irvine was acquired by eBay Inc. on undisclosed terms.

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Irvine Retailer Names New CFO

The Wet Seal LLC in Irvine hired Judd Tirnauer as its executive vice president and chief financial officer, effective May 1.

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Irvine Ad Tech Firm to Culver City

Adaptive Medias Inc. in Irvine said it plans to combine with AdSupply Inc. and move its headquarters to Culver City.

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.” 

SWELL Head Named Parent’s Co-CEO

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

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.

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SWELL President Named Parent’s Co-CEO

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

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Freedom to Go to Digital First

A bankruptcy judge in Santa Ana this morning approved the sale of Freedom Communications Inc. and its Orange County Register to Denver-based Digital First Media 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.

Agency Ups Role in Client Work With Startup Stakes

Gets Equity Share In Exchange for Services

Irvine-based agency INK is taking an active role in its startup clients. It launched an “equity based model for agency-client relationships” that enables it to acquire a stake in promising enterprises.

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Volcom Sheds Eyewear Subsidiary

Costa Mesa-based Volcom Inc. has sold Electric Visuals in San Clemente to the eyewear subsidiary’s chief executive, Eric Crane.

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Tribune Top Bidder for Register

Tribune Publishing Co.’s $56 million offer was selected as the winning bid during Wednesday’s bankruptcy auction of Santa Ana-based Freedom Communications Inc. held at the office of Lobel Weiland Golden Friedman LLP in Costa Mesa.

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Stalking Horse Bid Set for Freedom Auction

Digital First Media’s $45.5 million offer has been selected as the stalking horse, or starting, bid for Wednesday’s bankruptcy auction of Freedom Communications Inc. in Santa Ana.

New Boss, Direction at St. John Knits

Veteran Exec Emphasizes ‘Modern, Relevant’ Design

Bruce Fetter took over the reins at St. John Knits International Inc. with a new challenge for the American luxury house: connecting with the modern woman on the rise.

PacSun Tries Out App Game Product Placements

Players Pick Characters’ Favorite Spring Duds

BRAVEN LC, a subsidiary of Incipio Technologies Inc. in Irvine, signed on as the official sponsor of the Australian Open of Surfing.

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