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Stories in this week’s Orange County Business Journal
Paris-based PPR SA is paying $608 billion to buy Costa Mesa-based apparel maker Volcom Inc., which makes clothes inspired by surfing, skateboarding, snowboarding, music and art. Volcom’s directors have recommended shareholder approval, according to PPR. A deal would put Volcom in PPR’s sports and lifestyle unit, which includes Puma and is seen by the French company as a “second pillar” to its luxury business. Volcom is projected to see 2011 revenue of $370 million, according to analysts. Chief Executive Richard “Wooly” Woolcott’s 2.5 million shares in the company are valued at about $60 million in the deal. His father, René Woolcott, a former chairman, has a stake worth about $25 million. Other big holders include BlackRock Inc., TCW Group Inc. and a trust controlled by Stephanie and Daniel Kwock, president of the entertainment unit at Huntington Beach-based apparel maker Quiksilver Inc., where Woolcott worked before starting Volcom (see story, page 3).
Henry Samueli, a major shareholder and former chairman of Irvine’s Broadcom Corp., has rejoined the chipmaker’s board and will sit on its compensation committee. The move follows a three-year absence from the board during a legal battle over backdated stock options. In late 2009, U.S. District Judge Cormac carney threw out a criminal charge against Samueli of lying to investigators, citing prosecutor misconduct and a lack of evidence. A civil case by the Securities and Exchange Commission also was dropped. The board seat brings Samueli full circle after his legal vindication. He resumed an executive post at Broadcom after the criminal charge was thrown out. Samueli is considered an engineering icon at Broadcom, which makes communications chips for cell phones, computers and consumer electronics (see related Sports item, right).
Accounting and consulting firm KPMG LLP named Dennis Parrott managing partner of its Orange County office in Irvine. Parrott is a 30-year veteran of KPMG, the second largest accounting firm here by number of employees at nearly 400. He succeeds Dean Samsvick, who will continue with the local office.
Aliso Viejo-based business software maker Quest Software Inc. acquired RemoteScan Corp. of Montana. RemoteScan makes software that monitors scanners that turn paper documents into digital files and is used in government. Quest makes software that helps corporations become more efficient by improving on existing applications by Oracle Corp., Microsoft Corp. and others. Terms of the deal, presumably small, weren’t disclosed.
Tustin-based Syagen Technology Inc. is selling to Morpho Detection, a unit of French defense and aerospace company Safran SA. Syagen makes chemical analysis instruments to detect explosive material and recently received a $2.5 million contract from the Department of Homeland Security. Terms of the sale weren’t disclosed. Syagen is expected to remain in Tustin, according to founder Jake Syage.
Irvine-based Local.com bought Krillion, a search website based in Mountain View, for $3.5 million. Local.com operates an online search engine for shoppers and recently launched a daily deal service.
The Sacramento Kings will stay put for at least a year instead of moving to Anaheim next season. The decision by the Maloof family members who own the National Basketball Association team came after word of $10 million in corporate sponsorships in Sacramento and a new plan to build an arena there. A move to Anaheim seemed likely based on Broadcom Corp. cofounder’s Henry Samueli’s offer to buy a minority stake in the franchise, provide a loan to the team and make improvements at Honda Center. Samueli owns the Anaheim Ducks hockey team and the company that runs the city-owned Honda Center (see related item, left). NBA Commissioner David Stern indicated Anaheim remains a viable option for a team.
Five Orange County residents will represent the U.S. in the Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championships as part of team sponsored by Anaheim-based retailer Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. Kolohe Andino, Luke Davis, Kulia Doherty, Kanoa Igarashi and Colin Moran will travel to Peru for the competition later this month.
Irvine topped the small markets category in the “American Cities of the Future” ranking by fDI Magazine, which is published by London-based Financial Times Ltd. and specializes in coverage of foreign direct investment. Irvine ranked No. 1 among small cities for human resources, drawing high marks for its labor pool. It ranked No. 4 nationally for economic potential and No. 6 for its business climate.
DOWN: New businesses filings in Orange County in April, which fell 8.3% from a year earlier to 2,967, according to the County Clerk-Recorder’s office. Filings for fictitious business names—also known as DBAs and seen as an economic indicator—fell by 6.6%. DBA filings include a mix of new and existing businesses.