It’s sales season for OC’s top software companies.
Irvine’s Blizzard Entertainment appears to be about a month away from new ownership, as Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) closes in on its $69B buy of parent company Activision Blizzard (Nasdaq: ATVI). See the front page for more on the recent fortunes of gaming giant Blizzard, which again takes the top spot among OC’s software firms by local headcount.
No. 8 on this week’s software list (see page 21), Irvine’s Alteryx (NYSE: AYX), could also be in for a change. Reuters reported last week that the data analytics firm was exploring a sale, in the face of a slumping stock price and other financial issues.
News of the potential sale pushed up Alteryx’s valuation to $2.5B; as of early 2010 it counted a market cap topping $10B.
Another software company with deep ties to OC, medical-focused NextGen Healthcare (Nasdaq: NXGN), announced last week it agreed to be bought by PE firm Thoma Bravo, in a $1.6B deal. NextGen, previously known as Quality Systems Inc. and long based in Irvine, has traded on the Nasdaq since 1982, but will become a privately held company after the deal is completed.
Thoma Bravo is a familiar name to OC software firms, with investments in MeridianLink (No. 7 on this week’s list) and Kofax (No. 22) in recent years.
A team of scientists from UCI believe they have discovered a special antibody which may lead to a treatment for Retinitis Pigmentosa, a condition that causes loss of central vision, as well as night and color vision.
A recently published study in Nature Communications includes several authors from the Department of Ophthalmology at UCI’s Gavin Herbert Eye Institute, including Krzysztof Palczewski, who earned an Innovator of the Year Award from the Business Journal last year.
“More than 150 mutations in rhodopsin can cause Retinitis Pigmentosa, making it challenging to develop targeted gene therapies,” Palczewski said in a statement. “However, due to the high prevalence of RP there has been significant investment in research and development efforts to find novel treatments.”
This year’s Innovator Awards took place on Sept. 7; see a recap of the event on this page. Write-ups on this year’s winners will feature in the Sep. 18 print edition.
OC has boosted its executive ties to Nike and its Jordan Brand, the company division that oversees the Air Jordan sneaker line and other apparel, over the summer.
Mitchell & Ness, the maker of vintage sports jerseys, announced the appointment of former Nike/Jordan Brand executive Eli Kumekpor as the company’s new CEO at the end of August.
Mitchell & Ness is based in Philadelphia, but Kumekpor will work out of the company’s Irvine base.
Sean Tresvant will take over as CEO of Taco Bell at the start of the 2024, leading the top spot at OC’s largest restaurant chain from Mark King, who plans to retire at the end of the year.
Prior to Taco Bell, Tresvant spent more than 15 years in leadership roles at Nike, including serving as chief marketing officer of the Jordan Brand.