Stories for October 2018

Wednesday, October 31

Midday Stock Roundup

Indexes were up following Facebook’s earnings report and a general lift in technology stocks.

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OC Banks Among Falling Safes on Wall Street

FINANCE: Struggling amid rising interest rates, skinnier ‘spreads’

It was a terrible week on Wall Street for Orange County’s biggest banks.

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Mark E. Whitlock Jr.

Started Irvine church with five members 1998 … 3K members today … directs Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement at USC … led economic development arm of First AME Church, LA … raised $400M, created 4K jobs South LA … resume includes Wells Fargo, Chicago Title Insurance Co. … called parishioners to ‘challenge public policies that oppress the poor’

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Tuesday, October 30

Long Beach Air Traffic Down 5%

Long Beach Airport passenger declined 5% year-over-year in September—the first monthly decline this year.

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Duck, Duck Donuts

Two down, three to go: Duck Donuts plans five locations in Orange County; two are open, in Huntington Beach and Irvine, the latter at Trade Food Hall.

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Habit Revenue, Swings to Loss on Charge

Habit Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: HABT) in Irvine reported a $600,000 net loss, including a one-time charge, on revenue of about $105 million in its most recent quarter, compared with $400,000 in net income on revenue of $85 million, year-over-year.

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BJ’s Revenue, Income Up

BJ’s Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: BJRI) in Huntington Beach earned nearly $9 million in net income on $270 million in revenue in its most recent quarter, up 257% and 10% respectively.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.8% 2,662.44.

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CSUF Economists Say Longest Expansion Still Has Steam

ECONOMY: Job growth here will slow, but ‘let’s enjoy the sun’

Tough week to deliver a rosy economic forecast. The global equities markets were pounded by more than 10%, and earnings season here disappointed (see Q3 bank story, this page).

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Rick Warren

Founded Protestant evangelical church 1980, age 26 … 20,000+ weekly attendees … top-10 in US … affiliated with Southern Baptist Convention … invocation at President Obama’s 2009 inauguration … author … ‘The Purpose Driven Life’ has sold 30M copies … born San Jose … bachelor’s CalBaptist in Riverside, M.Div., Southwestern Theological Seminary, D.Min. Fuller in Pasadena

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Monday, October 29

Habit Taps QSR Vet for Brand Post

Habit Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: HABT) in Irvine named Iwona Alter chief brand officer; she joins the fast-casual burger chain December 10 from San Diego-based Jack in the Box Inc. (Nasdaq: JACK).

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.8% 2,681.97.

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Edwards Bets Big On Investments

HEALTHCARE: 17% of sales on R&D spend

Edwards Lifesciences Corp., Orange County’s largest public company with a nearly $30 billion market value, is also one of its fastest-growing public companies, both in sales and stock growth.

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Kevin Vann

Leads 10th largest Roman Catholic diocese in US … second-largest west of Mississippi … appointed to role by Pope Benedict XVI, 2012 … fourth to hold position … emphasis on meeting spiritual, social, economic needs of diverse RC population … overseeing efforts to turn former Crystal Cathedral campus from Protestant worship center into prominent, visible West Coast center of Catholicism

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Airworthy Cabin Prepares for Takeoff in Business

Luckey Tweets New Jobs; BMC Vet Joins Veritone

Airworthy Cabin Solutions LLC’s new production facility in Anaheim gives the aircraft interior products maker a lot more legroom.

Pot Company Complains to Wall Street About Government

Derek Peterson was frustrated.


Costa Mesa-based Shed Defender makes onesies not for babies, but for dogs.


City National Bank was the Corporate Legacy Harvest sponsor of the Harvesters 26th Annual Fashion Show & Luncheon on Oct. 3.

New Home Eyes More Stock Buybacks as Shares Dip

‘Company in Transition’; Pivot to Affordability

Fast growth in sales hasn’t translated to stock gains for New Home Co.

Device Maker Axonics Boosts Size of IPO Plans

HEALTHCARE: Irvine firm could nab $122M from offering

Irvine-based medical device maker Axonics Modulation Technologies Inc. is beefing up plans for going public.

Boot Barn’s Local Ranks Grow as Sales Surge

Stock Up 50% Year-Over-Year

Specialty retailer Boot Barn Holdings Inc. is kicking up its heels to the tune of double-digit growth.

Iteris Revenue Speeds Up, Then Hits Red Light

Shares of Santa Ana Firm Stalling

Iteris Inc. (Nasdaq: ITI) grew its top line 23% in the past two years as more local and state governments installed “smart” transportation systems.

ICU Medical Rides Pfizer Unit Buy to New Heights

$900M Hospira Buy Pumps Sales By 300%

A nearly $1 billion ICU Medical Inc. (Nasdaq: ICUI) acquisition last year is paying immediate dividends for the San Clemente-based maker of medical technologies used in vascular therapy.

Cannabis Companies Explode With Sales

KushCo, Terra Tech Light Up the Way

KushCo Holdings Inc. and Terra Tech Corp. are not just blowing smoke in the cannabis industry.

Fashion Island Adds Concierge Medicine

INNOVATION: ‘Forward’ thinks, acts like a tech co.

Fashion Island already has an Apple store, but the glitzy mall in Newport Beach now has Forward, which has been described as the Apple Store of doctors’ offices.

Newly-Built Hyatt House in Irvine Trades for $42M

HOSPITALITY: Hyatt Corp. sells to McWhinney

One of the newest hotels in the John Wayne Airport area has been snapped up by a hospitality investor and developer in Colorado.

Still Growing

Last month we featured fastest-growing private companies here, replete with names likely not all that familiar—small ones like Recall Masters Inc., midsizers Sonendo and Ahtna Design-Build Inc., even large ones—$100M+ in annual sales—like Rand Technology.

Real Estate Deals

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

Dr. Jala Zarghami purchased an office building from Adams-Streeter Civil Engineers Inc. for $6 million, or $402 per square foot.

Business Bites

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 41, No. 44

The University of California-Irvine received a five-year, $14.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

OCBJ Calendar

Oct. 29-Nov. 7, 2018

This week's business and other event listings.

Top Dollar Paid for Newport Beach Waterfront Offices

Redwood West Pays $660 PSF for Two Buildings

Redwood West executives have a simple explanation for their recent $23.2 million purchase of Newport Beach’s Bayside Square office complex, a deal that ranks among the area’s priciest per square foot.

J.D. Power Focuses on Deals to Boost Image

ClickFox, Reputation Sites Geared to B2B Firms

Two is better than one for consumer insights and analytics firm J.D. Power.

Hancock Jaffe CoreoGraft Valves Getting Texas Trial

Institute to Test Alternative To Typical Vein Grafts

Irvine-based medical device maker Hancock Jaffe Laboratories Inc. (Nasdaq: HJLI) entered a sponsored research agreement for the development of its CoreoGraft product with Houston-based Texas Heart Institute, one of the largest cardiovascular centers in the U.S.

Chipotle, Habit Push Through Headwinds

Revenue Up 15%, 42%, Respectively

Call it a double take. At first glance, it’s not surprising to see Newport Beach-based Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. and Irvine-based Habit Restaurants Inc. among Orange County’s fastest-growing public companies (see special report, page 19, lists starting on page 25).

OC Banks on Revenue Tear

Pacific Premier, First Foundation Lead Sales

While tech companies often get the glory for rapid growth, six Orange County-based banks are among the leaders on the Business Journal’s list of publicly traded companies with the fastest-growing revenue over a two-year period ended June 30.

Aliso Inspiration

‘Well-funded’ carmaker on hiring spree

Luxury automaker Karma Automotive has been rolling out its $130,000 2018 Revero models across the country over the past year, but the hefty price tag doesn’t seem to be exclusive enough for the Irvine-based luxury electric car company.

Friday, October 26

Growth Stories

Even an 86-year-old food company can boost sales double digits, and this one’s got plenty of younger company too in our annual review of fastest-growing public companies.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 declined 0.8% in midday trading to 2,684.64.

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Charged Office Sale

REAL ESTATE: NFL team’s HQ sells for $84 million

The Costa Mesa office complex that’s home to the operations of the Los Angeles Chargers football team has traded hands at a 75% premium to its prior sale.

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Richard Steinberg

Ordained 1995 … chosen to lead Irvine congregation 2001 … it had 300 member families, now 600 … ‘when one comes to Temple, they ought to feel better when they leave than when they walked in’ … former criminal justice major was asked to serve as chaplain for Irvine PD

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Thursday, October 25

Boot Barn Earnings Beat

Work and Western boot and apparel retailer Boot Barn Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: BOOT) reported net income of $4.5 million, or 16 cents per share, beating analyst predictions of 9 cents per share, in its second quarter earnings report Thursday.

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Chipotle Revenue Up

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) in Newport Beach said revenue increased nearly 9% to $1.2 billion and adjusted net income was 60% higher to about $60 million in its most recent quarter.

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Lantronix Reports Higher Revenue, Lower Loss

Irvine-based Lantronix Inc. (Nasdaq: LTRX) reported net revenue of $12.3 million, up 16% year-over-year, and a net loss of $83,000, an 87% improvement, in its most recent quarter.

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Alorica Adds Three Offices, 5K Jobs

Irvine-based outsourcing company Alorica Inc. added of three locations in Asia on Thursday, further expanding its presence in the region and growing its employee count by more than 5,000.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Indexes rose strongly in midday trading as the market rebounded from losses earlier this week.

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City Ventures Sees Green in Eco-Friendly Homes

REAL ESTATE: On pace for 600 sales this year

You could call City Ventures the Prius of homebuilders.

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Carter Ewing

CTR one of U.S. larger industrial developers … co-leads OC with James ‘Watty’ Watson … big land deals in past year include several million SF in Stockton, Calif., and Atlanta … medfocused mixed-use Aliso Viejo

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Wednesday, October 24

Marriott Irvine Spectrum Gets New GM

Marriott Irvine Spectrum named Dianne Markis general manager.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.9% to 2,716.10.

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Glidewell Labs Adds 2 More Offices to Irvine Campus

REAL ESTATE: $88M buy its largest to date

Newport Beach-based dental products maker Glidewell Laboratories, already one of the largest owner-users of commercial real estate in the area around John Wayne Airport, has made what appears to be its largest-ever local property acquisition.

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Daryl J. Carter

Leads SoCal buyer, renovator affordable multifamily … bought $300M+ properties past two years … portfolio totals 8K units, big cities L.A. to D.C., NYC, Chicago … Gainesville, Fla. … biggest market: Calif.; no OC

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Tuesday, October 23

Edwards: Sales Up, Shares Dip

Edwards Lifesciences Corp. (NYSE: EW) earned $226 million on sales of $907 million in its most recent quarter. Sales rose 10% year-over-year but missed expectations and its shares dipped 2% to a $30 billion market cap.

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UCI Gets $14.7M Grant

The University of California-Irvine said Tuesday it received a five-year grant for $14.7 million from the U.S. Department of Education.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Indexes are down about 1% apiece on global economic growth worries and weak earnings outlooks from 3M Co. and Caterpillar Inc.; earlier today, the markets dropped almost 2%.

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Monday, October 22

Willdan Again Finds Fans on Wall Street

ENGINEERING: Price high after Lime Energy buy

It appears Wall Street once again really likes Willdan Group Inc.

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Richard Cappetta

Leads neurovascular—the brain’s blood vessels—device maker … 18 years with co., unit of $5B sales, $15B market cap Terumo Corp., Tokyo … Sept. concluded two-year build, relocation … consolidated 800 OC workers,

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Opus Shares Plummet on Q3 Report

Shares of Opus Bank (Nasdaq: OPB) closed more than 20% Monday after the Irvine bank reported third quarter earnings that missed analyst estimates; shares leveled off in Tuesday midday trading.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 fell 0.4% in midday trading to 2,757.12.

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General Counsels Grow Roles to the Strategic

Say Corporate Trends Include AI, Fees, #MeToo

Glaukos Corp. (NYSE: GKOS) General Counsel Robert Davis, besides handling strictly legal matters for the San Clemente-based medical device maker,

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Raymond Lawler

Hines one of most active buyers, sellers of OC office properties past 7 years … unwrapping Intersect, large airport-area office campus … redevelopment there followed Hines-PIMCO purchase of site 2015 … Hines sold 4000 MacArthur office tower to Goldman Sachs for some $180M … has served on NB planning commission ... ex-USMC pilot

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City Divided

Anil Puri’s CSUF survey asked execs to rank the threats to the economy: No. 1 was polarization of our politics.

Real Estate Deals

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

TP-Link USA Corp. purchased a light-manufacturing building for $5.5 million, or $344 per square foot, from Donald W. and Jean M. Vivrette.

Business Bites

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 41, No. 43

Andrew Brown succeeds Elizabeth Pearson as president and chief executive of Pacific Chorale, a resident of the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, effective Dec. 3.

$45M Waterfront Offering Has Unique Sales Pitch

Rap Video Shows Off Duffy, City, Pricey Home

One of the most expensive waterfront listings on Balboa Peninsula has attracted quite a buzz, not only for its $44.9 million price tag, but also for promotional music video “Teach Me How to Duffy”—a parody of the 2011 “Teach Me How to Dougie” by Los Angeles-based hip-hop group Cali Swag District.

OCBJ Calendar

Oct. 22-31, 2018

This week's business and other event listings.

Surf City Center Near Bella Terra Commands $65M

Edinger Plaza Sale Tops For OC Retail This Year

Edinger Plaza, a 155,275-square-foot shopping center in Huntington Beach across the street from the city’s largest mall, Bella Terra, has changed hands.

Mitsubishi Gets New Campaign, Keeps PR Team

NB’s Brand Amp Stays As Agency of Record

The beat goes on for Cypress-based automaker Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc.

Edwards Keeps Busy With Trials as its Stock Swings

Starr Surgical, Venture Heat Get FDA Nods

Edwards Lifesciences Corp. (NYSE: EW) has kicked off a pivotal domestic trial of the Centera transcatheter heart valve.


Irvine-based Koder Inc. is hiring as it tries to establish an online marketplace for freelance coders.

Aerospace, Defense Firms Add Few OC Employees

Seeing Pickup as Pentagon Expands Military Budget

Local employment at Orange County’s largest aerospace and defense contractors was flat in the past year in a wave of industry consolidation and increased spending on national defense.

Broadcom Fights ‘Fake’ Memo on CA Tech Purchase

Cylance Teaches Classes; Soccer Club Hires Gamers

San Jose-based Broadcom Inc., which has more than 1,000 workers at its Irvine operations, says a memo claiming the Department of Defense is probing its pending deal for CA Technologies is fake.

PAAMCO-Prisma Lays Off Local Employees

FINANCE: Eliminates duplicative jobs after merger

PAAMCO Prisma Holdings LLC, a fund of funds with $30 billion in assets under management or advisement, has laid off some local employees.

Daughter’s Phone Call Became Parents’ Passion

This past spring, the Thompson Foundation and CHOC Children’s in Orange unveiled a partnership to expand Orange County’s ability to address the needs of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

CHOC Children’s Finds Partners in Pediatric Mental Health Fight

Segerstrom, PacLife, Others Take Lead On a Crisis ‘Not Talked About’

“If only he had told me he was in pain … if only she had told me she was struggling … if only I had known … if only.” The words are heart-rending.

Health Rewards App Getting to the ‘Poynt’

INNOVATION: $5 million round for Carepoynt

Newport Beach-based startup Carepoynt LLC, which created an app-centric, incentive-based health platform, has finalized its second notable funding deal in four months.

Crisp Imaging Managing the Digital Revolution

MARKETING: 2 buys this year, third in works

It will be another year of double-digit growth for Costa Mesa-based digital printer Crisp Imaging—at a time others in the commercial printing industry are struggling to keep up with the digital revolution.

Regulatory Filings Reveal Hidden Legal Stories

Publicly traded corporations are often involved in lawsuits that stay under the radar, yet involve large amounts of money, not to mention the time of well-compensated executives.

Production Surge Planned for OC in Q4

MANUFACTURING: Growth grinds against headwinds

Orange County manufacturers continue to defy expectations and plan to expand output, if not payrolls.

Friday, October 19

With Tenants Like These

How owners of The Hive creative office complex in Costa Mesa turned a sweet profit in three short years—the Los Angeles Chargers and Kobe Inc. are housed at Hive.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 0.3% in midday trading to 2,776.39.

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OC Unemployment Falls to 2.8%

Orange County’s unadjusted unemployment rate fell to 2.8% in September from a revised 3.1% in August and 3.3% a year earlier, according to the state Employment Development Department.

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After 80 Years, Whittier Put its Trust in OC

BANKING: Family office’s newest office fastest growing

Whittier Trust Co. began life as just a family office, the family was the Whittiers.

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Patrick Fuscoe

Founded 1992 … client roster includes Shea Homes, Rancho Mission Viejo … lead engineer: Village of Woodbridge, Ronald Reagan federal building, Hyatt Regency HB … engineer on 390-foot pedestrian sky bridge

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Thursday, October 18

2017 Tourism: $21 Billion

Local tourism last year produced $21.3 billion in economic impact, according to a new report from the Orange County Visitors Association.

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Hospitality Shows Go To OC Operator

Emerald Expositions Events Inc. (NYSE: EEX) bought several hospitality-focused trade shows, publications, and events from ST Media Group International and Hospitality Media Group on undisclosed terms.

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Spectrum Pharma Names CMO

Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: SPPI) named Francois Lebel as chief medical officer, overseeing the company’s clinical program including directing clinical trials and development as well as regulatory submissions.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Indexes were down more than 1% apiece in midday trading on the expectation that the Federal Reserve will continue to increase interest rates.

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Carpenter Sells Stake In Pacific Mercantile

FINANCE: Longtime banker again scores hit, reaps returns

Ed Carpenter has done it again.

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Mark Costa

Care delivery to 550K members by some 8K staff, 1K doctors … SoCal region, several counties, 4.4M members … parent co. $65B revenue 2016 … growing OC telemedicine work … aims to strengthen community-based programs …

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Wednesday, October 17

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 0.2% in midday trading to 2,815.61.

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PacLife’s Long Legacy of Community Commitment

Giving in Great Depression Became Part of Its Culture

Sometimes when you’re at the beginning of starting something—taking on a new project at work, for example, or building a brand from scratch—it can be hard to see the long-term impact it may have.

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Tuesday, October 16

Angels Opt Out of Lease

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim today opted out of their lease at Angel Stadium, where they have played home games since 1966.

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NB Hotel Operator to Add Three

Twenty Four Seven Hotels in Newport Beach will run three inland area hotels for Cerritos-based Soquel Rincon TPS LLC.

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Ron Hasse

Named Register head 2016 after parent company Digital First Media bought Freedom Communications Inc. out of BK … heads 11 dailies … oversees websites, weeklies, magazines, digital, social … biggest accomplishment 2017: ‘bringing … collaborative and innovative culture’ to SCNG while ‘maintaining autonomy in news coverage’ … three words: ‘listen, learn, progress’ … turning point: wife, Valerie … ‘no question I married up’

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Del Taco Ratchets Guidance Down

Del Taco Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: TACO) lowered full-year guidance in its most-recent quarterly report. Revenue and net income grew on a 1.4% increase in systemwide same-store sales, with franchised restaurant comps growing faster than company-owned locations.

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Microsemi Executives Sue Microchip for Libel

TECHNOLOGY: Suit confirms bitter split

The honeymoon between executives at Microsemi Corp. and Microchip Technologies Inc. is officially over, four months after a $10.2 billion megadeal that began the two chipmaker’s marriage.

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Midday Stock Roundup

U.S. stocks jumped on a broad rally across all 11 sectors of the S&P 500, which rose 1.5% in midday trading to 2,791.69.

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Frank Greinke

SC Fuels, founded 1930, one of oldest, largest family-owned U.S. fuel distributors … 11K customers in Western U.S. … fleet card services at 230K sites, including truck stops, retail gas stations … Fortune 500 clients … Greinke 45-year company vet … honorary consul, Republic of Georgia … advisory boards, CSU-Fullerton, Solis Capital Partners … son Steven is chief executive

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Monday, October 15

Pacific Chorale Names CEO

Andrew Brown succeeds Elizabeth Pearson as president and chief executive of Pacific Chorale, resident of the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall at Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

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Eagle Four Takes Flight to Denver in Big Hotel Buy

HOSPITALITY: $415M value estimated for Sheraton

Newport Beach-based hospitality investor Eagle Four Partners is the latest local name taking notice of Colorado’s red-hot hotel market.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 0.1% in midday trading to 2,768.80.

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Sears Closing South Coast Plaza Location

Sears Holdings Corp. plans to shutter its location at Costa Mesa’s South Coast Plaza as part of its just-announced Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.

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Airport Up 6% in August

John Wayne Airport passenger traffic increased 6% year-over-year in August to 991,000 people; year-to-date passenger numbers are up 5.5% to 7.2 million.

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Stuart McClure

Maker of plug-and-play, customizable security software has raised $177M since 2012 launch … now wants consumer market—with 6K business clients able to license product to employees … Cylance employs 800+, 550 of them in Irvine in 134K SF at 400 Spectrum Center … works with UCI Cybersecurity Institute … McAfee/Intel on resume … Business Journal Innovator of the Year

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Investors Hear Pitches From Clean-Tech Companies

Palo Alto Networks Exec Joins Alteryx’s Board

More than 70 investors, from seed backers to established venture capitalists, lined up on Oct. 3 to hear the latest pitches by companies in the clean-technology industry.

‘The Tribe of Good’

Two things I expect at events like National Philanthropy Day, Wooden Floor’s Step Beyond Breakfast or our own Civic 50 OC luncheon: I’ll leave feeling better than when I came, and I’ll get my headline from Antis Roofing & Waterproofing founder and CEO Charles Antis (see above).

Stent Maker’s Advanced Bifurcation Seeks $20M

HEALTHCARE: Aims for 2020 FDA product nod

Advanced Bifurcation Systems Inc. has a simple pitch for investors, cardiologists and people suffering from coronary artery disease who could be candidates for its developing stent product: simplicity.

Nurse Starts Scheduling App

INNOVATION: Like Uber for medical uses

Vanessa Benavides-Lemos was in the backseat of an Uber at 2 a.m., going home from her job as a nurse when she received a call from her boss asking her to work another shift.

OC Auto Show Highlights New Automotive Fare

AUTOMOTIVE: eighth largest car show in US

Car aficionados marveled at engines while others took the driver’s seat last week at the 54th annual Orange County International Auto Show, the eighth-largest car show in the country.

Irvine Co. Buys 2 More Office Projects in San Diego

REAL ESTATE: $365M price estimate for deals

Irvine Co. added nearly half a million square feet of midrise space to its already-sizeable San Diego County office portfolio over the past three weeks through a pair of acquisitions that real estate sources estimate around $365 million combined.

Orange, Anaheim Offices Trade Hands for $61M

REAL ESTATE: Both in hub of rental developments

Two Central Orange County offices in Orange and Anaheim have traded hands in deals totaling about $61 million.


n Sept. 22, Vanguard University’s Global Center for Women and Justice celebrated 15 years of advocacy at Priceless, the university’s sixth annual luncheon valuing justice, freedom and dignity.


Aliso-Viejo based AWM Smart Shelf appointed Leo Tsourides as head of science.

New Vertos Study Will Monitor Back Improvements

Will Use Fitbit to Track Users’ Quality-of-Life Info

Vertos Medical Inc. is looking to better quantify the improvements that are seen when patients with lower back problems use its products.

Kia Looks to Energize Forte Sales With New Ad Push

Pro Drivers, Red Bull Affiliation for 2019 Model

Professional race car driver Collete Davis hits the gas in the latest spots for Kia Motor America.

IBC Site Near The District Eyed for Senior Housing

3-Acre Site Would Hold 370 Units and Run 424,000 SF

A 3-acre site in Irvine that’s across the street from the District at Tustin Legacy shopping center is being considered for a sizeable housing project for older residents.

OCBJ Calendar

Oct. 15-24, 2018

This week's business and other event listings.

Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind: The Arrival of a New Type of Logistics Provider

Leasing activity among logistics providers in the Greater Los Angeles, Orange County and Inland Empire region increased 37% by square footage from 2013 to 2017, and 2018 is on track to exceed last year.

Real Estate Deals

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

Beachbreak Properties LLC sold an industrial facility to TW Los Angeles LLC for $27.5 million, or $263 per square-foot.

Business Bites

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 41, No. 42

Irvine-based Commercial Bank of California appointed Michael J. Helmuth to the new role of Orange County market president, and Claudia Bodan to a similar new role in Los Angeles.

Axonics IPO Could Propel Local Hires

HEALTHCARE: $86M offering on the books

Irvine-based medical device maker Axonics Modulation Technologies Inc. could nearly double its employment over the next year if plans for an initial public offering move ahead.

Editor’s Note: Civic 50 Cos. Set OC Community Stewardship Standard

For the second year, the Business Journal in partnership with OneOC presents the Civic 50 Orange County, recognizing the 50 most community-minded small, medium and large companies here. The honorees provide a local standard for corporate social citizenship and a roadmap for turning good intentions into sound business practices.

50 Honorees, 8 Awards on 2nd Civic 50 OC

Giving Works in Many Ways—Witness These

Young Carson Kropfl recently spoke at my Chapman University journalism class. You may know Carson; when the San Clemente resident was 11, he created and later patented a nonfolding skateboard that fits into a school locker and snugly into a backpack—a good enough market and message that Richard Branson had to outbid Mark Cuban on “Shark Tank” to buy 20% of Carson’s company, Locker Board.

Ex-Google Staffer Helps Employees Find Purpose

Nonprofit Co-Founder Says That Also Helps Employers

Two people: comparable professional backgrounds, same job title, similar number of hours invested each week, two different companies.

BofA’s Outreach Based on Connection

Encourages Employees To Take the Lead on Projects

Bank of America’s Orange County community outreach efforts are so vast that it’s hard to encapsulate them in a concise way. You’ll find it simultaneously delivering financial education to military veterans while also committing billions to help accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy and making sure people with disabilities have access to advocacy, employment and support.

Employee Purpose at PIMCO: Give, Act, Advocate

Efforts Help Many Causes Achieve Max Optimization

In 2014, the Boys & Girls Club of Central Orange Coast created pilot program College Bound to introduce club members to the idea of attending college. Many came from families whose idea of a college education was a dream rather than a given. They were smart, though, hard-working and capable. With the right support, including one-on-one case management, there might be no stopping them.

Firm Demonstrates Its Values Through Action

KPMG Programs Seek To Boost Youth, Their Places

Poet Maya Angelou wrote that, “When people show you who they are, believe them.” What better way to show the world who you are than through action?

EY Employees Use Skills to Build Better World

Firm Treats Recipients Of Its Aid Like Clients

Helping solve the world’s complex challenges is at the heart of Ernst & Young LLP’s approach to corporate responsibility.

Law Firm Leverages Experience for Those in Need

Philanthropic Work Goes Beyond Just Pro-Bono

O’Melveny & Myers LLP might seem at first blush like a law firm a Netflix show could be centered on, with plotlines of interoffice dealings and palace intrigue. It’s in one of the best spots in Orange County—a Newport Beach tower next to the Fashion Island mall granting views of the ocean—and is filled with dynamic people whose energy is palpable the minute a visitor arrives.

Clearinghouse Operates Business of Doing Good

B Corp Lender Must Give Back to Maintain Its Cert.

In essay “In the ‘People Business’: A Call for Interdependence” Clearinghouse CDFI President and Chief Executive Doug Bystry wrote as his final point, “What we build in our minds is just as important as what we build with our hands.”

Good Citizens, Good Co. Make Great Community

Founding Father Set Giving-Back Philosophy

One of the commonalities among companies with a philanthropic perspective seems to be that they place employee well-being at the top of their priorities, particularly their purpose and fulfillment. Fluidmaster Inc. says it’s embraced that idea since its 1957 inception.

Friday, October 12

Doing Well by Doing Good

This issue is replete with tales of OC’s most community-engaged companies:

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Midday Stock Roundup

U.S. stocks rebounded on Friday, following steep drops in the prior two trading sessions.

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OC’s 2018 IPO Tab Is Tiny; Just 3 Listings

FINANCE: Urovant broke the slump; will others follow?

There are several ways to parse the paltry number of Orange County companies going public this year, a total of three initial public offerings reaping relatively meager proceeds of about $210 million combined.

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Thursday, October 11

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.6% to 2,769.31.

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Check, Please. Fund Manager Has Unusual Fee Structure

FINANCE: Firm takes cut only after making profit

Steven Check believes he owns the most unusual investment firm in Southern California.

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Steve Schulze

Wife, Alexis, fellow OC 500er … multiple honoree, Business Journal events … told audience Alexis axed his idea to add beef jerky at Nekter … $60M revenue, 850 employees … pushing 100 locations … added franchising after first resisting … two dogs … backs No Kid Hungry … herorole model Richard Branson … as kid wanted to be a CEO … three words ‘curiosity, determination, stick-to-it-ness’

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Wednesday, October 10

Midday Stock Roundup

Indexes were down sharply on a surge in Treasury yields and declines in technology stocks.

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Tuesday, October 9

Chargers’ Spanos Dies

Los Angeles Chargers majority owner Alexander Gus Spanos died Tuesday morning. He was 95.

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Microsoft May Buy Irvine Gaming Studio

Irvine-based independent gaming studio Obsidian Entertainment Inc. is set to be sold to tech giant Microsoft Corp., according to published reports.

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Microsemi Execs Sue Microchip

Ousted Microsemi Corp. Chief Executive James Peterson and three of his former executives are suing Microchip Technology Inc. and its executives for alleged slander, libel and unfair business practices.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 fell 0.1% in midday trading to 2,880.64.

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Mid-Rise Revolution

Spectrum Office Push Nears $800M for Irvine Co.

The largest office park in the Irvine Spectrum is getting larger, as is the portfolio of Orange County’s dominant real estate company.

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Thomas Brisbin

Took over 2007 … shares plummeted 90% over next two years … bought energy consultancy 2008 that in 2016 was 68% of revenue … stock up 30-fold five years … targeting $1T US electric grid modernization … utilities for

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Monday, October 8

Obit: Com RE Exec Lutton

Mike Lutton, a fixture in the local commercial real estate industry for 30 years, has died; he was 62.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 fell 0.7% in midday trading to 2,866.17.

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Vans Plan: $5B or Bust

APPAREL: Sales push for V.F. Corp.’s No. 1

Vans might soon need a bigger skate pool at its Costa Mesa headquarters if its executives’ brash proclamations of corporate growth over the next five years come to fruition.

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Scott Absher

In current role about 3 years … shortterm temp agency via app to restaurants … $12M IPO mid-2017 … Reg A+ for firms raising under $50M … OC IPOs that way this year include OC 500’s Jim Reynolds … ShiftPixy: $80M market cap … Absher, co-founder Stephen Holmes have 88% of shares … IPO money backed tech work, expansion

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NextGen Aims for Growth Following Restructuring

HEALTHCARE: New name, new ticker; mobile app

A corporate name change was the easiest part of NextGen Healthcare Inc.’s reinvention over the past three years, even though it may have gotten the most attention, according to Chief Executive Rusty Frantz.

Foundation Building Materials Refocuses After Sale

SERVICES: Distributor keeps better-performing biz

Foundation Building Materials LLC, a Tustin-based distributor of wallboard, ceiling systems, and other products that’s used an aggressive roll-up acquisition strategy to build its business, is hitting the reset button.

The Venerable

You’ve avoided Newport Center Drive if you haven’t seen the influx of Big Finance that serves the swelling ranks of wealth here—from legacy to first-gen—and also serves our thriving middle-market businesses.

Cliffside Home in Cameo Shores on Market for $28M

Rebuilt Estate Few Doors Down From Portabello

Perched on a cliff in the Corona del Mar community of Cameo Shores is a contemporary-style home reminiscent of a Balinese resort. Its asking price is $27.9 million.

First Community Colleges List Shows Flat Enrollment

About 230K Students At Schools on Directory

This year marks the debut of the Business Journal’s list of OC community colleges, which features enrollment in the 12 months ending on Sept. 30.

Vanguard Sows Seeds of ‘Greatness’ With Expansion

Christian School Starts Building Out Master Plan

Nearly 300 people gathered on Vanguard University’s 40-acre campus for the recent groundbreaking of its $10.4 million student center, which will take on the Spanish Mission-style look of its newer buildings and replace an existing cafe and bookstore.

Local MBA Enrollment Reflects US Decline

6.5% Drop Steeper As Intl. Schools Take Share

Enrollment in area schools MBA programs fell in the 12 months ended Sept. 30.

College Admissions Counselor Reaches for More

Post-Buy, Looks Overseas; Invests in M. Obama Cause

Collegewise is reaching higher one year after being acquired by Singapore-based A-Star Education Holdings, formerly ChangedEDU Holdings, for an undisclosed sum.

Real Estate Deals

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

Swinterton Builders purchased a historical office building for $6.6 million, or $194 per square-foot, from Gaucho Investments.

Outgoing OCC President Sees Last Expansion Leg

Groundbreaking Student Pads One of Last Pieces

Construction crews were standing by at Orange Coast College as the Costa Mesa-based institution held a groundbreaking ceremony for a 323-unit student housing project.

Business Bites

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

Newport Beach-based Pacific Investment Management Co. is buying San Diego-based municipal-bonds specialist Gurtin Municipal Bond Management to expand its tax-exempt investments business.

OCBJ Calendar

Oct. 8-17, 2018

This week's business and other event listings.

IT Consulting Riding Esports Wave for Growth

TECHNOLOGY: Verys aims for $50M in sales

Chris Antonius and Mike Zerkel are partial to a particular Peet’s Coffee on Portola Parkway in Irvine.

Cirrus Insight Sells Majority Stake, Aims to Scale

CoreLogic Assays Florence; Diablo to Be Netflix Series?

Houston private equity firm Clovis Point Capital bought a majority stake in Irvine-based business software maker Cirrus Insight.

Bedford Part of New Home Co. Affordability Push

Incredible Locations ‘Are Going Away,’ Webb Says

New Home Co. isn’t cutting the prices of its homes in half, though it may seem that way based on a reading of the Aliso Viejo-based builder’s financials.

Chipotle Ads Tout 51 Ingredients as the Real Deal

New Campaign on Heels Of Newport Beach Move

Yes, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. is for real.

Alzheimer’s Disease Doctors Talk Drug Treatment

Call for Patient Studies; Aivita Starts Cancer Trial

Drug treatment took center stage at the 29th Annual SoCal Alzheimer’s Disease Research Conference late last month at the Irvine Marriott hotel.


Irvine-based blockchain and transactions startup Xeeda Inc. is taking orders for its inaugural product, a cryptocurrency hardware wallet and integrated app to be used with smartphones.

Goodman Nabs Anaheim Industrial Site for $36M

REAL ESTATE: Could construct two buildings

Goodman North America, one of the country’s largest industrial developers over the past six years, has made its first reported acquisition in Orange County, an existing property in Anaheim near the Santa Ana (5) and Riverside (91) freeways interchange.

Competition Up For EvoNexus Spots

INNOVATION: Irvine incubator adding startups

Much like the university down the road from its Irvine office, it’s getting harder for applicants to get accepted to startup incubator EvoNexus.

Friday, October 5

Commercial Bank Names New OC President

Irvine’s Commercial Bank of California (CBC) appointed Michael J. Helmuth to a new role as Orange County market president and Claudia Bodan to a similar new role for Los Angeles.

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Mid Rise

With a half nod to Yankee Aaron Judge in this MLB Playoff season, the Irvine Company unveils new Mid Rise product at The Quad in the Spectrum.

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Vizio Reaches $17M Settlement in TV Spying Lawsuit

Vizio Inc. has reached a $17 million preliminary settlement related to a class action lawsuit filed in Santa Ana in 2016 that alleged the Irvine-based company tracked the viewing habits and demographic information of its smart TV viewers and sold that data.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Indexes were lower today on sales of tech stocks and higher Treasury bond yields.

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Thursday, October 4

Damon Shelly

$750M revenue … includes fifth-largest OC dealership, Irvine BMW’s $234M; 4,500 new, used cars sold … 35 car sellers, 100 employees … seven dealer and Signal Hill-based Dealers’ Choice Auto Auction … bought Jaguar dealer, San Diego, Lexus in Riverside 2016 … also sells Rolls-Royce in OC … former chair, BMW national dealer group

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Taco Bell Operator Plans 50 in Australia

Collins Foods Ltd. will open 50 Taco Bell locations in three years in three states in Australia.

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Mover-Upper: Irvine Pacific Sells Pricier Homes

REAL ESTATE: Other builders wary of land cost?

In a notable change in corporate strategy, Irvine Pacific LP, Orange County’s most active homebuilder for several years, is moving into higher-priced offerings on the Irvine Ranch.

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Blizzard Cofounder Cedes President Role

Blizzard Entertainment Inc. cofounder and President Mike Morhaime is ceding his executive role to “World of Warcraft” Executive Producer J. Allen Brack.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 fell 1.1% to 2894.54.

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Cloudvirga’s Latest Innovation: New HQ

University Research Park Spot Will Double Presence

Irvine-based startup Cloudvirga Inc. is planning to double in size with a move to new headquarters at University Research Park

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Lori Torres

Innovator of the Year honoree … ex- Irvine Co. exec … launched ‘smart’ locker provider 2013 … $1M Tech Coast Angels 2014, $15M venture capital 2016 … 200% YOY revenue growth through Q1 2017 … took 26K SF in May, up from 1,800 two years ago … added refrigerated lockers in June to tap grocery, food delivery … 38 states, 80 workers … 5M packages to-date

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Wednesday, October 3

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.5% in midday trading to 2,936.83.

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Tuesday, October 2

He Rolls Differently

Entrepreneur’s ‘Shark Wheel’ Aims to Spin Circles Around Competition

Commuting is a hassle for most people. For David Patrick, gridlock provided his biggest aha moment.

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Parker Kennedy

40 years with publicly traded financial services firm, including as chief executive, role now held by Dennis Gilmore … industry colleague of late Dale Dykema … bought Dykema’s TD Services Financial Corp. for about $10M 2016 … son of legendary Donald Kennedy, who grew firm from $1M to billions in sales … shares up one-third YTD to $5.6B market cap … USC econ grad; Hastings law

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GSF in Talks to Sell Some Sites

Golden State Foods Corp. in Irvine said it’s talking with Rosemont, Ill.-based McDonald’s distribution and logistics firm Martin-Brower LLC to sell some distribution centers serving the Golden Arches and reinvest the proceeds to diversify operations.

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September Auto Sales Down

Nearly all of the OC automakers reported a drop in September sales on Tuesday with the exception of Fountain Valley-based Hyundai Motors North America.

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Pimco Buys Muni Fund Manager

Newport Beach-based Pacific Investment Management Co. is buying a municipal-bonds specialist to expand its tax-exempt investments business. Terms were undisclosed.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.2% in midday trading to 2,929.35.

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JWA Loses Albuquerque Service

Alaska Airlines will trim its wings at John Wayne Airport in January, cutting its daily flight from JWA to Albuquerque International Sunport after it began the route in August 2017.

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OC Execs Temper Q4 Optimism a Tad

ECONOMY: Sales hopes, hiring plans fall in survey

Orange County executives expect the regional expansion to keep on trucking in the fourth quarter, according to California State University-Fullerton’s Orange County Business Expectations Survey.

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Russ Parker

Developer behind much of Summit offices, Aliso Viejo—home to PacLife tower, TechSpace, Microsemi … last big piece of 1.9M SF Summit the 205K SF HQ of device maker MicroVention- Terumo opened in September … Ware Malcomb architect for Summit … Parker Properties resume includes high-tech, biomedical, mixed-use … company founded by father, OC icon John Parker, who died 2010

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Monday, October 1

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 climbed 0.5% in midday trading to 2,927.63.

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Edwards Stock Spikes On Sales Rumor

HEALTHCARE: OC’s top pub co. potential J&J target

The value of Orange County’s largest publicly-traded company, Edwards Lifesciences Corp. (NYSE: EW), reached an all-time high last week, its shares jumping nearly 15% to give the medical device maker a market capitalization of about $36 billion.

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Amir Banifatemi

Early-stage venture fund … has worked with, advised 1,200 companies … leading artificial intelligence part of global $5M competitio

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‘Old School Telecom’ Servicer Grows With Cloud Product

$10M in VC Funds; Employee-Friendly Vibe

Nick Newsom’s interest in communications started when his dad gave him a ham radio as a kid.

Biopharma Firm Urovant’s IPO Nets $140M

FINANCE: Shares fall about 20% in early trading

Urovant Sciences Ltd., an Irvine-based clinical-stage biopharma company that started operations in 2016, raised nearly $140 million in its initial public offering last week.

Humble at 60

Our most valuable company, Edwards Lifesciences Corp., threw a “60 years of Discovery” event Tuesday night.

Local Insurance Brokers Continue Growth Apace

Producers’ Progress Slows In 6-Year Streak of Gains

The largest insurance brokerages in Orange County continued their way up last year, local revenue rising 6.3% to $745.4 million—the sixth straight year of steady growth. However, it’s the first time since 2012 that revenue growth dipped below 7%, as post-recession growth plateaued.

How Much Will Local Insurance Premiums Rise?

Employers Seek More Benefits to Lure Talent

Employers are beefing up benefits, such as expanded life insurance and improved disability and supplemental benefits for critical illnesses, disabilities and even identify theft.

Patient to Innovator, Seres Credits ‘11 Health Family’

Company in Growth Mode, Plans $20M Series B

Michael Seres has not lost his accent or his dry sense of humor since moving from Britain to the United States.

Ice Energy Heats Up With New Residential Biz

$40M Funding in June; CEO Seeks More

Ice Energy is on fire.


The Mission Preservation Foundation held its annual Romance of the Mission benefit gala on Sept.14 on the grounds of the historic Mission San Juan Capistrano. More than 500 guests attended the event, which raised more than $600,000.


A pair of University of California-Irvine students were the inaugural winners of a new innovation scholarship awarded by intellectual property and litigation firm Maschoff Brennan.

Mixing It Up at New South Coast Plaza Restaurant

Plus, El Cholo Restaurants Mark 95 Years of Comida

It’s fun to follow a chef’s career, especially a chef who’s on the fast track to success.

ChromaDex Rolls Out Prescription-Only Supplement

Adds Partner, Network Of 40,000-Plus Practitioners

Nutraceutical firm ChromaDex Corp. (Nasdaq: CDXC) is looking to bring flagship ingredient Niagen to the attention of doctors and other healthcare practitioners.

Adrenaline Junkies Nitro Circus, Yokohama Partner

Tire Maker Signs On For Rallycross Event

Riders were burning rubber late last month at the Nitro World Games, a fast-growing action-sports competition now in its third year.

Edwards Expansion Proceeds Amid Sales Chatter

Royalty Carpet Building Next to Irvine HQ Razed

There’s one less industrial building on Red Hill Avenue in Irvine.

Lantronix’s Latest: $10M Offering and Stock Drop

Some Proceeds Earmarked For IoT-Related Purchases

Irvine-based networking gear maker Lantronix Inc. has raised $10 million in a public offering, and has its eyes on using some of the proceeds to beef up its product line.

OCBJ Calendar

Oct. 1-11, 2018

This week's business and other event listings.

Business Bites

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

David Ivers was appointed artistic director of South Coast Repertory, succeeding Marc Masterson.

Real Estate Deals

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

Janez Properties Inc. sold an industrial flex building to an undisclosed buyer for $6.8 million, or $217 per square foot, as part of a 1031 exchange.