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Lockheed Unit Unsure of Its Place in Merger : Business: CalComp workers are not panicking, but Anaheim is taking notice--it wants the company to stay.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Though the climate was calm Tuesday at CalComp Inc., winds of change were stirring.

Employees of the Anaheim maker of computer peripherals learned that parent company Lockheed plans to merge with Martin Marietta to form a giant aerospace company, and they don’t know just how they will fit in.

“It’s kind of premature to talk about it,” CalComp spokesman Richard Stehr said. In fact, the merger agreement was hardly even a topic of conversation around the plant Tuesday.

But around town, business leaders were taking notice. With a work force of 700, CalComp is one of Anaheim’s largest employers, and its closure or relocation from the city would be a blow.

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Jeff Farano, president of the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce, said CalComp is just the kind of business the city would like to keep--a manufacturer that provides a large number of good jobs. The city would be willing to work with the parent company, he said, to ensure that CalComp stays put.

Because it is a profitable competitor in the growing market for computer graphics printers and plotters, CalComp may be insulated from economic pressures in the aerospace industry to cut back.

“Certainly not in the short term is there going to be any difference” under Lockheed Martin, as the new company would be called, Stehr said. “We operate fairly autonomously.”

Up to now, the computer peripherals business has not been hit as hard as other segments of the defense industry by budget cutbacks. It has had some reductions, though. CalComp’s work force in Anaheim is half the size it was a decade ago, Stehr said, as the company has contracted out work such as quality control that is now done by suppliers.

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Esmael Adibi, an economist at Chapman University in Orange, predicted that CalComp will stay in the Lockheed Martin fold unless it falters.

“They would love to put money in CalComp as long as they see it as the state of the art,” Adibi said.


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