Loral Corporation was a defense contractor founded in 1948 in New York by William Lorenz and Leon Alpert as Loral Electronics Corporation. The company's name was taken from the first letters of each founder's surname.
It originally worked on developing RADAR and SONAR detection methods for the U.S. Navy. In 1959, it went public with an initial offering of 250,000 shares at $12 each. Part of the proceeds from this offering were used to build a new headquarters on its 10-acre site at 825 Bronx River Avenue, in the Soundview section of The Bronx, New York.
In 1959, it began to diversify, buying several smaller companies, through which it won more military contracts. Some purchased companies included Willor Manufacturing Corp., American Beryllium Co., Inc., of Sarasota, Florida, Arco Electronics, and several plastics companies.
In 1961, it formed a division for developing communications, telemetry, and space navigation systems for satellites.
In the late 1960s, it was awarded many military contracts, including a $3.9 million US Navy contract for Doppler navigation radar in 1965, a $14 million contract from General Dynamics for advanced electronics for the US Air Force F-111 airplane in 1969, and a $3.9 million contract for airborne countermeasures for the Phantom RF-4C reconnaissance plane. By the late 1960s, Loral specialized in radar receivers, which identified signatures of enemy radar systems on missiles and anti-aircraft guns.
However, by the late 1960s, Loral's corporate purchases were causing problems for the company. In 1971, it had lost $3 million and was sometimes unable to meet its loan payments. Many acquisitions were not profitable and also not in Loral's primary business. The founders, Lorenz and Alpert, were prepared to sell half their interest in the company.
Loral was on the verge of bankruptcy in 1972 before it was acquired by Bernard Schwartz, who over the course of the next two decades built it into a major player in the global aerospace and defense industry, acquiring 16 other defense and aerospace companies. In 1995, Loral had $5.5 billion in revenue. In 1996, Loral sold its defense electronics and system integration businesses to Lockheed Martin; its remaining units became Loral Space & Communications. The following year, several of those former Loral units were spun off by Lockheed Martin
to become the core of L-3 Communications.
Loral was accused of transferring technology to China in 1996. The incident arose as a result of an investigation into the launch failure of Intelsat 708, a Space Systems/Loral–built satellite. The company settled the matter with the State Department and Department of Justice and was never indicted.Close Up of Vignette
Common Stock, specimen, late 1900’sPrinter: American Bank Note Company Dimensions:
8” (h) x 12” (w)State: NY-New York Subject Matter: Aviation and Aerospace
| Commercial Satellites
| Specimen Pieces Vignette Topic(s): Male Subject
| Rocket Featured Condition:
No fold lines, punch hole cancels in the signature areas and body, very crisp.