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.
MOVING DAY: Northrop Grumman Corp.’s new corporate headquarters in Falls Church, Va. is expected to be ready for employees by the end of the month. Employees, many of whom already have moved from Los Angeles to temporary office space in the Washington, D.C. area, are expected to be phased into the new office in the coming weeks. About half of the 300 corporate employees who will be in the headquarters are expected to be new hires. The company still working out who will make the move from Los Angeles.
ONLINE: Internet Brands Inc. of El Segundo has acquired two websites from eHarmony, a Pasadena company known for its match-making site. Weddingbee.com is an online blog focused on the wedding industry, brides and wedding planning, and JustMommies.com is an online community for mothers and mothers-to-be. Internet Brands said the buy bolsters its list of women-focused sites. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
IN DEFENSE: A Teledyne Technologies Inc. subsidiary has been awarded a contract to design and manufacture its Shallow Water Combat Submersible as a replacement for the Navy’s Seal Delivery Vehicle. The contract is potentially worth up to $383 million if all options are exercised. The Thousand Oaks company’s Teledyne Brown Engineering Inc. division developed a full-scale interior mockup of the submersible under a contract awarded last October. It also was selected to provide long-range gliders the Navy will use to gather oceanographic data for naval maneuvers. That contract will be worth more than $53 million if all options are exercised.
PARTNERSHIP: Wedbush Inc. has purchased a partnership interest in Van Hulzen Asset Management, and is forming a strategic partnership with the Folsom asset manager. The L.A.-based financial services and investment company said Jackson-based Van Hulzen’s flagship product invests in high-quality, dividend-paying companies to add income and lower portfolio volatility.