Northrop Lands Billion-Dollar IT Contact

Northrop Grumman Corp., the second-largest supplier of computer services to the U.S. government, finalized a 10-year, $2 billion technology contract with the state of Virginia, the Los Angeles-based company said. The contract is for the management of computer services for 91 of the state's government agencies starting on July 1. So far 554 of the more than 800 state employees formerly responsible for the work have joined Northrop, and the rest have until mid-September to decide whether to switch employers, Northrop spokeswoman Juli Ballesteros said. Northrop has 125,000 employees worldwide and reported 2005 revenue of more than $30 billion, with about 20 percent of that going to the company's information technology sector, which was started earlier this year.

Lion's Gate Grabs "South Park" Distributor
Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. bought television distributor Debmar-Mercury LLC in a move into TV syndication. Debmar-Mercury's principals, Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein, will run it as a wholly owned Lions Gate subsidiary, the Santa Monica-based independent film company said. Lions Gate moved earlier this year to broaden its business by acquiring rights to film libraries owned by Mach 8 and Redbus Film Distribution Ltd. Debmar-Mercury owns rights to distribute TV shows such as the animated comedy "South Park" and the science-fiction series "Farscape," Lions Gate said.

Universal Detection Establishes Consulting Firm
Universal Detection Technology, a Beverly Hills-based developer of early-warning systems used in detection chemical weapons, has established a consulting division called the UDT Consulting Division. The new division will offer a variety of services, the company said, including specialized integration of anthrax spore monitor technologies. Most of Universal Detection's products are designed to provide early-warning alerts for airborne anthrax attacks or other potential bio-threats involving endospores.

Sea Launch Names New Sales V.P.
Long Beach-based Sea Launch Co. said it named Peter Stier vice president for marketing and sales effective immediately. Stier will replace Rob Peckham, who was promoted last month to Sea Launch's president and general manager. Sea Launch provides commercial launch services for putting heavy communications satellites, up to 13,000 pounds, into orbit using a converted oil rig platform in the Pacific Ocean. About a month ago, Sea Launch successfully put into orbit a 10,000-pound communications satellite for Connecticut-based PanAmSat.

Dream Works Names New Board Member
DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc., named investment banker Michael J. Montgomery to its board, the company said. Montgomery is president of Santa Monica, California-based Montgomery & Co. and leads the media and entertainment practice, DreamWorks said in a statement.

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