Stories for October 2017

Tuesday, October 31

Arbonne Boss Feted by Old Firm

Irvine-based Arbonne International LLC said today that Chief Executive Kay Zanotti has been awarded the 2017 Procter and Gamble Company Alumni Awards’ McElroy Award, recognizing her “significant contributions to the art and science of satisfying the consumer.”

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 increased 0.1% in midday trading to 2,576.45.

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Monday, October 30

Lennar Buys CalAtlantic

CalAtlantic Group Inc. in Irvine is being purchased by Lennar Corp. in a $9.3 billion deal, one of the largest on Wall Street this year.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 fell 0.3% in midday trading to 2,572.64.

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Allergan Gets China OK for Eye Device

Allergan PLC received Chinese regulatory approval for Ozurdex, an eye implant designed to treat adults with macular edema following retinal vein occlusion—an eye stroke.

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Kia Runs Up Score On NBA Sponsorship

AUTOMOTIVE: Adds 3 years to deal; cites its winning results

Some things just go together: milk and cookies, Trump and Twitter, Kia and the NBA.

First Steps for ATEP

Tustin College Campus Eyes Private-Sector Users

Tustin Legacy is doubling down on office development, and now has an eye on education and job training for the region’s next generation of tech workers.

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On the OC Fast Track

Fastest-Growing Cos. Use Buys to Bump Sales 44%

Orange County’s fastest growing publicly traded companies increased revenue by $16 billion in a two-year span.

Business Bites

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 40, No. 44

St. John Knits International Inc. will cut 72 jobs in Irvine, effective Dec. 11, according to a filing with the state.

OCBJ Calendar

Oct. 30-Nov. 8, 2017

This week's business and other event listings.

Pricespider Climbs to Bigger HQ, Doubling Space

Move to Grow Web-Insight Specialist Workforce 20%

A fast-growing software service provider for brand manufacturers has moved to a larger headquarters at the Irvine Spectrum as it preps a product launch.

Biotech Company’s First US Presence in Irvine

Novoheart Puts Down Roots at The Cove

A Hong Kong-based stem-cell biotech company that’s tackling heart disease opened a flagship U.S. location at The Cove.

Amazon Grows OC Presence with Buena Park Deal

Distribution Site Top Q3 Industrial Lease

Amazon hasn’t selected Orange County for its massive HQ2 project, as far as we’ve heard.

Shoemaker Lands Famous DJ for Fitness Spots

Steve Aoki, Athletes ‘I Move Me’ Campaign Stars

ASICS America Corp. in Irvine signed on Grammy-nominated DJ Steve Aoki as the face of its “I Move Me campaign” in North America.

OC Places More Emphasis on Integrative Care

Reports Positive 1st-Year Data, Opens More Clinics

Part of the equation of providing good care while keeping cost affordable is to bring medical care away from hospitals and into communities.

Auto App Makes New Lending Deal

AutoGravity Corp. in Irvine added Irvine-based Global Lending Services LLC, a sub-prime lender based in Greenville, S.C., to its car-shopping app.

Pickup Family Gives Hospital $15M

Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach received a $15 million gift for its neurosciences institute from longtime local philanthropists the Pickup Family Foundation, it was announced at the institute’s 10-year anniversary celebration.

Drugmaker, Back in OC, Taps Leaders

Dendreon Pharmaceuticals LLC expanded senior management with three hires and two promotions after returning its headquarters to Orange County this summer following a sale.

Smartlabs Gets Bid To IoT Big Dance

TECHNOLOGY: Coming home to Microsoft’s voice-activated assistant

Smartlabs Inc. Chief Executive Rob Lilleness entered a meeting this past summer at Microsoft Corp. headquarters expecting software development work.

Irvine’s Terra Tech Still Growing Sky-High

Losses and Stigma Still Block the Stock

Terra Tech Corp.’s game plan in the budding recreational and medicinal marijuana industry aims to bring seed to sale under one roof.

Banking Foundation of First Foundation’s Growth

Bank and Wealth Manager Doubles Sales in 2 Years

First Foundation Inc. doubled revenue in the past two years, making it the fastest grower among midsize publicly traded companies in Orange County.

Luxe Home Sales Propel New Home to New Heights

2-Year Growth of 208%; New Affordability Focus

A slowly improving U.S. housing market has boosted most large national homebuilders’ sales and bottom lines over the past few years.

GG Company Grows On Tesla Product Work

GG Company Grows On Tesla Product Work

A deal with “a major electric car company in Northern California” is poised to spark substantial growth in revenue for a Garden Grove-based manufacturer of high-performance polymer products.


More than 200 business and community leaders attended the 13th annual Orange County Council, Boy Scouts of America Investment Real Estate Luncheon on Oct. 5 at the Westin South Coast Plaza. 1w

Allergan in Tight Spot for Blockbuster Drug Restasis

Fights 2 Patent Battles; No Sub Blockbuster in Wings

A recent federal district court ruling—a federal judge invalidated exclusive protections for dry-eye drug Restasis—isn’t sitting well with Allergan PLC.

CSUF Expands Incubator Presence into Irvine

STARTUPS: ‘Deep gene pool’ cited as key motivator

When a London-based startup that developed an all-in-one tool for communication, collaboration and employee engagement was looking to move its North American headquarters from Toronto to Southern California, it chose a new incubator in Irvine.

OC-Based Banks Report Increasing Profits in Q3

FINANCE: Investors cheer turnarounds at three firms

Four of the five largest publicly traded banks based in Orange County reported last week that profits improved in the third quarter over the same period a year earlier.

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Locals Taking Over Hotel Laguna, Face Lawsuit

REAL ESTATE: Details, plan of deal for iconic site unclear

The sale of the iconic Hotel Laguna to a group of prominent Orange County business executives and community leaders is being challenged in court by the Laguna Beach hotel’s operators, who claim they were illegally deprived of the opportunity to buy the 65-room property.

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Incipio Moving HQ, Preps New LA Retail Site

TECHNOLOGY: Device accessory firm eyes ‘transaction’

Incipio Group is changing its skin.

352 and Growing

Among our P1 stories, Mediha DiMartino found a nondescript Garden Grove co. sitting on new business that could triple sales—a story anytime, more so when the growing concern is part of a 352-year-old French manufacturer.

Real Estate Deals

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

Anderson Bouchier Properties sold a multitenant retail building to Yitae Sohn for $6.7 million, or $618 per square foot.

Friday, October 27

Microsemi in $130M Strategic Buy

Aliso Viejo-based Microsemi Corp. has reached a deal to acquire the timing device business of Vectron International for $130 million.

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St. John Cuts Include Boutique

St. John Knits International Inc. will cut 72 jobs in Irvine effective December 11, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification it filed with the state Employment Development Department.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.8% in midday trading to 3,579.55.

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Thursday, October 26

Gillman Will Co-Chair Advisory Board for New UC Center

University of California-Irvine Chancellor Howard Gillman has been named co-chair of an advisory board for a new University of California center dedicated to free speech issues.

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BJ’s: Revenue Up, Earnings Down

BJ’s Restaurants Inc. in Huntington Beach reported revenue of $247 million in its most recent quarter, up about 6% year-over-year. Net income was $2.4 million—down two-thirds from the same period last year, when net income was $7.2 million.

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Dendreon Adds 5 Senior Execs

Dendreon Pharmaceuticals LLC expanded its senior management with three new hires and two promotions.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 0.3% in midday trading to 2,564.10.

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Wednesday, October 25

Record Grant for Vanguard

Vanguard University in Costa Mesa has been awarded a five-year, $3.75 million grant through the U.S. Department of Education’s Developing Hispanic-serving institutions program.

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OCC Foundation Gets $1.8M

The Orange Coast College Foundation said it received a gift of $1.8 million, the largest donation in its 32-year history.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Indices were down 0.7% each in midday trading.

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Pickup Family Gives Hoag $15M

Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach received a $15 million gift for its neurosciences institute from longtime local philanthropists the Pickup Family Foundation.

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Bear Flag Owner to Lido Marina Village

Bear Flag Restaurant Group in Newport Beach plans to open a new restaurant at Lido Marina Village.

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Tuesday, October 24

Edwards Builds-Out ‘Tool Box’

Edwards Lifesciences Corp. reported $481 million in global sales for its core transcatheter heart valve technology, up some 17% from the same period a year ago but down compared with its last two quarters—$539 million for the first quarter and $487 million for the second quarter.

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Long Beach Airport Traffic Up 22%

Long Beach Airport passenger traffic grew 22% year-over-year to 301,000 in September.

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Legacy Brander Launches Sites

MerchSource LLC launched retail websites for its FAO Schwartz and 5th Avenue Bergdorf Goodman brands.

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Hyundai Names Ex-Toyota Exec COO

Hyundai Motor America Inc. named Brian Smith its chief operating officer.

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Automotive App Cuts Lending Deal

AutoGravity Corp. has another lender on its car-shopping app.

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UCI on $14.65M Literacy Team

University of California-Irvine is part of a group that received a five-year, $14.6 million U.S. Dept. of Education grant to improve literacy instruction.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 0.2% in midday trading to 2,570.12.

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Monday, October 23

New Website Launched

Southern California News Group launched as the “go-to digital Spanish-language news source” for Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties.

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J&J Verdict Overturned

A Newport Beach attorney had his $417 million verdict against New Brunswick, NJ-based Johnson & Johnson overturned.

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Catheter Maker Raises $3M

Spinal Singularity in San Clemente raised $3.1 million in seed funding to support development of its connected catheter designed for adult men with chronic lower urinary tract dysfunction.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was flat in midday trading at 2,574.31.

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Michelson Tower Sale Ranks High in Recent Flips

$117 Million Jump In Price Tops in California

Emmes Group of Cos.’ ownership of the Michelson office tower in Irvine from 2009 to 2012 was said in a recent market report to be the shrewdest office investment in the state in recent years.

For 50th, Mall Displays Purse That Fits Everything

Gigantic Miu Miu Joined Birthday Fashion Shows

South Coast Plaza continued its 50th anniversary celebration with a pop-up exhibit in the Jewel Court Oct. 6 to 17 that featured two 12-foot handbags by Miu Miu.

Cell and Gene Therapies Hot with Fast-Track OK

Japan Laws Approve Product in 6 Months

The cell and gene therapy industry continues to capture the interest of investors of all types, including international investors attending the Cell and Gene Meeting on the Mesa, a three-day conference at the Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa this month.

Advantage Solutions Keeps IPO Watchers Waiting

MARKETING: In robust IPO year, biggest biding its time

Several local companies sprinted to the stock exchange shortly after filing for an initial public offering this year, matching the national pace of just over 50 days, according to a report by PwC in New York.

‘Authentic’ Investor Takes Politically-Active Approach

NB Wealth Manager Doubles Assets with Provocative Views

David L. Bahnsen runs a business that isn’t politically correct.

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Hines, Oaktree Buy PacSun HQ

REAL ESTATE: Retailer in 15-year lease-back

The local office of development and investment firm Hines has made another notable office acquisition in North Orange County, buying the Anaheim headquarters of Pacific Sunwear of California Inc.

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BioPhotas Says Diabetic Wound Healing Next

HEALTHCARE: Light therapy device used for pain, aesthetics

BioPhotas Inc. in Anaheim plans to tackle the Holy Grail of perpetual, nonhealing wounds with its light therapy device Celluma.

Birtcher’s New Biz Eyeing SoCal Industrial Projects

REAL ESTATE: Family biz back after Goodman stint

Birtcher Development LLC is back in business, minus the Australian accent.

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Dancing Next Fall?

Deadline gone for Amazon’s HQ2. I was in London at Trafalgar Square when that city won the bid for the 2012 Olympics.

Business Bites

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 40, No. 43

The University of California-Irvine said it will create a Center for Jewish Studies to bring together faculty, students, visiting scholars and members of the public interested in exploring Judaism.

Real Estate Deals

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

Pacific Performance Engineering sold a multioffice building to Galaxy Oil Co. for $3.8 million, or $316 per square foot.

OCBJ Calendar

Oct. 23-Nov. 1, 2017; Nov. 8, 2017

This week's business and other event listings.

O’Melveny Attorneys Help the Helpless at Clinics

Beneficiaries of Pro Bono Work Include Elderly, Vets

The elderly woman had made her decision. She needed to get her granddaughter out of her home. She loved the young woman dearly, but the substance abuse problems she struggled with had changed the girl into someone her grandmother no longer recognized.

KPMG Looks Between the Lines to Help Children

Tax Firm Staff Good At Math But Give Out Books

Every few months, employees at KPMG’s Orange County office trade in their crisp suits and smart outfits for jeans and comfy shirts, turning a workplace full of accountants and tax specialists into a group of folks who look ready to head to a ballgame. And each happily pays $5 to do it.

BofA Spreads Its Money, Expertise Throughout OC

Thousands of Hours, Cash Donated Every Year

A financial literacy program to teach young people better money habits. Ongoing training for nonprofit leaders. A food and supplies drive for homeless military veterans, whose donations nearly reach the ceiling.

Disney’s Look at Anaheim Resulted in Game Changer

Stakeholders Helped It Identify Youths’ Needs

There are times when a simple idea leads to an unimagined result. That was the case a few years ago, when Lisa Haines Heppelmann and Jill Bolton of Disneyland Resort decided to take a closer look at how the organization invested philanthropic dollars.

50 Honorees, 5 Awards in 1st Civic 50 Orange County

‘Corporate Philanthropy Is in a Renaissance’

The list in this Special Report is unusual for the Business Journal in two ways. It’s a first—the first list of local-market Civic 50 honorees in the country. And it’s likely a first Business Journal list without financials. Rightly so.

Editor’s Note: The First Local Civic 50

Since 2012, The Civic 50, an initiative of Points of Light, has recognized the 50 most community-minded major corporations in the nation each year as determined by a survey developed by True Impact. For the first time in a local market, the Orange County Business Journal presents the 2017 Civic 50 Orange County in partnership with OneOC, recognizing the 50 most community-minded small, medium, and large Orange County companies.

Allergan Plans To Appeal Restasis Decision

Allergan PLC raised eyebrows last month when it announced its patent deal with an American Indian tribe in New York, transferring the rights for its eye drug Restasis to the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe.

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Roofing Company Puts Lid On Community Need

Charles Antis was just a few years into his roofing business and still at that stage where, while the dollars were coming in, the money from each job had an outsized impact on the business’ future. So when he got a call from a desperate woman who needed her leaking roof fixed right away, he took the job.

Life at Toshiba After Nuclear and Flash

Toshiba America Business Solutions Inc. has moved its North American headquarters from Irvine to Lake Forest, where executives are mapping an acquisition strategy last implemented nearly a decade ago.

Heeeere’s Blizzard!

Esports Arena Debuts at Johnny Carson’s Old Studio

Studio 1 looked every bit its age before the demolition crews arrived.

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Applied Medical Expands Manufacturing in Europe

OC Presence Includes 18 Buildings, 1.4M SF

Applied Medical Resources Corp. in Rancho Santa Margarita expanded its European operations this month with the opening of a 215,000-square-foot manufacturing, research and development facility at its European headquarters in Amersfoort, Netherlands.

‘One-Click’ Pitch for Amazon

Irvine Co. Would Fund 8M-SF Project, L-T Lease

The city of Irvine is pulling out all the stops to land Amazon’s second headquarters, including an offer from Irvine Co. to fully finance the development of the 8-million-square-foot project, which would be largely built on its Spectrum-area land.

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30 Years a Maverick Success

Applied, over the course of 30 years as a private company, did not stray far from its founding mission.

Main Street to Blame For 2008 Financial Crisis?

David Bahnsen saw the 2008 financial crisis from a unique view as a managing director at Morgan Stanley.

Twenty Percent of SoCal’s Priciest Zip Codes in OC

Newport Coast Tops The List; 4 New Zips Join It

The United States boasts 401 zip codes with median home values surpassing $1 million, according to new data by

CEO, Moved by Storm Victims, Offers Free Service

Gives Equipment, Own Data Center for Recovery

An Irvine company is offering free data storage for the next six months to businesses affected by hurricanes Irma, Harvey and Maria.

Healthcare Startup Receives Federal Grant

Syntr Treats Diabetic Foot Ulcers

A startup created by University of California-Irvine alumni who created a device to treat diabetic foot ulcers with stem cells received a grant for $300,000.

Friday, October 20

Konica Completes Ambry Buy

Japanese printer maker Konica Minolta Inc. and Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ) closed their joint acquisition of genetic diagnostics company Ambry Genetics Corp., in Aliso Viejo.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.4% in midday trading to 2,571.82.

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September Unemployment Down

The September unemployment rate in Orange County was 3.6%, down from a revised 4.2% in August and lower than a year-ago estimate of 4%.

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Thursday, October 19

PHG Names CFO, Ops Role; Moves GM

Pacific Hospitality Group in Irvine named Kent Crandall chief financial officer, hired a senior vice president of operations to report to COO Robb Walker, and shifted a GM to its Paséa resort.

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16 Franchisers Hit List

Several OC-based franchise systems made the 2017 Franchise Times 500 list, which ranks companies by 2016 systemwide sales.

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Del Taco Revises Full Year

Del Taco Restaurants Inc. in Lake Forest reported higher revenue and net income in its third quarter compared with the same period last year, but revised some projections downward for its full-year performance and shares fell about 20% in Friday trading to a $473 million market cap.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.1% in midday trading to 23,135.40.

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HyperX Nets First NBA Sponsorship

The gaming division of Fountain Valley-based Kingston Technology Inc. has been named the official headset partner of the Philadelphia 76ers.

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Ad Shop Bought

Newport Beach-based digital marketing agency ymarketing was acquired by Sandbox in Chicago on undisclosed terms.

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Wednesday, October 18

Kaiser Aluminum Misses

Kaiser Aluminum Corp. reported revenue and earnings for the September quarter that fell below Wall Street expectations.

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Opus’ Credit for Weinstein Scrutinized

Investors are scrutinizing Irvine-based Opus Bank for its credit lines given to the notorious Hollywood filmmaker The Weinstein Company.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 0.1% in midday trading to 2,563.06.

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Tuesday, October 17

Stearns Cuts Third of OC Workforce

Stearns Lending LLC, one of the nation’s largest non-bank mortgage lenders, is cutting 159 jobs, about a third of its workforce in Orange County.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was flat in midday trading at 2,556.78.

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Monday, October 16

UCI Bolsters Jewish Studies

University of California-Irvine said today it will create a Center for Jewish Studies that will bring together faculty, students, visiting scholars and members of the public interested in exploring Judaism.

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Southwest Could See More JWA Cuts

Southwest Airlines will see a second year of passenger cuts at John Wayne Airport if county supervisors approve the airport's 2018 seat allocation request Tuesday.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.1% in midday trading to 2,554.58.

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Real Estate Deals

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

Jay J. Chong sold a store-front retail/office building to Susan A. Hawken for $3.8 million, or $224 per square foot.

Device Maker Vyaire Plans Irvine Move, Hiring Push

Yorba Linda CareFusion Ops Moving to Spectrum

One of the biggest medical device firms in Orange County plans a major expansion and hiring push after signing a deal to move its local operations from Yorba Linda to an office project being built in the Irvine Spectrum.

The Games We Play

How a Nobel Prize Winner Teaches Economics to Chapman Students

Ninety-year-old Vernon L. Smith likes to watch college kids play games.

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‘OC Silicon Cities’ Pitch For Amazon HQ2 Project

Willowick Golf Course Key Part of 10Msf Plan

A cluster of Central Orange County cities plan to throw their hats in the ring to get e-commerce giant Amazon’s second headquarters.

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Business Bites

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 40, No. 42

The South Orange County Community College District said Interim Chancellor Debra Fitzsimons will retire on Dec. 30.

Reality Star Wreaks Havoc Proving Badness Creds

Nicole Richie Gets Urban Decay Post in the End

Urban Decay Cosmetics LLC in Newport Beach released the first in a series of YouTube videos featuring its latest brand ambassador, Nicole Richie, star of comedic reality shows “Great News,” “The Simple Life” and “Candidly Nicole.”

Aerie Buys Envisia Technology to Expand Pipeline

To Speed Advancement In Back-of-Eye Uses

Irvine-based Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc. bought the rights to use Envisia Therapeutics Inc.’s PRINT technology for $25 million in cash and Aerie common stock, with additional milestone payment potential.

Sunstone Gets Sky-High View at 200 Spectrum Tower

Top-Floor Lease Follows Tarsadia Deal in Newport

Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc. is the latest hospitality company getting a prime view at one of Irvine Co.’s new area office towers.

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D-Link Gets Break in FTC Security Claims Case

Judge Dismisses Counts Against FV Subsidiary

A federal judge dismissed three counts against D-Link Systems Inc. in Fountain Valley levied by the Federal Trade Commission alleging security lapses in its consumer router and IP cameras.

Software Siblings Help App Developers Max Out

Hitsfu Uses AI for Product Features, Ad Campaigns

A Mission Viejo-based company that helps app developers understand user behavior recently launched.

OCBJ Calendar

Oct. 16-Oct. 25, 2017

This week's business and other event listings.

Aerospace and Defense Reverse Job Slide in ‘17

M&A, Growing Business Lines Highlight Sector

Two big takeovers and a headquarters move to Orange County shook up the local landscape for the largest aerospace and defense contractors with operations here.

Sibling Startups a Thing In OC’s Ecosystem

Unique Synergies Provide ‘Competitive Advantage”

Siblings tend to know each other’s nuances and have each other’s back.

Patient Monitoring Device Maker Plans $5M Series B

HEALTHCARE: Hopes to have five products 2018

ECOM Medical Inc. in San Juan Capistrano plans to raise $5 million series B preferred to grow sales of its Endotracheal Cardiac Output Monitor, or ECOM, a system that provides real-time blood-flow information used in post-surgery critical care monitoring. It includes a monitor and a tube that’s inserted through the trachea.

Hyundai Styles Self As Auto Nordstrom

AUTOMOTIVE: Intros app, buyer cooling-off period, more

Worried you may not like your new ride the minute you park it in the garage?

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Zero-Emission Innovator Moves to Riverside

MANUFACTURING: Firm gets first LA Unified bus order

ADOMANI Inc., the first equity crowdfunded company to list on the Nasdaq, has moved its headquarters from Newport Beach to Corona in Riverside County and landed its first contract to build an electric school bus.

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Newport Beach Tennis Club Land Trades for $12.4M

REAL ESTATE: Diamond Jamboree owners invest

The land underneath the Newport Beach Tennis Club has been bought by a prominent area retail developer.

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Morning Angels

Tech Coast Angels are the Blue Angels of angel investing.


The Business Journal’s Deirdre Newman asked Orange County-based general counsels in industries ranging from manufacturing and technology to finance and legal, how they go about choosing outside attorneys to do legal work.

Women Value GC Work for Quality Focus, Flexibility

Management Prospects Part of In-House Appeal

While there’s no empirical data to chart a rise in female general counsels in Orange County, several local GCs say they’ve seen an increase over the past 15 years or so.

Southland Industries Adds in Garden Grove

REAL ESTATE: Contractor takes Money Mailer’s old headquarters

Southland Industries, one of the country’s largest mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems contractors, is stepping up its presence in its home of Garden Grove.

Accountants Strategize On Tax Overhaul

Customers Seek Advice, Even as Congress Debates

Accelerate deductions, and hold back on the income.

Friday, October 13

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.2% in midday trading to 2,556.62.

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Thursday, October 12

Braille Institute Breaks Ground on New Center

The Braille Institute broke ground today on a $10 million center that’s expected to open next fall at 527 N. Dale Ave. in Anaheim.

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First Foundation Names Bank COO

First Foundation Inc. (Nasdaq: FFWM), an Irvine-based bank and wealth manager, promoted Lindsay Lawrence to a new position of chief operating officer of its banking unit.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.1% in midday trading to 2,554.11.

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Wednesday, October 11

Q3 VC Investments Fall

Venture capital investments in Orange County declined to $178 million in the third quarter, the lowest amount since the first quarter of 2016, according to the VentureSource report from Dow Jones.

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Boss of Saddleback, Irvine JCs to Retire

The South Orange County Community College District said Debra Fitzsimons, interim chancellor, will retire on December 30.

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J.D. Power CEO to Retire

J.D. Power Chief Executive Finbarr O’Neill will retire in March.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.1% in midday trading to 2,551.71.

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Tuesday, October 10

Auto Industry’s Nordstrom

Worried you may not like your new ride the minute you park it in the garage? No problem, Hyundai Motor America Inc. will take it back within three days of purchase.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.1% in midday trading to 2,547.93.

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Tech Vet Elevated at Ubiquity

Irvine-based Ubiquity, Inc. said Robert Fernander has been appointed chairman of its board of directors.

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Monday, October 9

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.1% in midday trading to 2,547.30.

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ChromaDex Hires Ex-Mattel CFO

Irvine-based ChromaDex Corp., a maker of ingredients for dietary supplements, hired Kevin Farr as its new chief financial officer, effective immediately.

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Autobytel Rebrands

Autobytel Inc. in Irvine changed its name to AutoWeb Inc. and its Nasdaq stock ticker symbol to “AUTO.”

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New Shooter for HQ2; Found ‘Superwoman’

New Shooter for HQ2 Breaking late. Big Mike tells me a bid’s coming for Amazon’s HQ2, joint bid of Santa Ana, Garden Grove, and perhaps Orange and Anaheim.

Business Bites

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 40, No. 41

Concordia University Irvine President Kurt Krueger will step down on June 30 at the end of the academic year.

Total SoCal MBA Enrollees Down Slightly

Competition for Students Results in Fewer Applications

Southern California schools with MBA programs showed a slight decrease in the number of Southern California enrollees, down about 2% from a year ago, based on the Business Journal’s annual survey. The number of enrollees dropped from 12,418 in September 2016 to 12,171 last month. It was a smaller drop than that reflected on last year’s list, when there was an approximate 6% change from September 2015 to September 2016.

Concordia Classroom Configuration Addresses Trend

Ed Classes’ Flex Seating Mirrors Real World

Walk into one particular School of Education classroom at Concordia University Irvine, and this is what you’ll see: individual student seats that have six wheels on a wide, round base, a type of seating that allows them to swivel and be arranged in various configurations. It’s key in what’s known as an active-learning classroom.

Program to Help Grads Help Firms Lead on Innovation

UCI Retools MBA Courses To Answer Disruption Trend

Disruptive innovation has been called the most influential business idea of the early 21st century.

Chapman: Engineering School to Be Business Boon

Commitment Over Beer Helped Make It Happen

Chapman University alumnus Dale Fowler and his wife, Sarah Ann, were hosting Chapman President Daniele Struppa and his wife, Lisa Sparks, dean of the university’s School of Communication, at Lismore Castle in southern Ireland in July 2016. While sitting in the ancient rooms in the shadow of portraits of esteemed scientists, such as Robert Boyle, the couples shared a pint of Guinness as they talked about Chapman’s future.

Bradford Renaissance Bucks Trends, Pays Homage

RETAIL: Thriving photography business in age of selfies

Bradford Rowley started his photography business in the late 1980s, when one-hour photo processing was the speediest way to share memories. Nowadays, despite the glut of selfies overtaking our social media feeds, his portraiture remains relevant—and lucrative.

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It Takes a Village To Grow a Company

12-Year-Old Skateboard Innovator Got Lots of Support

A few years ago, 12-year-old Carson Kropfl and his parents met one of the executive producers of the entrepreneur pitch show “Shark Tank” in an elevator in Mammoth.

Whose Intelligence To Believe?

Veritone Drops in Half After Tweet by Famous Short Trader

A Wall Street brawl has erupted over high-flying Veritone Inc. (NASDAQ: VERI) in Costa Mesa.

Ducks Digs Shine for New Season

Millions in Upgrades; New Seating Options

Multimillion-dollar upgrades at Honda Center during the off-season were in clear view for Anaheim Ducks fans as they walked through the turnstiles of the south entrance before last Thursday’s home opener against the Arizona Coyotes.

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Green-Designed Homes Boast Eco-Friendly Features

LEED Creds, Water Savers, Solar Panels, More

Luxury homebuilders in Orange County are incorporating resource-efficient amenities that are not only practical, but also strong selling points for buyers with a heart for conservation.

App Maker to Grow Reach With Sale to NM Firm

Microsoft Partner Absorbed by IT Provider

Irvine fast grower Xelleration LLC will gain access to new markets and regions with its recent sale to Albuquerque-based IT services provider Speridian Technologies.

Old Product, New Platforms for Trading Cards

DraftCard Makes Sharable Cards for Student Athletes

A new app enables student-athletes to create online trading cards, like baseball trading cards that can be shared through social media. Newport Beach-based DraftCard Inc. was founded by Chris Burget, Kristin Currey and Bob Peterson.

Vantis Office in Aliso Viejo Trades for $53.6 Million

Shea Properties Sells Site To Brookhollow Group

Shea Properties has sold one of two large offices it built and owned at its 40-acre Vantis mixed-use campus in Aliso Viejo.

OC Developers Tapped for$300M Dana Point Harbor Re-Do

Retail, Hotels, Marina in Project’s 7-Year Plan

Three of Newport Beach real estate firm shave been tapped to head the redevelopment of Dana Point Harbor, a mixed-use project projected to cost nearly $300 million to build new restaurants, shops, hotels and other waterfront properties.

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ASICS to Talk Up Fitness at New York Festival

Irvine Brand Riffing Off Of #IMOVEME Slogan

SICS America Corp. is sponsoring several experiential marketing initiatives at the upcoming Festival of Fitness in San Francisco, hosted by Virgin Sport USA LLC in New York.

Dementia, Related Issues Take Spotlight at Conference

Seniors Poised to Be Quarter of OC Population

Orange County’s population is 3.2 million, and 13.5% of residents are 65 and older, a segment projected to double by 2040, according to a report by Orange County Healthy Aging.

Cushman Lands Ten-X Exec To Run OC, IE Offices

Based in Irvine Office Of CRE Brokerage

Cushman & Wakefield Inc. has named a former executive of Irvine-based auction firm Ten-X LLC to run its Orange County and Inland Empire offices.

Racer Turned Retailer Now Racing Promoter

Roland Sands Designs 1st Moto Beach Classic

Roland Sands’ perfect day at the beach includes surfing, punk rock and reggae beats and of course, motorcycle racing.

OrthAlign Raises $10M Series D to Fund Growth

HEALTHCARE: To go from 1 to 5 products

Aliso Viejo-based OrthAlign Inc. believes it’s positioned for growth with a new management team in place and fresh capital.

Real Estate Deals

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

Saeid Danesh sold a research and development building in Rancho Santa Margarita to Jeffrey Margolis and Christopher Golden for $2.3 million, or $240 per square foot.

Minn.-Based Entero Buys Another OC Co.

HEALTHCARE: To move to San Clemente ReShape office

Orange County’s robust medical device scene will soon welcome a new addition from St. Paul, Minn.: EnteroMedics Inc.

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Renewed Smile Brands Plans Nationwide Buildout

HEALTHCARE: Growing after buyback, launches dental plan

A turnaround story is nice, but it’s even better when you have the original players back in the game for round two. Irvine-based Smile Brands Group Inc., with Chief Executive Steve Bilt back at the helm, is shopping for dental practices.

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Self-Storage Investor Aims to Be Big Man on Campus

REAL ESTATE: Student housing a focus for $1.1B REIT

Ladera Ranch-based SmartStop Asset Management LLC, one of the country’s most active investors in the self-storage industry, is looking to tackle a new sector of the real estate market: student housing properties next to schools with big football programs.

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Friday, October 6

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.3% in midday trading to 2,545.48.

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SJC Office Products Maker Sold

Smead Manufacturing Co. Inc. bought U Brands LLC on undisclosed terms.

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Thursday, October 5

Fashion Show Harvests $1M for Hunger

Anniversaries are good for giving. On the silver anniversary of South Coast Plaza’s Harvesters Fashion Show in the golden-anniversary year of the mall, the show took in more than $1 million.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.5% in midday trading to 2,550.21.

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Wednesday, October 4

Concordia President Retires

Concordia University Irvine President Kurt Krueger will step down on June 30 at the end of the 2017-18 academic year.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.1% in midday trading to 2,536.32.

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Alorica Names CFO

Irvine-based Alorica Inc., the world’s third-largest provider of customer service solutions and the largest in the U.S., announced the appointment of Cindy Fiorillo as chief financial officer, replacing James Molloy.

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Tuesday, October 3

EnteroMedics Buys OC Company

St. Paul, Minn.-based EnteroMedics Inc. acquired ReShape Medical Inc. in San Clemente for $61 million cash and stock.

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Botox Approved for Forehead Lines

Allergan PLC received Food and Drug Administration approval to use Botox to temporarily reduce moderate to severe forehead lines.

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CareTrust Completes Skilled Nursing Buy

CareTrust REIT Inc. of San Clemente completed a two-stage acquisition comprised of seven skilled nursing facilities in Idaho.

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September Sales Mixed for OC Automakers

A majority of Orange County-based automakers beat the national sales pace for new vehicles in September, according to New Jersey-based market researcher Autodata Corp.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 0.1% in midday trading to 2,531.97.

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Monday, October 2

San Clemente ‘Kid’ Nets Big Catch on Shark Tank

The 12-year-old creator of a skateboard that fits into school lockers and backpacks received a $65,000 investment from Sir Richard Branson for a 20% stake in a company he created with his parents on the season premiere of “Shark Tank,” last night.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was 0.3% higher in midday trading to 2,526.17.

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Entrepreneur’s Second Venture Came From His Gut

HEALTHCARE: Approach that helped him now for sale

Hiep Tran built and sold a payment-processing business, a profitable venture he says cost him his health.

Muller Brings in New P.E. Fund for 3 Area Towers

REAL ESTATE: $232M combined price for recapitalization

Laguna Hills-based Muller Co., in a recapitalization deal valued at nearly $232 million, has brought on a new financial partner for three area high-rise offices it owns and operates.


Monday. Lunch with Ed. Meeting The Great Ed Thorp is meeting Kareem (sky hook) or Jerry (Grateful Dead) or Steve (iPhone).

Alliant CEO Talks Rate Hikes, Other Insurance Issues

The recent hurricanes that hit Texas and Florida may cause a 5% to 10% bump in premiums during the next 18 months, predicted Tom Corbett, chief executive of Alliant Insurance Services Inc., the biggest insurance broker in Orange County.

Insurance Brokers Average 7.8% Rise in OC Revenue

25 Firms Report Strong Growth for Fifth Year

Orange County’s largest insurance brokerages continued solid growth as local revenue climbed above 7% for the fifth straight year.

At the Top of a Not-So-Boring Billion-Dollar Business

Alliant Now 12th Largest Insurance Broker in World

Tom Corbett says people often consider his business dull.

NY Hedge Fund Latest to Bet on Alteryx

TECHNOLOGY: Some insiders sell; sales stay hot in hot ‘BI’ space

Life in the public eye got intriguing for one of Orange County’s best tech stories in years, Alteryx Inc., the Irvine software maker that made a splashy Wall Street debut in March.

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Fifi Polishes Off Best Menu Of All: A Delightful Career

Veteran Business Journal Dining Columnist Retires

Retirement from one’s occupation is expected eventually, and I’ve been thinking for a while about mine.

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OC Firms to Hire, Invest More in Capital

ECONOMY: CSUF survey still shows high optimism

A higher percentage of Orange County businesses intend to invest in more equipment and hire more employees in the fourth quarter, according to the latest Orange County Business Expectations Survey by California State University-Fullerton.

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Marriott's Main Man

Olson’s Lido, Irvine Hotels Prep to Open

A mid-September tour of the under-construction Lido House Hotel in Newport Beach has turned into an impromptu architectural design review for Bob Olson.

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$21M Gift Signals Chapman Now Makes Grade

EDUCATION: Keck puts imprimatur on university

The Keck name comes with a lot of prestige. There’s the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, the Keck Institute of Space Studies at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, and the Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences, part of the Claremont Consortium undergraduate and graduate schools in Claremont.

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Business Bites

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 40, No. 40

An outdoor amphitheater that will temporarily replace the former Irvine Meadows is scheduled to open this weekend next to Great Park in Irvine.

Real Estate Deals

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

Nakwon America Inc. sold a freestanding retail strip center in Anaheim to Eric Choi for $3.8 million, or $238 per square foot.

OCBJ Calendar

Oct. 2-Oct. 11, 2017

This week's business and other event listings.


Accelerate Change Together Anaheim is granting nearly $1 million this year to help organizations meet the rising needs of Anaheim youth impacted by poverty, academic challenges and limited opportunities.

Huntington Beach Waterfront Site In Line for Reboot

REAL ESTATE: Peter’s Landing sells for $33M

Peter’s Landing Marina, a retail and office property on Pacific Coast Highway overlooking Huntington Harbour, is in line for a makeover after being acquired by an upstart investment firm in Irvine.

Irvine Medical Device Maker Plans Unorthodox IPO

HEALTHCARE: Hancock Jaffe needs FDA OK; low on cash

Hancock Jaffe Laboratories Inc. quietly filed for an initial public offering last month, an unusual move for a developmental-stage company. It intends to raise $15 million.

New Bloom: Orange’s Village Nurseries Nears Sale

REAL ESTATE: 500 acres in SoCal; nearly $74M price cited

Orange-based wholesale and retail plant and tree growing business Village Nurseries, which owns more than 500 acres in Southern California, is nearing a court-overseen sale to a Texas-based firm.

Veritone Rises With Artificial Intelligence’s Profile

Shares Up 39% as It Strikes Deals, Gets Props

Wall Street in about the past month is liking the story of artificial intelligence and media firm Veritone Inc.

HR Platform Ramps Up With AI-Based Recruiter Deal

ProSky to Use Job Board Network to Reach 25M

An Irvine company that developed a human resources platform for hiring and managing employees has partnered with a tech recruiting firm that uses artificial intelligence.

UCI Retail Center Adding New Amazon Shop to Mix

Campus-Centric Target Store Opened in Summer

Irvine Co. has landed Amazon after all.

Milk Meets Food in New, Smoking-Hot Series

Processor Board Suggests Sexy Pairings

The California Milk Processor Board’s newest installment of the “Food Loves Milk” campaign is a heartbreaker, but in a good way.

Diagnostic Companies Riding Rise of Genomics

Activities Being Driven By Reimbursement

Genetic testing isn’t yet the go-to for identifying a patient’s risk for conditions such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease—insurers generally cover a genetic test only if there’s strong scientific evidence it could provide a health benefit and is recommended by the patient’s doctor—but the industry has grown faster with advanced genetic-risk understanding and improved reimbursement.

Sabra Reshuffles Portfolio Operators

HEALTHCARE: Buys REIT; to sell underperforming operator

Sabra Health Care REIT Inc. packed a lot of news into the past two weeks, including two acquisitions and one disposition.