THE BOSS: Oprah Winfrey will take over as chief executive of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. The L.A. cable channel co-owned by Winfrey and Discovery Communications Inc., has faltered in the ratings since launching in January. She ended her hit syndicated TV talk show filmed in Chicago in May, and Winfrey is now free to concentrate on her latest media venture on the West Coast. Winfrey also will serve as chief creative officer as the network prepares her new talk show, “Oprah’s Next Chapter,” to debut on OWN in January.
INVESTMENT: Amgen Inc. has licensed three experimental cancer antibodies from Rockville, Md., drug developer Micromet Inc. in a deal that could be worth almost $1 billion. The Thousand Oaks biotech giant, which is interested in the antibodies as treatments for solid tumors, has agreed to pay Micromet $14.3 million upfront, then reimburse Micromet for research and development costs. On top of potential royalties, Micromet could get more than $487 million in payments if the drugs hit development milestones, get regulatory approval and reach certain sales targets.
ACQUISITION: Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. has agreed to acquire Continental Alloys & Services Inc., which makes products for the oil and gas industry. The L.A. company, which is considered North America’s largest operator of metal service centers, is buying a privately held Houston maker of high-end steel and alloy pipe, tube and bar products, and precision tools. The deal includes certain affiliates of Continental, which had unaudited combined net sales of about $196 million for the six months ended June 30. Financial terms were not disclosed.
LAUNCHPAD: Space Exploration Technologies Corp. has broken ground on a launch site at Vandenberg Air Force Base for the Falcon Heavy, the world’s largest rocket. The Hawthorne commercial spaceflight company, known as SpaceX, expects the site to be operational late next year. The Falcon Heavy will be capable of carrying more than 117,000 pounds to orbit, the equivalent of an entire commercial airplane full of passengers, crew, luggage and fuel. The Delta IV Heavy, the nation’s largest unmanned rocket and made by Boeing-Lockheed Martin joint venture United Launch Alliance, can lift a maximum payload of about 50,000 pounds into low Earth orbit.
NEW BUSINESS: VCA Antech Inc. will buy a group of North Carolina animal hospitals and a marketing communications company that serves veterinary practices. The L.A. veterinary clinic and laboratory chain Monday said that it will pay $146 million for nine-hospital MediMedia Animal Health LLC of Yardley, Pa., and $50 million for Charlotte-based BrightHeart Veterinary Centers. MediMedia’s Vetstreet provides online communications, professional education, and marketing solutions for veterinarians, including educational and e-commerce web sites.
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