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Tuesday, Dec 5, 2023

OC Insider: Roman’s New Kicks

Soccer is not in the lexicon of Pimco CEO Manny Roman.

“I refuse to use that term. It’s football. It’s a matter of pride,” Roman told the Business Journal’s Peter J. Brennan during a recent interview.

Nonetheless, Roman, a longtime fan of London’s famed Arsenal Football Club, says he also enjoys watching Irvine’s Orange County Soccer Club, the only professional club in the county.

Arsenal, as part of a pre-season tour in the U.S. this summer, plays Barcelona this week at SoFi Stadium, home to the LA Rams. Both the London club and the NFL’s Rams are owned by Stan Kroenke.

For news on a different type of club that Roman and other notable OC execs have joined, see next week’s print edition of the Business Journal.

With an unexpected $1B purchase made to enter the consumer electronics sector, litigation with Apple, a proxy fight and plenty more, Masimo (Nasdaq: MASI) has gotten more than its share of headlines in the Business Journal over the past year.

So, perhaps it’s no surprise that news from the Irvine-based medical device maker caused the biggest last-minute shake-up in the OC’s Wealthiest list, the centerpiece of this week’s print edition.

News of a big earnings miss from the company last week saw the company’s share tumble by close to 25%, knocking a few billion off the valuation of Masimo and cutting our estimate for the wealth of company founder and CEO Joe Kiani, who counted a roughly 8% stake in the company as of earlier this year, regulatory filings show.

We’ve estimated Kiani’s wealth to be $1.25B, the cutoff point for inclusion on the list this year.

Kiani’s adversary in the recent proxy battle, Politan Capital’s Quentin Koffey, counted a slightly larger stake in Masimo, 8.9% as of last month. Last week’s decline resulted in Masimo’s stock falling below the price it stood at before NY-based Politan first invested in the company last year.

It’s been a mixed year for OC’s Wealthiest members whose fortunes are largely tied to company stocks; while Masimo is down, a banner year for Broadcom (Nasdaq: AVGO) has boosted the fortunes of both Henry Nicholas and Henry Samueli (see story, page 1).

In the case of Irvine’s Rivian Automotive (Nasdaq: RIVN), its shares are off some 20% from year-ago levels, but there’s room for optimism.

The EV maker founded by RJ Scaringe this month set a record nine-day rally on Wall Street, which added $11 billion to the company’s market value, which now stands around $23 billion. See page 12 for more.

Last week’s OCBJ Insider noted that Newport Beach real estate investor John Saunders appeared to be focusing on his retail-focused investments­ on the East Coast, via a falling out with the board of troubled mall investor Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (OTC: PRET).

It turns out Saunders is still active in OC. Property records indicate that an affiliate of his Saunders Property Co. recently paid about $15M for a portion of the Village at Orange shopping center. Housing development has been proposed for a portion of the mall.

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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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