Stories for March 2012
Saturday, March 31
HEALTHCARE: Price is 40% higher than offer by Valeant
Less noise, more cash appears to be winning formula for landing eye-drug maker Ista Pharma-ceuticals Inc.
RETAIL: Tops $400M in sales for 2011; lays out 10-year plan
Tilly’s scored big gain in sales last year, will spend 2012 laying groundwork for 10-year plan to triple number of stores
RETAIL: Dress specialist looks to sportswear as part of makeover
Wet Seal on Arden B: ‘We Have a Plan’
ECONOMY: Cal State Fullerton executive index at 8-year high
Local confidence jumps again for second quarter
REAL ESTATE: Ground lease likely
County of Orange seeks developer to help turn 100-acre parcel in Irvine into a mixed-use project
Gold Winners Advance to District Competition
DGWB Advertising and Communications wins Addys for biggest haul of them all, in Media and Marketing
TECHNOLOGY: Mathews upped, Yamada heads to Japan
TECHNOLOGY: Mathews upped, Yamada heads to Japan
Top offices combine for 18% rise to $15.5B in sales, leases
ABOUT THE LIST - Biggest brokerages combine for second consecutive uptick. Includes the 2012 OC's TOP COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE BROKERS list for download (pdf)
CBRE, Irvine Co., Transwestern maintain top positions
ABOUT THE LIST: Managers’ OC portfolios slim, but their total space rises. Includes the 2012 OC's TOP COMMERCIAL PROPERTY MANAGERS list for download (pdf)
There are more than 930 commercial property managers in Orange County.
Plans 305,000-SF Building on Spec at 13-Acre Site
Sares-Regis Group is starting to bet big on speculative industrial development on projects just outside OC, in Real Estate
Industrial Demand Rises, Vacancies Drop
Orange County industrial market continued to tighten in Q4, appears to be stabilizing. Includes Real Estate Watch industry performance charts.
Greenleaf to Chief of Coram Subsidiary in Restructuring
Apria taps former CorVel chief to run business unit, in Healthcare
Big Prospective Tenants Mull Offices of 100,000-plus SF
SPECIAL REPORT: COMMERCIAL LEASING GUIDE: Big prospective tenants mull offices of 100,000-plus square feet
Segment Considered Key to Strategic Growth Plan
Ingram Micro Inc. chief makes key hire to lead new unit aimed at capturing business in mobile segment, in Technology
14th Annual Fundraisers Notch Big Annual Uptick
PHILANTHROPY Column by Sherri Cruz
List of Ingredients runs from Dry Dock to Ranch
Passel of premier purveyors for OC’s dining scene, in Executive Dining
Boardroom Perspective on Kennedy’s Leadership
Reflection on OC’s ‘champion’
Made Title Insurer Integral Part of Business, Philanthropic Landscape
Donald Kennedy: 1918-2012
Susan Samueli Talks Philanthropic Philosophy
COMMUNITY: Susan Samueli talks philanthropic philosophy
Irvine-based Vizio Inc. will license technology to television maker Westinghouse Digital LLC in Orange
AUTOS: ‘Majority’ of Karmas expected to need replacements
Fisker Automotive Inc. takes account of battery troubles, extends warranty
Broadcom Corp. maintained standing among top 10 chipmakers in the world in 2011
HEALTHCARE: Membership gains in South County spur move
Kaiser Permanente health system has two more building projects in works here
REAL ESTATE: SunAmerica seeks $11M for Westcliff home
Irvine Corporate Center up for sale
TECHNOLOGY: Analysts say ruling muddies outlook
Street greets injunction against Emulex calmly
Friday, March 30
Costa Mesa-based action sports apparel maker Volcom Inc. has made a round of job cuts, according to several industry trade reports.
Thursday, March 29
Fountain Valley-based Kingston Technology Inc. has boosted its ownership stake in a Taiwanese storage device maker.
Lake Forest-based Del Taco LLC opened the first of 40 restaurants it plans to open in the Houston area on Wednesday.
Tuesday, March 27
Irvine-based Broadcom Corp. maintained its ranking among the top ten chipmakers in the world in 2011.
Houston-based Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP’s office in Orange is pursuing an expansion of its pipeline system that runs from San Bernardino County to the Las Vegas area.
Monday, March 26
Bausch & Lomb Inc. said today that it is buying Irvine eye drug maker Ista Pharmaceuticals Inc. for about $500 million in cash, or $9.10 a share.
Donald Kennedy, chairman emeritus of Santa Ana-based title insurance company First American Financial Corp., passed away on Saturday. He was 93.
Saturday, March 24
HEALTHCARE: Rite Aid Pact Helped Clinics Multiply
Excellence in Entrepreneurship Awards - Graff supersized dad’s weight-loss practice with Lindora
ENERGY: Recession forced switch to panel installations
Excellence in Entrepreneurship Awards - Verengo Solar Plus finds success where many competitors have failed
Costa Mesa Aircraft Service Firm Gains on Mergers
Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award - Recent airline mergers have fueled growth at Costa Mesa-based Leading Edge Aviation Services Inc.
REAL ESTATE: Under way on initial project of 690 acres
Rancho Mission Viejo LLC names homebuilders for Sendero
Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award - Irvine-based Felt Racing LLC is jumping into the electric bike market
Managers assessed risks, embraced opportunities
ABOUT THE LIST: Orange County’s top wealth managers gained new clients over the past year and are managing more money. Includes the 2012 OC's TOP WEALTH MANAGERS list for download (pdf)
“Mad Dash” for Managers Likely as Expiration Nears
SPECIAL REPORT: WEALTH MANAGERS - Sun could set on historically low gift-tax rate
Transition Afoot From Bonds to Dividend Equities
SPECIAL REPORT: WEALTH MANAGERS - Portfolio managers adding more stocks
HEALTHCARE: Founders are former employees of big client
Excellence in Entrepreneurship Awards - Newport Beach-based Novasyte helps medical-device makers train customers
APPAREL: Ryan Heuser third to leave since Saban’s 2010 buy
Last of three cofounders of Paul Frank Industries in Costa Mesa is set to strike out on own
TECHNOLOGY: Also grows base for East Coast in Raleigh
Extron Electronics Inc. recently christened 350,000-square-foot HQ in Anaheim and East Coast hub
TECHNOLOGY: $6.5 billion worth of upgrades expected
Chasing riches in 10-Gig niches: equipment makers aid connectivity upgrades
HEALTHCARE: Parent company’s backing brings home-grown yield
Abbott Medical Optics Inc. in Santa Ana will pump out a steady stream of new products this year
La Palma Company Has 93 Franchises, Plans for More
Friendly Franchisees Corp. has 93 franchises, plans for more
REAL ESTATE: 280 employees expected to arrive this summer
Goodrich Corp. is consolidating two L.A. County locations to Brea, bringing several hundred jobs to OC
REAL ESTATE: Rest of holdings here distressed or on sales block
MPG Office Trust Inc. plans to let go of 500,000 SF in Brea
There are more than 1,000 wealth managers in Orange County with nearly 10,000 workers.
Four Buildings Leased in Lake Forest Up for Sale
Up to four Lake Forest offices leased to Panasonic Avionics Corp. are on the sales block, according to area brokers, in Real Estate
Class A Space Disappears, So Spec Development Returns
OC’s real estate market in late 2011 began showing upbeat signs not seen since prior to the start of 2008 recession. Includes Real Estate Watch industry performance charts.
Ifixit Webcast Uncovers At Least 3 in New Product
Tear-down specialists say Broadcom Corp. has at least three chips in the new iPad, in Technology
Part of Branding, Content Push for Entertainment Hub
Specific Media continues to attract big-name marketers in turnaround campaign for social-media company Myspace LLC, in Media and Marketing
Co-Author Says More Here Getting Vital Drug Quickly
Study points to benefits of network for stroke victims, in Healthcare
Golf Course-View Property First Listed for $18.9M
Getaway home in Shady Canyon goes for $12.8 million, in Luxury Homes
EVENTS CALENDAR - A listing of events happening all around Orange County.
Friday, March 23
Irvine-based action sports retailer Tilly’s Inc. notched a 20% gain in sales for the 12 months through January.
Orange County added 9,100 jobs in February, a small turnaround after a decline in January.
Thursday, March 22
Covidien PLC, a medical device maker, said today that it would buy Newport Medical Instruments Inc. in Costa Mesa for $108 million.
Shares of Irvine-based drive-maker Western Digital Corp. surged Thursday after an analyst upgraded the company and said it was “significantly undervalued” following its recent acquisition of Hitachi Global Storage Technologies Inc.
Weak sales of tops following the holiday selling season has Foothill Ranch-based mall retailer Wet Seal Inc. off to a “disappointing start” to its April quarter, according to Chief Executive Susan McGalla.
A mix of local and national homebuilders has been tapped to build the first new batch of homes seen in over five years on land owned by Rancho Mission Viejo LLC.
Wednesday, March 21
Six OC entrepreneurs were honored at the Business Journal’s 11th annual Excellence in Entrepreneurship Awards in Irvine.
The sale of Cypress-based Real Mex Restaurants Inc. to a group of creditors closed Wednesday, allowing the company to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Tuesday, March 20
Irvine-based chipmaker Broadcom Corp. is set to acquire a startup company in Israel for at least $200 million, two Israeli newspapers reported Tuesday.
Wells Fargo & Co. plans to close a customer service center in Santa Ana, a move that gives 315 employees 30 days to find a replacement job elsewhere in the bank’s Southern California operations.
Seal Beach-based Clean Energy Fuels Corp. has signed a deal to build fueling stations for a Florida transportation company’s growing fleet of natural gas-powered vehicles.
San Clemente-based Cameron Health Inc. will have its implantable heart defibrillator reviewed by an FDA panel on April 26, the company said.
Monday, March 19
Goldman Sachs Specialty Lending Group completes sale of EZ Lube LLC to Henley Pacific LA
Irvine-based chipmaker Broadcom Corp. has won a judgment against Emulex Corp. that appears to end the companies’ long standing legal battle.
Saturday, March 17
Burger Chain Charts “Fast-Casual” Course After Tough Stretch
Ruby’s Diner charts “fast-casual” course after tough stretch
TECHNOLOGY: Dell tops list in wake of $2B offer
N.Y. private equity firm’s $2B bid to take Quest Software private unlikely to be only offer
TECHNOLOGY: Cloud storage key to Romley line
Several OC technology companies stand to benefit from new line of chips recently debuted by Intel Corp.
HEALTHCARE: Heart device could revive troubled segment
Boston Scientific Corp. is making a big bet on Cameron Health Inc.
REAL ESTATE: Portfolio now stands at about $400 million
Newport Beach-based real estate investor MIG Real Estate aims to step up commercial acquisitions
FINANCE: Calls Irvine “central hub,” eyes smaller banks in region
Pacific Trust Bank has made its move from Chula Vista to its new headquarters in Irvine
FINANCE: Investment by private equity firm launches second fund
Solis Capital Partners LLC acquires substantial stake in San Clemente software company gen-E
HEALTHCARE: Sees potential for more use in long-term care
Avanir Pharmaceuticals seeks new markets for core product, boosts promotions for its use to treat pseudobulbar affect
Auto dealers see 19% gain in sales, service in 2011
Forbes’ latest list of billionaires included nine from Orange County
HEALTHCARE: Cites strength during recession, limited exposure
Fitch: Allergan Inc. can handle European ‘headwinds’
More than 75% of $634M in sales stemmed from downturn
Shadow of the commercial real estate crash in 2007 and ’08 lingers over OC’s market for high-profile office sales
Up 33% in 2011; Sales Also Solid, Despite Dip
OC companies inked blockbuster deals last year, out-of-town investors comprised bulk of region’s big-dollar commercial real estate buys
A listing of events happening all around Orange County. March 19-28, 2012
Heart-Valve Maker Awaits Important Medicare Ruling
Edwards Lifesciences Corp. asks for tweaks in coverage proposals, in Healthcare
Etnies’ “E-Suede” Used Inside Mitsubishi’s Evo X
Oakley Inc. helps promote racy limited-edition auto, in Media and Marketing
$2.8B Financial Package Carries $500M Credit Line
Bank of America backs Western Digital Corp.’s Hitachi Global deal, in Technology
Lender to Keep Another 25,000 SF in Nearby HQ
Gateway One Lending & Finance adds nearly 40,000 square feet in Anaheim Hills, in Real Estate
South OC’s Industrial, Office Segments Strengthen
South Orange County’s industrial market showed strength at year’s end. The Week's Best, Worst Performers; Roth OC50, Billion Dollar Club, OC Tech; Index Watch, 52-week Performance
Sales and leases of offices, industrial buildings, retail space and apartments
Shift comes as residential sees drop in new mortgages
ABOUT THE LIST: Title companies adjust focus to commercial transactions. Includes the 2012 OC's LARGEST TITLE INSURERS list for download (pdf)
TECHNOLOGY: Networking equipment maker adding workers
Solarflare Communications Inc. will relocate its headquarters to a larger site amid plans for continued hiring
REAL ESTATE: Trend has recent buyers building
Once red-hot market for apartment sales appears to lose steam here, signs emerge that the rest of the U.S. could follow suit
Shanbrom Was a Renowned Hematologist, Philanthropist
Philanthropy Column by Sherri Cruz
Wednesday, March 14
Irvine-based drug maker Allergan Inc.’s long-term debt ratings have been raised by Fitch Ratings Inc.
Tuesday, March 13
Shares of Anaheim-based Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. plunged 15% in after-hours trading after the action sports retailer forecast a wider-than-expected loss for the three months through April.
The sale of Costa Mesa-based EZ Lube LLC to competitor Valvoline Instant Oil Change has closed.
Monday, March 12
Forbes’ latest list of billionaires included nine people from Orange County.
Sales at local auto dealers totaled $7.6 billion last year, according to an annual economic impact report from Newport Beach-based Orange County Automobile Dealers Association.
A federal judge has issued a permanent injunction against a German company seeking to sell a rival to Irvine-based drug maker Allergan Inc.’s flagship Botox.
Saturday, March 10
ECONOMY: Dip in combined revenue tied to Kingston estimate
ABOUT THE LIST: Minority-owned companies add jobs, top $11 billion. Includes the 2012 OC's LARGEST MINORITY-OWNED BUSINESSES list for download (pdf)
Sapien In Spotlight; Other Valves, Care Products Bring Bulk of Revenue
Edwards’ Sapien gets spotlight; surgical valves, critical-care products bring bulk of revenue
There are more than 4,600 businesses in Huntington Beach. Includes analysis, charts and figures.
Strengthening Airport Leads Low-Rise Office Sector
Strengthening airport leads low-rise office sector. Includes Real Estate Watch industry performance charts.
53,164-SF Space Valued at Almost $4.7 Million
Bed and bath retailer Anna’s Linens Inc. has renewed the lease for its Costa Mesa headquarters, in Real Estate
Price Down From $7.5M Listing in November
Bluff-top home in Laguna Beach recently sold in online auction for $4.1 million, in Luxury Homes
HEALTHCARE: Judge still must rule on length on injunction
Allergan has stymied a rival’s attempt to widen application of a Botox competitor to cosmetic uses, for now
Boston Scientific is acquiring medical-device maker Cameron Health for $150 million in cash
HEALTHCARE: Ariz.-based Doctors Express Set to Expand
Joint venture of Ensign gets urgent care operator
MANUFACTURING: In combo of welding and alloy product lines
Anaheim-based alloys manufacturer Weartech International Inc. was acquired by Lincoln Electric Holdings Inc. in Cleveland.
FINANCE: Device maker targets ballooning blood vessels
Sequent Medical secures $26M in venture round
APPAREL: Aims for overseas expansion, lighter image
Affliction Holdings LLC has new financial backers and a fresh branding campaign focusing on denim line, women’s apparel, international sales
HEALTHCARE: Plans new hires for R&D, sales; eyes Europe
Irvine-based prosthetic device maker Freedom Innovations LLC has a new owner
TECHNOLOGY: CEO to retain stake in deal with private equity
$2 billion bid for Quest Software
RETAIL: Swimsuit maker uses fad to test long-term prospects
Tustin swimsuit maker Raj Manufacturing LLC is building on the fad of temporary “pop-up” retail shops
OC INSIDER Column by Jerry Sullivan
REAL ESTATE: Dealership brings hopes for flagship across street
Vacant car dealership along Harbor Boulevard in Costa Mesa has a new automotive tenant who plans a big makeover
REAL ESTATE: $25M budget; new name latest shift from shops
Triangle Square eyes entertainment bucks with makeover plan
Irvine-Based Private Equity Firm Has Rare Status, 5 Banks
Ed Carpenter’s Irvine-based private equity firm has rare status, controlling interest in five banks
Aliso Viejo Firm Leases Heavy-Duty Gear Globally
Equipped to Succeed: Pacific Rim Capital Inc. leases heavy-duty gear globally
Regulators Forced Sale as Part of Hitachi Deal
Western Digital Corp. agrees to sell off its business of 3.5-inch hard disk drives to Toshiba Corp., in Technology
Camera Maker to Display Winning Videos at NAB
Red.com Inc.’s Red Digital Cinema Camera Co. commissions customers to tout the benefits of its cameras, in Media and Marketing
FDA Commissioner Cites Woes, Industry Wants Talk
Generic drug makers ask FDA for help in solving facility, production-line problems causing drug shortages, in Healthcare
A listing of events happening all around Orange County. March 13-21, 2012
Bankers expect increased activity after dry spell during recession
There’s budding optimism in the mergers and acquisitions market
Microsemi, Broadcom, Western Digital Each Sought Revenue Boosts
Microsemi, Broadcom, Western Digital each sought revenue boosts
Friday, March 9
Irvine-based Mazda North American Operations is offering an unspecified number of voluntary buyout packages to employees.
Shares of Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver Inc. were down about 7% in midday New York trading a day after the surfwear company reported a higher-than-expected loss for the recently ended quarter.
The unemployment rate ticked up in January as Orange County cut 29,700 jobs across all industries.
Costa Mesa-based law firm Rutan & Tucker LLP elected Kim Thompson as managing partner, a position that had been held by L. Ski Harrison since 2009.
Western Digital Corp. has closed its buy of Hitachi Global Storage Technologies Inc. for $4.8 billion, positioning the Irvine-based company to battle for the top position among drive makers.
Newport Beach-based Pacific Life Insurance Co. has promoted Khanh Tran to president, a post that had been held by James Morris, who will remain chief executive and chairman.
Quest Software Inc. in Aliso Viejo would be taken private under terms of a proposed $2 billion sale to New York-based private equity firm Insight Venture Partners.
Thursday, March 8
San Clemente-based medical device maker Cameron Health Inc. is being bought by Boston Scientific Corp. for $150 million in cash, with additional payments of up to $1.05 billion possible based on future milestones.
Huntington Beach-based NuVision Federal Credit Union and Kinecta Federal Credit Union in Manhattan Beach have called off plans to merge.
Wednesday, March 7
Aliso Viejo-based medical device maker Sequent Medical Inc. said today that it raised $26 million in a third round of venture financing.
Mission Viejo-based nursing home company Ensign Group Inc. and its joint venture have bought a franchiser of urgent care clinics.
Anaheim-based alloys manufacturer Weartech International Inc. was acquired by Lincoln Electric Holdings Inc. in Cleveland.
A federal court judge has blocked a competitor to Irvine-based drug maker Allergan Inc.’s flagship Botox after allegations that trade secrets were stolen.
Western Digital Corp. expects its $4.3 billion buy of San Jose-based Hitachi Global Storage Technologies Inc. to close on Thursday, ending a year of negotiations with U.S. and international regulators.
Tuesday, March 6
Costa Mesa-based El Pollo Loco Inc. said it has hired a Bay Area ad shop for its general market and Hispanic accounts, ending an agency review that began in December.
Monday, March 5
A San Diego hotel developer, who recently acquired the daily newspaper there, confirmed his interest in buying the Orange County Register from Irvine-based Freedom Communications Inc.
Newport Beach-based Festival Fun Parks LLC has acquired Noah’s Ark Waterpark, a Wisconsin Dells, Wis. theme park that bills itself as the country’s largest water park.
Saturday, March 3
ENERGY: Buys 40% of mine for thermal energy
Irvine-based Universal Bioenergy Inc. acquires 40% stake in a Kentucky coal producer
TECHNOLOGY: Public-sector clients a key in tough niche
Execs with OC ties achieve profitability with solar-energy provider
CORPORATE: Highfields not happy, pushes for exec changes
CoreLogic Inc.’s two largest shareholders have opposing views on the best long-term strategy for the real estate data and analytics company
That’s the Plan on Newport Center HQ for Bond Trader
Details are starting to emerge on the most prominent office building to go up in Newport Beach in nearly 30 years
Iconic Establishments Freshen Menus to Stay Au Courant
FIFI's BEST - Legends of the dining landscape
HEALTHCARE: Tie to Hoag in new accountable-care group
Orange County doctor groups unveiled some big affiliation moves last week
Anaheim-Based Brand Keeps on Truckin’
Anaheim-based Isuzu keeps on truckin’
Chef Pascal Olhats: An Abiding Culinary Force
Chef/Restaurateur of the Year Pascal Olhats is a unique culinary force
Airport Area’s Industrial Continues to Gain Momentum
Industrial market around greater John Wayne Airport area closes out 2011 with renewed signs of tenant confidence
273,298-SF Property Was Briefly Hurt by Meltdown
Del Mar Center’s value more than doubles since 2009, in Real Estate
Chain Changes Marketing, Pushes Breakfast Menu
Taco Bell changes marketing, pushes breakfast menu, in Media and Marketing
Analysts Question Prospect of Near-Term Growth
Medtronic says federal tax hit from looming healthcare reforms will be $125M to $175M annually starting in 2013, in Healthcare
Mitchell Worked to Raise Nearly $1B for Others
FlexEnergy hires new president to help raise money for growth, product development, commercialization, in Technology
A listing of events happening all around Orange County. March 6-13, 2012
Loara High School Wins Car-Repair Competition
PHILANTHROPY Column by Sherri Cruz
AUTOS: Overcome supply shortages, economic concerns
Auto dealers in Orange County overcame supply shortages and shaky consumer confidence to continue a comeback last year. Includes the 2012 OC's LARGEST AUTO DEALERS list for download (pdf)
AUTOS: Fisker makes difference; Hyundai still No. 1 with 977
Automakers add jobs overall; some cut amid sales growth. Includes the 2012 OC's LARGEST AUTOMAKERS list for download (pdf)
AUTOS: Founder to executive chair, still in charge of design
Industry vet Tom LaSorda named chief executive of luxury hybrid automaker Fisker Automotive Inc.
APPAREL: Equity firm offered $909.2M; two directors balked
Billabong International says it has broken off talks with private equity firm TPG Capital Partners LP
ENERGY: Santa Ana company puts three operations in venture
Edison Mission Energy joins two partners to form Capistrano Wind Partners LLC
HEALTHCARE: Says halt on payments led to cash crunch
Wound-care provider Gordian Medical Inc. files for bankruptcy reorganization in move tied to a reimbursement dispute
TECHNOLOGY: Works on drones, commercial rockets
Software maker Verisurf triples space for headquarters, metrology training
REAL ESTATE: All-cash deals; gets stake in fellow device maker
Rancho Santa Margarita-based Applied Medical Corp. buys some 124,000 square feet with IPO pending
Pacific Mercantile Bancorp Inc. chief executive will remain in the same post for its subsidiary
Friday, March 2
Costa Mesa-based Ceradyne Inc. received a $6.3 million order for armor products to be used in the Apache helicopter.
Thursday, March 1
Orange County automakers continued to post strong sales in February as the national pace among automakers hit a high not seen since 2008.
Foothill Ranch-based Wet Seal Inc.’s same-store sales declined again in February but still managed to beat analyst expectations.