Stories for June 2010

Wednesday, June 30

Billabong Buying Canada's West 49; Rvca Rumor

Australia’s Billabong International Ltd., a maker of clothes inspired by surfing, skateboarding and snowboarding with its Americas unit in Irvine, is buying a Canadian retailer for $78 million.

Ex-AIG's Cassano Emerges to Offer Defense

The much-maligned former head of the American International Group unit which drove the insurer to the brink of collapse, broke a long silence on Wednesday to defend his firm's aggressive buildup of risky mortgage-linked securities.

Private Job Growth Weak, Home Demand Low

Private sector employment rose less than expected in June, underscoring concerns about a weak labor market, while Midwest business activity grew slightly more than expected.

Boeing to Acquire Argon ST for $775M

Boeing Co. said it would buy defense manufacturer Argon ST Inc. for about $775 million to beef up its capabilities in sensors, communications technologies and information management.

Troubled Mission Viejo Mall Sells for $22M

Mission Viejo’s Kaleidoscope Retail Center, which went into foreclosure earlier this year, has been sold to an East Coast-based investment management company.

Drug Maker Abraxis Being Bought; Implications for Costa Mesa Unit

Los Angeles-based cancer drug maker Abraxis BioScience Inc., which recently moved research and development operations to Costa Mesa, is being bought for at least $2.9 billion by New Jersey’s Celgene Corp.

Tuesday, June 29

Hotelier 5th Ave. Partners Files for Bankruptcy

5th Avenue Partners LLC, the Newport Beach-based owner of the Sè San Diego Hotel and a nearby building that holds San Diego’s House of Blues music club, has filed for bankruptcy protection.

Irvine Eye Device Maker Closes $35M Funding

AqueSys Inc., an Irvine medical device company, said Tuesday that it’s closed a $35 million third round of funding.

Two-Year Treasury Yields at Record Low as Stocks Fall

Two-year Treasury yields hit a record low on Tuesday and futures rallied to their highest since April 2009 as weak Asian stock performance and euro zone banking worries fueled a bid for the safety of U.S. debt.

Abbott Looks to Sell Its Flu Vaccine Unit

Abbott Laboratories Inc. is exploring the sale of its flu vaccine unit acquired as part of its purchase of Solvay's drugs unit.

Consumer Confidence Drops on Job Worries

Consumer confidence dropped in June after rising for three months, while single-family home prices unexpectedly climbed in April from March.

Irvine Co. Sells San Jose Offices for $18.5M

Newport Beach real estate investor Irvine Co. has sold a trio of office buildings in San Jose for $18.5 million.

Register Parent Names New CEO

The parent company of the Orange County Register has named a new chief executive two months after emerging from bankruptcy reorganization.

Monday, June 28

Operator Named for Garden Grove Water Park

Colorado-based hotel developer McWhinney Enterprises LLC has named Wisconsin-based Great Wolf Resorts Inc. to operate the developer’s planned indoor water park.

Ingram Micro Adds Broadcom CEO to Board

Santa Ana’s Ingram Micro Inc., the world’s biggest distributor of technology products, computers and consumer electronics, added Irvine-based Broadcom Corp.’s chief executive to its board.

Report: Broadcom Cell Phone Revenue on Track

Irvine-based Broadcom Corp.’s cell phone chip revenues remain on track, according to one Wall Street analyst, who named the chipmaker a “top pick” for 2010.

Supreme Court Strikes Down Part of Sarbanes-Oxley

The Supreme Court on Monday struck down part of the anti-fraud law enacted in response to Enron and other corporate scandals from the early 2000s, but said its decision has limited consequences.

World Leaders Walk Economic Tightrope in Canada

Wary of slamming on the stimulus brakes too quickly but shaken by the European debt crisis, world leaders pledged Sunday to reduce government deficits in richer countries in half by 2013, with wiggle room to meet the goal.

Americans Spend More in May, See Incomes Rise

Americans spent a little more in May but not enough to speed along the economic recovery. Consumer spending rose 0.2% last month after no change in April, the Commerce Department said Monday.

Sunday, June 27


This past week’s news from and other sources

This past week’s news from and other sources

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Defense, Aerospace Contractors Shed 5% of OC Workers

DEFENSE: Drop tempered by backlog, federal spending shift

ABOUT THE LIST: the largest aerospace and defense contractors in OC shed employees. Includes the 2010 OC's LARGEST AEROSPACE and DEFENSE CONTRACTORS List for download (pdf)

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Tommy Bahama’s Laguna Store, Eatery Exudes Casual

Model Car Builder Moving HQ to Irvine, Opens Store in Disney; Tesla Likes Newport Dealer

Tommy Bahama is set to open a restaurant/store combo in Laguna Beach, in the Marketplace column

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Hyundai Pulls World Cup Spot After Catholic Backlash

Japanese Candy Maker Offers Free Samples; L.A. Times’ Costa Mesa Site Revived for Now

Hyundai pulled a World Cup commercial that poked fun at the Catholic Church, in the Media & Marketing column

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Beckman Rises as Rival Takes Hit on Outlook Revision

Clinical Convention Comes to Anaheim; Moody’s Upgrades Tenet Healthcare, Still Cautious

Beckman Coulter’s shares rise as a rival feels the wrath of Wall Street, in the Healthcare column

Corinthian, Other School Operators Focus of Hearing on Student Loans

Santa Ana-based Corinthian Colleges Inc. and other for-profit school operators were in the spotlight again last week at a Senate committee hearing about federal financial aid to their students.


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

Legal Software Maker Sets Up Shop Here, Taps Exec

Blizzard Convention: Field Day for Scalpers; Ingram Caps Busy Few Weeks with Green Nod

A legal software startup relocated to Santa Ana and named a local executive as its top guy, in the Technology column

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Borders Turns To Aluratek’s Device in E-Reader Price War

TECHNOLOGY: IOGear trio behind startup; Libre sells for $120

An Irvine maker of consumer electronics will sell its e-reader at Borders

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Bandai Eyes Revival of 1980s, ’90s Shows to Drive Toy Sales

MARKETING: Selling toys for ‘Power Rangers,’ ‘ThunderCats’

A local toymaker is hoping a revived 1980s cartoon will boost sales

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KBS Fund Acquires San Diego Offices

REAL ESTATE: Trust also eyes a Dallas Cowboys-tied warehouse

A KBS Realty affiliate scooped up a San Diego office complex and has its eye on another building in Texas

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Kingston Could Grow Sales 45%, Hit $6 Billion

TECHNOLOGY: Co. added memory market share in recession

Kingston plans to expand globally, and grow sales by 45%

Behind Grant’s Move from Allergan to Bausch

HEALTHCARE: Warburg ties, growth prospects lured executive

A top executive at Allergan is leaving to head up a local unit of Bausch & Lomb

Amazing Augie Taps Out Another Book; John Tu, Drummer

OC INSIDER Column by Rick Reiff

Calendar June 28-July 7, 2010

A listing of events happening all around Orange County. June 28-July 7, 2010

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Direct-Seller Arbonne Focuses on Products After Bankruptcy


An Irvine skincare company is getting a makeover after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

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Deal May Bring Close to Valeant Locally

HEALTHCARE: Drug maker’s scaled back here; Aliso long shot for U.S. HQ

Valeant Pharmaceuticals can’t promise it will stay in OC after being bought

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Yakult To Build Fountain Valley Plant for U.S. Expansion

Japanese beverage maker Yakult plans to build its first U.S. factory in Fountain Valley

Downtown Disney: No Fixes Needed

TOURISM: Mall is part of expansion a decade ago but no redo needed here

Downtown Disney is making money despite a tough economy

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Room To Spare

Manufacturing’s Downturn Has Created Buyer’s Market for Industrial Buildings

Manufacturers have their pick of industrial space in the county

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Manufacturers See More Demand, Output; Jobs Still Lag

MANUFACTURING: Jobs to fall this year, increase 1% in 2011

Local manufacturing is expected to increase but jobs won’t follow until next year

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REAL ESTATE WATCH: Research & Development Space

Research and Development Space Seeing Small Improvements

The research and development market continues to struggle, in Real Estate Watch

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

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

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Ex-Irvine Co. Exec to Head Seattle Real Estate Adviser

Irvine Developer Completing Work on Drugstores; Investor Targets Grubb Shares at Discount

A former Irvine Co. executive has come out of retirement to lead one of the country’s top real estate advisers, in the Real Estate column

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Friday, June 25

Wet Seal Launches Test Store, Possible Third Chain

Foothill Ranch-based mall retailer Wet Seal Inc. has opened a store to test products and possibly grow to be a bigger part of the company.

May Auto Sales Rise

Sales at Orange County auto dealers rose for the fourth straight month in May.

Growth Trimmed on Business, Consumer Spending

Economic growth was slower than previously reported in the first quarter as estimates of business and consumer spending were cut.

BP Market Losses Hit $100B on Spill Cost Fears

BP PLC stock hit a 14-year low on Friday and its credit weakened sharply on talk it needs extra cash to fund the clean-up and compensation bill for the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

Lawmakers Agree on Historic Wall Street Reform at Dawn

Lawmakers hammered out a historic overhaul of financial regulations as dawn broke over the nation's capital on Friday, handing President Barack Obama a major domestic policy victory on the eve of a global summit devoted to financial reform.

Measure Challenging State Business Tax Breaks Qualifies for November Ballot

A ballot measure that would roll back state tax breaks for Orange County and other business has qualified for the November ballot, according to Secretary of State Debra Bowen.

Thursday, June 24

Irvine Software Startup MultiFactor Raises $3M

Irvine-based security software startup MultiFactor Corp. on Thursday said it raised $3 million in a round of financing.

Jobless Claims, Durable Orders Ease Double-Dip Fears

New claims for state jobless benefits fell last week while a closely watched gauge of demand for factory goods rebounded in May, offering assurance the economy's fragile recovery remains intact.

Supreme Court Sets Aside Ruling in Enron Skilling Case

The Supreme Court on Thursday set aside a ruling that upheld the conspiracy conviction of former Enron Corp. executive Jeffrey Skilling, and sent the case back for more proceedings.

Wall Street Reform Bill Goes into Final Hours

With the historic overhaul of financial rules nearly complete, lawmakers have waited until the final, frantic hours to sort out the most controversial provisions in the bill.

Corinthian, Others in Spotlight at Senate Hearing; Wall Street Unfazed

Santa Ana-based Corinthian Colleges Inc. and other for-profit school operators were in the spotlight again Thursday with a Senate committee hearing about federal student aid that investors ultimately shook off, sending shares of Corinthian and others higher.

Wednesday, June 23

HireRight Acquires British Company

Irvine-based HireRight Inc., a provider of on-demand employment screening and drug screening services, has expanded into Europe with its latest acquisition.

Fed Softens Economy View, Renews Low-Rate Vow

The Federal Reserve acknowledged a faltering pace of economic recovery on Wednesday as it renewed its vow to hold benchmark interest rates exceptionally low for an extended period.

New Home Sales at Record Low as Tax Credit Expires

Sales of new homes dropped a record 32.7 percent in May to the lowest level in at least four decades as the boost from a popular tax credit faded, adding to worries of a slowing economic recovery.

Turning Point for Bank Trading in Wall Street Bill

Wall Street banks face a turning point on Wednesday as lawmakers are expected to spell out limits on a range of risky but lucrative trading practices in a sweeping rewrite of financial regulations.

Edwards Slumps on Analyst Downgrade

Shares of Irvine-based heart valve maker Edwards Lifesciences Corp. slumped Wednesday after an analyst downgraded the stock.

Tuesday, June 22

Volcom Upgrade Helps Clothing Maker Outpace Gloomy Wall Street

Shares of Costa Mesa-based clothing company Volcom Inc. fared better than most on Wall Street Tuesday after an analyst upgraded his rating and price target on the stock based on feedback from retailers.

Home Prices Jump $14,000 in May

The median price of an existing Orange County home increased by more than $14,000 in May from April, the California Association of Realtors said Tuesday.

Irvine's Microsemi Strikes Patent Pact with Cisco

Irvine-based Microsemi Corp., a maker of chips for use in aerospace, defense and consumer electronics, said Tuesday it signed a patent licensing deal with networking kingpin Cisco Systems Inc.

Existing Home Sales Weak but Supply Falls

Sales of previously owned homes fell unexpectedly in May as delays in processing mortgage applications hampered the closing of contracts benefiting from a popular homebuyer tax credit, an industry group said on Tuesday.

Treasury's Geithner: Bank Bailout Costs Falling

Costs for the emergency bank bailout program launched during the 2007-2008 financial crisis continue to fall as the economy recovers, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told Congress on Tuesday.

Intel, FTC Talk Settlement of Market Abuse Suit

Intel and the Federal Trade Commission filed motions on Monday to suspend trial proceedings while both negotiate settlement of a lawsuit, in which the agency accused the company of abusing its market dominance.

Monday, June 21

Top Court Rejects Pfizer Punitive Damages Appeal

The Supreme Court rejected Pfizer Inc.'s appeal of a ruling that ordered a retrial on how much punitive damages should be awarded to a woman who developed breast cancer after taking the company's hormone replacement therapy drugs.

Yuan Soars to Post-Revaluation High

China's yuan soared on Monday to its highest against the dollar since the landmark 2005 revaluation, with the central bank stepping aside and tolerating broad gains on the first trading day since scrapping the currency's two-year peg to the dollar.

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Costs BP $2B

British energy giant BP, accused by lawmakers of putting savings over safety, said on Monday it has spent $2 billion so far on cleaning up its huge Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Mazda Awards Ad Work to WPP Group

Irvine-based Mazda North American Operations has awarded its $150 million advertising account to Dearborn, Mich.-based Team Detroit.

Valeant Being Acquired in $3.3B Deal

Aliso Viejo-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals International is combining with Canada’s Biovail Corp. in a deal valued at $3.3 billion.

Sunday, June 20

Low-Profile Newport Investment Group Buys Chino Mall

Voit, 360 Commercial Add Brokers; KBS Realty Affiliate Buys Colorado Office for $12.5M

A little-known investment group in Newport Beach bought a bank-owned mall in Chino Hills, in the Real Estate column

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Mitsubishi Replaces Lead Agency with Marketing Trio

Startup M4 Lands Western Digital Backup Campaign; Expanding Voit Plans Branding Push

Mitsubishi North America hired three agencies to handle its advertising account, in the Media and Marketing column

Medtronic Near U.S. Trial of Less-Invasive Heart Valve

Drug Maker with UCI Ties Gets Foundation Money; Private Equity Could Turn To Healthcare

A medical device maker with operations in OC could be close to starting clinical trials for its less-invasive heart valve, in the Healthcare column


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

CALENDAR June 21-29, 2010

A listing of events happening all around Orange County

A listing of events happening all around Orange County. June 21-29, 2010

MegaPath Acquires Best Buy Tech Unit Speakeasy

Irvine Sensors Lands $6 Million in Contracts; Ingram Micro Brings on Veteran Logistics Exec

A Costa Mesa company bought a Best Buy unit, in the Technology column

Irvine Software Maker Sold to Administaff

One Mind Connect Inc., an Irvine-based maker of software that sells its products under the brand name Expensable, was scooped up by Houston-based Administaff Inc. for undisclosed terms.


HireRight Hires Randolph as VP Human Resources

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses


This past week’s news from and other sources

This past week’s news from and other sources

Conexant’s Peterson: Tested in Upheaval

A winner of the Business Journal’s inaugural General Counsel Awards: Conexant’s Mark Peterson

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Apria’s Holcombe Is Looking for Trouble

A look at a winner of the Business Journal’s inaugural General Counsel Awards - Apria Healthcare’s Robert Holcombe

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Fundraisers and charitable donations from companies and people

Fundraisers and charitable donations from companies and people

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Auto Auction Boosts Fair Site, Then Some

EVENTS: Upgrades drew auction; big events seen as key for fair site

Barrett-Jackson is holding its first Orange County auction of collectable autos this weekend

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Niche, Luxottica Helping Oakley Defy Downturn

Oakley continues to report epic growth despite a struggling retail industry

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Corporate Lawyers Honored

General Counsel Awards in pictures, in Events

General Counsel Awards in pictures, in Events


Manufacturing and Warehouse Market Seeing Declines Slow

More OC companies are taking advantage of lower prices to buy rather than lease space, in Real Estate Watch

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

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Commercial Developers Saw Number of Projects Tumble

ABOUT THE LIST - OC Commercial development has dropped 85% from the 3.5 million square feet completed in 2008. Includes the 2010 OC's LARGEST COMMERCIAL DEVELOPERS List for download (pdf)

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Construction Work Drops 12.6%, Buoyed by Big Projects

CONSTRUCTION: Cos. see more competition for federal contracts

ABOUT THE LIST: the county’s largest construction companies saw a 12% drop in revenue. Includes the 2010 OC's LARGEST CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES List for download (pdf)

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Developer Doldrums

Stalled Housing, Commercial Building Cut Construction Jobs; Few Big Projects in the Works

New developments in OC remain few and far between

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Henry Segerstrom Honored

Scenes from business, social, charity and other events

Henry Segerstrom was honored at an event in New York, in Events

Western Dig’s Ray: Layoffs, Acquisitions, Chaotic Integration

A look at a winner of the Business Journal’s inaugural General Counsel Awards - Western Digital’s Michael Ray

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From the Start

Golden State Lawyer in Early on Acquisitions, Financing, Other Key Moves

A look at a winner of the Business Journal’s inaugural General Counsel Awards: Golden State Food’s John Page

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Adviser, Attorney

Duchene Plays Many Roles at Resources Connection, Balances Family Life

A look at a winner of the Business Journal’s inaugural General Counsel Awards: Resource Connection’s Kate Duchene

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Software Maker Eyes ’11 for Stimulus Lift

HEALTHCARE: Quality Systems awaits electronic records spending

An Irvine medical software maker is hoping federal stimulus money will boost sales

Supply Co. Moving to Orange with $22M Buy

REAL ESTATE: Paper Mart picks up warehouse, consolidates 2 sites

A packaging supply company is moving to Orange after making the largest industrial building buy the county’s seen so far this year

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Irvine Green Energy Startup Lands $11M Funding

ENERGY: Former Cisco execs run GreenWave, testing in Europe

Green energy startup company nabs $11 million in first round of funding

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Bad Call? Concerned Trojan Alum Wants Congressional Review

OC INSIDER Column by Rick Reiff

Friday, June 18

May Employment Continues Improving Trend

The county’s job market showed more improvement in May, with employment growth from April, lessened losses from a year earlier and lower unemployment from a month before.

Facebook '09 Revenue Neared $800M

Facebook's financial performance is stronger than previously believed, as the Internet social network's explosive growth in users and advertisers boosted 2009 revenue to as much as $800 million, according to two sources familiar with the situation.

Citi Looks to Raise $3B for Funds

Citigroup Inc. is looking to raise more than $3 billion for private equity and hedge funds this year, a person familiar with the matter said.

Report: Motorola to Buy Back Debt, Pump Cash into Spinoff

About $3 billion to $4 billion is expected to be given to the new company to be called Motorola Solutions, which will be free of pension liabilities and most other obligations.

Walgreen and CVS Settle Drug Plan Fight

CVS Caremark Corp. and Walgreen Co. ended an 11-day standoff over reimbursements for drug prescriptions, saving a relationship worth billions of dollars and lifting shares of the two biggest U.S. drugstore chains.

BB Dakota Sued Over "Twilight" Movie Connection

Costa Mesa-based BB Dakota, a maker of trendy clothes for young women, saw sales of its Jack BB Dakota cargo jacket surge after Kristen Stewart, Bella in "Twilight," wore it in the first film. Now the studio behind the movies has filed a lawsuit against the apparel maker.

Broadcom Buying British Chipmaker for $47.5M

Irvine-based Broadcom Corp. is paying $47.5 million for a British maker of chips designed to let people pay for things using their cells phones, among other uses.

Thursday, June 17

Local Bausch & Lomb Unit Names Allergan Executive Grant as Chief Executive

Bausch & Lomb Inc. said Thursday that it appointed Allergan Inc. executive Robert Grant as president and chief executive of its Aliso Viejo-based eye surgery business.

Analyst Downgrades Alliance HealthCare; Shares Shift

Newport Beach-based Alliance HealthCare Services Inc. was downgraded Thursday by an analyst on concerns about the company's business.

Jobless Claims, Price Data Back Low Rates Policy

New claims for jobless aid rose last week while consumer prices notched their largest decline in nearly 1-1/2 years in May, suggesting interest rates will remain ultra low to nurse the fragile economic recovery.

SEC Said to End Probe of AIG and Executives

Market regulators have closed an investigation of American International Group and some of its executives over the giant insurer's near collapse in 2008 that led to a $182 billion government bailout, two sources with knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday.

Two IPOs Open Higher, One Delayed

Two initial public offerings opened above their IPO prices on Thursday while a third cut its offering and delayed its pricing.

Quiksilver Could See Debt Rating Upgrade

Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver Inc. could log another notch in its turnaround after a debt rating company said it may lift its rating on the clothing maker.

Wednesday, June 16

Ingram Micro Acquires Spanish Software Provider

Santa Ana-based technology products distributor Ingram Micro Inc. said Wednesday it has acquired a Spanish company for undisclosed terms.

Bankrupt California Coastal Lands $182M in Financing

Irvine-based homebuilder California Coastal Communities Inc. said it has lined up $182 million in financing from a New York hedge fund that could help the company emerge from bankruptcy protection.

Irvine Energy Efficiency Startup GreenWave Raises $11M

Irvine-based clean energy startup GreenWave Reality Inc., which was started last year by a pair of Cisco Systems Inc. executives, said Wednesday it landed an $11 million investment.

Home Building Dives to Five-Month Low

Housing starts fell to a five-month low in May but industrial output rose, evidence of an uneven recovery that has kept inflation at a minimum.

Fed Rate Hikes Slowed by Moderate Recovery

High unemployment, tame inflation and moderate economic growth will likely mean the Federal Reserve will hold off until next year to raise official interest rates to 0.5 percent, a Reuters poll showed.

FedEx Profit Beats Expectations but Shares Fall

FedEx Corp. said on Wednesday that costs will pinch profits in 2011, sending its shares down despite reporting a quarterly profit that beat analysts' expectations.

Corinthian Faces New Rules But Not a Federal Aid Cutoff

Santa Ana-based vocational school operator Corinthian Colleges Inc. and others face new rules on how they recruit and counsel students, but the initial proposals aren’t as harsh as some industry watchers feared.

Tuesday, June 15

Ingram Micro Operations Chief Monie Departs

The president and operations chief of Santa Ana’s Ingram Micro Inc., the top distributor of technology products, software and consumer electronics, is set to leave the company in August.

Irvine Software Maker Expensable Acquired

One Mind Connect Inc., an Irvine-based maker of software that sells its products under the brand name Expensable, was scooped up by Houston-based Administaff Inc. for undisclosed terms.

June Homebuilder Sentiment Falls Post-Tax Credit

Home-builder sentiment fell in June by the sharpest amount since the height of the financial crisis as the expiration of a popular homebuyer tax credit dimmed prospective sales, the National Association of Home Builders said on Tuesday.

Oil Companies Turn on BP at Congressional Hearing

Executives from other major oil companies turned on BP PLC and defended their own drilling practices during a congressional hearing on Tuesday as they sought to stave off new government regulations in the wake of BP's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Credit Raters Could Catch a Break in Wall Street Bill

Embattled credit-rating agencies like Moody's Corp. and Standard & Poor's could catch a break on Tuesday when lawmakers sit down to craft a final rewrite of financial regulations.

Emulex Jumps on Upgrade

Shares of Costa Mesa’s Emulex Corp., a maker of electronics that speed up the flow of data in corporate networks, rose Tuesday after an analyst upgraded the stock.

Quiksilver Plans Stock-for-Debt Swaps

Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver Inc. has struck a deal to exchange debt for shares with a financier that provided the clothing maker with a lifesaving investment and loan deal last year.

Monday, June 14

Fallen Subprime Lender Fremont Emerges from Bankruptcy

Anaheim Hills-based Fremont General Corp., one of the casualties of the subprime mortgage meltdown, has emerged from bankruptcy with a new name, key owner and strategy.

Milan Panic’s Company Makes Deal

MP Biomedicals LLC, Milan Panic’s Santa Ana-based maker of medical testing and research products, said Monday that it is buying a New Zealand company.

Congress Nears Deal on Bank Trading Crackdown

One of the last major agreements needed to approve historic Wall Street reform—a compromise on curbing risky bank trading—was close at hand as lawmakers moved toward melding three key proposals.

China's AgBank Eyes Record $23B IPO

The Agricultural Bank of China is seeking to raise over $23 billion by listing in Hong Kong and Shanghai in what would be the world's biggest IPO, as China's banks shore up their capital base after a lending spree.

Spain Sees Credit Squeeze but Denies EU Rescue Bid

Spain said on Monday that foreign banks were refusing to lend to some of its banks in the latest twist to the euro zone debt crisis, but denied it was on the brink of seeking a Greek-style European financial rescue.

RV by the Sea

Newport Dunes: Coastal Resort for Caravanners

HOSPITALITY - Newport Dunes gears up for a busy summer season

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Sunday, June 13


Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Fletcher Jones Focuses on Remodeling; Slows Growth

Local Dealers Rank High on Auto Sales List; Chapman Forecasts Increase in Retail Spending

Fletcher Jones Motorcars in Newport Beach will be getting a facelift at the end of June, in the Marketplace column

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Software Veterans Raise Venture Cash at Latest Startup

Private Equity Firm Buys Anaheim Electronics Maker; Tech Companies, Executives Honored

A startup software company raises $3.3 million in its first round of funding, in the Technology column


This past week’s news from and other sources

This past week’s news from and other sources


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

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

Aussie Trust Taps Newport Co. To Buy Properties

REAL ESTATE: Dexus, Master Development plan to spend $600M

Master Development is teaming with an Australian investor to buy West Coast industrial space

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Longtime Software Maker Cam Commerce Sells Unit

TECHNOLOGY: Division could stay put, other part moving to Utah

A Fountain Valley software maker is splitting in two and moving some operations to Utah

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Irvine Doctor Group in U.S. Test for Healthcare Reform

HEALTHCARE: Monarch’s in 5- year program for collaborative care

Monarch HealthCare is one of five doctors groups in the U.S. selected to take part in a reform law project

In-N-Out Plans Plant, Restaurants in Texas

DINING: Move set to break chain’s 500-mile expansion barrier

In-N-Out is expanding into Texas

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Emulex Buys Broadcom Offshoot for $159M

TECHNOLOGY: ServerEngines supplies critical networking chips

Emulex is set to acquire a Broadcom offshoot

Does Toyota Face Tidal Wave or Puddle? Election Pain

OC INSIDER Column by Rick Reiff

Hoag Nears Irvine Hospital Reopening After Makeover

HEALTHCARE: $85 million in renovations; focus on specialties

An Irvine hospital is getting ready to reopen after an $85 million renovation

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Office Market Inches Back on Big Irvine Sale, Leasing

A pending $103 million buy of an Irvine office brings hope for a recovery of the office market

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Harrah Pushes Change To Allow Work on Long Stalled Tower

REAL ESTATE: Developer also looking to sell theater to OCHSA

Mike Harrah is trying to revive a stalled office tower project in downtown Santa Ana

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Bank Notes

Sino-U.S. Banking Ties; Debit Fees Legislation; IndyMac Depositor Help

A look at government moves in banking reform.

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Venture Capital Tabled; Niche, Proven Players Find Funds

FINANCE: Difficult fundraising, slow returns make investors wary

ABOUT THE LIST - Venture capital firms held on to their money amid the economic slump. Includes the 2010 OC's VENTURE CAPITAL FIRMS List for download (pdf)

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Profit Return

Majority of Local Banks, Thrifts Profitable in First Quarter

Two years of heavy losses at banks and thrifts seem to be coming to an end.

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Freelance Tax


Freelance tax threatens an independent workforce, in a Viewpoint


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

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

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Airport Area Saw Worse Market Conditions in First Quarter than Overall County

The airport area and South County have seen the biggest drops in asking lease rates, in Real Estate Watch

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Grubb & Ellis Eyes Medical Office Business with Hire

Irvine Office Building Sells in REDC Auction; Irvine Consulting Firm Absorbs San Diego Co.

Grubb & Ellis expects to get more healthcare business with new hire, in the Real Estate column

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Irvine’s Prescription Solutions Expects To Double in Size

Heart Valve Maker Moves HQ to Irvine; UC Irvine Researchers Make Retina from Stem Cells

Job growth at Prescription Solutions exceeds expectations, in the Healthcare column

Digital Agency with Irvine Office Acquired by Hearst

Experian Holds ‘American Idol’-style Search for New Band; Barkley Back in Taco Bell Spots

Magazine publisher buys Irvine marketing agency, in the Media & Marketing column


June 14-22, 2010

A listing of events happening all around Orange County. June 14-22, 2010

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

Friday, June 11

Tustin's MillenWorks Acquired by Textron

A local maker of parts for off-road vehicles for racing and the military was scooped up by a unit of Wilmington, Mass.-based Textron Inc. Friday.

3M Dental Unit Moving Jobs to Irvine

3M Co. is moving some jobs to its 3M Espe dental products unit in Irvine as part of a plant closing in Oklahoma.

Irvine Eye Device Maker Raises $7.5 Million

AqueSys Inc., an Irvine medical device company, said Friday in a regulatory filing that it’s raised $7.5 million as part of a $35 million funding round.

Retail Sales Fall but Consumer Sentiment Strong

Sales at retailers unexpectedly fell in May for the first time in eight months, but a jump in consumer sentiment to a near 2-1/2 year high in early June eased fears of a slowdown in the economic recovery.

House Panel Cites J&J Response in Recall Probe

A Congressional committee investigating the recent recall of Johnson & Johnson's children's medicine is "deeply concerned" about the manufacturer's cooperation, a committee spokeswoman said on Friday.

Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan May Get GM IPO Lead Role

Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are likely to be the lead underwriters in a General Motors initial public offering, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, a role that may bring the banks glory, but not much in fees.

Conexant, Western Digital Lawyers, Others Honored

Five lawyers from some of Orange County’s biggest public and private companies were honored Thursday at the Business Journal’s inaugural General Counsel Awards in Irvine.

Thursday, June 10

Report: Paul Frank Up for Sale

Costa Mesa-based Paul Frank Industries Inc. is up for sale, according to a report.

FDA OKs Device Maker Endologix’s New Stents

Endologix Inc., an Irvine-based medical device maker, said Thursday that regulators approved an expansion of its main product line.

Jobless Claims Fall but Trade Gap Widens

The number of workers filing new applications for unemployment insurance fell less than expected last week, while the trade deficit widened slightly in April, pointing to a moderate economic recovery.

Citi Finds Few Buyers for Unwanted Retail Cards

Citigroup Inc. is having trouble finding buyers for its $50 billion portfolio of retailers' credit card loans, and it might end up holding onto the business for years, people familiar with the assets said.

Report: SEC Examining Goldman Sachs' Hudson Deals

The Securities and Exchange Commission, which charged Goldman Sachs Group Inc. with fraud in April, is investigating another mortgage-linked deal once pitched by the Wall Street firm, the Financial Times reported, citing people close to the matter.

Pimco Managing $250M for Former Parent Pacific Life

Newport Beach-based life insurer Pacific Life Insurance Co. has tapped bond fund manager Pacific Investment Management Co. of Newport Beach to manage $250 million of its investments.

Wednesday, June 9

Allscripts Buys Rival Eclipsys in $1.3B Deal

Healthcare IT firm Allscripts said Wednesday it was to buy rival Eclipsys in a $1.3 billion all-share deal, creating a leader in electronic healthcare records.

Bernanke Says Recovery on Track, Jobs To Lag

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday the economic recovery was on a solid footing but cautioned it could be years before the jobs lost during the deep recession of 2008-2009 are restored.

Viacom Declares First Dividend, Buys Back Stock

Viacom Inc. declared its first quarterly dividend on Wednesday and reinstated a stock repurchase program, addressing questions about how it would invest its extra cash.

Mission Viejo Rejects Development-Vote Measure

Mission Viejo voters rejected a measure Tuesday that would have restricted development in the South County city, while in Costa Mesa an initiative to block any redevelopment of the Orange County fairgrounds easily passed.

Tuesday, June 8

Court Allows Patent Suit Against Endologix To Move Forward

A U.S. District Court judge has allowed a lawsuit against Irvine-based device maker Endologix Inc. to go forward.

Primoris Wins $107M Texas Roadwork Contract

Lake Forest-based construction and engineering company Primoris Services Corp. said Wednesday it won a $107 million roadwork contract from the Texas Department of Transportation.

Small Businesses Slowly Becoming More Optimistic

Small businesses are slightly more optimistic about their economic outlook than they have been in the last two years but are still not ready to expand staffs and boost capital spending, according to a survey released on Tuesday.

GM Recalls 1.5M Vehicles on Fire Risk

General Motors Co. on Tuesday announced a recall of about 1.5 million trucks, crossovers and cars from model years 2006-2009 because the unit that heats the windshield washer fluid could catch fire.

Voters Go To Polls After Contentious Races

Voters across the county go to the polls Tuesday to have their say on primary races for federal, state and local posts, ballot initiatives and some local measures.

Monday, June 7

Emulex Buys Former Broadcom Rival for $159M

Costa Mesa’s Emulex Corp., a maker of electronics for data storage networks, said Monday it’s set to buy Sunnyvale-based ServerEngines Corp. for about $159 million in cash and stock.

Report: Western Digital Confirmed Top Disk Drive Maker

A new report confirmed Western Digital Corp.’s status as the biggest maker of disk drives for computers and consumer electronics, officially ending the long reign of Scotts Valley-based Seagate Technology LLC.

Skin Cancer Drug News Boosts Bristol Shares

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.'s shares rose more than 7 percent on Monday after news over the weekend that its experimental drug ipilimumab extended survival in patients with deadly skin cancer.

Government Commission Serves Goldman with Subpoena

A government commission investigating the financial crisis has issued a subpoena to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. for failing to comply with a request for documents and interviews in a timely manner, the commission said on Monday.

Chrysler Recalls Nearly 600,000 Vehicles

Doors that could catch fire, brakes that could fail and accelerators that could stick have caused Chrysler Group LLC to recall nearly 600,000 vehicles involving five models in the United States, safety regulators said on Monday.

Kilroy Realty Under Contract To Buy Irvine Office Tower

Los Angeles-based real estate investor Kilroy Realty Corp. is under contract to buy 2211 Michelson, the Irvine office tower recently put up for sale by Houston's Hines Interests LP and partner Crescent Real Estate Equities LP of Fort Worth, Texas.

Newly Independent CoreLogic Plans Stock Sale

Santa Ana’s CoreLogic Inc., which last week emerged as a public company as part of a spinoff at First American Corp., has filed plans to sell up to $400 million in the company’s stock.

Sunday, June 6

Locklear: Knack for Numbers, Famous Family

TECHNOLOGY: Ingram’s CFO Hoards Fine Wine, Tends to Tight Margins

Profiles of the Business Journal’s 2010 Women in Business award winner - Lisa Locklear, CFO, Ingram Micro Inc.

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Medical Testing Co. Seeks to Sell Assets

HEALTHCARE: Westcliff needs bankruptcy court OK for $57M deal

Westcliff Medical is looking to sell its assets to Laboratory Corporation of America

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How Broadcom Hires; MacGillivray’s Bash Draws Royalty, Stars

OC INSIDER Column by Rick Reiff


Disney’s “The Lion King” at Orange County Performing Arts Center, through June 13

Disney’s “The Lion King” at Orange County Performing Arts Center, through June 13

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The Angels’ Lost Halo—and How To Find It


The Angels have lost their halo and need to find it, in Viewpoint


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

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

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South County Seeing Some Deals, Still Sluggish

South County space remains plentiful with low rents spurring some movement, in Real Estate Watch

Former Maguire Building Lands LA Fitness Renewal

Two Buchanan Executives Start Investment Firm; Von Karman Office Goes Back to Lender

LA Fitness renewed its lease near John Wayne Airport, in the Real Estate column

Teva To Quit Selling, Making Propofol at Irvine Plant

Smile Brands Officially Drops IPO Plans; Edwards Heart Valve Shows Good Survival Rate

Drug maker Teva Pharmaceutical is stopping production of a drug made in Irvine, in the Healthcare column

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Kia Revives Hamsters in Lull Before Next Big Launch

Taco Bell Does Web Cartoon with Ragtag Super Heroes; Del Taco Pushes ‘A-Team’ Promo

Kia Motors is giving its pop icon hamsters another spin, in the Media and Marketing column

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Cell Phone Chipmaker WiSpry Sees Leadership Shift

Kingston Increases Lead in Key Memory Products Segment; Chip Startup Raises $24 Million

A cofounder is back in charge at chip startup WiSpry, in the Technology column


A listing of events happening all around Orange County - June 7-11, 2010

A listing of events happening all around Orange County - June 7-11, 2010

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

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

Laguna Beach Set To Get New Restaurants, Retailer

Il Barone Brings Italian Flavors to Newport Beach; Balboa Bay Club Takes Top Drink Prize

The old Jolly Roger building in Laguna Beach is set to house a Tommy Bahama restaurant and store, in the Executive Dining column

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Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses


This past week’s news from and other sources

This past week’s news from and other sources

Cause and Effect

White-Peters Raises Money for Discovery Science Center

Profile of the Business Journal’s 2010 Women in Business award winner - Linda White-Peters of Discovery Science Center.

Young Blood

Schoenbachler: VP by 30; Five Posts in Seven Years at Real Estate Company

Profile of the Business Journal’s 2010 Women in Business award winner - Julie Schoenbachler of Bascom Group.

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Wells Fargo’s Adams Gave up Nomad Life for Local Roots

Profile of the Business Journal’s 2010 Women in Business award winner - Pamela Adams of Wells Fargo

Experian Changing Focus With Credit Score Site

MARKETING: Embattled credit report site staying put for now

Experian is shifting focus from credit reports to credit scores

Employment at Apparel Makers Stabilizes

CLOTHING: Cautious optimism for emerging gains in second half

ABOUT THE LIST: The county’s largest apparel companies saw employment stabilize in the past 12 months. Includes the 2010 OC's TOP 30 APPAREL COMPANIES List for download (pdf)

Grubb & Ellis Chief Looking For More Profit, Less Drama

Tom D’Arcy of Grubb & Ellis has a simple goal for the real estate brokerage and investor: no drama

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Local Ties Loom Large in $2.6B Medical Device Deal

HEALTHCARE: Ev3 set to keep Irvine operations intact

Ev3, which is being bought for $2.6 billion, has its roots in Orange County

Fish Tales

Anglers Fish for Sport, Fun, Camaraderie

Beyond Work: Ocean fishing draws executives and everyday folks alike for the thrill of the hunt

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Diamond in the Rough

Halfacre Weathers Husband’s Death, Recession’s Toll on Luxury Retail

Profile of the Business Journal’s 2010 Women in Business award winner - Lula Halfacre of Traditional Jewelers.

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Friday, June 4

Quiksilver Rises as Investors Look Past Tepid Outlook

Shares of Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver Inc. rose Friday, a day after the recovering clothing maker easily beat Wall Street expectations with results for its recently ended quarter.

Job Growth Disappoints on Weak Private Sector Hiring

Hiring by private employers slowed sharply in May, a setback for the economy's recovery, even as temporary census hiring pushed overall payrolls growth to its fastest pace in 10 years.

BP's Battered Brand Draws Consumer Opposition

Consumers are venting frustration over the BP oil spill, demonstrating at gas stations and corporate offices, drumming up support on Facebook and waging a mock public relations campaign on Twitter.

Morgan Stanley Courts Lower-Tier Advisers

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney is offering big bonuses to attract lower-producing financial advisers to shore up ranks that have contracted sharply since early last year.

Thursday, June 3

Chapman Forecast: Jobs Recovery Pushed Back to 2011

Orange County isn’t expected to start adding jobs until 2011, according to a midyear economic forecast update released by Chapman University Thursday.

Jobs Data Show Labor Market Improving

Private sector employers added jobs in May and the economy's dominant services sector increased payrolls for the first time in more than two years, building evidence that the labor market was picking up steam.

May Retail Sales Lackluster but Discounters Strong

May brought lackluster sales results for retailers, with discount chains turning in the strongest performance, as consumers again showed their cautious side in a seasonally weak period for spending.

Nielsen Files for up to $1.75B IPO

Nielsen Holdings BV plans to raise up to $1.75 billion in an initial public offering, becoming the latest private-equity backed company to sell shares into a fragile market.

Wet Seal Sees May Sales Fall, But Less Than Expected

Foothill Ranch-based mall retailer Wet Seal Inc. saw a second straight month of lower sales in May, but the drop last month was lower than analysts had expected.

Wednesday, June 2 Closes Higher on Outlook

Shares of Irvine’s Corp., which runs an online search engine for finding local businesses, jumped Wednesday after the company lifted its outlook for the current quarter and the balance of the year.

Anaheim Electronics Maker Acquired

Anaheim’s RTI Electronics Inc., a maker of electronic parts that go into audio devices, big lighting jobs and power supply gear, was scooped up by a private equity buyer after its Minnesota-based parent divested the local unit.

Pending Home Sales Race to 6-Month High

Pending home sales hit a six-month high in April but falling demand for home loans pointed to ebbing activity in the vital housing market with the expiration of a popular tax credit for buyers.

Moody's Analysts Felt Bullied to Give Rosy Ratings

Some former officials at Moody's said they felt intimidation from bosses to assign rosy ratings to risky debt products, according to testimony to a government panel probing the causes of the financial crisis.

Prudential Ends $35.5B Asian Takeover Bid

UK insurer Prudential has abandoned its plan to buy AIG's Asian life unit for $35.5 billion, leaving management under fire and the company facing a $659 million bill for failure.

Chipmaker Mindspeed Reaffirms Guidance

Newport Beach-based chipmaker Mindspeed Technologies Inc. on Wednesday reaffirmed its revenue outlook for the current quarter, saying it sees “consistent” trends in its business.

Tuesday, June 1

Fisker Finishes $189M Funding Round, Set To Tap Federal Money

Irvine-based hybrid automaker Fisker Automotive Inc. has closed its latest equity financing round at $189 million, a major step toward meeting requirements for government-backed loans.

Apple Says Sold 2M iPads

Apple Inc. said it sold 2 million iPads since launching the touch-screen tablet nearly two months ago and taking it to nine international markets this past weekend.

Covidien Spending $2.6B for Medical Device Maker with Irvine Operation

Covidien Ltd. said Tuesday that it's buying Ev3 Inc., a medical device maker with some 350 workers and roots in Irvine, for $2.6 billion.

Device Maker Altura Medical Gets $20M in Funding

Altura Medical Inc., a San Clemente-based medical device maker, said Tuesday that it raised $20 million in a first round of venture capital funding.

Manufacturing Expands for 10th Straight Month

The manufacturing sector expanded in May for a 10th straight month though at a touch slower pace, while construction spending posted its largest gain in nearly 10 years in April, pointing to strength in the economic recovery.

HP to Cut Net 3,000 Jobs

Hewlett-Packard Co. said it aims to boost margins by cutting jobs and reallocating spending to more profitable technology services, shrinking its workforce by a net 3,000 jobs, or 1 percent, over three years.