Stories for December 2018
Monday, December 31
Former Taco Bell CEO (see Julie Felss- Masino, Liz Williams) … returned to OC at helm of Chipotle; fourth-largest public co.: $12.5B market cap; $4.5B revenue … Newport Center digs; revamped, spiced up, marketing; new menu items; late night menu—bacon!—recruiting new senior execs … upgrading food quality
Friday, December 28
The S&P 500 was up 0.3% to 2,4947.27; the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3% to 23,207.06; the Nasdaq was up 0.4% to 6,605.61.
Thursday, December 27
REAL ESTATE: Grippo jumps on board
Bellwether Financial Group’s naming of Irvine Co. veteran Ralph Grippo as a principal provides a signal on the future direction of the company’s coastal projects, including a $338 million renovation of Dana Point Harbor.
20+ years … $732M revenue, up from $650M … new private-room neonatal intensive care; 18-bed mental health inpatient center … foundation raised $31M, up 29%. … first car: yellow Karmann Ghia … sleeps 5 hours ‘if I’m lucky’ … bucket list: ‘riding my horse and traveling’ … First job: camp instructor … roots for USC football ... Business Journal OC 50
TECHNOLOGY: HQ for startups shuts doors
Stuart Frost, founder of a San Juan Capistrano-based startup incubator that’s helped launch more than 20 tech-focused firms since 2010, was ordered to pay $16 million to investors after losing an arbitration case, the Business Journal has learned.
Former CEO, St. Joseph Hoag Health; EVP, Providence St. Joe Health (see Erik Wexler) … joined Concierge 2018 … developing medical care access app … ‘concierge medicine’ fee-based upgrade in health industry ... stand-alone firm linked to local investor Strathspey Crown LLC … rollout prep on hold as Afable plans to expand platform … ‘continuum of care’
Wednesday, December 26
LEGAL: Both cases over; colleagues, experts weigh in
It was early evening Dec. 6, the calm after a rare storm in Orange County. There was flooding throughout the region.
Heads largest OC publicly traded co. … heart valve maker … $30B market cap, up 25% YTD, Oct. 2018 … $3.4B 2017 revenue, up 13% … floated by Barron’s, possible takeover by 10-times-bigger J&J … only Edwards CEO ever … personal foundation backs Down Syndrome work … Key to leader’s success: ‘finding meaning in work’
Monday, December 24
Major indexes continued falling – about 15% this month – on concerns about rising interest rates, slowing U.S. growth and a continuing federal government shutdown. The markets closed early for Christmas Eve.
GIVING: Plans to donate $20M annually
Bill Gross is back, at least in philanthropy.
4th year leading ‘OC Air’—county-owned facility with 10.4M passengers a year … new general aviation general plan in works, looks to include changes to fixedbase operator layouts … busy 2018: added JetSuiteX ‘scheduled charter’ flights, upping ‘transportation network company’ fees to ride-share service providers Uber, Lyft, Wingz … airport adding live music
MANUFACTURING: Deal targets trucks, RVs
Mission Critical Electronics LLC is powering up following a super-charged acquisition under Newport Beach-based private equity firm Windjammer Capital Investors.
The Business Journal’s final issue of 2018 features our 2019 Economic Preview, and who better to give their take on where the economy is headed than 2000s Bond King of the Decade Bill Gross.
INNOVATION: Mensa member targets B-to-P
Vosht Capital hopes to shake up Orange County’s funding ecosystem.
Same as it ever was: OC’s tech industry will continue to be affected by consolidation, a long-running theme here since coming out of the Great Recession.
Next year digital health and big data analytics will come together to create more personalized care. OC’s ever-evolving healthcare industry will play a big part.
Not even Orange County’s largest and most profitable mall operators can escape the effects of a changing retail landscape, where big-box retailers and large department stores continue to go the way of the dinosaurs.
Can next year get any worse than this year for Orange County’s publicly traded banks?
CALL FOR ENTRIES: Website to take entries through March 1
Is your workplace great?
More than 600 philanthropists and business and community leaders assembled at the Orange County Community Foundation’s annual meeting on Nov. 14 at Hotel Irvine, featuring keynote speaker Mike Mussallem, chairman and chief executive of Edwards Lifesciences Corp.
EvoNexus this month named Bob Genthert as managing director of the Southern California startup incubator’s location in Irvine.
RMV Health Center To Open Next Year
MemorialCare Health System is expanding its outpatient footprint, with South Orange County in particular getting more emphasis.
Sariñana Counts 5M Instagram Followers
Surfwear label Billabong, owned by Huntington Beach-based Boardriders Inc., tapped social media influencer Julie Sariñana for a collection that’s set to launch in stores and online in March.
$7M for 2.8 acres of Land Next to Element Campus
Glaukos Corp. isn’t done with its expansion plans in Aliso Viejo.
OC Engineering Fair Set; HyperX’s Very Big Logo
Experian PLC is opening a DataLabs location in Singapore, the fourth location of its type that the company says helps businesses solve strategic marketing and risk-management problems through advanced data analysis.
Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 41, No. 52
The interior space at the former Laguna Hills Mall will close on Dec. 31, according to the property’s owner, Merlone Geier Partners.
Sales and leases of offices, industrial buildings, retail space and apartments
Victor Medical Co. purchased a warehouse building from Cramer-Decker Industries for $9.6 million, or $231 per square foot.
Friday, December 21
Orange County’s unadjusted unemployment rate fell to 2.8% in November from a revised 2.9% in October and down from year-ago estimate of 3.1%, according to the state Employment Development Department.
Two blockbuster sales and the return of tech star Palmer Luckey grabbed big headlines in an overall strong year for OC’s diverse technology sector.
John Wayne Airport passenger traffic declined about 5% year-over-year in November to 850,000. Year-to-date passenger totals are up about 3.3% to 9.8 million.
Co-runs one of most profitable retail centers in U.S. … 24M annual visitors; 15% overseas tourists—SCP regular feature of OC travel marketing … backs CHOC in annual ‘Follies’ extravapalooza … launched Festival of Children work, 2003, has supported some 500 national kids’ charities … Daniels’ mom from NorCal lumber family
Passenger traffic at Long Beach Airport declined 18% in October and 9% in November compared with the same months last year, to 270,000 and 293,000, respectively.
Thursday, December 20
REAL ESTATE: 5-office complex next to stadium
The five-building office campus in Anaheim next to Angel Stadium that holds the headquarters of the Orange County Register and others has sold for $83.1 million.
Married Henry Segerstrom 2000 … shares MP duties with Sandy Segerstrom Daniels (see entry) since 2015 … board, Segerstrom Center for the Arts; co-chair American Ballet Theatre, 2017; backs Kennedy Center education group Turnaround Arts … trained as clinical psychologist … degrees, Warsaw, Geneva universities, NYU … self-help book coauthor ... Business Journal OC 50
Wednesday, December 19
ECONOMY: 2019 won’t see recession
Breathe a sigh of relief, Orange County. The region’s economy has at least one more solid year in store, and maybe more.
Also HTS Management … son of center’s late founder, Henry Segerstrom … duties include leasing, marketing, development … 250 boutiques, 30 restaurants … art collector … family public art commissions have included: Isamu Noguchi, Richard Serra, Charles O. Perry … boards: OC Museum of Art, Second Harvest Food Bank … bachelor’s, U Oregon … told Hollywood Reporter: ‘family ownership … great source of strength’ ... Business Journal OC 50
Tuesday, December 18
TECHNOLOGY: Apis Capital makes unsolicited bid
Apis Capital Management really likes Veritone Inc., to the point of offering to buy it at an 82% premium.
Founding chairwoman, 44 Women for Orangewood auxiliary; Orangewood Foundation … backs charter school Samueli Academy … UCI Foundation trustee; eponymous center for integrative medicine, UCI, established 2001; UCI Medal 2000 … born, raised San Fernando Valley … bachelor’s, math, Berkeley; PhD nutrition, American Holistic College of Nutrition … Business Journal OC’s Wealthiest, OC 50
Monday, December 17
AltaMed’s Buy Marks End to Restaurant Co.’s OC Presence
An Anaheim office built for CKE Restaurants Holdings Inc.—parent company of one of Orange County’s iconic businesses, burger chain Carl’s Jr.—has been bought by a healthcare provider, marking an end to CKE’s corporate ties in the area.
Chipmaker-philanthropist … he and wife, Susan, have committed $250M to UCI, $60M to UCLA … has also backed Chapman U: library named for parents, Sala and Aron … focus on engineering, health sciences; support via scholarships, faculty recruitment … 2017 Fellow, National Academy of Inventors … Broadcom bid to buy Qualcomm for $117B … deal nixed for national security … Business Journal OC’s Wealthiest, OC 50
Orange County’s real estate market refused to be distracted, or largely impacted, by forces outside the area in 2018.
INNOVATION: New hire from loanDepot
Irvine-based digital mortgage software provider Cloudvirga continues to beef up its executive team.
Hotel Metrics Continue Upward Trajectory
If you live locally, hospitality appeared downright inhospitable over large portions of 2018.
Zotye and Rivian Start Up
Orange County’s cadre of carmakers had a stop-and-go 2018.
Bill Gross Has Rough Year
Orange County’s financial sector didn’t feel the love in 2018, especially when compared to other area industries. Bad headlines outpaced good headlines, when wealth managers and those running banks were involved.
Centerpiece of Feb. 11 Edition
Did you, your company or foundation give—or did your organization receive—a large cash or noncash gift in 2018?
Childress Ventures Pays $9.6M for Corner Site
Former NBA hoops star Josh Childress has bought a shopping center and office building across the street from South Coast Plaza.
Seal Beach-based Industry Jump Inc. is seeking $500,000 in the form of a convertible note, founder and Chief Executive JJ Englert told the Business Journal.
$19.9M Asking Price Down $2M From 2017
A Bay Island house on the tip of the private enclave in Newport Beach only accessible by foot or golf cart, is back on the market after getting a $2 million price chop.
$385M Sale for 36 Sites; BK Filing for Operator
Sabra Health Care REIT Inc. (Nasdaq: SBRA) is ridding itself of a portfolio of nursing and senior housing properties run by an under-fire operator in Dallas.
Hyundai Announces Ads; Kia Coy on SB 53 Plans
Less than two months before the big football game—and the biggest day in advertising—Fountain Valley-based automaker Hyundai Motor America and Kia Motors North America in Irvine already have their sights set on Super Bowl 53. But while Hyundai is announcing its game plan, Kia is keeping its playbook close to the vest for now.
Broadcom Axes More Jobs; Clean Energy Hits Turkey
Netwrix Corp. has made its first acquisition under Chief Executive Steve Dickson, who took over the top post this past March at the Irvine-based security-focused business software maker.
Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 41, No. 51
Disneyland Resort Senior Vice President of Operations Stephanie Young will replace Hong Kong Disneyland Managing Director Samuel Lau Wing-kee, reporting to Michael Colglazier, president and managing director of Walt Disney Co.’s parks and resorts in Asia, and former Disneyland Resort president.
Sales and leases of offices, industrial buildings, retail space and apartments
John Kompaniez purchased a warehouse building from Edward Klaveren for $1.3 million, or $308 per square foot.
Friday, December 14
The major U.S. indexes all fell more than 1% in another volatile trading session, fueled by economic concerns about China and Europe, and blue chippers like Johnson & Johnson, Adobe Inc., and Costco Wholesale Corp
Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) in Newport Beach named Roger Theodoredis chief legal officer and Tabassum Zalotrawala chief development officer.
Thursday, December 13
The economies of Orange County, California and the U.S. should continue their expansions next year, albeit at slower rates, according to Chapman University’s annual economic forecast.
AUTOMOTIVE: Fuels up with Air Liquide investment
The next wave of alternative-fuel vehicles zipping around Orange County are hydrogen-powered cars, and an Irvine-based upstart with a growing list of investors, FirstElement Fuel Inc., is ready to lead the pack.
50-year OC business, civic, investment involvement … Time ‘Man of Year’ after first-ever profitable U.S. Olympic Games, L.A., 1984 … MLB commish ... leads ownership, Pebble Beach … family in hospitality (see niece Lindsey), harbors (see son Joe), giving (wife Ginny) … Business Journal OC 50 … accidental entrepreneurship—told Pelican Hill magazine, 2015, ‘you can’t find a job, so you start a business’
Buena Park-based Simply Fresh Foods was sold to Lakeview Farms LLC in Delphos, Ohio.
Taco Bell Corp. of Irvine signed its second franchiser for Australia and New Zealand, more than doubling the number of units it plans in the two countries to 110.
Bellwether Financial Group in Newport Beach named Ralph Grippo a principal, the company said.
MANUFACTURING: And signed legend William Shatner
The call to Pedego Electric Bikes’ Fountain Valley headquarters came about a year ago.
One of fastest-growing midsize private cos. … two-year growth 36% to $90M … architecture, design firm founded 1972 … Armstrong joined mid-80s; he and partner bought 1992 … chairs United Way work: homelessness … need ‘sea change’ in understanding … bachelor’s, Kent State … modern artist … ‘Renaissance approach’ to life; would meet da Vinci (see Lynn Jochim, Richard Sudek) … first car: 1974 Plymouth Valiant … roots for ‘Cleveland Browns!’
Wednesday, December 12
Mission Viejo-based MYnd Analytics Inc. (Nasdaq: MYND) appointed Patrick Herguth as chief executive officer, replacing George Carpenter who will assume the new role of chief innovation officer.
Tuesday, December 11
Andy took lead roles in 2002 at firm founded by father in 1963 … now the leading private label bottled water’ in U.S. … CdM HS; bachelor’s, SMU … roots for Rams, USC football … backs clean water, developing nations, U.S. children’s charities … first car: Jeep Cherokee … would meet Peter Drucker: ‘he effectively created entire platform all successful managers have thrived on, 30+ years’
Ducks Owner Pays $125M for Office Site Next to Stadium
Anaheim Ducks owner Henry Samueli has made his largest reported acquisition, buying a three-building office complex that sits next to the Honda Center, home of his hockey franchise.
Monday, December 10
HEALTHCARE: Big data drives evolution
Big data is the big buzzword in healthcare, and Edwards Lifesciences Corp. (NYSE: EW) is no exception—it’s made it part of a strategy to continue growing one of its three main business lines: critical-care technologies.
Leads overseas growth of largest OCbased restaurant chain … $10B sales, 7K locations, most in U.S. (see Julie Felss- Masino) … 2018 deals to add 200 each in Spain, Brazil, 50 in Australia … roots for Texas Longhorns; first car: ‘my dad’s 1985 Buick Riviera: more like a boat than a car’ … can’t miss: ‘Halloween trick-ortreating with my kids’
Uniti Financial Corp., the largest Korean-American based bank in Orange County, is being bought by Walnut Creek’s BayCom Corp. (Nasdaq: BCML), the holding company for United Business Bank, for $63.9 million.
TECHNOLOGY: Sees tracking potential in every new vehicle
Vehicle-location services provider Spireon Inc. found itself being tracked in the past year.
Controls multiple, varied businesses, notably outlet mall developer-owner … some dozen properties in several states … local, drive I-5: Outlets at San Clemente 350K SF to city of Commerce 430K-SF Citadel … 2nd phase planned in San Clemente, more food, entertainment … chairman, New Majority OC (see Larry Higby) … to take majority stake, Ruby’s Diner as part of casual chain’s BK reorg
FDA Rethinks Device Approval Pathway
Food and Drug Administration approval is only the first step to medical device commercialization; device makers also need to obtain positive insurance coverage decisions from payers.
First Location in City, More Are On the Way
Taco Bell made some noise with the opening of its first London eatery last month—and that’s not even factoring in sounds of the police that showed up, the noises of a confused crowd, or the helicopter that circled overhead.
Busy Corner: Hotel Next To Office Sold in October
The intersection of Main Street and Von Karman Avenue in Irvine, already one of the busiest in the city, is now one of the busiest for real estate transactions.
WDC Names Alexy; Irvine App for Inspectors
Executives at Arizona-based Microchip Technology Inc. are still blaming some of its corporate problems on the $10.3 billion acquisition in May of Microsemi Corp. in Aliso Viejo.
Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 41, No. 50
On Dec. 6 James Mazzo won a 10-year legal battle with the federal government over insider trading and perjury accusations resulting from the time when he was chief executive of Advanced Medical Optics Inc.
Sales and leases of offices, industrial buildings, retail space and apartments
Paul Altieri purchased an office building from Rate-Highway Inc. for $4.6 million, or $455 per square foot.
It’s one thing, perhaps expected at this point, for Texas to poach local companies looking for cheaper business environments.
GAMING: Post Malone to promote products
HyperX is closing 2018 like a rock star.
REAL ESTATE: Mix of rentals, for-sale from Alliance, KB Home
One of the last sites in the Irvine Business Complex approved for housing redevelopment under the city’s current 15,000-unit cap for residential entitlements in the fast-growing area has traded hands for a hefty price.
INNOVATION: Seeks $3M; Kickstarter to get the word out
Irvine-based Bright Buddies Inc. wants to help children with autism and other special needs.
OC’s Heli- and Cat-Skiing Enthusiasts Share Their Stories
For some Orange County executives, life’s too short for waiting in lift lines and dodging inexperienced daredevils on skis and snowboards.
Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County held its annual No Lunch event on Nov. 20 to honor local and national organizations that help the food-insecure population in Orange County.
Verrix LLC recently announced the initial close of a Series B funding round for $8 million.
Friday, December 7
Local hotels, countering some expectations that the hospitality market was cooling, kept up a year of strong performance in October in the county overall and seven OC submarkets.
Disneyland Resort Senior Vice President of Operations Stephanie Young will replace Hong Kong Disneyland Managing Director Samuel Lau Wing-kee, reporting to Michael Colglazier, president and managing director of Walt Disney Co.’s parks and resorts in Asia.
U.S. stocks again dropped amidst fears of a slowdown and rising trade tensions with China.
INNOVATION: Duo has subscription and store
Santa Ana-based Shots Box LLC is like a chocolate-of-the month club—for booze.
Year of sales for billionaire philanthropist: cabinetmaker RSI Home Products Inc., $1B, American Woodmark Corp., late 2017 … early 2018: homebuilder RSI Communities, $460M, William Lyon Homes (see Matt Zaist) … putting proceeds, time, talents, into philanthropy—Simon Foundation’s Chapman U. scholarships—investing … Horatio Alger honoree … Business Journal OC’s Wealthiest
Thursday, December 6
Newport Beach’s Windjammer Capital Investors said it has completed fundraising for its fifth fund, Windjammer Senior Equity Fund V LP, with aggregate capital commitments of $870 million.
Long Beach Airport Director Jess Romo will retire effective Jan. 31.
APPAREL: New CEO ditches activewear
Cooler fall temperatures are now hitting Orange County, but things are starting to heat up inside the offices of swimwear manufacturer Manhattan Beachwear Inc.
Worked Elizabeth Arden makeup counter, Texas … co-founded UD with Cisco Systems co-founder Sandra Lerner, 1996 … sold 2000 for $22M, LVMH … now owned by L’Oréal SA … bought from equity firm Castanea $350M … 350+ workers, a third in OC … $1B revenue
Wednesday, December 5
Markets are closed today to honor late former U.S. President George Herbert Walker Bush.
Habit Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: HABT) said a new franchisee to its system, Bloomfield, Mich.-based Tremendous Brands Group LLC, will open 20 locations in Illinois and Indiana, with the first to come by mid-2019.
Late Tuesday, Judge David Carter ordered a second hearing, set for Thursday, before he will sign off on James Mazzo’s agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission to settle insider trading charges.
Largest OC Deal for Pendulum Property Partners
Irvine-based Pendulum Property Partners, a real estate investment and development firm that started operations in 2016, has made its largest area purchase to date, buying Huntington Beach’s most prominent office complex.
Leads, owns, largest food co., 2nd largest private company, in OC … $7B sales, 7K workers … sells meat, dairy, sauces, to McDonald’s Corp., Starbucks, Chipotle (see Brian Niccol), others … has $1B unit, QCD, growing with non-McD’s clients (see Ryan Hammer) … firm runs fleet of trucks … Wetterau family big: food, charity work, for generations … Oct. 2018 in talks to sell some distribution centers serving McD’s … Business Journal OC 50
Tuesday, December 4
FINANCE: Talk of possible sale heats up
Since Steve Gordon’s surprising departure last week as chief executive of Opus Bank, the once high-flying company he co-founded in 2010, the question is what will happen to Orange County’s third-largest bank by assets.
Reopened Italian restaurant 2018 after fire … ‘better second time around,’ Business Journal’s Chris Trela said … new digs include upstairs bar … portion of $2M redo funded by OC givers … Sir Bruno—Order of Merit, Italian Republic, 2013—known for feeding couple million hungry kids via charity Caterina’s Club … 2017 author, ‘Power of Pasta’ … backs National Philanthropy Day
The major indexes all fell today amid heightened recessionary fears, doubts on the U.S. trade agreement with China and an overall down day for tech stocks.
John Wayne Airport had 907,000 passengers in October, down 2.5% year-over-year; commercial flights declined 1.4% to about 4,000.
Monday, December 3
Anaheim’s Biggest Shows to See 31% Rise in Attendance
2019 promises to be a blockbuster year for Anaheim’s tourism industry. And while next summer’s opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is far, far away the biggest reason, it’s not the only one.
Five years head of destination marketer to Disneyland environs … opened 200K-SF Anaheim Convention Center expansion 2018; re-signed area’s two biggest shows, NAMM, Natural Products Expo West, combined bring 200K attendees … moved HQ from ACC campus to own offices near Angel Stadium … growing sports events marketing, med-tech shows ... wants to launch, own, events
REAL ESTATE: Developer still on hook, despite $118.5M price
Not every new apartment project in Irvine’s rapidly-growing base of rental communities is a money-winner for its development team.
Dec. 4 will see a swearing-in ceremony for Anaheim’s two new city council members, one re-elected council member, and a new mayor, Harry Sidhu, a pro-business Republican candidate, Disney ally, and former city councilman.
HEALTHCARE: Eyes other sources of logistics growth
Cold-chain logistics provider Cryoport Inc. is getting a warmer reception on Wall Street.
Automotive: Hyundai unveils flagship SUV
Orange County’s cadre of automakers revealed the global launches of several models and concept designs last week at the largest auto show on the West Coast.
CALL FOR ENTRIES: Deadline is March 1
Is your workplace great?
New Restaurants From Familiar Chefs
I’m often asked to share my favorite local restaurants—local as in Orange County, which is a large area to cover.
$1.7 Billion for OC’s 95 Largest Organizations
Nonprofit organizations in Orange County hit double digit growth on this year’s Business Journal list, reporting $1.7 billion in revenue for the 12 months ended June 30, up 11% year-over-year.
Newport Beach-based Amnion Life, which develops incubation technology for premature babies, is seeking $200,000 on Wefunder to help bring its product to market.
Removes Necessity For Valve Alignment
Edwards Lifesciences Corp. (NYSE: EW) recently won European CE Mark for its next-generation transcatheter valve Sapien 3 Ultra for transcatheter aortic valve replacement.
Glow-in-the-Dark Listing Sign a First
Newport Beach’s Surterre Properties unveiled what it bills as the first glow-in-the-dark real estate listing, one of several notable branding additions and changes for the residential real estate brokerage, which has about 450 agents and staff.
Tech Giant Adds More Space and Jobs in Irvine
It’s a good time to own property leased to tech giant Google.
VERI’s Wild Ride Endures; Microsoft Vets InXile
Irvine’s luxury automaker Karma Automotive LLC struck a deal with San Francisco-based Drive Motors Inc., which specializes in online checkouts that help auto dealerships boost sales.
Home Has Six Bedrooms, Elevator, Golf Cart Garage
City of Industry-based Morris Group International President and Chief Executive Don Morris is settling into a steel-framed home with his wife, Mimi, in The Strand at Headlands gated community in Dana Point.
Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 41, No. 49
AC Hotel Irvine General Manager Paul Maddison was named to the same post at Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa, and Irvine-based Pacific Hospitality Group, which runs both properties for investor groups it participates in, will hire a new GM in Irvine.
Sales and leases of offices, industrial buildings, retail space and apartments
Danu USA Inc. purchased an office building from Buffalo Three LCC for $2.2 million, or $315 per square foot.