COUNTDOWN: Hawthorne’s Space Exploration Technologies has signed the first commercial contract for its large Falcon Heavy rocket with satellite services giant Intelsat. Intelsat, a Luxembourg company with Washington, D.C., administrative headquarters, is considered the world’s largest provider of fixed satellite services. Space Exploration, or SpaceX, will supply a Falcon Heavy rocket that will launch an Intelsat satellite into a low Earth orbit commonly used for communications satellites. Later in the week, the company’s Dragon capsule splashed down off the Baja California coast after successfully completing the first commercial supply mission to the International Space Station. The capsule was lifted by the company’s smaller Falcon 9 rocket.
TELEDYNE BUY: Teledyne Technologies Inc. in Thousand Oaks will acquire test equipment maker LeCroy Corp. in a deal valued at about $291 million. LeCroy, based in Chestnut Ridge, N.Y., makes scientific instruments that help engineers test electronic devices, primarily in the aerospace, computer and auto industries. Publicly held LeCroy, which employs about 500 people globally, had sales of approximately $178 million in its fiscal year ended July 2. Teledyne will pay about $240 million in cash, or $14.30 a share. The deal includes LeCroy debt, employee stock options and bonuses, and other items.
NEW COO: On Assignment Inc. has promoted Michael McGowan to chief operating officer of the specialty staffing company. The Calabasas company, which serves the health care, technology and life sciences sectors, said McGowan would continue to serve as president of Oxford Global Resources, the company’s IT and engineering division. He will also oversee the life sciences, allied health care, traveling nurse and Vista Staffing Solutions businesses. McGowan has more than 30 years of executive management experience, the company said. He joined Oxford Global Resources in 1997 as COO. Oxford was acquired by On Assignment in 2007. He previously was senior vice president and general manager for Kelly Services’ middle-market division.
GAME NEWS: Activision Publishing Inc. has signed a multiyear global licensing partnership with Mega Brands Inc. to develop toys and puzzles inspired by Activision’s “Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure” video game franchise. The subsidiary of Santa Monica’s Activision Blizzard Inc. said toys based on its upcoming “Skylanders Giants” game would come out under Montreal-based Mega Brand’s Mega Blocks and Mega Puzzles lines.
CYBER LAYOFFS: CyberDefender Corp., which is being sold to infomercial marketer Guthy-Renker Corp., has filed its intention to lay off most of its work force. The downtown L.A. company, which makes computer security software and provides IT services, told the California Employment Development Department that it intends to let go up to 307 workers. The notice was filed in compliance with the California Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, which requires at least 60 days advance written notice of an intended mass layoff or plant closing. A recent company filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission listed 379 employees. The company did not immediately return a call for comment. CyberDefender in February filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and announced an agreement to sell most of its assets to GR Match LLC, an investment unit of Santa Monica-based Guthy-Renker.
OUTLAW BAGS: Plastic bag manufacturers took a hit as the Los Angeles City Council voted to ban single-use plastic bags at grocery stores and other retailers in the city. The motion, approved 13-1, gives large retailers six months and small retailers a year to phase out plastic bags. Retailers will then have a year before they must charge shoppers 10 cents each for paper bags. The council will have to vote on the measure again, likely this fall, after an environmental impact report. The American Progressive Bag Alliance, a trade group representing plastic bag makers, called the new L.A. policy Draconian and said it could lead to layoffs at bag companies, such as Crown Poly in Huntington Park.
FUND CLOSED: Leonard Green & Partners LP has closed its sixth private-equity investment fund, this one for $6.25 billion. The West L.A. firm, which invests in middle-market companies, said that Green Equity Investors VI LP substantially exceeded its original target, closing at a hard cap of $6 billion in limited partner commitments, plus $250 million more from Leonard Green affiliates. The sectors of focus for the new fund will include retail, distribution, health care, aerospace/defense and consumer/business services.
SUBWAY SUIT: The Beverly Hills Unified School District filed a lawsuit asking a judge to overturn the Los Angeles County transportation agency’s approval of a plan to dig a subway tunnel under Beverly Hills High School. The long-expected move is the latest escalation of a years-long battle between the district and the county’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority over the route of the Purple Line, which is being extended into the Westside. The two public agencies and their supporters have presented dueling experts, reports and viral web videos on the hazards and benefits of tunneling under the high school to a proposed station in the heart of Century City. Beverly Hills leaders prefer a Century City station near the district’s northern boundary that does not require tunneling under the campus.
EARNINGS: Semtech Corp. reported net income of $2.2 million for the quarter ended April 29, compared with $22.6 million in same period a year earlier. Revenue fell 4.7 percent to less than $117 million. … Guess Inc. reported first quarter net income of $26.6 million compared with $42.7 million in the same period a year earlier. Revenue fell about 2 percent to $579 million.
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