Stories for March 2014

Monday, March 31

Two Companies Agree to Buy San Diego-Based DivX for Up to $75M

Parallax Capital Partners and StepStone Group said on March 31 that they had inked a definitive agreement to buy DivX LLC, the San Diego-based video technology company, from Silicon Valley-based Rovi Corp. for up to $75 million.

Summit Distribution Buys Adventure 16's Wholesale Division

Adventure 16, the San Diego-based outdoor gear seller with five retail outlets in Southern California, said it sold its wholesale division to Summit Distribution LLC of Norwich, N.Y., for an undisclosed price.

Scaled-Down Balboa Park Centennial Celebration Begins to Take Shape

Expect a scaled down but community-oriented celebration of Balboa Park’s centennial, starting on the December Nights event and finishing on that same weekend in 2015, announced Mayor Kevin Faulconer and City Council President Todd Gloria.

Downtown Office Building Sells for $5.3 million

Rossi-Kettner LLC of Long Beach has purchased a downtown office building for $5.3 million, according to CoStar Group and public data.

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ATyr Pharma Inc. Appoints New CMO and a Director

ATyr Pharma Inc., a company that treats diseases of the immune system, has appointed biotech veteran David Weiner as its chief medical officer.

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Spring Valley Apartment Community Sold for $5.65 Million

Doug Wetton Properties Inc. of Newport Beach has acquired the 46-unit Kenora Terrace apartment community in Spring Valley for $5.65 million, according to real estate services provider HFF Inc., which represented the seller.

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CACI One of Three Companies Eligible to Bid on a Possible $71M in Government Contracts

CACI Inc., based in Virginia with offices in San Diego, is one of three companies receiving U.S. Navy electronics contracts that could be worth tens of millions of dollars.

FDA Issues Warning Letter for Administrative Deficiency to Diabetes-Monitor Maker

San Diego diabetes monitor maker DexCom Inc. has received a warning letter from the Food and Drug Administration following a November 2013 inspection of the company’s building.

Sunday, March 30

Realty Income Stock Offering Is Expected to Raise $459.5 Million

Escondido-based Realty Income Corp. (NYSE: O) has commenced a public stock offering expected to bring net proceeds of approximately $459.5 million.

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Barnes Leaving San Diego Post for a New Role With Kaiser

Mary Ann Barnes, executive director of Kaiser Permanente San Diego, is taking a new role at the health system – she’s been named regional president of Kaiser Permanente Hawaii Region.

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Transit District Is Offering Coaster Service to Padres Games

North County Transit District will be offering its annual Coaster train services geared to those attending San Diego Padres home games during the 2014 season, starting March 30.

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Oceanside Retail Center Sold for $12.6M

Doerken Properties Inc. of Santa Monica has purchased the Flags on Mission Shopping Center in Oceanside for $12.6 million, according to brokerage company Lee & Associates, which represented the buyer and seller.

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Cubic Corp. Gets $6.9 Million Air Force Contract

The U.S. Air Force said on March 28 that it awarded Cubic Corp. a one-year contract worth $6.9 million.

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The Business Calendar for the Week of March 31, 2014

Some of the business events in the county for the week of March 31, 2014.

Credit Rating for a San Diego-Based Auto Insurer Is Downgraded

A.M. Best, a New Jersey-based firm that rates the financial health of insurers, said it downgraded the issuer credit rating for San Diego-based auto insurer Anchor General Insurance Co. from bbb+ to bbb, and affirmed the financial strength rating at B++ (Good).

SDSU's College of Business Administration Is Honored for Diversity Outreach

San Diego State University’s College of Business Administration, already widely-recognized as a top-rated business school, said it was named as one of the top MBA schools in the United States by Professional Women’s Magazine in its 2014 Best of the Best lists for the second year in a row.

Friday, March 28

Oceanside Retail Center Sells for $12.6 Million

Doerken Properties Inc. of Santa Monica has purchased the Flags on Mission Shopping Center in Oceanside for $12.6 million, according to brokerage company Lee & Associates, which represented the buyer and seller.

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Cubic Gets Air Force Contract Worth $6.9M

The U.S. Air Force said that it awarded Cubic Corp. a one-year contract worth $6.9 million.

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Mary Ann Barnes Leaving San Diego Post for New Role With Kaiser

Mary Ann Barnes, executive director of Kaiser Permanente San Diego, is headed to the tropics to take on a new role at the health system – she’s been named regional president of Kaiser Permanente Hawaii Region.

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Credit Rating for San Diego-Based Auto Insurer Is Downgraded

A.M. Best, a New Jersey-based firm that rates the financial health of insurers, said it downgraded the issuer credit rating for San Diego-based auto insurer Anchor General Insurance Co. from bbb+ to bbb, and affirmed the financial strength rating at B++ (Good).

SDSU's College of Business Administration Honored for Diversity Policies

San Diego State University’s College of Business Administration, already widely-recognized as a top-rated business school, said it was named as one of the top MBA schools in the United States by Professional Women’s Magazine in its 2014 Best of the Best lists for the second year in a row.

Transit District Offering Coaster Service to Padres Games

North County Transit District will be offering its annual Coaster train services geared to those attending San Diego Padres home games during the 2014 season, starting March 30.

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Realty Income Stock Offering Expected to Raise $459.5 Million

Escondido-based Realty Income Corp. (NYSE: O) has commenced a public stock offering expected to bring net proceeds of approximately $459.5 million.

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Business Calendar for Week of March 31, 2014.

Some of the business events scheduled in the county for the week of March 31, 2014.

Feelings About Negotiation Affect What We Earn

In 1996, the National Committee on Pay Equity launched Equal Pay Day to bring awareness the pay gap between women and men. This year Equal Pay Day will be April 8.

SEAL-NSW Family Foundation Supports the Troops in a Big Way

Philanthropist Madeleine Pickens and The Del Mar Country Club have announced that more than $1 million was raised at the March 22 benefit event that will go directly to the SEAL-Naval Special Warfare Family Foundation. The fundraiser was sponsored by TaylorMade Golf Co. Inc., American Airlines Group Inc., Bumble Bee Tuna, Wells Fargo Bank, The Pangaea Group of Morgan Stanley and others.

Executive profile: Kristin Howell

Kristin Howell, senior portfolio manager with Meissner Jacquét Investment Management Services, is president of the board for the San Diego Building Owners and Managers Association.

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Businesses Embrace Working in San Diego’s Dynamic Urban Core

ECONOMY: Downtown Is Attracting Technology Cos. And Other Startups

Downtown boosters long have been urging more companies to come to the city’s commercial center, but some businesses need no convincing.

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It Takes an East Village, a Little Italy, a Gaslamp...

Economy: Downtown’s Hot Spots Draw Residents; Now They Need Businesses

Chelsea Bakewell can’t picture living and working anyplace other than downtown San Diego.

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Lawyers on the Move, Take Note of Key Trends in Legal Industry

Robert Half Legal has advice in its recent annual salary guide for those who are interested in getting hired by a firm or striking out on your own. The report highlights the following trends:

Bank Is Aiming for a Better Balance After Failing Big Stress Test

The results of the biggest banks’ stress testing are in, and everyone passed except for Zions Bancorporation.

Local Sony Online Game Developers Launch ‘Landmark’ With Help

A fantasy world built by San Diego videogame developers — with an unusual amount of help from the public — has graduated to the beta test phase.

La Jolla Biotech Company Targets China for Arthritis Drug Trials

RuiYi Inc., a biotechnology company split between La Jolla and Shanghai, has received $15 million in Series B financing from existing investors to further its uncommon business model.

More Capacity Just Part of Bigger Plan for AleSmith Expansion

BREWING: New Site In Miramar to Bring Opportunities and Jobs

Miramar’s profile as a key local craft beer hub is about to grow higher, as San Diego-based AleSmith Brewing Co. prepares to quintuple its operational footprint in that neighborhood.

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Tourism Marketing Group’s Agenda Takes It Around Town, Globe

TOURISM: Efforts to Lure Far East Visitors Increasing

The region’s primary tourism promotion agency has a twofold strategy for the coming fiscal year: Go local and go global.

IM Custom Builds a Better Foot Scanner and Takes Off Running

INNOVATION: Technology Produces a 3-D Image of Feet To Create Custom Insoles

Glen Hinshaw was so dedicated to ensuring his three-dimensional foot scanner was made correctly he took up residence at a few factories in China for about a year and a half.

Borrego Tapped to Put More Solar at Lindbergh

Power: Airport Authority Approves Contract to Install 3 Megawatts of Generation

Lindbergh Field, which added to its reputation as one of the most sustainable airports in the country following approval of a solar generating system for Terminal 2, plans to build another solar generator for its rental car facility that broke ground last year.

Report Sees Growth for Cybersecurity Cluster

TECH: Study Urges Players To Target Private Sector, as Well as Public, for Clients

Armed with a new snapshot of San Diego’s tech cluster, local officials have pledged to make cybersecurity a bigger part of the region’s economy.

Healthful Dining Directory Gets Some B-Day Cake

San Diego-based website HealthyDiningFinder.com celebrated the seventh anniversary of its nationwide directory with the release of an updated listing featuring 1,000-plus participating restaurants and thousands of new menu choices.

Novatel Device Targets Usage-Based Insurance

TECH: Local Co. and Others Envision a Market Going Places

San Diego-based Novatel Wireless Inc. is out to help drivers ease into a new world of automobile insurance.

New Drug ‘Pipeline’ Runs Under the Sea

BIOTECH: Sirenas Exploring Oceans to Find Possible Cures

Sirenas Marine Discovery Inc. is in an enviable position — it’s actually turning away investors as it turns to the ocean’s depths as a promising source for potential new drugs.

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Co. Brings Alternative To Alternative Lending

FINANCE: Global’s Buy Offers Under-Banked Purchasing Power

San Diego-based Global Analytics Holdings Inc., which operates a lending platform for the under-banked in the United Kingdom, bought an online business that enables employees to buy goods at zero interest and repay their debt through regular payroll deductions.

Comeback on Course at Warner Springs Resort

PROPERTY: Renovation’s First Phase Brings Back Golfing

A $50 million overhaul undertaken last year by Pacific Hospitality Group Inc. will begin to bear fruit this summer, when the developer reopens the newly renovated golf course at the historic Warner Springs Ranch Resort.

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Sharing the Ride

TRANSPORT: Taxis Say New Cos. Have Unfair Edge

Christina Murphy recently sat behind the wheel of her 2010 Nissan Altima at the corner of Mission Boulevard and Grand Avenue. With the Pacific Beach AleHouse to the south and beach to the west, the spot is a magnet for revelers — and independent contractors such as herself who offer rides via smartphones.

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Thursday, March 27

Tourism Officials Planning Local, Global Efforts to Boost Visitor Counts

The coming 2015 fiscal year will see tourism efforts focused on bolstering hotel stays in local markets outside of the core downtown area, as the region recovers from last year’s political disputes that slashed funding for promoting the San Diego region.

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$1.4 Billion Settlement Proposed for San Onofre Closure

Southern California utility customers could see returns of $1.4 billion if a joint settlement related to last year’s shuttering of the San Onofre nuclear plant is approved.

On-Ramp Wireless Inc. Adds Seidenberg to Its Board

On-Ramp Wireless Inc. has added Ivan Seidenberg, the former chairman and CEO of Verizon Communications Inc., to its board of directors. On-Ramp made the announcement on March 27.

Site Aims to Give Chefs a Valuable Professional Link

A San Diego company has started a website that it is billing as “LinkedIn for chefs.”

City Council Committee Votes for Audit of Balboa Park Centennial Inc.

A San Diego City Council committee voted to contract for an outside audit of the disbanded nonprofit group that was organizing a celebration of 100th anniversary of the Panama California Exposition.

San Diego Part of National Geographic Series on Smart Cities

San Diego is among 18 cities scheduled to be featured in a cable TV documentary series called “Smart World Cities,” airing over the next three years on the National Geographic Channel.

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Sorrento Valley Industrial Buildings Sold for $6.7 Million

CM Management Services Inc. of Del Mar has purchased a two-building industrial property in Sorrento Valley for approximately $6.7 million, according to CoStar Group and public data.

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A New Jersey Auto Group Buys Honda of Mission Valley

DCH Auto Group, based in South Amboy, N.J. and the owner of dealerships in New Jersey, New York and California, said it acquired Honda of Mission Valley for an undisclosed price.

Gary and Mary West Health Investment Fund Announces Sale of Sense4Baby Inc.'s Assets

The Gary and Mary West Health Investment Fund made a series of announcements – most notably that the assets of Sense4Baby Inc., its smartphone-based pregnancy monitoring company, have been acquired by San Antonio’s AirStrip Technologies LP.

RuiYi Receives $15M in Funding

RuiYi Inc., a biotech based both in La Jolla and Shanghai, has received $15 million in Series B financing from a group of existing investors.

Wednesday, March 26

Petco Park’s Stats Show Its Impact on East Village and Region

In advance of the Padres’ opening night game March 30, a local think tank released a report on the team’s economic impact in the region last year, estimating the net impact at $44.3 million based on spending by out of town visitors.

Poway Industrial Building Sells for $11.5 Million

Sorrento West Properties Inc. of San Diego, a real estate holdings entity of General Atomics, has purchased a Poway industrial manufacturing building for $11.5 million, according to CoStar Group and public data.

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La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians Reportedly Has Plans to Open Casino and Hotel

The La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians, which previously operated a small casino on its reservation near Palomar Mountain in northern inland San Diego County, has plans to get back into the business — with a casino and a hotel.

E-Commerce Site GovX.com Names McCue Its President

GovX.com has appointed Eric McCue as its president, the business announced March 25.

Commerce Department Reappoints Convention Center Leader to Advisory Board

U.S. Commerce Department Secretary Penny Pritzker has reappointed Carol Wallace, president and CEO of San Diego Convention Center Corp, to the department’s national Travel and Tourism Advisory Board.

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Chula Vista City Manager to Retire July 1

Jim Sandoval, Chula Vista’s city manager for the last six years, said he’s retiring effective July 1.

Tuesday, March 25

Committee Sends Ballot Measure for Minimum Wage Increase to City Council

A San Diego City Council committee approved a ballot measure that would increase the minimum wage above the current statewide minimum for businesses operating here.

TakeLessons Receives $7 Million in Funding

TakeLessons, which runs an online marketplace for people wanting to improve skills in a variety of fields, said on March 25 that it received $7 million in funding.

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San Diego Firm Buys Pasadena Retail Property for $10.8 Million

Investment firm Paragon Real Estate Fund of San Diego has purchased the retail portion of Pasadena Collection, a mixed-use residential and commercial development in that city, for $10.8 million.

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Assay Depot Receives $3M in Series B Funding

Assay Depot Inc., Carlsbad’s self-dubbed “Amazon.com for scientists,” has landed $3 million in Series B funding.

County’s Future Construction Projects down 56% in First 2 Months of 2014

San Diego County’s contracts for future construction were down 56 percent in value from a year ago in the first two months of 2014, according to new data from McGraw Hill Construction.

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SeniorQuote Insurance Services Completes $1.4M Funding Round

San Diego-based SeniorQuote Insurance Services Inc. has completed a $1.4 million Series A round.

WD-40 Announces Quarterly Dividend

WD-40 Co. announced its quarterly dividend of 0.34 cents per share, payable April 30, 2014 to stockholders of record on April 11, 2014.

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Monday, March 24

Jack in the Box Secures $800 Million Senior Credit Facility

Jack in the Box Inc. completed a new five-year $800 million senior credit facility made up of a $600 million revolving credit line and a $200 million term loan.

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Parallel Capital Teams With Chicago-based Firm to Buy Local Office Campus for $72.5M

Investment company Parallel Capital Partners Inc. of San Diego has bought Wateridge Plaza, a three-building office campus in Sorrento Mesa, for $72.5 million.

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Silvergate Bank Names D’Auria New Chief Banking Officer

Silvergate Bank has hired Dino D’Auria, a longtime San Diego commercial banker, as its chief banking officer and executive vice president.

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Seragon Pharmaceuticals Names Former Onyx Pharmaceuticals CEO to its Board

Newly formed Seragon Pharmaceuticals Inc. has appointed N. Anthony Coles, the former CEO and board chairman of Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc., to its board of directors.

Navy Completes Initial Test Flights for Northrop Unmanned Aircraft

The U.S. Navy finished initial flight tests for its Northrop Grumman Corp.-built Triton unmanned aircraft on March 13 in Palmdale.

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Bilbro Construction Nabs $11 Million Construction Contract at Marine Corps Installation

Bilbro Construction Company Inc. was awarded an $11 million contract to build Marine Corps facilities at Twentynine Palms.

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Pair of Transportation Industry Veterans Launch San Diego-based Investment Firm

Two veterans of transportation industry financing have joined forces to form a new San Diego-based investment advisory firm.

Phil’s BBQ Opening Second Petco Park Location

San Diego-based Phil’s BBQ is opening a second location at Petco Park, set to debut March 30 on opening day for the San Diego Padres.

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Sunday, March 23

Construction Complete on New UCSD Biomedical Research Facility

Construction is complete for the new, $113 million University of California, San Diego Health Sciences Biomedical Research Facility.

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Carmel Mountain Ranch Office Building Sold for $7.75 Million

Lab-testing product and services provider Phamatech Inc. of San Diego, recorded as JT & TP Investment LLC, has purchased a Carmel Mountain Ranch office building for $7.75 million, according to CoStar Group and public data.

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Unemployment Rate Remains at 7% for February

San Diego’s unemployment rate was 7 percent in February, equaling January’s rate, despite gaining 9,500 jobs during the month, indicating that more people are returning to the workforce.

Flux Power Holdings Inc. Appoints Collins as Executive Chairman of the Board

Flux Power Holdings Inc. of Vista said that it appointed Timothy Collins as executive chairman of the board.

The Business Calendar for the Week of March 24, 2014

Some of the business events happening in the county for the week of March 24, 2014.

Friday, March 21

Carmel Mountain Ranch Office Building sells for $7.75 Million

Lab-testing product and services provider Phamatech Inc. of San Diego, recorded as JT & TP Investment LLC, has purchased a Carmel Mountain Ranch office building for $7.75 million, according to CoStar Group and public data.

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Flux Power Holdings Appoints Timothy Collins as Executive Chairman of the Board

Flux Power Holdings Inc. of Vista said that it appointed Timothy Collins as executive chairman of the board.

Jobless Rate Remains at 7% for February

San Diego’s unemployment rate was 7 percent in February, equaling January’s rate, despite gaining 9,500 jobs during the month, indicating that more people are returning to the workforce.

Torrey Pines Again To Host U.S. Open

The United States Golf Association’s Open Championship will return to Torrey Pines Golf Course in 2021 following unanimous approval by the City Council of an agreement to host the week-long event in June.

Construction Complete on UCSD Biomedical Research Facility

Construction is complete for the new, $113 million University of California, San Diego Health Sciences Biomedical Research Facility.

Plaza Home Mortgage Turns Pink for Susan G. Komen San Diego

Plaza Home Mortgage Inc. raised $70,345 for Susan G. Komen San Diego during its October month-long campaign to support breast cancer services, bringing a two-year total donation to $169,817. The check was presented at the Plaza Home Mortgage San Diego headquarters.

Commentary: Why raising the local minimum wage makes sense

Do you know what the current Federal minimum wage is? Or the minimum wage in the state of California? Give yourself a pat on the back if you were able to answer these questions correctly without Google.

Executive profile: Ethan Senturia

Ethan Senturia is CEO of Dealstruck Inc., a Web-based peer-to-peer lending company that targets growing small businesses caught in the vast middle below banks but above traditional alternatives, such as factoring and merchant cash advance. He started the company in June 2012 with co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Russell McLoughlin.

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Navy Federal Adds Branch Locations to Better Serve Members

Navy Federal Credit Union plans to expand its branches in San Diego County by three this year, despite proclaiming that an increasing number of its members use mobile banking. The three new branches — in Point Loma, Clairemont and Encinitas — would bring the total Navy Fed branches in the county to 21 and add about 26 employees to its regional work force of about 300, said June Sanchez, one of two regional managers for the county.

Money Matchmaking

FINANCE: Small Businesses Look for Lenders Beyond the Bank

Banks are loosening up and approving more loans to small businesses these days, or so they say.

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Our Newest Cluster Must Be Ready to Take On All Challengers

It’s official. Cybersecurity is the region’s newest industry cluster. San Diego civic leaders inaugurated the Cybersecurity Center of Excellence recently in ceremonies in La Jolla.

Congress Members, Researchers Push for More NIH Funding

U.S. Reps. Susan Davis and Scott Peters, both Democrats from San Diego, gathered with a group of the region’s medical research stakeholders to solicit Congress to increase funding for the National Institutes of Health, which funds much of the medical research taking place in this area.

Market Forces and, of Course, Money Transform Solana Beach

Solana Beach was primarily farmland in the late 1800s when Col. Ed Fletcher bought 140 acres and began developing the town with his brother-in-law, Eugene Batchelder.

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Hotel Market Experts Look to East for Drivers of Local Growth

The still-growing Chinese economy has the potential to become a sizable force in hotel markets including San Diego County’s — as a driver of property investment as well as a source of visitors filling guest rooms.

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Coalition Seeks to Curb Problem of Drug Theft at Open Houses

A coalition of businesses, nonprofits and San Diego real estate professionals has banded together to prevent prescription drug theft at open houses. Key to the group’s mission is ensuring the safe use, storage and disposal of prescription drugs.

Panel Approves Designs for Little Italy Plaza-Apartment Project

A committee of Civic San Diego, the city’s downtown project oversight agency, has approved preliminary designs for a new public plaza and mixed-use apartment development planned in Little Italy.

Irish Eyeing Karl Strauss Co. for Possible Belfast Brewery Site

MANUFACTURING: A Facility Could Play Role In Revitalizing Part of City

In a sign of San Diego’s rising global stature in the industry, locally based Karl Strauss Brewing Co. has been approached by officials in Belfast about possibly establishing a craft beer manufacturing facility in that Northern Ireland city.

Co. Expects Warm Reception From Doctors for Smart ‘Refrigerator’

Dining: System Automates Vaccine Management Tasks Frequently Done By Hand

The developers of a vaccine storage and handling system they call the “world’s smartest refrigerator … that will help make vaccines more widely available” are hoping doctors will agree and put the devices in their offices.

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Cash Still King to Sellers in the Lower End

PROPERTY: Nonprofit Groups Are Calling for Government Regulation

Cash buyers are still exerting a big influence on the San Diego County market, making up about 31 percent of all house sales in February, causing frustration to many first time homebuyers.

Anaptys Lands Lucrative Development Deal

BIOTECH: Tesaro Will Develop 3 of Co.’s Drugs

AnaptysBio Inc., a player in the hot field of cancer immunotherapy, has attracted $17 million up front in a drug development rights deal with Massachusetts-based Tesaro Inc. that could ultimately be worth hundreds of millions more.

S.D. Rated No. 1 By Forbes for Launching Cos.

Move over Silicon Valley, there’s a new champ in town. Forbes magazine ranks San Diego as the best place to launch a new startup out of the 50 largest metro areas nationwide.

New Life Sciences Co. Ready to Buy Others

BIOTECH: No Narrow Niches For Maravai and Local CEO

Chicago private equity firm GTCR is doling out up to $300 million to launch Maravai Life Sciences Inc. in San Diego, tapping the expertise of former Gen-Probe Inc. executives Carl Hull and Eric Tardif to lead a new, acquisition-driven venture.

China’s Data Decision May Favor Qualcomm

TECH: Royalties From Chips Could Increase for the Company

A wildly shifting variable affecting Qualcomm Inc.’s well-being — China — may have dealt the San Diego technology company a break earlier in the month.

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Proposed Navy Budget Bodes Well for Locals

Defense: Unmanned Planes Able to Land on Carriers Sought

The U.S. Navy has charted a spending course that could bring plenty of opportunity to San Diego County’s defense contractors. Opportunities in 2016 and beyond include fleet replenishment oiler ships, unmanned surveillance aircraft and unmanned jets that can work from aircraft carriers.

Stone Moving Ahead With Expansion Plans

BREWING: Co. Also Scouting Brewery Locations Out of State

Stone Brewing Co., already among the nation’s largest craft beer makers, is now looking east for its next expansions.

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Fan Appreciation

SPORTs Biz: Padres Improve Petco’s Roster Of Amenities, Options

Upgrades this year to Petco Park, home to the San Diego Padres and seemingly always getting tweaked in places, may be the most extensive in the ballpark’s history — all geared toward making the experience in the stands a more enjoyable complement to the action on the field.

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Thursday, March 20

AleSmith Brewing Signs $9.7 Million Lease for Planned Miramar Expansion

San Diego-based AleSmith Brewing Co. has signed a $9.7 million lease to occupy a 105,600-square-foot industrial building in Miramar, where it plans to quintuple the size of its current craft beer-making operations in that neighborhood.

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The Financial Curtain Falls on the San Diego Opera

In a move that surprised many, the San Diego Opera announced it will cease operations after this season ends on April 14.

Richard Branson to Be Keynote Speaker at Biotech Convention Set for San Diego

Billionaire Virgin Group founder Richard Branson will be the keynote speaker at the 2014 Bio International Convention in San Diego — one of the nation’s largest biotechnology forums that attracts more than 15,000 attendees each year.

Epsilon Systems Solutions Navy Contract Potentially Worth $53M

San Diego-based Epsilon Systems Solutions said it recently received work from the U.S. Navy that could be worth up to $53 million over three years if the customer exercises all of its options.

Vince Mudd Elected President of Local Bowl Games

Vince Mudd, chief operating officer at Carrier Johnson + Culture, was elected president of the 2014 National University Holiday Bowl and the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl by the bowl association’s board of directors.

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Sempra Partners with Division of Con Edison for 5 Solar Projects

Sempra U.S. Gas & Power, a division of San Diego-based Sempra Energy, said it’s agreed to a partnership in five solar projects in California and Nevada with Consolidated Edison Development, a division of Con Edison Inc., based in New York and one of the largest energy companies in the world.

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Spy Inc. Reports Q4 and Yearly Results

Spy Inc., a Carlsbad maker of sunglasses and goggles, reported a net loss of $1.27 million, or 10 cents per share, on net sales of $8.62 million during the fourth quarter of 2013.

Fashion Valley Adding Four Retailers to Mall Lineup

Fashion Valley Mall in Mission Valley has four new clothing retailers arriving during 2014, starting with a scheduled March 28 opening of a 5,200-square-foot store by British fashion house AllSaints.

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Wednesday, March 19

General Atomics ASI Receives $57.5M Delivery Order From the Air Force

The U.S. Air Force said that it ordered $57.5 million worth of electronic equipment from General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. of Poway.

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AMN Healthcare Investing in Telepharmacy Company

San Diego staffing firm AMN Healthcare Services Inc. will invest $5 million in a series of staged payments to San Francisco telepharmacy company PipelineRx.

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BioMed Declares First Quarter Stock Dividend

San Diego-based BioMed Realty Trust Inc. (NYSE: BMR) has declared a first-quarter 2014 dividend of 25 cents per share of common stock, equivalent to $1 per share on an annualized basis.

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ImageWare Systems Reports Yearly Revenue of $5.3M

ImageWare Systems, a San Diego maker of identity management software, reported 2013 fourth quarter sales of $929,000, up by $3,000 from the like quarter of 2012.

Indus Technology to Compete for Navy Contracts Potentially Worth Up to $36.8M

Indus Technology Inc. has a new opportunity to go after U.S. Navy electronics work.

Mallinckrodt Completes Acquisition of Cadence Pharmaceuticals

Irish specialty drugmaker Mallinckrodt PLC has completed the $1.4 billion purchase of San Diego-based Cadence Pharmaceuticals Inc. The deal was announced initially in February.

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Blaze Plans New Pizza Restaurant in Encinitas

Pasadena-based Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza, a fast-casual build-your-own pizza restaurant, plans a second-quarter opening for its new eatery in Encinitas.

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Wells Fargo & Co. Gives $459,000 in Grants to Local Groups

Wells Fargo & Co., the nation’s largest mortgage lender, announced the awarding of grants to two San Diego nonprofits: Community Housing Works, a nonprofit focused on housing issues, for nearly $164,000; and National Community Renaissance, another nonprofit, for almost $295,000.

Business Calendar for Week of March 24, 2014

Some of the business events happening around the county for the week of March 24, 2014.

Tuesday, March 18

U.S. Open Returning to Torrey Pines in 2021

The U.S. Open Championship golf tournament will return to Torrey Pines Golf Course in 2021.

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New Private Equity-Backed Company Ready to Acquire Life Sciences Firms

Former Gen-Probe executives Carl Hull and Eric Tardif have been tasked by a Chicago-based private equity firm to launch a life sciences company in San Diego aimed at acquiring other companies and with a few hundred million dollars at the ready.

General Dynamics Nassco Gets $62.6M Navy Contract Mod for Dry Dock Work

The U.S. Navy awarded General Dynamics Nassco a $62.6 million deal to put the USS Pearl Harbor into dry dock for maintenance and alterations

Panel Approves Designs for Little Italy Plaza-Apartment Project

A committee of Civic San Diego, the city’s downtown project oversight agency, has approved preliminary designs for a new public plaza and mixed-use apartment development planned in Little Italy.

Escondido Retail Center Owners Get $5.7M in Refinancing

The owners of Home Depot Plaza, a 171,300-square-foot retail center in Escondido, have obtained $5.7 million in refinancing on the property.

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Lytx Makes Deal With Ambulance Provider

San Diego-based Lytx Inc., a provider of video and data collection systems for transportation fleets, has signed a full-fleet agreement with a Montebello, Calif.-based ambulance provider.

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Job Fair at Camp Pendleton Targets Military Spouses

More than 45 employers will be on hand to meet employment-seeking military spouses during a job fair and a pre-event networking reception next week at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

Monday, March 17

Qualcomm Names New President From Within

Derek Aberle has been named president at Qualcomm Inc., filling the job vacated by the company’s new CEO, Steve Mollenkopf.

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Leap Wireless Finalizes Sale to AT&T; Stockholders to Share in Sale of Spectrum

Leap Wireless International Inc., the San Diego prepaid wireless carrier doing business as Cricket, completed its $4 billion sale to AT&T Inc. last week following approval from the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice.

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S.D. Beverage Company Takes Title Sponsorship of Local Athletic Event

Suja Juice Co. was named the title sponsor for the 2014 San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon and Half Marathon on June 1.

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U.S. Reps from San Diego Urge Increase in NIH Funding

U.S. Reps. Susan Davis and Scott Peters, both Democrats from San Diego, gathered with a group of the region’s medical research stakeholders to solicit Congress to increase funding for the National Institutes of Health, which funds much of the medical research taking place in this area.

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Local Tech Executive Named to 3-D Imaging Trade Group's Board

Legend3D Inc. founder Barry Sandrew has been named to the board of governors of the International 3D & Advanced Imaging Society.

New Kaiser Medical Office Building to Open

Kaiser Permanente will open a new medical office building in Oceanside on March 17.

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Work to Begin on $24M Row-Home Development in Golden Hill

Developers plan to begin construction this month on a $24 million, 33-unit row-home project in San Diego’s Golden Hill neighborhood.

Solana Beach Office Building Sells for $4.3 Million

Duvivier Construction of Encinitas has bought a Solana Beach office property known as the Financial Building for $4.3 million.

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Sunday, March 16

SeaWorld Parent Company Reports Record Revenue as Attendance Drops 4.1%

SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: SEAS), the Orlando-based operator of SeaWorld San Diego, reported record revenue of more than $1.46 billion for 2013, up 3 percent from 2012, despite a nationwide year-over-year decline in visitors.

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AnaptysBio Inc. Partnership Deal Could Be Worth $125M

AnaptysBio Inc. could receive up to $125 million from a new partnership with Massachusetts cancer drugmaker Tesaro Inc., including $17 million upfront

The Coastal Commission Approves SDG&E’s New Electrical Substation for Chula Vista

The California Coastal Commission approved a new electrical substation for Chula Vista, relocating that power generator to a location about a quarter of a mile away, and paving the way for demolishing the existing substation.

Part of Exelis’ $91.7M Defense Contract Work Will Be Done in San Diego

The Defense Department recently awarded Exelis Inc. a $91.7 million contract modification, exercising an option to build and deliver 42 signal-jamming systems for U.S. Navy F/A-18 fighter aircraft.

Region Earns a Reputation for Being Startup Friendly

Forbes recently named San Diego as the No. 1 city in which to launch a startup.

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Lakeside Apartment Complex Sells for $4.9 Million

Lomas Santa Fe Group of Solana Beach has purchased the 54-unit Magnolia Terrace Apartments in Lakeside for approximately $4.9 million, according to real estate services firm The Heritage Group, which represented the buyer.

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The Business Calendar for the Week of March 17, 2014

Some of the business events happening around the county for the week of March 17, 2014.

Friday, March 14

AnaptysBio Inc. Deal Could Be Worth $125 Million

AnaptysBio Inc. could receive up to $125 million from a new partnership with Massachusetts cancer drugmaker Tesaro Inc., including $17 million upfront.

Lakeside Apartment Property Sells for $4.9 Million

Lomas Santa Fe Group of Solana Beach has purchased the 54-unit Magnolia Terrace Apartments in Lakeside for approximately $4.9 million, according to real estate services firm The Heritage Group, which represented the buyer.

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SeaWorld Parent Company Reports Record Revenue Despite U.S. Attendance Drop

SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: SEAS), the Orlando-based operator of SeaWorld San Diego, reported record revenue of more than $1.46 billion for 2013, up 3 percent from 2012, despite a nationwide year-over-year decline in visitors.

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Vista Community Clinic Gala Supports Health for Teens, Children

Vista Community Clinic’s Health and Hope for Our Youth gala at the Omni La Costa Resort and Spa netted more than $250,000 for the clinic’s programs and services for children and youth, including pediatrics, CHOICES Teen Clinic and the Project REACH youth development program.

Executive profile: Brett Dickinson

Brett Dickinson is a Realtor with Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty who joined the company in 2012 after a successful 11-year run with his own real estate company. Previously, Dickinson was an

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Part of Exelis’ $91.7M Electronics Work Will Be Done in San Diego

The Defense Department recently awarded Exelis Inc. a $91.7 million contract modification, exercising an option to build and deliver 42 signal-jamming systems for U.S. Navy F/A-18 fighter aircraft.

County’s Luxury Real Estate Market Hits Highest Levels Since 2007

PROPERTY: High-End Market Has Its Own Drivers

Luxury real estate has been a relative bargain in San Diego County since the market downturn in 2008. Those with the cash and the circumstances have been able to capitalize on the opportunity to buy property in one of the most desirable areas of the country.

Region Has Reputation of Being Startup Friendly

Forbes recently named San Diego as the No. 1 city in which to launch a startup.

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A Legacy of Luxury

PROPERTY: Quality, Core Values Contribute To a Century of Success

There are a handful of companies in San Diego County that have been here for 100 years and fewer still who have been family owned since 1914 — Willis Allen Real Estate is one of those few.

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Today's Bedtime Story

Happy World Sleep Day.

Team Janine Honors the Past, Brings Hope for a Cure in Future

Local lawyers are usually good people, but Justine Phillips — a partner at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP — is something special. She is in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Annual Man & Woman of the Year Campaign to honor her only sister, Janine, who died from leukemia when they were children more than 30 years ago. I will let her tell it:

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The Net Profit Pie Chart Is Sliced in Favor of the Biggest Banks

Last month, the nation’s top banking regulator, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., reported that the aggregate net profit of the nearly 7,000 banks in the nation last year increased 10 percent to $154.7 billion.

Zogenix’s Powerful Painkiller Faces Attacks From Two Fronts

Things aren’t looking great for Zogenix Inc. nor its flagship drug, the powerful narcotic painkiller Zohydro. The company’s stock recently plummeted on news that a competitor just might have built a better mousetrap — drug — and could soon emerge on the market.

Students Go for the ‘Technical Knockout’ In Robot Competition

The public address announcer invites the crowd to get ready to rumble, but it’s robots that are “rrrumbling” on the floor of this familiar San Diego venue.

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Coastal Commission Approves SDG&E’s New Substation for Chula Vista

The California Coastal Commission approved a new electrical substation for Chula Vista, relocating that power generator to a location about a quarter of a mile away, and paving the way for demolishing the existing substation.

Experience With Illness Is Catalyst for Creating New Business

BIOTECH: Proactive Patient Got to Work on New Mobility Device

Extreme athlete Kim Goodsell has a bevy of health conditions that could severely limit her ability to walk. But with research, ingenuity and sheer pluck she has taken charge of her own health — and launched a new company as a result.

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Port Approvals Will Finally Get Ball Rolling at Lane Field

PROPERTY: Proposed Project Slated to Bring 400 Hotel Rooms By Early 2016

Developers are moving forward with a $130 million, 400-room hotel project on the former site of the Lane Field minor league ballpark in downtown San Diego, after nearly a decade of planning and discussion.

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Co. Seeks to Boost Its Presence In U.S. Electronics Market

TECH: InfoSonics Finds Latin America Profitable for Second Consecutive Quarter

InfoSonics Corp. wants to raise its profile in its own country, and it’s starting by making a profit.

Lumena Nabs $45M in Financing to Continue Developing 2 Drugs

Pharma: Mid-Stage Trials Completed After Company Bought Rights From Pfizer

Fast-moving Lumena Pharmaceuticals Inc. has secured $45 million in Series B financing. The company will use the funding to develop drugs for two diseases of the liver — one rare and lacking in treatment options, the other a disorder that’s expanding in prevalence and market potential.

Startup Offers E-tailers a System to Better Manage Sales Taxes

Services: TaxJar Finds Clients, Investors After Beta

Charlene Anderson, like a lot of small retailers who sell online, is concerned about staying on the right side of state sales tax laws.

Nassco Delivers Newest MLP, Gets Work Modification

General Dynamics Nassco delivered the auxiliary ship USNS John Glenn to the U.S. Navy March 12, the same day that the Pentagon announced a $128.5 million deal for work on the John Glenn’s sister ship.

Disbanded Centennial Group Releases Financials

CIVIC: Event Organizers Spent About $2.6 Million, Including Pay for 3 CEOs

A new financial report from the recently disbanded nonprofit that was organizing a celebration of the 1915 Panama California Exposition shows the group received more than $3 million in funding and spent about $2.6 million.

Business Calendar for Week of March 17, 2014

Some of the business events happening around the county for the week of March 17, 2014.

Qualcomm’s Beacons Help Apple Make the Sales

TECH: Tracking Users Helps Further Customize Customer Service Options

Apple Inc.’s retail stores have a silent partner in Qualcomm Inc.

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UCSD Student Takes Top Honors For Elevator Pitch

The local startup scene is generating lots of activity, so let’s jump right in. Daniel Lee, the student entrepreneur behind Hush Technology, won the University of California, San Diego’s 2014 Entrepreneur Challenge Elevator Pitch competition, which was held on campus. Lee also took the audience choice award for “most improved pitch,” as well as $500 for his prize-winning pitch.

Veteran Exec Smooths Life Tech’s Transition

BIOTECH: Stevenson Is President of New Division

Shepherding thousands of employees through a high-profile merger is highly daunting, but Mark Stevenson considers himself equal to the task. The veteran biotech executive has, after all, done it before.

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New Leadership to Set The Pace at Competitor

SPORT: Golf Exec Named CEO As Owner Charts New Course

Competitor Group Inc., the San Diego firm that manages the Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon Series and publishes four endurance sports magazines, hired David Abeles, who was the general manager at TaylorMade-Adidas Golf Co., as its new chief executive.

The Wave of Change Reaches Anthony’s

DINING: Landmark Eatery Plans Upgrades, New Venue

The Port of San Diego is reviewing plans by the operators of Anthony’s Fish Grotto that call for $4 million in renovations, including a modern makeover of its fisherman’s wharf-themed exterior and interior.

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At 50, SeaWorld Sees New Challenges

TOURISM: Controversies, Celebration Share Spotlight

SeaWorld San Diego is looking to make a splash as it celebrates its 50th anniversary this month as one of the region’s most popular visitor attractions, while also contending with unwanted controversy related to its parent company’s handling of its star killer whale performers.

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Pyramid Power

PROPERTY: Co. Bets It Can Shape Up an Office Market in Miramar

The latest office acquisition of Alliance Diversified Holdings LLC is not hard to find on a stretch of Miramar Road long dominated by furniture stores and strip retail centers.

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Thursday, March 13

Australia to Buy Several Northrop Grumman Triton UAVs

The Australian government said it plans to buy several Triton unmanned surveillance aircraft built by Northrop Grumman Corp. in a deal likely to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

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Sudberry Properties Buys Scripps Ranch Buildings for $8 Million

San Diego-based Sudberry Properties Inc. has purchased two Scripps Ranch buildings for $8 million, on a site where it plans to build a shopping center, according to CoStar Group and public data.

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County’s February Median Housing Price Is $410,000

The median price of a single family house in San Diego County in February was $410,000, up $5,000 from January, but down from the peak in June of $416,000, according to Dataquick, the La Jolla real estate research firm.

RFI Reports Q1 Net Income of $265,000

RF Industries Ltd., the San Diego maker and distributor of connectors and cable assemblies, reported first quarter net sales of $5.9 million, down 41 percent from the like quarter of 2013.

Walmart Neighborhood Market Opens El Cajon Store

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans a March 14 opening for its new Walmart Neighborhood Market store, at 300 N. 2nd St. in El Cajon.

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DJO Global Appoints New CFO

Vista-based medical device maker DJO Global Inc. has appointed Susan Crawford as the company’s new chief financial officer.

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Education Seminar to Address Role of Stem and Steam in Region's Well-Being

Educators and business people plan a gathering to discuss Stem — that’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics — with a helping of the arts.

Wednesday, March 12

ROIC Buys Poway Retail Center for $43.9 Million

San Diego-based Retail Opportunity Investments Corp., also known as ROIC, has purchased Creekside Plaza, a six-building shopping center in Poway, for approximately $43.9 million, according to CoStar Group and public data.

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Startup TaxJar Gets Some Big-Name Backing in Funding Round

San Diego-based startup TaxJar has received $600,000 in investment from some top tech industry angels, the company announced Wednesday.

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U.S. Women’s Soccer Team to Play China at Qualcomm Stadium

The U.S. Women’s national soccer team will play an exhibition match or “friendly” April 10 against longtime rivals from the People’s Republic of China at San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium with kickoff at 8 p.m.

Nassco Delivers USNS John Glenn to Navy, Gets Contract Modification for Sister Ship

General Dynamics Nassco delivered the auxiliary ship USNS John Glenn to its U.S. Navy customer on March 12 while separately on the same day, the Pentagon announced a $128.5 million deal for work on the John Glenn’s sister ship.

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PatientSafe Receives $3M Investment From a Canadian Telecom Company

San Diego-based mobile health care software developer PatientSafe Solutions Inc. has received a $3 million investment from Telus Ventures, the investment arm of Canadian telecom giant Telus Communications Co. (TSE: T).

Eddie V’s Opens Newest Restaurant at The Headquarters

Eddie V’s Prime Seafood, a brand of Florida-based Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE: DRI) has opened its newest location at 789 W. Harbor Drive, in The Headquarters at Seaport District retail center in downtown San Diego.

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Tuesday, March 11

Lumena Pharmaceuticals Closes $45M Funding Round

Lumena Pharmaceuticals Inc. has closed a $45 million Series B round, and will use the funding to develop drugs for two diseases of the liver.

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Competitor Group Announces Leadership Changes, Names Abeles New Chief Executive

Competitor Group Inc., the San Diego firm that manages the Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon Series and publishes four national endurance sports magazines, hired David Abeles, the top honcho at TaylorMade-Adidas Golf Co., as its new chief executive.

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Bridgepoint Education Reports Revenue Down Nearly 21% for 2013

Bridgepoint Education Inc., the San Diego operator of Ashford University and the University of the Rockies, reported lower revenue and profit for the fourth quarter and 2013.

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Taylor Morrison Buys Pacific Highlands Ranch Home Lots for $34.4 Million

The Southern California division of Taylor Morrison Homes has purchased 28.79 acres of property in San Diego’s Pacific Highlands Ranch neighborhood for approximately $34.4 million, with plans to build 174 houses, according to brokerage company Colliers International.

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Kratos Reports Net Loss of $37.2M for 2013 Fiscal Year

Kratos Defense and Security Solutions, which makes electronics for military and commercial customers, closed out its fourth quarter with a net loss of $7.4 million on revenue of $235.7 million.

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SR Commercial Buys Vista Industrial Portfolio for $15.2 million

Solana Beach-based investment and development firm SR Commercial has acquired four Vista industrial buildings, totaling more than 168,000 square feet, for $15.2 million.

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Sharp HealthCare Names New Chief Information Officer

Sharp HealthCare has named Ken Lawonn as its new chief information officer. He is replacing Bill Spooner, who retired March 3 after working 35 years for Sharp.

Monday, March 10

Local CB&T President Adds Northern California Division to Responsibilities

Tory Nixon, the San Diego division president for California Bank & Trust, was named division president to CB&T’s Northern California division as well.

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Port Approves Bank Financing for Kona Kai Resort Renovation

The Unified Port of San Diego has approved a financing plan for a renovation of Kona Kai Resort at Shelter Island, under which hotel operators will obtain a maximum $16.5 million loan from Torrey Pines Bank.

Illumina Sells Another $10M Gene Sequencer

San Diego-based Illumina Inc. has another buyer for its $10 million gene sequencing platform.

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Median Home Price in San Diego Declines in February

The median price for a single-family house in San Diego was $470,000 in February, down slightly from January.

Leidos Awarded Multimillion-Dollar Navy Contract to do Behavioral Health Research

Leidos Inc. has received a prime contract from the Naval Medical Logistics Command that could worth be $7.3 million if the U.S. Navy exercises all its options.

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Vista Retail Center Sells for $6.1 Million

Norco Estate Investment LLC of Rancho Cucamonga has bought a seven-building retail center in Vista for $6.1 million.

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AT&T Highlights Investments in San Diego Market

AT&T Inc. has invested more than $725 million in its San Diego network from 2011 through 2013, the company said in a March 7 news release.

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Sunday, March 9

The County's Unemployment Rate Increases to 7% in January

San Diego’s unemployment rate increased to 7 percent in January from December’s rate of 6.5 percent, as the region’s net job loss during the month was 16,400, according to the latest report from the state’s Employment Development Department.

Leap Wireless Reports $640.8M Loss for 2013 as Sale to AT&T Looms

Leap Wireless International Inc., the San Diego-based flat-rate cellphone service doing business as Cricket, reported a $640.8 million net loss for 2013 in what is expected to be its last annual securities filing before it completes its sale to AT&T Inc. later this month.

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The Acquisition of Medistem Is Completed

Intrexon Corp. has completed its acquisition of San Diego-based Medistem Inc., the acquiring company announced.

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DJO Global Taps Former IMDS CEO to Head DJO Surgical Brand

DJO Global Inc. has appointed Brady Shirley, an executive in the orthopedics industry, as president of its DJO Surgical brand.

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Novatel Reports Net Loss of 43.4M for 2013

Novatel Wireless Inc., the San Diego-based maker of wireless modems and software, reported a 2013 fourth quarter net loss of $21.3 million, compared with a net loss of $14.9 million in the like quarter of 2012.

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Encinitas Apartments Sell for $3 Million

A locally based trust bought the 11-unit Gardena Gardens Apartments in Encinitas for $3 million.

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The Business Calendar for the Week of March 10, 2014

Some of the business events scheduled for the week of March 10, 2014.

History-Themed Tavern With Museum Opens in Carlsbad

A history-themed venue featuring a 22,000-square-foot replica of a Colonial-era Boston tavern has opened in Carlsbad.

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Friday, March 7

Superheroes of San Diego Thanked for Health Care Heroics

More than 1,000 attendees at the 2-1-1 San Diego Annual Connections Luncheon recently netted $250,000 to support the community health and disaster support service and to recognize the local heroes providing San Diegans with health care resources.

Executive profile: Kandace Patton Watson

Kandace Patton Watson is the chair of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP’s mergers and acquisitions, securities and corporate team in Southern California and leads the corporate department’s Southern California health and life sciences and medical devices teams. Watson has extensive experience representing companies, corporate boards and executives in complex transactions and in numerous industries, with an emphasis on health care and pharmaceutical, biotechnology, Internet and media, software and technology, and food and beverage companies.

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Acquisition Is All About Getting the Price Right

Business: Determining Value Can Involve a Variety Of Factors and Approaches

If you’re planning to buy a business, it’s essential to establish its value before making an offer. Many factors must be taken into consideration in order to get a good return on your investment and minimize your risks.

Encinitas Apartments Sell for $3 Million

A locally based trust bought the 11-unit Gardena Gardens Apartments in Encinitas for $3 million.

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Smooth Selling

SALES: M&As Bring Up Legal, Financial and Even Emotional Issues

Selling a business is a complex undertaking that requires patience and careful planning to maximize your company’s market value.

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Banking Recovery Continues to Move in the Right Direction

The recovery may be happening slowly in some industries like construction, but most banks are feeling flush these days.

After Big Changes, Qualcomm Sees More Big Changes With 5G

Paul Jacobs has just stepped aside as CEO at Qualcomm Inc., but he still has a lot of ideas about where the company can go next.

Leap Wireless Reports $640.8M Loss for 2013 as Sale to AT&T Looms

Leap Wireless International Inc., the San Diego-based flat-rate cellphone service doing business as Cricket, reported a $640.8 million net loss for 2013 in what is expected to be its last annual securities filing before it completes its sale to AT&T Inc. later this month.

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Better Times Turn the Good Locations Into Retail Hot Spots

No official word at press time on whether any of San Diego County’s RadioShack stores — numbering 34, according to the retailer’s website — will get the axe as the Texas-based company carries out plans to close up to 1,100 of its more than 5,000 U.S. locations, amid continued sales woes. But one thing has rec

Valor Fined $250,000 for Withholding Test Results from FDA

Medical: Founder and Employees Also Admit Responsibility for Omissions

Valor Medical Inc. has been fined $250,000 for intentionally withholding from the Food and Drug Administration unfavorable test results indicating the toxicity of its brain aneurism treatment — an offense that Assistant U.S. Attorney Melanie Pierson said was “perpetrated for the purpose of commercial profit.”

Luna Grill Carefully Plots Expansion Course for Restaurant Chain

Dining: Plans Include Opening First Location In Texas, More Locally

For San Diego-based restaurant operator Premier Food Concepts LLC, the recipe for growth is a careful blending of healthy menu items, strategic site selections and patience.

History-Themed Tavern With Museum Opens in Carlsbad

A history-themed venue featuring a 22,000-square-foot replica of a Colonial-era Boston tavern has opened in Carlsbad.

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Website Offers Platform for ‘Selfies’ to Break Down Social Barriers

TECH: A Rating System Invites Comment to Open Dialogue Among Strangers

Some businesses depend on great technology or a great location. Duncan McLaren’s Encinitas-based business rides on the strength of the selfie.

DJO Global Taps Former IMDS CEO to Head DJO Surgical Brand

DJO Global Inc. has appointed Brady Shirley, an executive in the orthopedics industry, as president of its DJO Surgical brand.

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Acquisition of Medistem Is Completed

Intrexon Corp. has completed its acquisition of San Diego-based Medistem Inc., the acquiring company announced.

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It’s Unanimous: Local Exec New Connect CEO

San Diego life sciences and technology nonprofit Connect has appointed veteran health care and investment banking executive Greg McKee as its new CEO after a lengthy search.

Park Centennial Planning Group Votes to Disband

Balboa Park Celebration Inc., the nonprofit organization formed to put on a year-long series of events to commemorate the 1915 Panama California Exposition, voted to disband and cede its authority to the city of San Diego.

New Co. Looks to Extend Our Expiration Dates

BIOTECH: Venter Envisions Shift to Preventive Medicine Through Genomics Research

San Diego super scientist J. Craig Venter has launched a new company, Human Longevity Inc., with an ambitious — albeit ambiguous — pursuit: make people live longer.

Celgene Support Gives Abide Therapeutics $50M

BIOTECH: Enzymes Are Targeted to Treat A Variety of Conditions

San Diego-based Abide Therapeutics Inc. has partnered with biotech titan Celgene Corp. to develop new drugs in inflammation and immunology, receiving $50 million upfront in the deal.

Software Startup Taps DPO for Raising Capital

San Diego software startup Tower App Development said last week it is conducting a direct public offering, or DPO, at its website to raise the working capital it needs to complete development of its first mobile app, which CEO Tony Silva claims will revolutionize users online experience with social networks. Silva said the little-used DPO, limited to high net-worth investors residing in the Golden State, allows the company to sell shares directly without brokers and underwriters. Meanwhile, the SEC is set to announce this summer rules that will allow any investor anywhere to purchase shares in new companies through equity crowdfunding as part of the JOBS Act of 2012.

Westin Invests to Help Lawyers Prep for Battle

Hospitality: ‘War Rooms’ Leverage Proximity to Courtroom

The recently completed $15 million renovation of downtown’s Westin San Diego included the addition of what some might call a turbo-charged version of a conference facility, tailored specifically to lawyers.

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Novatel Reports Net Loss of $43.4 Million for 2013

Novatel Wireless Inc., the San Diego-based maker of wireless modems and software, reported a 2013 fourth quarter net loss of $21.3 million, compared with a net loss of $14.9 million in the like quarter of 2012.

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Foreign Sales Show Co. Goes Extra Mile

DEFENSE: Datron’s ‘Loaners’ Also Part of Marketing Strategy

Few San Diego County companies view Afghanistan as a business opportunity.

Port Takes Timeout To Sort Out Zoning

Development: Automobile Distributor’s, City’s Plans Clash

A longstanding dispute between Pasha Automotive Services, one of the Port of San Diego’s most successful tenants, and National City has prompted the port district to reassess its zoning in the area, a process that could take about two years.

County’s Unemployment Rate Increases to 7% in January

San Diego’s unemployment rate increased to 7 percent in January from December’s rate of 6.5 percent, as the region’s net job loss during the month was 16,400, according to the latest report from the state’s Employment Development Department.

Pirch Expanding to Chicago, Dallas Area

Retail: Approach to Selling Fixtures Attracts High-end Malls

San Diego-based Pirch is raising its national profile as it opens news stores and competes in the hyper-competitive home improvement retail industry.

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The Good, The Bad: The Generics

PHARMA: Patient Benefits, Patent Lawsuits Are All Part of the Mix

Adamis Pharmaceuticals Corp. stands unique among San Diego’s many drugmakers: It’s going generic.

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Business Calendar for Week of March 10, 2014

Some of the business events happening the week of March 10, 2014.

Thursday, March 6

Funding for 2nd Phase of the San Ysidro Port of Entry Project Is in Obama's Proposed Budget

Funding for the second phase of the San Ysidro port of entry expansion project was included in the fiscal 2015 federal budget proposed by President Obama.

Encore Prices Offering of Convertible Senior Notes

Encore Capital Group Inc. priced $140 million — the aggregate principal amount — of convertible senior notes due in 2021.

Emotient Inc. Closes $6M Funding Round

San Diego-based Emotient Inc., a maker of facial expression recognition software, has closed a $6 million Series B round of funding, led by Silicon Valley venture firm Handbag LLC.

Qualcomm to Provide Proximity Beacons at 20 Major League Ballparks

Qualcomm Inc. said on March 6 that it will provide proximity beacons to 20 Major League Baseball parks for the 2014 season.

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Tandem Diabetes Reports Sales Boosts for Q4, 2013

Tandem Diabetes Care Inc. reported sales of $29 million for the year ended Dec. 31, 2013, compared with $2.5 million for 2012.

Scripps Health Breaks Ground on $175M Medical Office Building

Scripps Health broke ground on its new, $175 million medical office building at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla – part of a $2 billion renovation plan for the campus.

Infosonics Reports Record Q4 Sales

Infosonics Corp., the San Diego distributor of cellphones and wireless devices mainly in South America, reported record fourth quarter sales, units shipped, and broke through for a small net profit.

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National City Apartments Get $23.5 Million in Refinancing

The San Diego office of commercial real estate services company HFF Inc. has secured $23.5 million in refinancing for two apartment communities totaling 141 units in National City.

Survey Seeks Your Input on Leadership Succession Planning

As baby boomers start retiring in waves and millennials step in to fill the void, business owners might be puzzling over management succession. Some take a very formal approach to the problem; others approach it casually.

Opening Set for Dunkin’ Donut, Ice Cream Shop at Embassy Suites

Massachusetts-based Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc. plans a March 10 opening for its combination Dunkin’ Donuts/ Baskin-Robbins restaurant, at downtown’s Embassy Suites San Diego Bay hotel.

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Wednesday, March 5

The Party Is Over for Balboa Park Centennial Group as It Votes to Disband

Balboa Park Celebration Inc., the nonprofit organization formed to put on a year-long series of events to commemorate the 1915 Panama California Exposition, voted to disband and cede all its authority to the city of San Diego.

Sequenom Announces Leadership Changes, New CEO

Genetic testing company Sequenom Inc. is shaking up its leadership with a number of internal promotions.

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San Diego City Council Repeals Development Fee Increase

San Diego City Council has voted to repeal a planned increase in commercial developer “linkage” fees, rather than place it on the June 3 ballot.

New Partnership Puts Bumble Bee Foods in Premium Food Arena

Bumble Bee Foods LLC, the San Diego provider of canned tuna and other seafood, said it entered into a partnership with Sapmer, the second largest tuna fleet in France.

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Rebranding Results in Harrah’s Resort Southern California, aka, Harrah’s SoCal

Caesars Entertainment Corp. and the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians have put a new brand on their casino-resort as they get ready to open their second hotel tower.

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El Al to Use ViaSat’s In-Flight Internet Service

ViaSat said that El Al will be the first customer for its Exede in-flight Internet service in Europe, adding that the airline plans to launch service within a year.

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Acadia Prices Public Offering of Common Stock

Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced it plans to raise $182 million in a secondary public offering of its common stock, pricing 6.4 million shares at $28.50 apiece.

Oceanside Apartments Sold for $38.25 million

Sunterra Apartments LLC, which includes Benedict Canyon Equities of Sherman Oaks, has purchased the 240-unit Sunterra Apartment Homes in Oceanside for $38.25 million, according to Institutional Property Advisors, which arranged the sale.

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Tracon Receives $10M in Development Deal With Japanese Drugmaker

San Diego-based Tracon Pharmaceuticals Inc. has received $10 million upfront after entering a global development and commercialization deal with Japanese drugmaker Santen Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.

Tuesday, March 4

J. Craig Venter Part of Team Launching Human Longevity Inc.

San Diego super-scientist J. Craig Venter has launched a new company, Human Longevity Inc. that aims to prolong the human lifespan through genomics and cell therapy-based diagnostics.

Connect Appoints New CEO

Connect, a San Diego life sciences and technology nonprofit, has appointed veteran health care and investment banking executive Greg McKee as its new CEO.

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New Qualcomm Leader Is Officially in Charge

Qualcomm Inc. announced an historic management transition as well as a $5 billion increase in its stock repurchase plan on March 4, the day of its annual shareholder meeting.

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Maxwell Technologies Sees Stock Jump 38% During 3 Trading Days

Shares of Kearny Mesa ultracapacitor-maker Maxwell Technologies Inc. rose 38 percent in three days of trading on Feb. 28, March 3 and March 4, closing at a 52-week high of $12.23.

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Six San Diego Office Buildings Part of $100 Million Portfolio Deal

New York-based SL Green Realty Corp. has agreed to sell its 43.7 percent interest in a Southern California office portfolio of 28 properties, including six San Diego buildings, for $100 million.

Cardium Enters Strategic Collaboration, Will Change Name

Cardium Therapeutics Inc. has entered a strategic collaboration and funding arrangement with Shanxi Taxus Pharmaceuticals Co. Ltd. of China to support the worldwide clinical and commercial development of San Diego-based Cardium’s regenerative medicine therapeutics products.

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Leap Wireless to Announce Q4 Results Through SEC Filing Only

Leap Wireless International, the San Diego based flat-rate carrier doing business under the Cricket brand, said it will release its 2013 fourth quarter and full year financial results to the Securities and Exchange Commission, but doesn’t intend to issue a separate news release or hold a conference call with stock analysts later this month.

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Sorrento Mesa Industrial Building Sells for $6.7 Million

Tig Real Estate Holdings LLC of San Diego has purchased a Sorrento Mesa industrial building for $6.7 million, according to CoStar Group and public data.

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Positive Business Outlook Gains More Momentum According to Survey

San Diego businesses are starting to feel more optimistic about the future, according to the most recent San Diego County Business Forecast.

Monday, March 3

Acadia Plans $150M Secondary Stock Offering

Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced it plans to raise $150 million in a secondary public offering of its common stock, though it didn’t indicate how it might use the proceeds.

Upper Deck Gets NHL Contract for Trading Cards

Upper Deck, the Carlsbad maker of sports trading cards, celebrates its 25th anniversary this week with the announcement that it’s got a new contract with the National Hockey League to be the exclusive provider of its players’ trading cards.

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PETA Calls on Petco to End Rodent Sales

Animal rights group PETA has asked Petco Animal Supplies Inc. to stop selling rodents as pets, alleging that the animals are mistreated by the suppliers and in transport, which the organization claims increases the risk to the animals and buyers.

MEI Pharma’s Leukemia Drug Receives Orphan Status From FDA

MEI Pharma Inc.’s investigational drug Pracinostat for treating acute myeloid leukemia has been granted orphan drug designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the company announced.

Cubic Completes Acquisition of Intific

Cubic Corp. has completed the acquisition of Intific Inc., an Austin, Texas-based advanced technology company focused on software and game-based solutions in modeling and simulation, training and education, cyber warfare, and neuroscience.

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Mixed-use Condo Project Planned on Bankers Hill Land Acquired for $5.3 Million

CR Fifth & Nutmeg, in care of San Diego-based developer Colrich, has purchased a Bankers Hill land parcel for approximately $5.3 million, with plans to develop an upscale mixed-use condominium project.

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Leucadia National Boosts Stake in HomeFed Corp. in Cash-Stock Deal

New York City-based Leucadia National Corp. will increase its stake in investment and development firm HomeFed Corp., under terms of an agreement in which the Carlsbad-headquartered HomeFed will receive $18.4 million in cash, along with certain real estate holdings of Leucadia.

Taxpayer Association President Leaving Post to Join Mayor Faulconer’s Staff

The San Diego County Taxpayers Association said its president, Felipe Monroig, is leaving the post to take a job with Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s administration.

Part of Lockheed Martin Work on New Navy Ship to Be Done in San Diego

The U.S. Navy has awarded Lockheed Martin Corp. a $10.8 million contract option covering the post-delivery support for one of its new ships, the future USS Milwaukee.

Contract Options Awarded Include Work at Naval Air Station North Island

The U.S. Navy’s Naval Air Systems Command has awarded contract options to four businesses, which will provide services at command headquarters at Patuxent River, Md. as well as outlying locations including Naval Air Station North Island.

Sunday, March 2

Websense Is Taking Texas Goody Bag and Going

It’s official: Websense is moving its headquarters to Austin, Texas.

Fairfield Inn Hotel Proposed for East Village Site

Developers are proposing a new 154-room Fairfield Inn & Suites hotel, planned for a site in East Village, according to documents filed with Civic San Diego, the city’s downtown project oversight agency.

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San Diego County Construction Contracts Dropped Sharply From 2013

Contracts awarded in January for future construction in San Diego County were down 78 percent from the first month of 2013, according to new data from McGraw-Hill Construction.

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Abide to Receive $50M Upfront in Collaboration with Celgene Corp.

Privately held Abide Therapeutics Inc. has partnered with biotech titan Celgene Corp. to develop new drugs in inflammation and immunology, receiving $50 million upfront in the deal.

Civic San Diego Names Phillips as Interim President

Civic San Diego, the non-profit agency overseeing projects in downtown and other city neighborhoods, has appointed Andrew Phillips to serve as interim president, following the recently announced departure of Jeff Graham.

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Isis' Stock Drops After Company Reports Q4 Results

Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s stock dropped nearly 10 percent following the announcement of its fourth quarter earnings, despite more than doubling its revenue for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2013. The company’s net loss increased significantly, however.

FMT Opens Office in Century City

Citing an uptick in its Los Angeles business and seeking to build on those gains, Carlsbad-based FMT Consultants LLC has opened an office on Santa Monica Boulevard in Century City.

The Business Calendar for the Week of March 3, 2014

Some of the business events planned for the week of March 3, 2014.

Bright Light Management Launches

Bright Light Management, a San Diego management consulting firm aimed at helping early-stage companies, recently announced its launch.

Seminar to Discuss Creating Economic Opportunity and the New Funding Formula for Schools

Representatives of five South Bay school districts are convening March 7 to discuss a newly instituted formula that determines the amount of funds the districts get from the state.