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OCBJ INSIDER

Politicians and other community leaders—including one journalist—joined up with Masimo execs last Tuesday at the device maker’s Irvine HQ to discuss medical innovation and work being done to address the country’s opioid crisis.

See our front page for how that lone journalist, our Audrey Kemp, got the scoop on how the Masimo Bridge, a new device that attaches to the back of the ear, can curb opiate withdrawal symptoms.

The event also gave company founder and CEO Joe Kiani the opportunity to discuss the company’s imminent $1 billion acquisition of Carlsbad’s Sound United, a consumer-focused audio electronics firm.

The acquisition, announced in February, wasn’t well-taken by Wall Street, with shares in Masimo (Nasdaq: MASI) dropping sharply. The deal should close “any day,” according to Kiani.

Masimo hasn’t commented much on its plans with Sound United post-merger, but Kiani told Kemp he sees big things resulting from the company’s largest-ever buy.

“They have 10,000 points of distribution in the consumer electronics world,” Kiani noted.

“Our background is all about signal processing. They have incredible audio for earbuds and hearing. We’re hoping to take their technology for audio, with our signal processing, to make earbuds that sound not only much better but help people with hearing problems to hear and even add sensing capability to it,” he told Kemp.

“With their help, we think we’ll be addressing a $150 billion [consumer] market, and today we’re addressing a $10 to $15 billion market, so this really gives us an ability to hopefully grow.”

Kiani, an admitted audiophile since his childhood, said that unlike other earbuds and similar listening products, his company’s forthcoming products “will make people’s experience healthier.”

“There’s a new [product] coming out later this year called Freedom,” he said. “You’ll see why the line is called Freedom soon.”

Patent documents for the product, filed last year, indicates Freedom involves “wearable activity trackers and downloadable computer software for continuously measuring, analyzing and transmitting health and wellness information.”

Gary Jabara says his primary stopping point when driving between San Diego and OC during his days at San Diego State University was a McDonald’s just off the 5 Freeway in Del Mar.

The founder of Newport Beach’s Mobilitie, and current chairman of IoXt Alliance, has a bigger appetite these days: see our front-page exclusive on his nearly $200 million buy of Del Mar’s Flower Hill Promenade—a high-end shopping center that’s across the street from that same McDonald’s.

No word whether the Flower Hill property will see San Diego’s first Chihuahua Cerveza (another Jabara investment) restaurant; its OC flagship is at his Landing center on the Balboa Peninsula.

Flower Hill Promenade, running 165K SF, is a 3-mile drive from the 356K-SF Del Mar Highlands Town Center, long a crown jewel in the portfolio of Costa Mesa shopping center owner Donahue Schriber Realty Group, one of the West Coast’s largest shopping center owners.

Bethesda, Md.-based First Washington Realty last week confirmed it had closed on the acquisition of Donahue Schriber, on undisclosed terms. Earlier reports pegged the expected price for the company’s nearly 10M-SF portfolio around $3B.

Mark Mueller
Mark Mueller
Mark is the Editor-in-Chief of the Orange County Business Journal, one of the premier regional business newspapers in the country. He’s the fifth person to hold the editor’s position in the paper’s long history. He oversees a staff of about 15 people. The OCBJ is considered a must-read for area business executives. The print edition of the paper is the primary source of local news for most of the Business Journal’s subscribers, which includes most of OC’s major corporate and community players. Mark’s been with the paper since 2005, and long served as the real estate reporter for the paper, breaking hundreds of commercial and residential real estate stories. He took on the editor’s position in 2018.
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