Stories for June 2007

Friday, June 29

Core Inflation Eases, Consumers Hold Firm

Inflation in May outside of food and energy posted its slowest annual gain in three years, suggesting the Federal Reserve is making progress in fighting inflation.

Beckman Buyout Target Biosite Officially Goes to Rival

Biosite Inc., the San Diego maker of medical tests that once was sought by Fullerton's Beckman Coulter Inc., now officially is part of Inverness Medical Innovations Inc.

Apple's iPhone to Hit Stores, Lines Grow

Hundreds of gadget fans, or their paid stand-ins, lined up on Friday to be among the first buyers of Apple Inc.'s iPhone, a music and video playing phone that seeks to reshape the mobile industry.

Western Digital Getting Komag 'Bargain'

Lake Forest-based Western Digital Corp. is getting a bargain by buying San Jose's Komag Inc. in a deal that allows it to keep pace with key rivals, according to Forbes.

Broadcom Could See IPhone Gains

Irvine's top chipmaker Broadcom Corp. could see gains from Friday's big launch of Apple Inc.'s iPhone.

Regulators Set Subprime Loan Standards

Bank regulators issued new standards for subprime mortgage lending on Friday that includes several new consumer protections.

Thursday, June 28

Fed Holds Rates Steady, Nods to Ease in Inflation

The Federal Reserve on Thursday held benchmark U.S. interest rates steady at 5.25% for an eighth straight meeting and dropped a description of core inflation as "elevated."

Quantum Fuel Looking to Sell Unit

Irvine-based Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide Inc., a maker of fuel system parts for hydrogen vehicles, has hired an adviser to look at possibly selling its Tecstar Automotive Group unit.

Growth Slows to Four-Year Low in Q1

The economy grew at a 0.7% annual pace in the first three months of this year, the weakest in more than four years but slightly better than previously estimated, data showed on Thursday.

Western Digital Buying Komag for $1B

Lake Forest-based disk drive maker Western Digital Corp. said Thursday it is paying $1 billion for Komag Inc. in its biggest deal yet.

Fed to Hold Rates, Eyeing Inflation, Economy

Federal Reserve policy-makers meeting for a second day on Thursday look set to hold borrowing costs steady as they monitor risks that inflation could rekindle and that economic growth may stall.

Newport Company Acquires World Industries Brand

The Newport Beach licensor of skateboard and clothing brand World Industries has bought the business from Australia's Globe International Ltd. for $8 million.

Senate Hands Bush Major Defeat on Immigration

President George W. Bush suffered a major defeat on his plan to overhaul immigration laws on Thursday when the Senate refused to close debate and advance the legislation.

Wednesday, June 27

Home Loan Demand Drops to 4-Month Low

Mortgage applications fell for a second straight week as interest rates remained near recent highs, an industry group said on Wednesday.

Mortgage Investor Impac Nixes Dividend, Shares Plunge

Shares of Irvine-based Impac Mortgage Holdings Inc. dropped more than 21% on Wednesday after the mortgage investor said it won't pay a second-quarter dividend to shareholders.

Recently Named Register Publisher's Out

The publisher named to take over the Orange County Register earlier this month has pulled out of the job after questions about her resume, the Register reported Wednesday.

Ceradyne: $69M Buy of Nuclear-Containment Company

Costa Mesa-based Ceradyne Inc. is paying $69 million for a maker of isotopes used to contain nuclear waste as part of a diversification bid.

May Durable Goods Orders Fell 2.8%

New orders for long-lasting U.S.-made manufactured goods tumbled a larger-than-expected 2.8% in May on a plunge in civilian aircraft orders and they were also lower than forecast when transportation orders were stripped out, a government report showed on

ConAgra Profit More Than Triples

Despite ongoing costs of recalling its Peter Pan peanut butter, ConAgra Foods Inc. reported its fourth-quarter profit soared Wednesday compared with results weighed down by restructuring charges a year ago.

Tuesday, June 26

New Home Sales Fell 1.6% in May

Sales of new U.S. homes fell 1.6% in May to a lower-than-expected level while prices climbed from April, according to a government report on Tuesday that continued to point to weakness in the housing sector.

Lennar Reports $244.2M Q2 Loss

Lennar Corp., one of the nation's leading homebuilders, said Tuesday it fell to a second-quarter loss as inventories of unsold homes rose and it had to cut prices to attract buyers. Lennar also warned that it would likely post a loss in the third quarter

Laguna Cliffs Marriott Up for Sale

The 376-room Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort has been put up for sale for an expected $200 million.

Consumer Confidence Falls in June

Consumer confidence fell more than expected in June as shoppers fretted about jobs, a private research group said Tuesday.

M-Flex Gets Out of Unwanted Acquisition

Anaheim's Multi-Fineline Electronix Inc., a maker of flexible printed circuit boards used in flip phones and other devices, is off the hook for an unwanted deal with sister company MFS Technology Inc.

Advanced Medical: Big Loss From Recall

Contact lens solutions make up only about a quarter of Advanced Medical Optics Inc.'s $1 billion in yearly sales. But they're set to drive a big loss at the Santa Ana-based company this year.

Gross, Chapman Economists Weigh In on Interest Rates

The Federal Reserve could lower interest rates later this year as the subprime mortgage fallout spreads to the broader economy, said Bill Gross, chief investment officer for Newport Beach's Pacific Investment Management Co. Meanwhile, economists at Chapma

Monday, June 25


The market for shopping centers is tight, pricey; development giving way to makeovers

Lucille's Adds Chapter to Storied Dining

Exploring the stories behind two of OC's restaurants, in the Executive Dining column

Baseball, Bren, Beall: UCI's Big Week; George Jr.'s Vows

Baseball, Bren, Beall: UCI's Big Week; George Jr.'s Vows

Dow Jones, Murdoch Near Pact on Independence

Dow Jones & Co. Inc. and Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. are close to a pact that would protect the journalistic independence of The Wall Street Journal if News Corp. acquired the media company, according to newspaper reports on Sunday.


A look at people, companies and institutions receiving awards, accolades, grants and other honors

Pulse Check

Industry Execs Lend Thoughts on the Future of County's Real Estate Market

Allergan Could See New Botox Uses by 2010

Looming competition isn't driving Allergan's desire to find more markets for its flagship Botox

Conexant Names Decker Replacement

Newport Beach-based chipmaker Conexant Systems Inc. on Monday said it has hired a chief executive to replace retiring Dwight Decker.

KB Home Ramping Up Condo Work; Projects Slated Here

KB Home Ramping Up Condo Work; Projects Slated Here


Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Legacy Park Plans Moving Forward Without Centex

Development at Tustin's Legacy Park is continuing as planned, despite last month's departure of former partner Centex Homes

Fletcher Jones Holds No. 2 Rank Among U.S. Dealers

Fletcher Jones Motorcars in Newport Beach has held its title as the second largest auto dealer in the nation, in the Marketplace column

Off the Wall Mall

The Market Place in Tustin focuses more on function than fashion

Broadcom Seizes Lead in War With Qualcomm

The cell phone chip war seems to be tipping in Broadcom's direction

May Existing Homes Sales Down 4.4% From April

The price of an existing Orange County detached home took a 4.4% hit from April to May, while sales here remained slow, the California Association of Realtors said on Monday.

Circuit Board Maker Sees Q2 Profit

Anaheim-based DDi Corp., a maker of printed circuit boards, said Monday it's set to climb out of the red with better-than-expected results for the second quarter.

Big in Apartments, Bascom Group Starts Office Venture

Apartment owner Bascom Group is venturing into office development, in the Real Estate column

Quiksilver Could Sell Skis, Keep Rossignol for Clothes

Quiksilver could shed Rossignol's gear while keeping on its clothes

Labeltronix Does Labels for Allergan, Edwards, Others

Labeltronix sticks it to some of OC's biggest companies, in the Small Business column


A listing of events happening all around Orange County


Week's Best, Worst Performers; Roth OC50, Billion Dollar Club, OC Tech; Index Watch, 52-week Performance

Real Estate Watch: Manufacturing and Warehouse

There was modest growth and/or activity in Orange County's market for manufacturing and warehouse space in the first quarter. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Hotel Horizon

Hotel Activity Doubles in County; Most Set to Open in Few Years

Solution Recalls Seen Aiding Cooper's Disposable Lenses

Cooper Cos. could see a boost from the growth in single-use contact lenses after the issues Advanced Medical Optics has had, in the Healthcare column

Dental Products Maker Acquires Irvine Offices

The founder of Glidewell Laboratories has bought an office building in Irvine that eventually could be part of a corporate campus

Server Software Maker Vision Solutions Buys Key Rival

Vision Solutions said it bought its biggest competitor, in the Technology column

Healthcare, Workers' Comp Bills Pass Legislative Deadline

Business interests are playing defense in Sacramento as dozens of bills that could harm businesses have cleared a key deadline

Buena Park Prides on Normalcy; Projects Set for Built-Out City

Buena Park Prides on Normalcy; Projects Set for Built-Out City


With all the controversy surrounding subprime loans, one wonders who exactly is responsible for home foreclosures, in Viewpoint by JIM SINCLAIR

Grocery Workers OK Strike

Unionized grocery workers rejected a proposed labor contract and authorized a strike against the major supermarket chains serving Southern California, it was reported late Sunday night.


"The Seventeen Traditions" by Ralph Nader. "An Unreasonable Man" DVD.

CalPERS: $500M Invested in 60 Public Companies Based Here

The California Employees Retirement System owns about $500 million worth of OC's publicly traded companies

Online Game Operator Gets $16M, Led by Intel

K2 Network is going on a global shopping spree for online video games with millions of Intel Corp.'s money

Existing Home Sales Down Slightly in May

The pace of existing home sales in the United States was off slightly in May to a 5.99 million-unit annual rate, the National Association of Realtors said in a report on Monday that showed continued weakness in the housing sector.

Friday, June 22

Smith Micro Jumps on Bullish Upgrade

Shares of Aliso Viejo's Smith Micro Software Inc. jumped Friday after an analyst said he expects the stock to double in the next year.

Register Parent Downgraded on Possible Investor Buyout

The credit rating of Irvine-based Freedom Communications Inc., parent of the Orange County Register, has been downgraded amid the newspaper slump and on the prospect of possible borrowing to buy out investors.

ITC Denies Qualcomm Bid to Lift Penalty

The U.S. International Trade Commission said Friday it denied Qualcomm Inc.'s request for a temporary hold on a ban it issued against the San Diego-based maker of chips for cell phones.

Bear Stearns May Assume Hedge Fund Loans

Bear Stearns Cos., trying to prevent the collapse of two of its hedge funds, may take over about $3.2 billion of the funds' loans to prevent creditors from seizing more assets, Bloomberg reported Friday.

Blackstone Jumps in Wall Street Debut

Shares of giant private equity firm Blackstone Group LP surged more than 20% in their debut Friday, a day after pricing at the top of the initial public offering's forecast range.

Jones Apparel Reportedly Near Barneys Sale

Jones Apparel Group Inc. is near a deal to sell the Barneys New York high-end clothing chain for $825 million to Dubai's private equity firm Istithmar, The New York Times reported on Friday.

Thursday, June 21

Medical Device Maker Buying BioLucent for $70M

Medical device maker Hologic Inc. said Thursday that it plans to buy BioLucent Inc., an Aliso Viejo-based medical device maker, for $70 million.

Blackstone IPO Raises $4.13B

Blackstone Group LP, the largest private equity firm to go public, said on Thursday it raised $4.13 billion in an initial public offering priced at the top of a forecast range in the biggest U.S. IPO in five years.

Fed Seen on Hold Amid Inflation Debate

Federal Reserve policy makers want to shift their emphasis away from current benign inflation to uncertainty about future price pressures, and are debating whether to stop calling inflation "elevated" in their policy statements, The Wall Street Journal re

Blackstone Draws Global Interest

Private equity firm Blackstone Group's initial public offering was about seven times subscribed, boosted by demand from Asia, the Middle East and Europe, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.

Onetime Rival Oakley Selling for $2.1B to Luxottica

The $2.1 billion sale of Foothill Ranch's Oakley Inc. to Luxottica Group SPA of Italy brings together two companies that started the decade at odds with each other.

New Century Workers Sue Over Compensation Plan

There's more legal woe in store for Irvine's New Century Financial Corp. The bankrupt subprime lender, which is in the process of selling off its assets and winding down operations, reportedly is being sued for $43 million by a group of ex-employees.

Dow Jones Board Takes Lead on News Corp. Talks

Dow Jones & Co. said on its board will take over negotiations related to a $5 billion takeover offer from Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., a move that could bring a quicker resolution to the talks.

Option One Continues to Drag on H & R; Block

Kansas City-based H & R; Block Inc. saw an $85.5 million loss for the quarter through April, driven by its Irvine subprime mortgage unit Option One Mortgage Corp.

KOCE Settles With Daystar, Set to Stay Public Station

Public TV station KOCE of Huntington Beach has settled a lawsuit filed by televangelist Daystar Television Network, which has sought to buy the station.

Quest Software: $90M Acquisition

Aliso Viejo's Quest Software Inc., a maker of database management software, said Thursday it is buying a Florida software maker for $90 million.

Wednesday, June 20

Apple: iPhone to Access YouTube

Apple Inc.'s widely anticipated music and video playing iPhone will allow subscribers to wirelessly stream material from Google Inc.'s popular video sharing site YouTube, Apple said on Wednesday.

Bren Dedicates UCI Computer School Building

Donald Bren expanded his real estate empire Wednesday with the dedication of a building at the University of California, Irvine. This time around, it's his name on the building, not The Irvine Company's.

Wal-Mart To Expand Financial Services

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said on Wednesday that it intends to open 1,000 Wal-Mart MoneyCenters and launch a reloadable prepaid Wal-Mart MoneyCard, in a major expansion of financial services the retailer provides to its base of low-income customers.

Report: Volvo Could See Interest From Renault, Swedish Truck Maker

France's Renault SA and Swedish truck maker Volvo AB could be interested in buying automaker Volvo, which has its U.S. headquarters in Irvine.

Nintendo Closes in on Sony in Market Value

Nintendo Co. shot past Panasonic maker Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. in market value on Wednesday and closed in on Sony Corp. as investors watched it unseat Sony as unrivalled king of the game industry.

Tuesday, June 19

Home Depot in $10B Deal To Sell Unit: Sources

Home Depot Inc. has agreed to sell its supply division for more than $10 billion, sources close to the deal said on Tuesday.

Eaton Buying Santa Ana Company

Cleveland-based aerospace manufacturer Eaton Corp. has acquired Pulizzi Engineering of Santa Ana.

Gateway Recalling 14,000 Laptop Batteries

Irvine's Gateway Inc. said Tuesday it's recalling 14,000 batteries for its laptop computers because of possible fire danger.

Kaiser Up on Plant Expansion, Deal Talk

Shares of Foothill Ranch-based Kaiser Aluminum Corp. jumped Tuesday on word it's expanding a Washington plant and could be a potential buyer of Alcan Inc.'s aerospace division.

Blackstone To Price IPO Thursday

Blackstone Group LP, the world's second-largest private equity fund, will price its much-anticipated initial public offering on Thursday, according to underwriter Morgan Stanley , roughly a week earlier than expected.

May housing starts fall 2.1%

The pace of U.S. home construction fell 2.1% in May to a slightly lower rate than analysts had expected while building permit activity, a signal of future building plans, increased more than anticipated, a government report showed on Tuesday.

Monday, June 18

L.A. Jewelry Boutique Comes to Irvine Spectrum Center

Handmade jewelry boutique Antiqua opened its first OC store at the Irvine Spectrum Center, in the Marketplace column


Fund-raisers and charitable donations from companies and people

Register's Anderson Set to Focus on Interactive Market

The Register's N. Christian Anderson III says he'll have his hands full with several different pushes, in the Media & Marketing column

Buyer of Anaheim Memorial Center Sparks Legislation

UCI plans to use a $3.9 million grant to upgrade its stem cell research laboratory, in the Healthcare column


Mercedes-Benz of Anaheim is the third luxury dealership to go up in the county in a year


"Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer" by James L. Swanson

Possible Pearson FT Sale Seen in Dow Deal

Acquiring the publisher of the Wall Street Journal might appear to run against Pearson PLC's current strategy of focusing on education, but a deal could mean the eventual sale of its Financial Times newspaper.

New Round of Disabilities Rules Raising Concerns for Businesses

GOVERNMENT - A new round of disability rules is raising concerns for businesses, in Regulation Watch

Financier Kirwan's New Niche: Classic, Exotic Auto Lending

Veteran financier Roger Kirwan has carved out another niche in the lending world


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

Healthcare Investor Versant Led Local Funding Last Year

Venture capital firms in Orange County invested about $48 million into local startups 2006, according to this week's Business Journal list.

Anaheim Traffic Gear Maker Iteris Moving to Santa Ana

Iteris Inc., a maker of sensors and other traffic gear, has leased about 50,000 square feet in Santa Ana where it plans to move its headquarters from Anaheim.

Real Estate Watch: North/Central County

With low vacancy levels, commercial rents are up. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

IBM Sees Software Acquisitions Key to Profit Rise

IBM Corp. may acquire more software companies this year following two recent purchases as it tries to boost software's share of total IBM profit to 50%, according to analysts.

New Sheriff in Town: Carona Isn't Running; Surf City Cup Sighting

New Sheriff in Town: Carona Isn't Running; Surf City Cup Sighting

Advanced Medical Refines Solution Recall Tack

Advanced Medical Optics inadvertently shined an unflattering spotlight on users of its contact lens solution

FileNet Expands Under Wing of 'Rich Uncle'

FileNet is seeing payoffs after its acquisition by IBM

Wendy's To Consider Sale

Hamburger chain Wendy's International Inc. said on Monday it would explore the possible sale of the company instead of other restructuring options.

Credit Report

Subtle Spillover of Subprime Tightening, But Money's Still Flowing

Building Blocks

A nonprofit that serves kids is expanding thanks to some big names

Online Game Company Raises Money From Intel

Irvine-based K2 Network Inc., which licenses video games from Asia and makes them available to U.S. players online, has raised $16 million in a second round of funding led by Intel Corp.'s venture capital arm.

St. Regis' Executive Chef Calls on Bloomies; Spa Fashion Show

There are several interesting things going on at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort & Spa, in the Executive Dining column


Letters to the Editor. Immigration.


Economic development and activities in cities in and around OC, in Around the County


A listing of events happening all around Orange County

Standard Pacific On Decline Despite Efforts

Standard Pacific's stock hit a nearly four-year low this month

Traffic Gear Maker Iteris Shifting HQ to Santa Ana

Traffic gear maker Iteris is moving its headquarters to Santa Ana

Anaheim Memorial $55M Sale Sees Nod From Consultant

Prime Healthcare Services' proposed buy of Anaheim Memorial Medical Center recently got a nod from a consulting firm

Telelogic Buy Stands to Add to IBM Here

IBM's bid for Telelogic would be Big Blue's second big buy in Orange County in the past year


Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Medical Offices Set for Irvine R & D; Site

Irvine's tight market for medical offices is set to get more space near John Wayne Airport


A directory of commercial banks, thrifts, investment banks, equipment lenders, real estate lenders and independent SBA lenders


This past week's news from and other sources

Pacific Sunwear Gets Analyst Upgrade

Anaheim retailer Pacific Sunwear of California Inc., which is in the midst of an on-again, off-again turnaround, got another vote of confidence from an analyst Monday.

Hedge Funds Bankroll Latest Performing Arts Center Donation

Hedge funds bankrolled the latest performing arts center donation


Week's Best, Worst Performers; Roth OC50, Billion Dollar Club, OC Tech; Index Watch, 52-week Performance

Gateway International Leaving Anaheim for Tustin

Gateway International Holdings is moving from Anaheim to Tustin, in the Real Estate column

Qualcomm Tries Lobbying, Federal Appeal in ITC Ban

Qualcomm is not giving in without a fight during its running war with Broadcom, in the Technology column

Friday, June 15

Gross, Greenspan Shake Up T-Bills

Comments from Pacific Asset Management Co. boss Bill Gross and his new adviser, former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, are credited with shaking up the Treasury bond market.

Homebuilders Pare Down To Weather Storm

There is no good news for some the largest homebuilding companies. Against a backdrop of plunging sales and rising contract cancellations, there is little talk of a turnaround or a bottoming out of the housing market.

Subprime Lender ResMae Emerges from BK

Brea-based subprime mortgage lender ResMae Mortgage Corp. has exited from bankruptcy protection, the company said on Friday.

Samsung To Invest $3.5B in U.S. Chip Plant

Samsung Electronics Co., the largest memory chipmaker, said it would invest $3.5 billion in its 10-year-old U.S. chip plant by 2008 to produce flash memory chips.

May Consumer Prices Up 0.7%, Core Prices Tame

A steady rise in food and energy costs pushed overall consumer prices up 0.7% in May, the sharpest gain in more than 1.5 years, but prices that strip out volatile food and energy barely edged up, the Labor Department said on Friday.

OC Unemployment Holds Steady in May

Orange County's unemployment rate held steady at 3.5% in May, the state Employment Development Department said Friday.

Thursday, June 14

Western Digital Holds Own in Tough Q1

Lake Forest's Western Digital Corp. and its rivals duked it out in the first quarter as competition heated up and prices fell on computer disk drives, according to a report.

Cuts Coming at Lehman Mortgage Unit BNC

Irvine-based subprime lender BNC Mortgage Inc., part of Lehman Brothers Holdings Corp., is set to close its 30 branches in the next 18 months and lay off nearly a quarter of its 1,700 workers in the next three months, according to reports.

Subprime Woes Weigh on Goldman, Bear

Wall Street brokers Goldman Sachs and Bear Stearns said Thursday that persistent weakness in the subprime mortgage market weighed on second-quarter earnings.

Rating Affirmed on Surging First American

Rating service A.M. Best Co. on Thursday affirmed its credit and financial ratings on First American Title Insurance Group, as well as the credit rating of parent Santa Ana-based First American Corp.

Hedge Fund Urges Sunrise Senior Living Sale

A hedge fund has called for the sale of Sunrise Senior Living Inc. citing problems with management and accounting at the large U.S. owner of assisted living and nursing homes.

FDA Panel Against Sanofi Weight Drug

Sanofi-Aventis shares suffered their biggest fall since 2002 after a U.S. health panel advised against approving its weight-loss pill Acomplia over concerns it may be linked to thoughts of suicide.

Wednesday, June 13

Irvine Co. Names McKee CEO

The Irvine Company has named Michael McKee as chief executive of the county's dominant real estate company.

May Home Prices Slightly Up, Sales Continue to Lag

The median price of an Orange County home rose $6,000 from April to May, but sales here continue to lag well below year-ago levels.

Ingram Micro: $96M Acquisition

Santa Ana's Ingram Micro Inc., the top distributor of technology products, made a further move into consumer electronics with plans to buy Scottsdale-based DBL Distributing Inc. for $96 million.

Retail Sales, Import Prices Surge

Retail sales rose more than twice as much as expected in May, while import prices surged, adding to recent data suggesting the U.S. economy is recovering strongly after a slowdown in the first quarter.

Blackstone IPO Timing Set

Blackstone Group LP's much-anticipated initial public offering of its management company will occur during the week of June 25, underwriter Morgan Stanley said on Wednesday.

Kroszner: Fed Mulling Ban on Some Mortgage Lending

The Federal Reserve Board is weighing whether it should ban some mortgage lending practices that fueled the recent housing market boom, Fed governor Randall Kroszner told a panel of lawmakers Wednesday.

Tuesday, June 12

Countrywide's May Loans Up 15%, Adds 1,329 Jobs

Countrywide Financial Corp., the largest U.S. mortgage lender, on Tuesday said it made 15% more home loans in May as the pace of refinancings increased, though the foreclosure rate doubled.

New Century Replaces CEO Morrice

Irvine-based New Century Financial Corp. has replaced chief executive Brad Morrice along with the bankrupt subprime lender's head of loan production, the company said on Tuesday.

Ford Confirms Review of Jaguar, Land Rover

Ford Motor Co. confirmed Tuesday it is looking at options for Jaguar and Land Rover amid speculation the British brands with U.S. headquarters in Irvine are up for sale.

Google Complains About Microsoft's Vista

Internet search leader Google Inc. is trying to convince federal and state authorities that Microsoft Corp.'s Vista operating system is stifling competition as the high-tech heavyweights wrestle for the allegiance of personal computer users.

Irvine Co. Names Resort Division Head

The Irvine Company has hired Ralph Grippo, formerly a senior executive at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co., to head up the Newport Beach-based company's resort properties division.

Broadcom Paying Up To $226M for GPS Chipmaker

Irvine's Broadcom Corp. is paying up to $226 million for Global Locate Inc., a San Jose-based maker of global positioning system chips and software.

Lehman Brothers Q2 Profit Up 27%

Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., the nation's fourth-largest investment bank, said Tuesday robust stock trading and buyout business pushed second-quarter profit up 27% year-over-year.

Monday, June 11


This past week's news from and other sources

Where They're Based

A list of cities and technology businesses operating in them.

Another Law Firm Lease, This Time for MetroCenter

Another Law Firm Lease, This Time for MetroCenter. Lyon Apartment Arm Makes $32M Santa Rosa Buy; Atherton-Newport Does $48M Vegas Sale

Hines' Michelson Tower First of Projects to Come

Hines' Michelson Tower First of Projects to Come. Developer expects to do $1 billion-plus in work here

Blackstone CEO Stake To Be Worth $7.7 Billion

Blackstone Group issued compensation details for the first time on Monday, disclosing in a filing that CEO Stephen Schwarzman received nearly $400 million last year and stands to make at least another $450 million after the private equity firm goes public

New Pacific Sunwear Boss Cuts COO Position

Sally Frame Kasaks has held the chief executive post a little less than a month, but she's already putting her touch on Anaheim-based Pacific Sunwear of California Inc.

Powerwave Sees Setbacks, Eyes Return to Profitability

Powerwave Sees Setbacks, Eyes Return to Profitability. Consolidation cuts customers; digesting acquisitions

Game Maker Foundation 9 Sells Canadian Developer

Video game developer Foundation 9 Entertainment said last week it plans to split off one of its Canadian studios, in the Technology column

Recycling Surfer Sells Packaging to Quiksilver, Others

SMALL BUSINESS - EarthPack turns trash into cash, in the Small Business column

King of Subs

A Los Angeles entrepreneur takes the OC Subways

Edgy Volcom Joins Billion-Dollar Club

Edgy Volcom Joins Billion-Dollar Club. More stores selling clothes, European push behind stock run-up


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

Standard Pacific Home Orders Below Expectations

Irvine homebuilder Standard Pacific Corp. reported worse than expected orders for new homes in April and May, though its California operations showed signs of improvement.

Advanced Medical Plans Solution Relaunch

Advanced Medical Optics plans a relaunch of its recalled contact lens solution

Tech Pockets

South County Has Headquarters, R & D; North Home to Assembly Operations

Bank of America Adds Check-Scanning ATMs

Bank of America has started replacing ATMs with machines that automatically scan checks for deposit

Sanderson J. Ray's Big Desert Project; Candidate Jam-Up

Sanderson J. Ray's Big Desert Project; Candidate Jam-Up

Four Local Companies Among Fortune 500

Four Orange County companies made Fortune magazine's annual ranking of the 500 largest publicly traded U.S. companies this year.

Real Estate Watch: South County

Facing Competition, South County Holding Up. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Amp'd, Born in OC, Files for Bankruptcy

Amp'd Mobile Inc.'s June 8 bankruptcy filing capped a spectacular rise for the edgy wireless phone company started in Orange County.

InSight Takes Stock-for-Debt Plan to Bankruptcy Court

InSight Health Services takes its stock-for-debt plan to bankruptcy court, in the Healthcare column


CEO Higby Relies on No. 2, Key Lieutenants; Team Big on BlackBerrys; 'Group Chemistry'

Renault Denies Interested in Jaguar, Land Rover

French carmaker Renault on Monday denied a British media report that said it was a possible bidder for Ford's luxury UK car brands Jaguar and Land Rover.


Week's Best, Worst Performers; Roth OC50, Billion Dollar Club, OC Tech; Index Watch, 52-week Performance


A listing of events happening all around Orange County

IBM Buying Telelogic; U.S. HQ in Irvine

IBM Corp. is expanding its Orange County empire by buying Swedish business software maker Telelogic AB, which has its U.S. headquarters in Irvine.


Much has been written showering accolades on Anaheim Ducks players, coaches, management and owners for the team's Stanley Cup success...

Buyer Driven

Local Semiconductor Execs Weigh In on Future of Consumer Focused Market

Upstart Sullen Clothing Mounts Push for Women's Line

Upstart Sullen Clothing Mounts Push for Women's Line. Tilly's Turns 25, Adding Stores in California, Florida; More Six Flags Diners for Johnny Rockets


Beyond Surfwear. A commentary by ROSEMARY BRANTLEY.

Real Money

REAL MONEY - UC Irvine students hit the stock market with help from an OC investor

WaveTec Lands $13M in Funding

WaveTec Vision has raised $13 million in a second round of venture funding

Boutique Modern Romance Planning Own Clothing Line

Boutique Modern Romance Planning Own Clothing Line. Stores Open at Market Place, Spectrum Center; Wilson, Fletcher Make 'Mega Dealer' 100 List

Ducks Win Eclipses Samueli's Day Job

The Anaheim Ducks' win over the Ottawa Senators in hockey's championship Stanley Cup Final has brought Samueli attention beyond what he's used to at Irvine chipmaker Broadcom Corp.

Wall Street Eyeing First American's Next Move

First American's push to expand beyond its mainstay title business has paid off on Wall Street

Salmon Swims in Pinot Noir for Event at Bluewater Grill

Salmon Swims in Pinot Noir for Event at Bluewater Grill. South Coast Plaza's Yearly Food, Wine Festival; Morton's Serving Up Stogies With Wine, Dinner

Fed's Pianalto Sees Little Consumer Hit From Housing

A slowdown in the United States' housing market may have knocked as much as one percentage point off annual growth, but does not seem to have affected consumer demand much, a top Federal Reserve official said on Monday.

Friday, June 8

Hines Unveils Irvine Tower, First of Several Local Projects

Hines Interests LP just finished completion of the first office tower seen in Irvine in nearly a decade. Now comes the busy part.

Slumping Taiwanese Contract Chipmakers See Subtle Bounce

Taiwan's TSMC and UMC, the two biggest contract chipmakers, posted a year-on-year fall in May sales on Friday but extended a recovery from their first-quarter lows, buoyed by rising demand for PCs and consumer gadgets.

Quiksilver Up on Outlook

Shares of Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver Inc. rose more than 7% in Friday trading, a day after the apparel and sports equipment maker reaffirmed earnings through October.

Allergan Downgraded on Competition Threats

Irvine drug maker Allergan Inc.'s shares were downgraded Friday by a Morgan Stanley analyst, citing potential competition from Johnson & Johnson and Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp. for its wrinkle-reducer Botox and Lap-Band, an obesity fighter.

Fed's Moskow: Inflation Still Biggest Risk

Eonomic growth should return to trend levels this year, and, with the job market still surprisingly strong, the biggest risk is still that inflation will not fall as expected, Chicago Fed President Michael Moskow said on Friday.

SEC Starts Activision Probe

Regulators have begun a formal probe into stock option practices at Activision Inc., the No. 2 U.S. video game publisher, according to a company filing.

Thursday, June 7

Local Retailers See May Same-Store Sales Rise

Anaheim-based mall retailer Pacific Sunwear of California Inc.'s bounced back with a 6.4% increase in May same-store sales, prompting the company to affirm its guidance for the second quarter.

Retailers Say Better Weather Warms Sales

Retail chains on Thursday reported moderate May sales increases, as warmer weather fueled demand for seasonal items, like gardening and other outdoor goods, helping retailers rebound from their dismal April.

Biomet Accepts Sweetened Takeover Offer

Biomet Inc. on Thursday accepted a sweetened takeover bid of $11.4 billion from a group of private equity firms after a influential shareholder advisory firm urged the orthopedic device maker's shareholders to reject a previous $10.9 billion offer.

ITC Bans Phone Imports With Qualcomm Chips

The International Trade Commission moved Thursday to ban imports of cell phones with Qualcomm Inc.'s chips that were found to infringe a patent held by Irvine-based rival Broadcom Corp.

PacSun May Same-Store Sales Jump, Wet Seal Sees Slight Increase

Anaheim-based mall retailer Pacific Sunwear of California Inc.'s bounced back with 6.4% increase in May same-store sales, prompting the company to affirm its guidance for the second quarter.

Ducks Win Cup

The Stanley Cup will spend time in the sun this summer after the Anaheim Ducks downed the Ottawa Senators 6-2 Wednesday to become the first modern-day West Coast team to win the 114-year-old NHL championship trophy.

CorVel Sees Strong Quarter

Shares of CorVel Corp. rose more than 4% on Thursday after the Irvine healthcare service company posted strong results for the March quarter.

Time Warner Sees Possible Separation of Cable

Time Warner Inc. said on Thursday it could see a complete separation of its majority owned cable services company in five years, but it had not made a decision yet.

Wednesday, June 6

Advanced Medical Investor Ups Stake

ValueAct Capital Partners LP, a San Francisco hedge fund investor, has increased its stake in Santa Ana's Advanced Medical Optics Inc. to 9.9% from 7.3%.

Prudential Shuts Down Stock Research, Trading Arm

Insurance company Prudential Financial Inc. said on Wednesday that it will shut down its institutional stock research and trading business, Prudential Equity Group, ending a rocky 26-year stay on Wall Street.

New Publisher for Orange County Register

The Orange County Register named a new publisher Wednesday to take over for N. Christian Anderson III, who's run the county's dominant daily since 1999.

Countrywide Urges No Shareholder Voice on Exec Pay

Countrywide Financial Corp., which has been criticized for overpaying top executives, on Wednesday mounted a defense against giving shareholders a say in setting compensation for Chief Executive Angelo Mozilo.

Dell To Use Deals to Expand Services

Dell Inc. will use partnerships and acquisitions to become more services-oriented, the Financial Times reported in its online edition on Wednesday, citing an interview with Chief Executive Michael Dell.

ResMae Plan, Sale OK'd By Bankruptcy Court

Brea-based subprime mortgage lender ResMae Mortgage Corp. has been cleared to re-emerge from bankruptcy as a unit of hedge fund Citadel Investment Group LLC.

Tuesday, June 5

Avaya: in $8.2B Deal With TPG, Silver Lake

Avaya Inc. said on Monday it agreed to be acquired by private equity firms TPG Capital and Silver Lake for $8.2 billion, the latest in a string of deals in the telecommunications-equipment industry.

Bernanke: Inflation To Ebb But Risks Remain

The economy is set to grow at a sluggish pace in coming months but there are risks that elevated levels of inflation excluding food and energy may not recede, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Tuesday.

Investor Burkle Joins Dow Jones Union in Bid Try

Los Angeles billionaire Ron Burkle has joined a union representing Dow Jones & Co. Inc. employees to try to formulate a counter-offer to a $5 billion bid for the company from Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., a union official said on Tuesday.

Valeant Selling Two Drug Plants

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International is selling plants in Puerto Rico and Switzerland in what the Aliso Viejo drug maker calls the last part of a long restructuring.

Advanced Medical Outlines Solution Relaunch

Advanced Medical Optics Inc. said Tuesday it plans to come back with a new formulation of its Complete contact lens solution that was voluntarily recalled nearly two weeks ago.

Sales of Ducks Gear Jumps

Sales of Anaheim Ducks jerseys and other merchandise have soared amid the hockey team's bid for the Stanley Cup.

Monday, June 4

Going Private

The kids of executives and working professionals alike are driving business for private elementary schools in Orange County

Appeals Court Reverses First American Damages

Appeals Court Reverses First American Damages

Fondue, Wine, Then Some at San Clemente Melting Pot

The Melting Pot holds an Italian dinner for those fond of fondue, in the Executive Dining column

Healthcare Payment Processor InstaMed Raises $6.5 Million

InstaMed has raised $6.5 million in a third round of funding

Amp'd, Born in OC, Files for Bankruptcy

Amp'd Mobile Inc.'s bankruptcy filing late last week capped a spectacular rise for the edgy wireless phone company started in Orange County.


Market Forces, Not Taxes, to Cut Greenhouse Gases


Beckman's Bow Out; Wayne's World. Commentary by OCBJ Editor, Michael Lyster


Fund-raisers and charitable donations from companies and people

Murdoch Out To charm Dow Jones Shareholders

News Corp.'s Rupert Murdoch is expected to turn on the charm on Monday to reassure the family that controls Dow Jones & Co. that his $5 billion offer for the company won't undermine its flagship newspaper, the Wall Street Journal.

Real Estate Watch: Airport Area/Central Coast

The county's airport area office market sustained its stable growth in the first quarter. PLUS: CHART - Net Absorption; Vacancy Rates; Average Asking Lease Rates

Advanced Medical Recall Seen Skirting Bausch Bid

Last month saw Advanced Medical Optics on yet another news roller coaster ride

Report: TPG, Silver Lake Near Deal for Avaya

Private equity firms TPG Capital LLP and Silver Lake Partners are in a leading position to buy telecommunications equipment company Avaya Inc. for about $17 per share, The Wall Street Journal reported in its online edition on Monday.

One Step at a Time

One Step at a Time - Walking products seller, Susan Parks

Lexus Surpasses Mercedes for First Time in April Sales

Lexus surpassed Mercedes-Benz in April OC auto sales, in the Marketplace column

On the Net

Financial Media Group is out to lure Internet visitors with its own brand of Wall Street

Blackstone Buying Insurance Broker Alliant

Newport Beach-based insurance broker Alliant Insurance Services Inc. is being acquired by Blackstone Group LP.




A listing of events happening all around Orange County

Allegiance, County's Other Bond Investor: $5B in Assets

Allegiance Capital is OC's other bond investor


Week's Best, Worst Performers; Roth OC50, Billion Dollar Club, OC Tech; Index Watch, 52-week Performance

BioRealty Buys Quest Diagnostics Building for $23.3M

A real estate investor and developer that focuses on the biomedical sector just made a big local buy, in the Real Estate column

Cleaning Machine

Prudential Overall Supply has made a pretty penny out of OC's dirty laundry

Newly Public SenoRx Sees Surge After FDA Approval

Shares of SenoRx, one of OC's newest public companies, got a boost late last month, in the Healthcare column

Volvo's Champion

HONORS - Women in Business award winners: Volvo Chief Executive Anne B & #233;lec

Flextronics Buying Solectron for $3.6B

Contract electronics maker Flextronics International Ltd. said on Monday that it would acquire rival Solectron Corp. for $3.6 billion in cash and stock.

ASR Holiday Hits Note After Moving Site, Show Dates

Action Sports Retailer's tweaks to its holiday show hit a note with attendees, in the Media & Marketing column

Regulators Push for More Target Hazmat Inspections

State regulators and local hazardous materials inspectors are looking to change the way they inspect thousands of businesses throughout the state, in Regulation Watch


Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses


Done right, subprime loans are a great innovation, in They Say


Projects, developments and other activity in cities across OC

CEO Swaps Well-Funded Chip Hopeful for Another

WiSpry has hired the former chief executive of another chip hopeful

'Chicks' Ooh For 'Hunk'; Fullerton's Rising Fashion Star

'Chicks' Ooh For 'Hunk'; Fullerton's Rising Fashion Star

Eye Device Developer WaveTec Raises $13M

WaveTec Vision Systems Inc., an Aliso Viejo-based medical device maker, has raised a $13 million second round of venture funding.

Western Digital Sees Continued Weakening for Drives

Western Digital predicts continued weak demand for hard drives during the current quarter, in the Technology column

Retail Development Venture Backed By Argyros

A new real estate venture backed by George Argyros is targeting retail developments in Southern California

Friday, June 1

Employers Add 157,000 Jobs in May

Employers showed a decent appetite to hire in May, boosting payrolls by 157,000, the most in two months. The unemployment rate held steady at 4.5%.

Hovnanian Posts Third Straight Loss

After three consecutive quarters of losses, homebuilder Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. says better management of its land inventory should allow the company to post a profit in the fourth quarter and for 2008.

M-Flex Awaits Parent's Vote on Unwanted Deal

Anaheim circuit board maker Multi-Fineline Electronix Inc. is awaiting a vote by shareholders of parent WBL Corp. before proceeding with plans to acquire an unwanted sister company.

Ista Rises on Dry Eye Drug, Plans For New Test

Irvine-based Ista Pharmaceuticals Inc. on Friday said its ecabet sodium dry eye treatment was effective in a mid-stage trial and announced plans for a new test.

I-Flow Strikes Pact with GE Healthcare

Lake Forest-based I-Flow Corp., maker of a targeted anesthesia device, has signed a pact with General Electric Co.'s GE Healthcare to look at using GE ultrasound gear to find the best placement of I-Flow's products in patients.

Bancroft Family To Meet With Murdoch

Shares of Dow Jones & Co., the publisher of The Wall Street Journal, soared Friday after its controlling shareholder, the Bancroft family, put the company on the auction block.