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Laguna Hills
Tuesday, May 24, 2022

AROUND THE COUNTY

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Compiled by Andrea Rangno and Johanne Chou

TOP STORIES

Orange County lost 68,000 nonfarm jobs in July versus a year earlier, a slight easing from the 70,000-plus annual job losses the county’s seen for much of this year. Unemployment here rose to 9.5% last month from a revised 9.3% in June and 5.6% a year earlier, according to the state Employment Development Department. The number of people employed here last month fell 4.6% from a year earlier to 1.4 million workers.

TECHNOLOGY

Newport Beach chipmaker Mindspeed Technologies Inc. raised $8.8 million in a stock offering to pay off debt. The company sold 4.75 million shares raising $9.7 million in all before expenses. Mindspeed plans to use the proceeds to help pay off $10.5 million in debt due in November. As of July 3, Mindspeed had about $15 million in long-term debt.

Irvine’s Integrien Corp., a startup maker of software that helps manage e-commerce, stock trading and other programs, raised $6.5 million in venture funding. This was Integrien’s third round of funding for an estimated total raised of $30 million. Integrien plans to use the money to expand its sales and marketing.

HEALTHCARE

Anaheim Memorial Medical Center has renamed itself AHMC Anaheim Regional Medical Center and lined up a $17.5 million line of credit with New York-based Healthcare Finance Group to fund operations. The move comes after July’s acquisition of the hospital by Alhambra-based AHMC Healthcare for $60 million plus a pledge of $45 million in improvements. Fountain Valley-based Memorial Health Services sold the hospital, which was converted into a for-profit operation.

REAL ESTATE

Orange County’s median home price inched up $2,000 in July from June, as sales of more expensive coastal homes picked up and lower-priced foreclosures waned. The median price of an OC home was $420,000 in July, according to San Diego-based MDA DataQuick. July’s median sale price is the highest OC’s seen in nine months but still is down about 9% from a year earlier. July sales in OC rose about 6% from June and were up nearly 12% from a year earlier.

Santa Ana-based Grubb & Ellis Co. was warned of a delisting by the New York Stock Exchange. Grubb was cited for having a market value of less than $50 million for more than 30 consecutive days. Its last reported stockholder’s equity also was less than $50 million. The company said it expects to fix the problem and comply with the listing requirements. Grubb has 45 days to submit its plan of action and until Jan. 23 to raise the stock price to more than $1 a share. Grubb shares were trading Friday at about 60 cents with a market value of $40 million.

Newport Beach-based Irvine Company promoted Val Wheeler to the newly created position of division chair of the office properties group and Steve Case to executive vice president of office properties. It also hired Doug Holte, a longtime executive with Houston-based Hines Interests LP who ran the company’s OC operations in Irvine, to succeed Wheeler as president.

APPAREL

Foothill Ranch-based Wet Seal Inc. projected sales of $138 million to $142 million for the three months through October, topping at the high end of Wall Street’s average expectation of $140.6 million. The company also reiterated long-term plans to grow to 700 to 750 Wet Seal stores selling clothes for teen girls and 200 to 250 Arden B. stores for young women. The company now operates 415 Wet Seal stores and 81 Arden B. stores.

Anaheim-based mall retailer Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. lowered its outlook for the current quarter with analysts predicting a slow recovery. Pacific Sunwear forecast a loss of $10.4 million to $15 million for the three months through October. Analysts on average had been expecting a $5.9 million loss. In the current quarter, the company expects a charge of about $10 million for markdowns and writeoffs of unsold clothes.

GOVERNMENT

Irvine has paid $75,000 to cover legal fees of City Council members Christina Shea and Steven Choi, who last year sued their fellow Great Park board members to access records tied to a controversial chief executive search. An appeals court judge last month ruled that the city would have to foot the bill for Shea and Choi’s lawsuit, which questioned whether a national Great Park executive search ever took place, alleging the two top finalists had ties to councilman and Great Park Chairman Larry Agran.

San Juan Capistrano is buying 132 acres between Ortega Highway and La Pata Avenue for $27.5 million as part of an agreement with developer Rancho Mission Viejo LLC. The city plans to preserve the land for sports fields, habitat, agriculture and equestrian uses, including continuation of the annual Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo. The property will be purchased using bond money approved by 70% of San Juan voters in November. Under the terms of the acquisition, the city won’t have any involvement in the development of Rancho Mission Viejo’s Ranch Plan project, which calls for about 14,000 homes along Ortega Highway. The 132 acres bought by the city would have been part of that plan. The city also agreed not to sue Rancho Mission Viejo over the development and agreed not to annex or expand its sphere of influence over any part of the Ranch Plan property.

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