CalComp Technology Inc., which has struggled for years to become profitable after being spun off by aerospace and defense giant Lockheed Martin Corp., said Friday it will begin shutting down its operations, terminating 450 employees by the end of the month.
CalComp, which manufactures computer graphics products and employs about 250 people in its Anaheim offices, said it hopes to sell off major parts of its business and have an orderly shutdown of operations over the next six months.
On Friday, 70 people were let go at CalComp's local operations, which include administrative staff, customer service and support and some manufacturing.
About 80 people, primarily in the company's administrative, marketing and sales departments, will be terminated over the next few months, said company officials.
The remaining 90 employees, who are in the company's customer service group, will be kept on until CalComp shuts down, officials said.
Lockheed, the company's majority shareholder and primary lender, has agreed to provide an undisclosed amount of funding to allow CalComp to shut down without filing for bankruptcy.
"The company is negotiating to sell off its assets to meet its obligations," said Mike Pollock, a spokesman for the company. "CalComp is trying to make this transition as smooth as possible for both its employees and its customers."
Employees have been expecting Friday's news since December, when Lockheed said it would not extend its existing $43-million credit line for CalComp. At the time, CalComp said that it planned to close and it would reach the limit of its credit line in January.
When the news of the closure was released last month, most employees were on vacation. When they returned to work on Jan. 4, there were messages on their voice mail about the pending layoffs and a series of employee meetings was held to discuss the issue.
Before Friday's job cuts, the company had about 895 employees in the U.S. and a total of 1,000 employees worldwide.
Over the last 12 quarters, CalComp has piled up losses totaling $176.6 million.
Last year, CalComp hired Salomon Smith Barney to find a buyer for its division in Scottsdale, Ariz., which develops scanners and digitizers.
The company also is trying to sell its manufacturing facilities in Belgium and its division in Sunnyvale, which develops and manufactures inkjet printers for the graphics industry.
Lockheed Martin officials did not return phone calls Friday.
Soon after the announcement early Friday, Nasdaq officials halted trading in CalComp's shares. The stock closed Thursday at 25 cents a share.
Last month, Lockheed Martin said it was considering cutting its 83% stake in CalComp. CalComp had dismissed more than 200 workers in a cost-cutting move and restructured its debt with Lockheed Martin.
CalComp had pinned its hopes on its CrystalJet technology, which it said enabled commercial inkjet printing systems to produce photograph-quality color images cheaper and faster and with a greater variety of inks.
CalComp has signed a joint-development agreement with Eastman Kodak Co. to develop more uses for the product. Analysts said CalComp was late in introducing the technology.