Stories for April 2002

Monday, April 29

PIMCO Says Thanks With Alaska Cruise

Talk about a perk. Newport Beach-based Pacific Invest-ment Management Co. has invited workers and their significant others on a 12-day, company-paid Alaskan cruise.

Real Estate Watch: Low-Rise Office Space

Low-Rise Office Demand Stays Cool; Landlords Lower Rates

Seemingly Bad News Is Remedy for PacifiCare

Santa Ana-based PacifiCare Health Systems Inc. just was told it has to pay some $88 million to the federal government to settle a dispute over charges for benefit services.

LETTER - The Arts in OC

by Paul Folino, president and CEO of Emulex Corp. and chairman designate of the OC Performing Arts Center.

Big Homes Plan in the Works for Yorba Linda

The sale of 40 acres of former Yorba Linda oilfield land could be the last puzzle piece for a sprawling housing development in the city's northeastern section,if several area landowners can come up with a unified plan.

CT Realty Sets Record With $55M Apartment Sale

Commercenter Anaheim Filling Up; Wermers Rehabs Apartments in Capistrano


Summary of Business News and related stories

Real Estate Deals

Sales and Leases

VIEWPOINT: Comparing Enron, Citron

by John Moorlach, Orange County treasurer-tax collector.

Morton's Plants Stake in South Coast Plaza, Doesn't Miss a Beat

Classic Steakhouse Does What it Should

Frontier Nears Fullerton Move, Plans Growth

Frontier Medical Inc., a distributor of medical rehabilitation devices, is set to move from Pico Rivera to a Fullerton building left vacant by the implosion of Anaheim-based KPC Medical Management Inc.

Dimmer Prospects for Corning's Fountain Valley Facility?

Stomp Opens Headquarters After Fire; Rainbow Working With Entrust; 'Harry' on

Enfrastructure Looks East, Still Filling OC Campus

Aliso Viejo-based Enfrastructure Inc. is near a deal to expand to the East Coast as early as next month, company officials say. "I anticipate we'll be in the East Coast markets soon," Chief Executive James Watson said.

Workers' Comp Deregulation Goes Awry

When state legislators moved to deregulate the workers' compensation insurance market almost a decade ago, they envisioned more competition that would drive down employer premiums. And for five years, that's what happened.

Wendy's Orders Delphi for Drive-Through Displays

Fashion Frenzy at St. John Knits' Show

Proxy Battle Heats Up As the World Turns, ICN-Style

Columbia Hospital Treats First Patient With Edwards' Optimaze Ablation Method

MTI Selling Storage Products in China

MTI Selling Storage Products in China

COMMENT: Reflections

Commentary by Rick Reiff

Exporters Trade On Hope for Global Rebound

Orange County exporters face an uncertain world out there. But trade watchers say that despite slumping economies in Latin America, Europe and Japan, OC exporters could see a subtle rebound this year and stronger growth in 2003.

Standard Pacific Plans Share Offering, Increases Profit Projection for 2002

Irvine-based homebuilder Standard Pacific Corp. plans to sell 3.5 million shares, including 2.5 million from the company and 1 million from two former directors.


People in the News, on the Move


In a white, nondescript plant in Shanghai, alongside similar ones owned by Intel Corp. and IBM Corp., some 50 people who used to work farmland with their hands now work with silicon to make memory modules.

OC INSIDER: Folino Rules OC's Charitable Roost; Newsroom Flooded

OC Insider by Rick Reiff

Restaurants Shake Economy, Serve Up Decent Year

THE LIST - Despite a sluggish economy, the 15 busiest restaurants in Orange County cooked up a 7% gain in meals served last year.

OC Boardrooms See Some Change

Orange County boardrooms are a little more diverse than they were 10 years ago, according to a study by executive search company Berkhemer Clayton Inc.

Monday, April 22

Quiksilver's New Stores: First Venture in Illinois

Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver Inc. said it opened two retail stores in suburban Chicago, its first stores in Illinois.


Humor by Argus Hamilton

IN-FILL: North County Sees Its Own Housing Boom

SPECIAL REPORT: Residential Real Estate

Venezuela's Political Rollercoaster Roils Exporters

Venezuela's topsy-turvy politics is making for tough going for Orange County exporters.

Emulex Selects Farm Land for New, Bigger HQ

Emulex Corp. has found a Costa Mesa bean field where it plans to build a four-building headquarters that stands to more than double the size of its current 90,000-square-foot campus.

Outlook Brightens a Bit for Tijuana Border Plants

After a devastating 2001, industry experts expect a stronger 2002 for Tijuana's manufacturing sector thanks to a rebound on this side of the border.

Luxury Goods: After a Slump, High-End Sales Rebound

SPECIAL REPORT: Residential Real Estate

Chip Startup Ditrans Raising About $20M

Irvine-based Ditrans Corp. is near closing $20 million to $25 million in follow-on funding to a $15 million round raised in November

Fees Add Up to Big Headache, Extra Costs for Homebuilders

SPECIAL REPORT: Residential Real Estate

G'Day: Aussie Developer Close to MainPlace Mall Buy

Australia's Westfield Holdings Ltd. is buying MainPlace/Santa Ana as part of a larger sale of U.S. holdings by the Netherlands' Rodamco NV.

Real Estate Deals

Week's Sales and Leases

Westcorp's $1.8B Offering: Bank's Largest Auto Deal

Irvine-based Westcorp said WFS Financial Inc., its auto finance company, has priced a $1.8 billion auto loan securitization, the company's largest deal to date.

Strouds Buys Industry Building

Still Eyeing Sites in OC for Stores

Real Estate Watch: Orange County Construction

Construction: Office Winds Down, Retail Steady

St. John Knits Taps President Kelly Gray To Become Co-CEO

It looks like Robert Gray, the 76-year-old chairman and chief executive of Irvine-based St. John Knits International Inc., may retire after all.


People in the News, on the Move

Toshiba Computer Unit Taps Temerlin for Ad Work

DGWB Lands HireRight Work; Printer Webtrend Makes Big Move to Santa Ana

Lake Forest's Pacific Corporate Park Sells for $23.6M

Taisei Works Double Time on Santa Monica Hotel; Pardee Homes Buys Fullerton Lots

Chapin Medical Expanding, Building New HQ in Corona

Construction has started on a new headquarters for Orange County entrepreneur and philanthropist Mark Chapin Johnson's Chapin Medical Co.

Mixed Showing for Second 50 Public Companies

OC's second 50 largest public companies saw only a small revenue dip in a tough 2001, but losses at technology and other struggling businesses compounded the group's bottom-line bleeding.

Investment Firm FMR Ups Stake In Sybron

FMR Corp., the owner of mutual fund manager Fidelity Investments, said it has upped its stake in Orange-based Sybron Dental Specialties Inc.


SPECIAL REPORT: Residential Real Estate

Western Digital Stays Xbox Course, Despite Rumblings

EMachines Starts Selling Online; Struggling Aspeon Sells Off Javelin System


Weekly Column of Top Stories

South County Bank Says Offering On Track

Rancho Santa Margarita startup South County Bank hopes to raise $4.5 million through a stock and debt offering designed to bankroll more branches.

Building Starts on $100M Auto Mall

Construction has started on a sprawling, $100 million auto mall planned for Foothill Ranch. So far, four parcels at the planned Foothill Ranch Auto Centre have been sold for Chevrolet, Buick/Pontiac, Dodge and Plymouth/Jeep dealerships.

Former Fluor CFO Big Fish These Days in Maytag's Iowa Pond

OC INSIDER by Rick Reiff

COMMENT: Crunch Time


Pescadou: French Country Fare Without the Pretense



Panic and ICN Gear Up for Second Proxy Battle

Gross Sparks Media Flurry, Debt Changes at GE

Even media savvy Bill Gross said he was taken aback at the flurry sparked by his comments about General Electric Co. last month.

Relations Commission Gets $188,000 Grant

The Orange County Human Relations Commission has received a $188,000 CommunitiesFirst grant from The California Endowment.

UCI Researchers Probe Protein With Ties to Alzheimer's

Health Care Property Does $73M in Deals; Wing Named Chief at Health Net

The Upside of a Down Year for OC Homebuilders

SPECIAL REPORT: Residential Real Estate

Ingram Trims Workers; More Cuts to Come?

Santa Ana-based Ingram Micro Inc. made a small number of cuts to its Orange County workforce last month, and workers say they expect more layoffs even after last year's big downsizing.

Monday, April 15

Techs Bring Another Down Quarter for OC Stocks

Beckman, Home Financier, TV Broadcaster End Up;


SPECIAL REPORT: Snapshots of OC's 10 Largest Public Companies

Disney's Sports Scorecard

COMMENTARY - Excerpted from a Los Angeles Business Journal column by David Carter

Wireless Providers Mount New Round of Expansion

Wireless phone service companies are expanding their networks again in Orange County.


Humor by Argus Hamilton

Ambiguous Ads Take the Company's Name Literally

National Tour Sends Trucks to the Grand Prix; Xerox Taps BDS

Cushman & Wakefield Grows Portfolio by 30%

Cushman & Wakefield Grows Portfolio by 30%


COMMENTARY by Rick Reiff


Weekly Column of Top Stories

Who's Getting Who in Andersen's OC Market Shakeup

Arthur Andersen LLP's Orange County office is losing contracts as companies weigh their yearly option to switch auditors. But its two biggest clients remain with the embattled firm,so far.

Tenet Taking Big Chunk of New Anaheim Complex

An Orange County-based unit of Tenet Healthcare Corp. plans to move to an office campus that's being developed near the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim.




People in the News, on the Move

Qualls' Dismissal Riles Many OC Socialites; Irvine's El Toro Plans

OC INSIDER by Rick Reiff

Irvine's Maz Ignites Row Over Encryption Software

Irvine Sensors Debuts Camera; Telelogic Lands Telecom Deal

Smaller Roth Capital Partners Turns to Private Deals

Roth Capital Partners LLC says it has found an oasis in the desert that investment banking has become these days.

Toyota Racing Inks Penske Engine Deal

Costa Mesa-based Toyota Racing Development has scored a parts supply deal with Roger Penske for engines to power his Indy cars.

In the Eye of the Social Whirl at Thaifoon's Opening

California-Asian Dishes, Exotic Glamour Found at New Spectrum Restaurant

Macy's Spending $100M on OC Expansion

Cincinnati-based Federated Department Stores Inc. plans to spend nearly $100 million to expand two Orange County Macy's stores and open a new one in Westminster.

Newport Opticom Making Plans to Unveil Products

Quiet Newport Beach-based startup Newport Opticom Inc. plans to make several product announcements in June, according to a company official.

Real Estate Watch: The Mid-Counties Market

Office, Industrial Segments Poised for Increase in Activity

Regulators OK MSC's Acquisition Deal

Even as federal regulators prepare to face off with MSC.Software Corp. over an earlier acquisition, they've signed off on the Santa Ana-based software maker's bid to buy Mechanical Dynamics Inc.

ICN Set to Face Second Proxy Showdown Over Directors

Apria Strikes Tentative Settlement of Shareholder Class Actions

Boureston Breaks Ground, Signs Three for Medical Center

Construction has started on Walnut Grove Medical Center, a medical office building on Anaheim Boulevard near Western Medical Center-Anaheim.

Techs Drag Down Otherwise Stable Public Cos.

Technology companies that led growth in the past three years drove a big 2001 sales drop and a collective net loss at Orange County's 50 largest public companies, which otherwise didn't fare too badly in a tough economy.

Real Estate Deals

Real Estate Sales and Leases

Raj at the Ready

Swimwear Maker Relies on Technology in Uncertain Times; Tustin-based Raj Manufacturing Inc., one of the nation's largest swimwear companies, thanks technology for helping it ride out an uncertain time this winter.

WorldCom Woes Hit Local Operations; Job Cuts Coming

WorldCom Inc.'s Orange County workers are bracing for job cuts at the Clinton, Miss.-based telecommunications company.

SimpleTech Readies Product Samples From Acquisition

A couple of months after Santa Ana-based SimpleTech Inc.'s buy of Irvine Networks LLC, Orange County's third-largest memory products maker is on track to ship prototypes from the acquisition to a potential customer earlier than expected.

Monday, April 8


SPECIAL REPORT: Mergers & Acquisitions


Humor by Argus Hamilton

Proposed Acquisition Roils Reprographics Sector

The pending sale of Irvine-based Consolidated Reprographics to the owner of cross-town rival OCB Reprographics has created an industry brouhaha and caught the eye of federal regulators.

Luxury Apartments Going Up in Fullerton

Two More Serrano Heights Tracts Open; Airport Area Sales Reported

NO BIG DEAL: As M & A; Activity in OC Slipped in the Past Year, Dollar Volume Plummeted

SPECIAL REPORT: Mergers & Acquisitions

Equity Spruces Up Old Experian Digs; One Tenant So Far

Experian Information Solutions Inc.'s move to its new headquarters near South Coast Plaza left a gaping hole,nearly 360,000 square feet of space,in four buildings near the Block of Orange.

Ingram Micro Leads OC's Fortune 500

Santa Ana-based Ingram Micro Inc. held on to its title as Orange County's highest-ranking Fortune 500 company, despite a big drop in revenue and a slip in its ranking.

Real Estate Deals

Sales and Leases

Tech Startups Weather Storm, Seek New Funding

It's not easy being a technology startup these days. But Orange County's class of 2001 has come a long way,and the companies say they're not done.


Ambiguous is an Underground Favorite and Growing

Allergy Startup Hangs Shingle Along 405 Freeway

BioGentec Inc., a developer of a vitamin-based allergy treatment, has moved from Costa Mesa to a high-profile Irvine building alongside the San Diego Freeway (I-405) near John Wayne Airport.

Pakistan: Different Experiences for Textile, Software Makers

Pakistan isn't a big market for Orange County. But local companies that tap the country for software development and textiles are reporting divergent experiences since Sept. 11 and Pakistan's subsequent internal turmoil.

Merrill Lynch Closing Newport Center Office

Merrill Lynch & Co. is pulling out of Newport Center,the Wall Street of Orange County.

Masimo Can Get Into NY Times, But Not Many Hospitals

Allergan Pays in Development Pact; Dentists, Device Makers Convene in Anaheim

COMMENT: Glory Be ...

Commentary by Rick Reiff

Mixed-Use Plan Advances for Former Parker Hannifin Site

A plan is taking shape for apartments, office and retail space at Parker Hannifin Corp.'s former Irvine campus near John Wayne Airport.

Corinthian Back From School-Buying Break

Santa Ana-based Corinthian Colleges Inc.,which has bought 47 campuses since 1995,took the past year or so off. Now the for-profit college operator has started buying again.


REVIEW: CHEVAL - Equestrian show under a big top at the Orange County Fair & Exposition Center, Costa Mesa, through April 21. Thirty horses and 30 human performers.

Real Estate Watch: West Orange County

Signs of Recovery Bode Well for Absorption, Rates

Makar Plans Another Ocean Course; Disney Keeps "Tower" Name

OC INSIDER by Rick Reiff

AND UP NORTH ... L.A. Dealmaking Slows to a Trickle

SPECIAL REPORT: Mergers & Acquisitions


SPECIAL REPORT: Mergers & Acquisitions

Technology Executives Team Up for Terrorist Attack Planning

Go2 Expands Wireless Directory; Ernst & Young Offers Executives a Lesson in Hacking

Quiksilver's Marketing Touch: Making Golf Seem Cool

Surf City Goes 3-D With Ad Truck; Juxt Interactive Revamps Reef Online

Byron Gemmell Is Back, With a Piece of Paris in Dana Point

Harbor Area Bistro Offers French Cuisine in Stylish Setting at Sensible Prices

Sicor Sticks to Niche as Watson Boosts Branded

Irvine-based Sicor Inc. and Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. just over the county line in Corona have been stalwarts in the generic drug industry. But these days the two are taking different turns.

An Economic Dynasty in the Making

NOTEBOOK by Roger Bloom

B. Braun Weighs Irvine Land Sale, Development

Medical device maker B. Braun McGaw Inc. is looking at selling nearly 20 acres of land around its Irvine campus for possible apartments or office space.


People in the Business News

Hart, King & Coldren Adding Five Lawyers

Santa Ana law firm Hart, King & Coldren plans to add five attorneys in the next month to its litigation and transactional practices.


TOP STORIES Compiled by Roger Bloom

Monday, April 1

Orange Coast Officials Sell Charity Calendar Software

Orange Coast officials have struck a deal with San Diego-based Kintera Inc. to offer an events calendar for nonprofits created by the Newport Beach magazine to publications across the county.

Odetics Inks Sale, Leaseback of HQ

News Announcements: Odetics Inks Sale, Leaseback of HQ


Letters to the Editor

Corinthian Shares Retrace Steps to Pre-Plunge Level

Santa Ana-based Corinthian Colleges Inc. has made a marked comeback on Wall Street. The company's shares have been on a steady climb since September and are nearly back to where they were before an Aug. 30 plunge that saw half of Corinthian's market value

Dot-Coms Tout Progress, With Little Fanfare

Some of Orange County's dot-coms say they are making progress turning themselves around. But don't worry if you haven't heard about it.

After a Kitchen Fire, Sam Woo Reopens in Record Time

Plus: Ruby's Waxes Nostalgic on 20th Anniversary; Thaifoon Hits Irvine Spectrum

Knobbe Martens Adds 16 First-Year Attorneys

Knobbe Martens Adds 16 First-Year Attorneys

Brookfield Sees Strong Homes Sales at Amerige Heights

Land Disposition Buys Lots to Build up North; NAIOP Brings in Bill Simon

State's Next Power Test: Federal Cap Expiration

And a recent report by federal regulators warns that California could suffer from tight energy markets in the next few years, as fewer power plants than expected come online and funding drops for conservation efforts.

Irvine Foundation Gives $3M to Columbia

News Announcements: Cooper Sees Device Push

From Rival to Partner: Conexant Plant Seeks Work With Former Foes

Could rivals Broadcom Corp. and Conexant Systems Inc. end up calling each other partners? Company officials and industry observers don't rule out the prospect after last month's split off of Conexant's chip plant into a separate company.


Humor by Argus Hamilton

ObTree's OC Arm Looking for Deals With New Funding

Switzerland's ObTree Technologies Inc. has landed $10.8 million in funding, and its Aliso Viejo unit is slated to be a big recipient of the money, according to Mike Sanford, Obtree's North American vice president.

NeoTherapeutics Awaits Critical Trial Results

Short on Cash and Salable Equity, Company's Hopes Rest on Alzheimer's Drug

Real Estate Watch: South County

Oversupply Pushes Vacancies Up, Rates Down

Dr. Feelgood

Plus: Energy, Cont'd.


People in the News

Morpho Seeks $10 Million in Second Venture Round

Irvine chip upstart Morpho Technologies Inc. plans to raise as much as $10 million in a second round of funding, according to Chief Executive Fhahriar Sadri.

Edison Capital Mounts Comeback of Its Own

Edison Capital says its nearing the end of its dark days. The Irvine-based investor in power plants and other projects is betting on a shift in fortunes with a fledgling rebound at parent Edison International, according to Phillip Dandridge, Edison Capita

Real Estate Deals

Sales and Leases

Denzel Who? DGWB Takes OC Ad Club Award Honors

NewMark Handling Two Revamped Centers; Gherkin Ruckus Raising Profile

Vision Solutions Awaits Outcome of Hostile Bid for Parent

Another New Executive at Access360; Newport Buys Flextronics Technology

What Business Journals Are For

Viewpoint by Richard Reisman


Summary of Week's other stories, compiled by Roger Bloom

Directfit Looks to Help Companies Meet Portability Law

Study Looks at How Much Hospital Revenue Certain Types of Doctors Generate

Opening Day Issue! Eisner Knocks His Team's New Duds

OC Insider by Rick Reiff