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Tuesday, Dec 5, 2023

OC Insider: Golf Swings

Pacific Life CEO Darryl Button last month told the Business Journal about the insurance giant’s move of late to sell off some non-core assets.

“We’re focused on being a life insurance company,” he told our Peter J. Brennan.

Locally, there’s been a few big recent examples of Button’s focus since taking over as CEO last year. The Business Journal was first to report on PacLife’s attempt to sell its Aliso Viejo office tower for about $80 million; see the June 19 print edition for more.

Also last month, PacLife sold off Rancho Santa Margarita’s Tijeras Creek Golf Club for what property records indicate was $24.6 million. It was part of a three-property golf course portfolio owned by PacLife snapped up by Dallas-based Arcis Golf.

The Ted Robinson-designed Tijeras Creek Golf Club is Arcis Golf’s seventh course in Southern California; it also operates clubs in Fountain Valley and Huntington Beach.

PacLife, which recently signed a five-year deal to be “the official Life Insurance Sponsor of the PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions,” bought the RSM course in 1996 for about $25 million, according to records from real estate market tracker CoStar Group Inc.

Irvine’s Enevate, a developer of fast-charging batteries for EVs, is ramping up plans for production through licensing arrangements; see Kevin Costelloe’s front-page story for more on the company and its near-term plans, which includes another funding round and potentially going public.

The news comes after the firm lost perhaps its best-known backer: John Goodenough, the scientist who shared the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for helping to develop the lithium-ion battery. He died on June 25, about a month before turning 101.

Goodenough served as a technical adviser for Enevate for 10 years.

“Over his remarkable 100 year and 11-month life, he made contributions to the semiconductor field (critical to development of RAM), magnetism (the Goodenough-Kanamori rule was developed by him), and, of course, batteries,” Enevate founder and CTO Ben Park told the Business Journal.

“Not only has he shaped the entire technology landscape, he acted as a role model for everyone in the technical fields,” said Park, a Business Journal Innovator of the Year Award winner in 2016. “Enevate thanks him for being a believer in the team and the technology.”

Palmer Luckey, a 2019 Business Journal Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award winner, has seen his Anduril Industries expand from surveillance towers to a variety of new defense industry sectors, from drones to unmanned submarines.

Its latest push is into missiles and rockets, via the purchase of Indiana-based solid rocket motor manufacturer Adranos.

See next week’s print edition for more on that acquisition, as well as the sale of a business started by another recent EIE Award winner.

One of the few areas Anduril hasn’t yet expanded into are EVs, but some ex-employees are.

Startup Harbinger Motors, which last year announced plans to electrify medium-duty trucks, counts a pair of former Anduril employees on its exec team.

The company’s based in Gardena, though brokerage data indicates the company’s planning to put a large part of its operations in a 115K-SF building in Garden Grove.

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Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung joined the Orange County Business Journal in 2021 as their Marketing Creative Director. In her role she creates all visual content as it relates to the marketing needs for the sales and events teams. Her responsibilities include the creation of marketing materials for six annual corporate events, weekly print advertisements, sales flyers in correspondence to the editorial calendar, social media graphics, PowerPoint presentation decks, e-blasts, and maintains the online presence for Orange County Business Journal’s corporate events.

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