Stories for February 2018

Wednesday, February 28

Disneyland Employees Report Low-Pay Hardships

A report released Feb. 28 says low wages paid to Disneyland Resort workers have led to homelessness, hunger and financial woes.

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El Pollo Loco Names Chief

El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc. in Costa Mesa said Bernard Acoca will replace Steve Sather as president and chief executive and take his spot on the fast food chicken chain’s board.

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Carmakers Shifting CEOs, Mitsubishi the Latest

Fred Diaz has been named chief executive and president of Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc. in Cypress.

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Habit Revenue Up, Income Flat

Habit Restaurants Inc. in Irvine said fourth quarter and full-year revenue rose but net income for both periods was either down or flat.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.2% in midday trading to 2,750.50.

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Bixby Land CEO Halford Dies

Bixby Land Co. chief executive William "Bill" Halford, one of Orange County’s better-known real estate executives, died Monday. He was 58.

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OC 500: Rob Arnott

Creator, popular investment style ‘Smart Beta’ … $179B AUM, including under license or as sub-adviser, up from $17B 2006 … helps PIMCO run $40B in 19 funds, various strategies … 16 of his funds in top 20%

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Kia: New CEO

SeungKyu (Sean) Yoon will replace Jang Won (Justin) Sohn as chief executive and president of Kia Motors America in Irvine.

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Tuesday, February 27

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.4% in midday trading to 2,769.15.

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Microsemi in Play: Report

Aliso Viejo-based Microsemi Corp. is in “advanced talks” on a potential sale to Microchip Technology Inc., according to a Wall Street Journal report.

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Avid CFO Resigns

Biologics manufacturer Avid Bioservices Inc. announced Chief Financial Officer Paul Lytle resigned, effective May 24.

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OC 500: Arnold Pinkston

Resume of increasing duties, responsibilities in industry firms … VP, deputy GC, Eli Lilly … senior VP, GC, Beckman Coulter … exec VP, GC Allergan during successful fend-off of Ackman takeover try … then director at former Janus Capital—colleague of Bill Gross … exited firm after Henderson Global deal … indie dir., Bio-Rad, Hercules, Calif. … 7,800 employees, biotech lab, life science products ... Yale B.A. geophysics; Yale law

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Monday, February 26

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.9% in midday trading to 2,772.33.

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OC 500: Tim Busch

Re-took president’s role when Steve Arnold left 2017 … runs $1.5B stable of hotels … big sale of Bacara, 2017 … includes resorts Paséa, HB, Balboa Bay, NB … AC Hotels … business-class near JWA, Spectrum … $125M

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RSI’s Home Sale to Lyon Brings Total to $1.5B

REAL ESTATE: Homebuilder deal on heels of cabinet division

For Ron Simon, the cost of home upgrades trumps the value of a new home itself, based on the Newport Beach business leader’s two recent blockbuster sales.

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Business Bites

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 41, No. 9

Irvine-based Sunwest Bank elevated Carson Lappetito from chief operating officer to president.

OCBJ Calendar

Feb. 26-March 7, 2018

This week's business and other event listings.

Real Estate Deals

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

Karal Ltd. leased an office building to Sheward & Sons & Sons. The price and term length were undisclosed.

Agents Bring Homes to Clients, Thanks to Technology

Virtual Reality Offers New Remote Viewing Prospects

High-resolution photography and striking high-definition videos, in addition to the written description of a home, enhance the online house-hunting experience.

Cove Fund on UCI Campus Closes Second Fund

Raised $12M; Fund Not Limited to UCI Tech

The Cove Fund recently closed its second fund at over $12 million.

Sites Seek Retail Cure for Social Media Follower ROI

New Dogs, Old Tricks; Online Retail to Stores

An Anaheim media firm is pushing into stores products by one of its pet-focused web platforms, a somewhat counterintuitive move, given current retail currents, which could also illustrate the financial limits of like-clicking marketing—namely, whether a company’s social-media community translates into revenue.

PacLife Celebrates Sesquicentennial This Year

Insurer Started in Sac, Moved to NB in 1972

Pacific Life in Newport Beach plans to celebrate its 150th birthday all year long.

Lido House Aims for Less Formality, More Coastal Vibe

Newport Beach Boutique Opens in About a Month

Don’t expect visitors to Newport Beach’s Lido House, R.D. Olson Development’s soon-to-open hotel near Lido Marina Village, to confuse the 130-room boutique property with the last big hotel to open in the city, Irvine Co.’s swanky The Resort at Pelican Hill.

Digital Patient Communication Platform Gets Partner

MeU Care Adds PatientPoint Connect

Healthcare providers are increasingly incorporating technologies to provide better care at lower cost.

Ingram Chief Bullish on IoT, Cautious on Blockchain

Monie Says Packaged Vertical Offerings a Driver

Count the chief executive of the world’s largest technology products distributor among the throngs of blockchain skeptics.

Work Not Done

Ambry’s Martinson Gravitated to Biotech, Life Sciences Clients

Genetic diagnostics company Ambry Genetics Corp. concluded the year with a large corporate change, completing its up to $1 billion sale to Japanese printer maker Konica Minolta Inc.

Opus Bank Splits CEO/Chair Roles for Governance

FINANCE: Gordon drops title he held since founding

Stephen Gordon is no longer chairman of Opus Bank, which he co-founded in 2010.

Making the Switch

Orangewood’s Luker Came West, Got ‘Itch to Do Good’

When John Luker decided to work full time for a nonprofit organization, he figured it would be a short-term stint. That was more than 16 years ago.

TTM’s Schull is Mr. FinTech

Award Makes Statement About His 35 Years

Todd Schull’s 35-year career as a top finance executive crisscrossed the nation.

This CFO Earned His Pay

Alteryx’ Rubin Managed IPO, Acquisition, Global Expansion

About a month before Alteryx Inc. filed its March 2017 initial public offering, Chief Financial Officer Kevin Rubin was on a flight to the Czech Republic with Chief Executive Dean Stoecker to hammer out a deal to acquire metadata management and oversight specialist Semanta.

Ad Shop Plays With Cutting-Edge Tech

MARKETING: Sees opps where rivals fear to tread

Think of Super Toy Box as a digital ad shop that picks up technology-heavy assignments traditional advertising agencies tend to shy away from.

Systems Go: Chronic Tacos Charts Overseas Growth

RESTAURANTS: Big in Japan? Chain to find out

Yesterday Aliso, tomorrow the world.

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Play it Again, Sam

Final dispatch Mazzo Mistrial II …

Wells Fargo’s New OC Chief Explains Strategy

Bank Strives To Overcome Past Sins

Keith Kobata is the new face of Wells Fargo & Co. in Orange County, in charge of more than 1,000 employees at the bank’s 79 branches.

Getting a Bank Off the Ground Full of Challenges

Blue Gate’s Walsh Talks Obstacles, Progress

Blue Gate Bank, the first new bank in California since the financial crash a decade ago, celebrated its one-year anniversary in January. What was the first year like?

Q & A

What a difference a couple of months makes. Since President Donald Trump signed the tax reform bill, business-sector optimism has shot up.

After Mistrial II, What Next for Mazzo?

LEGAL: Not unanimous, but all but 2 jurors wanted to acquit

This one wasn’t close. Sort of. The jury in the retrial of longtime Orange County medical-device executive Jim Mazzo failed for a second time to reach a verdict on insider trading charges.

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Banks Increase OC Deposits 9%, Cut Jobs

FINANCE: BofA, JPMorgan outgrow top-3 rival Wells Fargo

Banks operating in Orange County are attracting more deposits with fewer employees and branches, based on the Business Journal’s annual list.

Arbonne Business As Usual Post-Deal

RETAIL: But beauty-focused brand to use buyer’s expertise

While Arbonne International LLC was acquired by the nearly $3 billion Paris-based firm Groupe Rocher this month, it’s business as usual inside its Irvine headquarters, says its chief executive.

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The Believer

Apria CFO Preaches Big Data; Employee Growth; Hard Work

Apria Healthcare Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Debby Morris describes herself as partner to the chief executive, going beyond a chief financial officer’s typical role to develop strategy and key initiatives and driving growth and profitability.

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Friday, February 23

Those Cool CFOs

This week we profile the five honorees from the Business Journal’s 11th Annual CFO of the Year Awards, including Apria’s Debby Morris, a fan of military methods, big data and hiring smarter.

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OC 500: Robert Olson

State’s most active hotel developer, several years … most under various brands of Bethesda, Md.-based Marriott International … next up locally: $120M full-service in Spectrum area, boutique offering, Marriott Autograph—slogan: ‘Exactly Like Nothing Else’ in—Lido … proposed 21-story, 275-room in Hollywood, 6-story, 147-room hotel in Glendale … Business Journal Style File 2017 … OC 50

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.9% in midday trading to 2,727.27.

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UEI Shares Pop

Shares of Universal Electronics Inc. are up 25% in afternoon trading to a market value of about $784 million, with shares moving about three times higher than the average.

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Endologix CEO Out

Endologix Inc. Chief Executive John McDermott resigned.

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Sunwest Promotes Lappetito

Irvine-based Sunwest Bank promoted Carson Lappetito to president from his previous position of chief operating officer.

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BJ’s Beats; Revenue Up

BJ’s Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: BJRI) beat expectations on revenue and net income in its most recent quarter and its shares were up more than 10% in Friday trading.

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Thursday, February 22

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.5% in midday trading to 2,713.90.

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OC 500: Laila Pence

Started firm 1999 with husband, Dryden … AUM $1.3B, up from $550M 2010 … Egyptian-born, advised ministers 2017 in that country on capital markets … 30 workers, four offices in Calif., Mich. … Business Journal Women in Business honoree 2012 … Barron’s top-10 ‘women advisors in U.S.’ … UCLA grad … backs United Way, Magdi Yacoub to build heart center in Aswan, Egypt

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Wednesday, February 21

Laguna Hotel Sells for $21M

Laguna Riviera Beach Resort sold for $21 million, title transfers and CoStar Group information confirm.

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Mazzo Mistrial Again

Jurors deadlocked Wednesday in the retrial of local medical device executive Jim Mazzo on insider trading and perjury charges. Judge Andrew Guilford declared a mistrial.

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App-Based Temp Firm Gets CFO

ShiftPixy Inc. in January named Patrice Launay chief financial officer to replace Stephen DeSantis, who resigned in October.

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Alteryx Beats in Q4

Irvine-based Alteryx Inc. reported fourth quarter revenue and operating income that topped Wall Street expectations, with shares trading 17% higher after the release of the results.

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Taco Bell's $9.8 Billion Bests Burger King

Taco Bell systemwide sales rose 5% in 2017 to $9.8 billion, making it the fourth-largest U.S. restaurant brand by that metric, according to early numbers from Chicago-based food industry consultant Technomic Inc.

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OC 500: Dean Stoecker

Took Irvine-based analytics software maker public in March 2017 … first OC IPO in two years … raised $114M net … shares up about 25% in first six months to $1.1B market cap … beat estimates first two Qs as public co. … raised about $160M prior to IPO … bought Yhat Inc., Brooklyn, June 2017

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.7% in midday trading to 2,734.47.

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Montage Sets Sonoma Details

A long-rumored Montage Hotels & Resorts property in wine country gets underway this spring for an expected 2020 opening.

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Mazzo Jury, Day 4

The jury in the retrial of former Advanced Medical Optics (AMO) Chief Executive Jim Mazzo deliberated for a third day on Tuesday and went home—with reports that one was ill. Mazzo is being retried at the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana on 16 counts of violating insider trading laws and four new counts of perjury.

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Tuesday, February 20

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.2% in midday trading to 2,727.94.

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William Lyon Homes Pays $460M for Local Builder

William Lyon Homes said on Tuesday that it has agreed to buy fellow Newport Beach-based homebuilder RSI Communities, for $460 million.

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Monday, February 19

OC 500: Michael Mussallem

Heads largest OC publicly traded co. … $24B market cap … 12.2K workers: added 500, 2017, adding 500, 2018 … heart valves … $3B revenue; $570M net income … multiyear HQ upgrade … bought nearby buildings … three success words: ‘putting patients first’ … personal foundation backs Down Syndrome work, including Glennwood House, Laguna Beach … favorite quote: ‘knowledge speaks, wisdom listens’

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Renaissance NB Readied

Renaissance Hotel Newport Beach debuted today, with the full $30 million renovation expected to finish by spring, a press release said.

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Nemus Raises $1.75M

Nemus Bioscience Inc. (OTCQB: NMUS) received a $1.75 million private placement from majority shareholder Emerald Health Sciences Inc. and other investors.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The markets are closed today for the President's Day holiday.

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OC 500: Kimberly Chavalas Cripe

20 years as chief exec … revenue $523M, up from $498M … pediatric mental health campaign ‘Let’s Talk About It’ to boost support … $18M in backing … 18 kid beds inpatient center started last year, completion next

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Long Beach Airport Traffic Up

Year-over-year Long Beach Airport passenger traffic year-over-year increased 7% in January to about 321,000.

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P.J. Salvage Founder Taps Apparel Vet as Successor

RETAIL: Not just PJ’s, now ‘bed to brunch’

P.J. Salvage hired Simon Cohen as president in November, the first shift in top management at the Irvine-based apparel manufacturer since Peter Burke bought it out of bankruptcy in 1997.

The Executive v. The Ballplayer

For the second time in a year, the fate of Jim Mazzo is in the hands of a federal jury. Prosecutors are still alleging the founder and former chief executive of Advanced Medical Optics violated insider trading laws by telling his friend and Laguna Beach neighbor Doug DeCinces that his company was being bought by Abbott Laboratories.

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Pacific Premier’s Big Buy Wins Fans

Banc of California’s Future Plans Get Cool Reception

Wall Street likes the future plans of Pacific Premier Bancorp (Nasdaq: PPBI). It gave a thumbs down to the road map of rival Banc of California Inc. (NYSE: BANC).

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Allergan to Shed More Irvine Space as Cuts Continue

Drugmaker’s Main Campus In Line for Creative Makeover

Allergan PLC plans to vacate and sell three offices at its sprawling Irvine campus near John Wayne Airport, in the latest sign of retrenchment for the local operations of the drug-making giant.

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Flight Planner: Rondinella Methodical and in Motion

Airport Bustle of Activity Belies Cap’s Cloud Cover

Barry Rondinella greets a guest sans sport coat or suit jacket. He seems a picture of rest and relaxation, and apart from an office setting on Airway Avenue in Costa Mesa on the other side of tarmac and terminals from John Wayne Airport—whose operations he’s directed for 27 months—the man could be canvassing a JWA concourse, arrivals or departures, on holiday or heading to one.

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Digital Tools Grow as Patient-Engagement Evolves

Include Monitoring, More Access to Care on Demand

Digital health is the buzzword when it comes to the present and the future of care. Technologies, such as telemedicine, remote patient monitoring and patient engagement via smartphones, are designed to enable providers and patients to manage health and wellness more effectively and cost-efficiently.


If there’s one word to describe the nation’s healthcare industry it’s uncertainty. The new tax bill repealed the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate provisions that required most Americans to purchase health insurance or face penalty, which could hurt hospital revenue with fewer people buying health plans. The bill also took away nonprofit hospitals’ ability to use advanced refunding to replace outstanding bonds with bonds at lower interest rates.

Flu Patient Volume Uptick During Holiday Season

Hospitals Up Game To Better Coordinate Care

It was the worst of times and the worst timing. “The uptick in flu cases in mid-December spiked around Christmas and New Year’s Eve, around the holidays, a lot of traveling and socializing with family and friends,” said Dr. Wendy Coling, a Kaiser Permanente primary care physician in Orange County. She said it didn’t help that this year’s H3N2 influenza virus is a “more virulent flu strain.”

Top Care Providers Experience Exec-Level Change

UCI to Fill Two Positions; Providence Taps New Head

High performers like UC Irvine Medical Center and Providence St. Joseph Health—its local network comprised of seven hospitals—experienced changes on the executive level in the year ended Sept. 30, the former in search of a new chief executive, the latter naming a regional head to oversee Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties.

Business Bites

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 41, No. 8

Irvine’s Pacific Premier Bancorp agreed to acquire Grandpoint Capital Inc. in an all-stock deal valued at $641.2 million.

OCBJ Calendar

Feb. 19-28, 2018; April 7, 2018

This week's business and other event listings.

Real Estate Deals

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

Colton Family Trust sold an office building to YMCA of Orange County for $5 million, or $228 per square foot.

Kofax Returns to Buying Form After 2015 Acquisition

CEO Says ‘Almost Like Back to the Future’

Kofax Inc. is back in the buying business under the more stable footing of Chicago-based private equity parent Thoma Bravo.

$273M in OC Sales for Pacific City Rental Developer

UDR Nears Finish Of $350M Luxe Rentals

Apartment owner and developer UDR Inc. is finding plenty of local assets to unload to pay for its $350 million project under way at the Pacific City mixed-use development in Huntington Beach.

J.D. Power Takes Its Auto Data Expertise to China

Partners With BitAuto Holdings on Digital Projects

J.D. Power in Costa Mesa formed a partnership with China-based automotive website BitAuto Holdings Ltd. to “build the most efficient automotive big data center and artificial intelligence platforms serving China’s automotive industry.”

MYnd Analytics Expands Technology Scope

Nondrug Therapy TMS Targets Depression

Mission Viejo-based MYnd Analytics Inc. (Nasdaq: MYND) is in the business of behavioral health.

Sanitization Firm GermFalcon Wins NASA Contest

Ready to Roll Out Device, Says First Order in March

Given the particularly bad flu season (see related story, page 26), GermFalcon’s germ-killing device is well-timed. The device uses ultraviolet-C light, the kind used in hospitals, to disinfect airplane cabins.

Online Lender SpringboardAuto to Double Headcount

Irvine-Based Company Grows With New Office

SpringboardAuto, an Irvine-based online direct lender that connects customers with auto lenders, has doubled its office size and now plans to double its employee count to 100 by the end of the year.

Environmental Consultants Grow, Seek Balance

Solitary Work Connects Care, Corporate Concerns

They say there’s balance in nature.


Irvine Public Schools Foundation hosted its fifth annual Top 100 Reception on Feb. 6 at The Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach.

Wanted: Best Places to Work for OCBJ’s List

CALL FOR ENTRIES: Website to take entries through March 16

Is your workplace great?

Business Journal Fetes Five CFOs

A crowd of about 600 gathered to honor Orange County executives at the Business Journal’s 11th annual CFO of the Year Awards on Thursday night.

Taco Bell Execs Shift After CEO Moves to Chipotle

RESTAURANTS: Former Starbucks VP joins elevated vet

Taco Bell Corp.’s January shuffle in the top ranks was apparently a sign of things to come.

Health Software Co. Tagnos Lands $5M Series A

Technology Gains Traction With Reimbursement Change

There are plenty of opportunities for software solutions in healthcare operations, ranging from medical-records management to analytics to compliance.

Real Estate Exec Joins loanDepot

FINANCE: Ex-CEO heads new ‘mello’ unit

Veteran real estate executive Chris Heller says LD Holdings Inc. has the feeling of a startup.

Big Number Sought for Revamped Tustin Office

REAL ESTATE: $17M asking price for ABM building

The owners of a recently renovated, fully leased creative-office project in Tustin are aiming for one of the largest per-square-foot sales prices for a building of its type in Orange County.

C Stands for Cool

“These are the coolest CFOs in the universe.”

Chapman University Tweaks Its Growth Pattern

EDUCATION: Science! and the ‘Chapman Experience’

Construction workers can be spotted through the large windows of Chapman University’s Keck Center for Science and Engineering—a milestone achieved in President Daniele Struppa’s first year in office.

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Friday, February 16

Mazzo Awaits Fate

Medical device executive Jim Mazzo’s fate is once again in the hands of a federal jury.

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Luxe Goods Distributor Names CEO

Luxury goods distributor MadaLuxe Group in Seal Beach promoted Adam Freede from president to chief executive.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.3% in midday trading to 2,740.17.

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Avid Expects $20M from Secondary Offering

Tustin-based Avid Bioservices Inc. yesterday priced a public offering of 9 million shares of common stock at $2.25 apiece, and expects more than $20 million in gross proceeds after the offering closes next week.

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Thursday, February 15

Business Journal Fetes Five CFOs

A crowd of some 600 gathered to honor Orange County financial executives at the Business Journal’s 11th annual CFO of the Year Awards Thursday night.

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OC 500: Barry Rondinella

Third year in role … previously: LAXparent Los Angeles World Airports … county-owned facility, 10.2M annual passengers … changing airlines’ cut; Southwest down, others up … opposite number at Long Beach OC 500’s Jess Romo … general aviation master plan inprocess, expected end of 2018 … 2017, new FBO, ACI Jet, led by OC 500’s William Borgsmiller

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UCI Prof Joins Acacia in Restaurant Robotics

A Chicago hospitality company has joined Acacia Research Corp. in an investment in a Pasadena-based robotics maker for the restaurant industry, and a University of California-Irvine professor has joined that firm’s advisory board.

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OC 500: Miguel Gonzalez Reynoso

Parents Miguel González Sr., Teresa Reynoso arrived U.S. 1968 … Mexico business had closed … launched Latino- American-focused grocery chain 1980 … est. $745M revenue … flagship La Habra market opened March … layout includes Mercado grab-and-go, oven-ready meals; salsa-soup-salad bar; organic products … move turns focus to second-, third-gen Latinos

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.6% in midday trading to 2,715.15.

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Wednesday, February 14

Mazzo Retrial to Jury

For the second time in a year, the fate of Jim Mazzo is in the hands of a federal jury. Prosecutors are again alleging that the founder and former chief executive of Advanced Medical Optics (AMO) violated insider trading laws when he disclosed to his friend and Laguna Beach neighbor Doug DeCinces that his company was being bought by Abbott Laboratories.

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Taco Bell Picks 2 Leaders

Irvine-based Taco Bell said senior executives Julie Felss Masino and Liz Williams will co-lead the company when Chief Executive Brian Niccol departs for the top slot at Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. in Denver on March 5.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 1% in midday trading to 2,688.61.

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Tuesday, February 13

Avid Sells Oncology Drug

Avid Bioservices Inc. in Tustin will sell its clinical-stage immunotherapy cancer drug candidate to Oncologie Inc. for $8 million upfront—with payments spread over six months—and up to $95 million in development, regulatory and commercialization milestones.

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Niccol to Lead Chipotle

Brian Niccol will leave the top slot at Taco Bell to lead Chipotle Mexican Grill, effective March 5.

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OC 500: Shirin Behzadi

Ex-CFO runs franchiser of homecare businesses … biggest Budget Blinds … also Tailored Living (organizing), Concrete Craft (resurfacing) … $600M systemwide sales … started finance side, under five co-founders …

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 fell 0.3% in midday trading to 2,649.46.

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Monday, February 12

Mechanics Buys Scott Valley Bank

Mechanics Bank (OTCBB: MCHB) said it will acquire Learner Financial Corp., the bank holding company for Scott Valley Bank, to add $692 million in assets. Terms weren’t disclosed.

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OC 500: Steve Layton

The L in LBA, which runs much of Irvine’s Park Place mixed-use campus near airport … it kept 10% stake after two deals that moved remainder to others … owns JWA area Oracle Tower … ex- Toshiba campus in Spectrum, bought for $65M in 2016 … has begun 230K SF R&D, industrial project in San Diego’s Kearny Mesa area

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Pacific Premier Buys Grandpoint

Irvine’s Pacific Premier Bancorp (Nasdaq: PPBI) agreed to acquire Grandpoint Capital Inc. (OTC Pink: GPNC) in an all stock deal valued at $641.2 million.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Indices across the board rebounded at midday by more than 1% apiece on a broad-based rally following two weeks of market turmoil.

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24M Anaheim Visitors in 2017

Visit Anaheim said 24.2 million visited the city it promotes in 2017, a 5.1% increase over 2016, according to data gathered and analyzed by CIC Research Inc. in San Diego.

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OC 500: Sebastian 'Paul' Musco

Still heads to work in his 90s … Gemini reclaims precious metals for use in chemical work by ExxonMobil, Dow … backs Chapman—Musco Center for the Arts—PBS SoCal, OC School of the Arts, St. Michael’s Abbey … Italian immigrant … 2017 Ellis Island honoree … three words: ‘hard work, dream’ … passionate about ‘my wife and charities’ … Business Journal OC’s Wealthiest, $300M

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Irvine Co. Hits Jackpot With 3 Silicon Valley Leases

New Projects Lease Up; $105M Buy in San Diego

Irvine Co., Orange County’s dominant office landlord with a local portfolio topping 26 million square feet, has had an active few weeks in two of its other key markets: Silicon Valley and San Diego.

Cashing Out In Chicago

Olen Sells 40-Story Tower

Igor Olenicoff, Orange County’s third-wealthiest businessperson, should be a bit richer after the sale of his company’s most valuable office property—a skyscraper it owned in downtown Chicago.

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KBS Plans Blockbuster Central OC Tower Buy

REAL ESTATE: 1 of 2 Orange offices sold for $180M

Newport Beach-based KBS Realty Advisors, one of the country’s largest office owners, is poised to buy central Orange County’s biggest office tower in what would be its priciest local acquisition in over a decade.

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Kofax Seizes On Growing Hunger for Automation

TECHNOLOGY: Declares 2018 ‘Year of the Robot’

A 2013 acquisition laid the foundation for Kofax Inc.’s fastest-growing line of business as corporations seek to replace human workers with automated software in the digital age.

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OC’s $22B Muni Debt: 140 Issuers

FINANCE: Analysis shows biggest entities in good shape

The 10 largest issuers of municipal debt that aren’t school districts owe a cumulative $9.84 billion, according to a Business Journal analysis.

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Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright, Mostly Oil at Midnight

Mortgage Broker Plans Offerings for a Lifetime

One old entrepreneur story has it that someone who knows nothing about an industry launches a venture, buys a fictitious-business name filing published in a favorite local business journal, and with some unsexy stuff in-between, is eventually visited by success, snagging a slew of small-business honors, buying a Revero, then doing it all over again. Alex Chen is doing it all wrong.

Cornering Groceries: Cut-Rate Food Stuff of Opportunity

Selling Entrepreneurs On ‘Extreme Discount’

“I’d rather work a hundred hours for myself than 40 hours for someone else,” says Ryan Stack.

‘Let’s Get This Figured Out’

Patty. By now you know the tragic story of CDM High School student Patrick “Patty” Turner. Patty took his life on Saturday, Jan 27. The sophomore’s final exams started the following Monday.

Joe Knows Shoes; Will See if He Knows Retail

RETAIL: Titan Industries doubles down on Mischka

Footwear licensee Titan Industries Inc. has lived up to its name for the past 20 years, attracting deals with apparel brands like Joe’s Jeans and Betsey Johnson while also helping celebrities Gwen Stefani and Zendaya launch footwear lines.

South Coast Metro Office Gets Jolt With Revamp

REAL ESTATE: Ground floor of office to get retail

The smallest of the four offices run by C.J. Segerstrom & Sons next to South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, the seven-story 3420 Bristol St., is getting a makeover designed to bring its appearance more in line with its high-rise brethren.

Service Provider Concerto Grows

HEALTHCARE: New Aliso Viejo HQ; hiring 120

A primary care doctor is the first stop for a patient’s medical care, including chronic disease management.

CalAtlantic’s Farewell Act: $34M Land Buy in Tustin

REAL ESTATE: 218-home site buy as Lennar deal nears

Irvine-based CalAtlantic Group Inc.’s last big land deal as a stand-alone company could turn out to be a 14.5-acre site it just bought a few miles from its headquarters at the Tustin Legacy development.

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Pair’s Site Aims to Revive Long Beach Sports News

Shock spread through the Long Beach community three weeks ago—even three-time Olympic gold medalist Misty May-Treanor, Golden State Warriors rookie Jordan Bell and Philadelphia Phillies shortstop J.P. Crawford expressed their surprise on Twitter.

Philly’s Nick Foles Spreads Cheer to Laguna Hills

SPORTS: Agency Athletes First, QB client just got busy

Justin Schulman’s phone hasn’t stopped ringing since his client pulled off one of the most stunning performances in Super Bowl history.

Wanted: Best Places to Work for OCBJ’s List

CALL FOR ENTRIES: Website to take entries through March 16

Is your workplace great?

Revenue, Hiring Flat at Minority-Owned Businesses

Activity Level Belies Slow-Growth Numbers

2017 revenue and hiring at Orange County-based minority-owned businesses showed little change from 2016, according to Business Journal research—including slight declines at companies such as No. 3, Alorica in Irvine, and No. 7, New American Funding.

Device Maker Masimo Starts Year on Strong Note

Got European, US Clearances, Stock Uptick

January was a busy month for Irvine-based patient monitoring device maker Masimo Corp., which announced Food and Drug Administration approval of two devices.

OC Companies Take Advantage of Super Bowl Fever

Various Tacks to Get Vast Audience’s Attention

Several Orange County-based companies were part of the enormous marketing push around Super Bowl LII on Feb. 4.

Ingram Micro Says It’s Insulated From Parent Troubles

HNA Group in Cash Crunch; Debt Going Up

The ongoing financial troubles of HNA Group won’t affect operations of Ingram Micro Inc., the company told the Business Journal.

TrustaBit Raising Money for Flight-Voucher Offering

Plans to Use Blockchain To Fuel Instant Service

An Aliso Viejo company is among the first global crop of startups this year to raise funding through an initial coin offering.

Carson Kropfl Cruisin’ Through Growth Stage

‘Shark Tank’ Winner Shreds Sales With Sir Richard as Partner‘Shark Tank’ Winner Shreds Sales With Sir Richard as Partner

Seventh-grade entrepreneur, TED talker and Richard Branson protégé Carson Kropfl insists he “wasn’t an overnight success.”

OCBJ Calendar

Feb. 12-21, 2018; April 7, 2018

This week's business and other event listings.

Business Bites

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 41, No. 7

Leadership changes were announced at Huntington Beach-based Boardriders Inc. following the presumed death of Chief Executive Pierre Agnes, who was lost at sea off the coast of France.

New Year Full of Fresh Interior-Design Trends

Wallpaper, Color Changes, Mixed Metals Mix It Up

The holiday trappings have been put away until next year.

Saturday, February 10

Toll Road Turnaround

Once bitten twice in love—why Wall Street can't get enough of OC muni debt.

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Friday, February 9

OC 500: Natalia Ostensen

More day-to-day at Olen, one of largest local property owners, from father, OC 500’s Igor Olenicoff … heads commercial property unit leasing team … leads on more Olen acquisitions … $500M buying pace … Andrei’s Restaurant, Irvine, founded, named for late brother; net profits back eye research … husband, Derek Ostensen … Laguna Beach duo dedicated Heisler Park sculptures 2017

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OCBC Picks Six; Churm is Chairman

Orange County Business Council named six “game changers” for 2018 and Steve Churm, chief communications officer of Great Park Neighborhoods developer FivePoint, was sworn in as board chair at the group’s annual dinner Thursday.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Indices were down more than 1% apiece on continued market turmoil.

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Thursday, February 8

New Bank Opens in Santa Ana

Infinity Bank opened on Feb. 1 in Santa Ana, the first new bank in a year in Orange County.

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JetBlue Contests Long Beach Fines

JetBlue Airways Corp. plans to contest $264,000 in fines levied against it between April and November for violating the Long Beach Airport curfew, news reports said.

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Qualcomm Rejects $121B Broadcom Bid

The board of Qualcomm Inc. today unanimously rejected Broadcom Ltd.’s latest unsolicited cash and stock bid of $121 billion, or $82.00 per share.

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J&J-Backed ReVision Optics Closes

Lake Forest-based ReVision Optics Inc. has shut down saying, “it is with regret, that we have to close our doors.”

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Hotel Sales Stable on No ‘Big Deal’

OC hotels sold at a slightly lower rate for a markedly lower dollar volume last year—but results were affected by the lack of a trophy property sale in 2017, a survey by broker-consultant Atlas Hospitality Group in Irvine shows.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Indices fell in midday trading as investors braced for higher interest rates and market volatility continued.

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Evolus Prices IPO

Irvine-based Evolus Inc. priced its initial public offering of five million shares of common stock at $12 per share, the low end of an earlier-announced $12 to $14 range.

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Allianz to Pay $12m to Settle 401k Suit

A California federal judge this week gave preliminary approval for Allianz Asset Management of America LP to pay $12 million to settle allegations it didn’t adequately provide alternatives to its employees for their retirement plans.

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Taco Bell Parent Puts $200M to Delivery

Yum Brands Inc. in Louisville, owner of Irvine-based Taco Bell, will buy 3% of GrubHub Inc. in Chicago for $200 million.

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Wednesday, February 7

OC 500: Rick Matros

Merged August, Care Capital Properties Inc., Chicago … co. keeps Sabra name, management, Irvine HQ, board control … 564 skilled nursing, senior housing properties … boosts skilled nursing exposure to 70%, plans 50-50 split … $3.8B market cap, up from $1.8B premerger … Fitch, S&P set investment grade post-merger … plans $20M savings … USC grad, football fan … produces films

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TTM Down on Q1 Outlook

Shares of TTM Technologies Inc. declined about 3% to a $1.5 billion market cap after the Costa Mesa-based company provided an outlook on adjusted profits this quarter that were below Wall Street expectations.

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Debt Servicer Buys Second Disney-Area Hotel

An affiliate of CW Capital Asset Management LLC bought the Portofino Inn & Suites for $26 million, its second such deal in the last few years for the bad debt of a Disneyland Resort-area hotel.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.1% in midday trading to 2,698.50.

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OC 500: Thomas "Thos" Carson

Launched 2007 … fishing family … three coastal OC locations … second came 2012, also NB … latest in Pacific City, HB … also owns Wild Taco; partner, Citzen Water Co. … Bear Flag comes from state flag, Carson’s dad’s

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OC 500: Christina Zabat-Fran

General Counsel Award honoree … first UCI Law grad class … started 2010 at high-end apparel maker as summer intern … advises on manufacturing, distribution, retail issues … negotiates contracts, licensing, technology, real estate … St. John employs 400 in Irvine, 600 in Mexico … 230 retail outlets, 55 stores and boutiques of its own … black belt in taekwondo

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OC 500: Forest Olson

Coldwell—broker, chain real estate agents—bought his firm, brought him into fold … at purchase, Olson’s firm largest Calif. real estate broker … has served board of CT Realty Investors … Coldwell Banker founded SF, now NJbased … part of Realogy, which also owns Century 21, Sotheby’s Realty … $6B revenue, $213M net, 12K employees

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OC 500: James Molloy

CFO of the Year honoree … Alorica fastest-growing big company in OC … 290% two-year revenue growth to $2.4B … Molloy helped guide firm through two acquisitions … call center company has 100K employees in 19 time zones, five continents … South African native joined 2013, succeeding finance chief Jack Pollock—only CFO Alorica had had since 1999 founding

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OC 500: Kim Megonigal

Parent includes Kimco Staffing Services Inc., sixth-largest OC employment agency: $53M OC revenue, $127M companywide … 4K temp workers placed OC 2016 … 212K workers placed companywide since founding … 150 corp employees … prof services—IT, engineering, finance, accounting—placement firms … founded firm age 33; previously president, Thomas Temporaries, age 28

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OC 500: William Meehan

Named to role 2016 … currently youngest managing partner, 200 biggest US firms … second-largest OC firm, with 130 OC attorneys, 265 employees … real estate, finance—debt, PE funds; institutional lenders … forming JVs, LLCs … land buys … telecom … boards include Segerstrom Center, Olive Crest … wife, Melissa, four children … bachelor’s, U. Mass Amherst; J.D. Boston U.

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OC 500: Daniel Joseph Mcquaid

Runs program where people buy ‘giving cards’ to donate to charities … current role 2005 … tripled revenue to $10M … 2016 tally: 36K volunteers, 300 nonprofits, 289K hours of service, valued at $8M … consults to 125 SoCal nonprofits … connects them to corporations … PacLife Foundation named group outstanding nonprofit 2015 … three words: ‘inspiring, equipping, mobilizing’

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OC 500: Carl Frayser McLarand

Co-founder, architectural firm … worked with Irvine Co. on Westview apartment complex near Spectrum Center, Villas, next to Fashion Island … prominent current projects: Residences at Pacific City for entrepreneurs seeking beach living … beyond OC: two 24-story buildings DTLA historic core … designed Water Gardens in Santa Monica … son Matt McLarand is principal

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OC 500: John Kensey

Started firm 1988 as consulting platform … angel investor in 50+ firms, 20 still active … founding member, Tech Coast Angels … board service includes PAAMCO … resume includes stints at McKinsey & Co., and founding or senior exec roles at early-stage companies … B.S. industrial engineering, Stanford; MBA, Harvard … Ph.D. studies in strategic management, Drucker Center, Claremont

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OC 500: Steve Jones

Started with $12M security services firm 1996 … now over $5B, 150K employees— big as Japan’s army … MBA, night school, U. Redlands … waste-management acquisition model … plans IPO, few years … growth due to terrorism, workplace violence, IP theft … $1B opportunity in tech: Uber-like app, robots … ‘blending of technology with traditional security … wave of the future’

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OC 500: Stephen Jones

Building Boardwalk, from-scratch, 545K SF Irvine offices … nine-story towers connected by bridges and with open terraces … ground-level restaurants, retail … developer Trammel Crow, architect Gensler … four decades with firm … longtime local builder … construction management support for $200M, 500K SF Hyundai Motor America HQ

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OC 500: Forest Olson

Coldwell—broker, chain real estate agents—bought his firm, brought him into fold … at purchase, Olson’s firm largest Calif. real estate broker … has served board of CT Realty Investors … Coldwell Banker founded SF, now NJbased … part of Realogy, which also owns Century 21, Sotheby’s Realty … $6B revenue, $213M net, 12K employees

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OC 500: Al Baldwin

Family-Owned Business honoree … dad, Noel, started enterprise 1950s … family has built 20K homes … third gen now leading … biggest in OC: Oaks at Portola Hills, companywide: Otay Ranch near Chula Vista … once owned piece of San Diego Padres … chairs National Park Foundation, raising $500M to preserve parks, history … fourth gen on way, Al notes, “I’ve got 13 grandkids.”

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UCI's Federoff Resigns Health Post

University of California-Irvine accepted the resignation of Howard Federoff, vice chancellor of health affairs and chief executive of UCI Health System.

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Hsieh Hires Heller for 'mello' Unit

LD Holdings Group LLC, parent company of loanDepot, the nation’s fifth largest retail lender, today named real estate executive Chris Heller to head its recently-launched mello Home business.

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Tuesday, February 6

Billionaire to Buy Times, U-T for $590M

An L.A. biotech billionaire who tried to buy the Orange County Register two years ago has agreed to buy the Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union-Tribune for $590 million, including pension liabilities.

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Parks Boost Disney Again

Walt Disney Co.’s parks and resorts unit, which includes Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, reported double-digit increases in revenue and operating income which pushed the Burbank entertainment giant’s shares up 2% after-hours to a $160 billion market cap.

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Boardriders Names CEO

Leadership changes were announced on Tuesday for Huntington Beach-based Boardriders Inc. following the recent tragedy involving Chief Executive Pierre Agnes.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Indices whipsawed in early trading but were a little higher by midday after a steep selloff in the preceding two trading sessions on concerns of rising bond yields and higher inflation.

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Allergan Q4 Strong

Allergan PLC reported strong fourth-quarter revenue of $4.3 billion, up 12% from a year earlier, and full-year revenue of nearly $16 billion, a 9.4% increase.

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OC 500: Thomas Bak

Leads largest new OC office project not run by Irvine Co. … two-building Boardwalk on Jamboree Road near airport … glass-sheathed buildings connected by web of indoor, outdoor bridges for one of most unique

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Monday, February 5

Allergan Appoints CFO

Allergan PLC named Matthew Walsh chief financial officer, effective “later this month.”

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OC 500: Jane Buchan

Co-founded PAAMCO 2000 as ‘fund of hedge funds’ … 2017 KKR buy-in helped form firm with $34B AUM or advisement … 60-40 ownership split: company employees-KKR … began career at JP Morgan Investment Management

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Broadcom Boosts Bid for Qualcomm to $121B

Broadcom Ltd. raised its hostile bid for San Diego rival Qualcomm Inc. this morning to $121 billion, or $82.00 per share.

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Allied Universal Buys 1,900-Employee Firm

Santa Ana-based Allied Universal, the biggest private security force in North America with over 150,000 employees, bought Covenant Security Services Ltd., a unit of Covenant Services Worldwide, on undisclosed terms.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Indices continued to fall amid concerns about rising inflation and higher government bond yields.

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Edwards to Build on Strong Q4

Edwards Lifesciences Corp. finished the year strong, reporting $889 million in fourth-quarter sales, up 16% from a year earlier.

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What They Don’t Teach at M.I.T.

For the most part Orange County doesn’t have celebrities. At least not the Hollywood kind. Orange County has business celebrities.

Business Bites

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 41, No. 6

Irvine-based fintech firm AutoGravity, which provides auto financing through smartphones, signed up another automaker: Nissan Motor Acceptance Corp.

OCBJ Calendar

Feb. 5-15, 2018

This week's business and other event listings.

JobzMall Website Gets Creative With Job-Hunting

Nontraditional Resumes Offered, Including Videos

In Irvine company has launched a public beta of an online job search engine geared toward millennials.

Microsemi for Sale? It’s Reportedly Pondering a Deal

Bank Apparently Helping Chipmaker Mull Options

Chatter is picking up again that Microsemi Corp. is exploring options, including a possible sale.

Irvine Rental Project Slips in Under IBC Density Cap

Just 167 Units Remain Out Of 15,000 Cap Set in 2010

A 150-unit apartment complex proposed at 2525 Main St. in Irvine about a mile from John Wayne Airport has gotten the nod as one of the last residential projects approved for the Irvine Business Complex under current density limits.

Realty One Promotes Its ‘Coolture’ in Times Square

Billboard Campaign 20K Plays on Several Screens

Realty ONE Group launched a series of video ads on Times Square digital billboards last month in New York to get noticed by industry professionals attending the Inman Connect conference at a nearby hotel.

Aerie Gets $74M Offering to Market Eye Drugs

Strategy Also Includes New Manufacturing Plant

The outlook for Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s (Nasdaq: AERI) two glaucoma drugs appears to be good—Rhopressa received Food and Drug Administration approval in December, and the company said its other late clinical-stage drug, Roclatan, is on track for approval in the second quarter.


Mike Gray, founder of baked goods company Sweet Life Enterprises in Santa Ana, and his wife, Lori, donated a large financial gift to Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach.

Employment Agencies Repair Flat and Grow

Growing Economy and Wage Boosts Lifted 2017 Placings

2017 was a better year for the Orange County operations of employment agencies. The placement firms saw growth across nearly all metrics, from annual revenue to number of temporary and permanent workers landing jobs with clients.

Fall in Love With the Food, Even if Your Date’s a Dud

Chris Outlines His Top Romantic OC Restaurants

"There is no love sincerer than the love of food.”

Concierge Key Launches Fast Pass of Healthcare

First Three Regions: Orange County, New York, Phoenix

Paying for special perks isn’t new in healthcare.

Sundance, Slamdance Breakout For Chapman Filmmakers

MEDIA: Rare ‘trifecta’ latest validation of business plan

The narrative and documentary films that opened the Sundance Film Festival last month were both directed by Chapman University film school alumni.

Bonti Bets Big on Therapeutic Botox

HEALTHCARE: Adds scar therapy after new $15.5M round

Newport Beach-based Bonti is developing its own Botox. But unlike other competitors that aim to directly compete with Allergan PLC, it’s focusing on expanding therapeutic use of its lead neurotoxin candidate, EB-001.

Wanted: Best Places to Work for OCBJ’s List

CALL FOR ENTRIES: Website to take entries through March 16

Is your workplace great?

Pacific Premier, First Foundation Seeking Acquisitions

FINANCE: OC-based banks show plans in outlooks

Two Orange County banks said last week that they’re on the lookout for acquisitions, while it appeared a third bank’s stock may be propped up by sale speculation.

Alteryx’ Latest Sign Of Growth: Bigger HQ

REAL ESTATE: Lease expands Irvine presence by about 75%

Data analytics software maker Alteryx Inc., which went public in March, has signed a deal to expand its Irvine headquarters at a rate almost matching its impressive stock growth since a $14-a-share initial public offering.

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Sprouts Backers’ Sights Turn to Industrial Market

REAL ESTATE: Horowitz Group latest McFadden Center owners

An investment group in Laguna Niguel that’s best known for its restaurant and grocery chain investments, including in Sprouts Farmers Market, is turning its attention to Orange County’s industrial market.

Survey Says: OC Consumers Tad More Bullish

ECONOMY: Gen X, self- employed most sanguine

A fourth-quarter survey of Orange County consumers isn’t a total referendum on the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

How Green is Your Zone?

How Costa Mesa Dealt With Cannabis County

Costa Mesa councilman Jim Righeimer pretty much knew California’s Prop. 64 was a winner—the measure legalizing cannabis to smoke in the home and to grow, sell and distribute as a licensed business—he just didn’t want his city “to be the first to sell it in the post-prohibition era.”

Unlikely Pair Start Pot Distribution Business

CANNABIS: Lockyer, Spitz set up in Costa Mesa’s ‘green zone’

What does a former state attorney general have in common with the ex-president of the Orange County Register’s parent company?

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Loss of Leader Leaves Boardriders in Murky Waters

APPAREL: Head of newly combined surfwear giant lost at sea

Boardriders Inc. lost President Pierre Agnes less than a month after the Huntington Beach-based action sports giant announced a deal to acquire main competitor Billabong International Ltd. in Australia.

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Colglazier to Asia After 5-Year Anaheim Run

TOURISM: Ex-resort executive D’Amaro returns to Disneyland

Disneyland Resort presidents move up or out.

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Hill Climber

Her Resume is Loaded, Stellar, and Slated to Add One More Big Name

In a meeting last month at Broadcom Ltd.’s San Jose headquarters, Hock Tan asked Julie Hill why she wanted to join a board takeover of rival Qualcomm Inc.

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Saturday, February 3

Hill Tops

Julie Hill has ascended to the upper echelon of Orange County business and civic life. Now the chair of the UC-Irvine Foundation faces another corporate hurdle straight ahead.

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Friday, February 2

Arbonne Sold to Paris Beauty Group

Arbonne International LLC in Irvine and a sister company, Nature’s Gate, will be bought by Groupe Rocher on undisclosed terms.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Indices were down more than 1% apiece in midday trading amid a sell-off in equities, strong jobs data pointing to higher interest rates and a jump in treasury yields.

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OC 500: Don Beall

Ex-CEO of ex-OC aerospace firm ‘semiactive with some companies that derive from Rockwell’ … partner in Dartbrook Partners family office, ‘named for the street we lived on in Dallas’ in 1970s … UCI giver: Applied Innovation, centers for art, tech, innovation … backs Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, Hoover Institution, AEI, San Jose State athletics, engineering … grandson plays Stanford football

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Thursday, February 1

Irvine Manufacturer Sold for $235M

Irvine-based FMH Aerospace has changed hands for the second time in less than three years.

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AutoGravity Signs Nissan

Irvine-based fintech firm AutoGravity, which provides auto financing through smartphones, signed up another automaker: Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation (NMAC).

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OC Carmakers Up in January

Orange County automakers started the year on a positive note with the exception of Hyundai Motor America and its Genesis brand, which saw January sales decline for the month.

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Kimpton, Le Meridien Target Garden Grove

A Kimpton and a Le Meridien are two of the three hotels coming to a 5-acre site, next to a Target store and across Harbor Blvd. from the Hyatt Regency Orange County, in Garden Grove.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.1% in midday trading to 2,825.10.

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