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Hard-working ships for hard-working people.

— Lakon Spaceways' slogan[1]

Lakon Spaceways is an Allied manufacturer of ships and equipment based in Alioth. It specialises in producing durable, utilitarian freighters and exploration vessels. Beginning in December 3303, the then-independent Lakon entered a partnership with the Alliance to develop new military craft to combat the Thargoids, resulting in the creation of the Type-10 Defender, Alliance Chieftain, Alliance Challenger, and Alliance Crusader. By February 3307, Lakon had become a key defence contractor for the Alliance Defence Force, and in the wake of financial troubles and a failed hostile takeover by Core Dynamics, the Alliance purchased a majority stake in Lakon to rescue the company from insolvency and block other acquisition attempts.

History

Founding

Lakon Spaceways is one of the oldest ship manufacturers in the galaxy. Their very first dedicated transport vessel was built on Earth in the 26th century. Lakon's early ship models were known for the ease with which they could be repaired away from port, a quality that the company has taken care to ensure is maintained in all of its ships to this day. Lakon vessels have a reputation for purely functional designs that generally disregard aesthetic considerations, and fans of the manufacturer boast that they prefer their ships to look like ships, not abstract sculptures.[1]

Alliance partnership

On December 17, 3303, Lakon Spaceways announced that it had been commissioned by the Alliance to produce a new ship in response to the ongoing Thargoid attacks in the Pleiades Nebula. The resulting vessel was named the Type-10 Defender, and represented a comprehensive revision to the Type-9 Heavy that Lakon engineers designed to be particularly effective in combat situations. The development was significant in that it represented the first overtly military response from the Alliance to the rising Thargoid threat. Lakon committed to an aggressive production schedule that ensured the Type-10 reached retailers by the following week.[2]

On March 2, 3304, the Alliance announced the debut of the Alliance Chieftain, a combat ship designed specifically to counter the Thargoids. Like the Type-10, the Chieftain was developed by Lakon Spaceways in partnership with the Alliance.[3] Retailers had already begun selling the Chieftain on February 27.

The Alliance Chieftain was followed by the Alliance Challenger on June 28, 3304, a variant of the Chieftain that offered increased firepower in exchange for a slight reduction in manoeuvrability.

On August 24, 3304, Lakon Spaceways announced a third vessel in its line of Alliance combat ships, the Alliance Crusader, would go on sale on August 28. Meera Callanach, head of military projects at Lakon, explained that the Crusader was designed to accommodate a Fighter Hangar, but sacrificed some manoeuvrability.[4]

From October 16, 3305 to October 22, 3305, Lakon Spaceways discounted the Type-6 Transporter, Type-7 Transporter, and Type-9 Heavy by 20% galaxy-wide. The discount was made to support the disposal of Rockforth Fertiliser in an initiative sponsored by the Interstellar Association for Agriculture, which had determined the fertiliser was causing massive crop failures.[5]

Failed takeover by Core Dynamics

In an unexpected move, Core Dynamics made an official bid to acquire complete ownership of Lakon Spaceways on November 24, 3306. CEO Jupiter Rochester confirmed that, as with Core Dynamics' acquisition of Vodel in 3305, Lakon would retain all of its engineers and production facilities after the merger. Lakon did not immediately respond to the offer, but industry analysts speculated that the company may have been financially strained by investment in the Alliance Chieftain and its sister ships. Despite questions about the legality of inter-superpower corporate mergers, neither the Federal Commerce Authority nor the Independent Commission for Market Equality moved to reject the potential deal.[6] Lakon board of directors chairperson Naomi Landseer turned down Core Dynamics' proposal on December 1. The rejection came as a surprise to many, as rumours persisted that Lakon faced severe financial problems, and a number of Lakon's shareholders had voiced support for the merger and disapproval of Landseer's apparent favoritism toward Alliance contracts.[7]

In an apparent attempt to assuage Lakon's shareholders with a short-term profit boost, the company applied a 30% discount to the Asp Scout, Diamondback Scout, Keelback, Type-7 Transporter, and Type-10 Defender that went into effect from December 7 to December 30, 3306. Chairperson Landseer struck an optimistic tone in a public statement on the matter, insisting that Lakon Spaceways was financially secure and more prominent than ever thanks in large part to its Alliance partnership, and the company was likely to see an influx of military contracts during the ongoing tensions between the Federation and the Empire.[8] Core Dynamics announced a sale of its own on December 14, likely a strategy to fund a hostile takeover of Lakon. Rumours had already begun swirling that Lakon shareholders were being bribed to sell their shares or coerced into pressuring the Lakon board of directors to accept ownership by Core Dynamics.[9]

On December 22, an emergency general meeting of Lakon investors was convened in which a majority of shareholders voted to remove several members of the board of directors who had opposed the Core Dynamics buyout, including Chairperson Landseer. The new members of the board affirmed that Core Dynamics' original bid would be reconsidered.[10] Due to economic instability, the value of Lakon shares plunged to unprecedented lows on December 29, and the company stood on the brink of insolvency and dissolution. Chairperson Trent Delaney, the replacement for Landseer, was optimistic that Lakon would recover after its merger with Core Dynamics was complete, but the Independent Commission for Market Equality warned that irregularities had been observed in the recent transfer of Lakon shares to new owners, and some senior directors of Core Dynamics reportedly disagreed with the acquisition.[11]

Lakon's board of directors voted to accept the Core Dynamics takeover on January 5, 3307, paving the way for the acquisition to be formalized in two months' time. No change in Lakon's manufacturing schedule or business practices was expected before then. The transaction was approved by the Federal Commerce Authority, but the ICME delayed its own ruling while it continued investigating irregularities. Admiral Rachel Ziegler of the Council of Admirals also warned the Alliance Assembly that a foreign power producing Alliance ships would present major security issues for the Alliance Defence Force.[12] As the transfer proceeded, an anonymous Core Dynamics insider informed Vox Galactica on January 13 about how Jupiter Rochester had been managing the company in a way that benefitted him and his family more than Core Dynamics itself. While some directors were displeased with Rochester's management and the veil of secrecy around Jupiter Division, the departments run personally by Rochester, his extensive connections ensured the company never lacked military contracts, making him too valuable to replace. Core Dynamics declined to comment on the story, but Naomi Landseer asked the ICME to investigate the claims.[13]

The takeover of Lakon by Core Dynamics was declared illegal by the ICME on February 10, after its inquiry confirmed that Jupiter Rochester had coerced Lakon shareholders with bribes and blackmail. Core Dynamics, in disarray after Rochester abandoned the corporation with several departments to establish Jupiter Division as an independent faction days earlier, terminated the merger process. Chairperson Trent Delaney and several other Lakon directors resigned, and Naomi Landseer was reinstated by majority vote in an emergency stakeholder meeting. Investor confidence in Lakon was shaken by the sudden developments, leaving the company's share value in freefall and its future uncertain, but Sirius Corporation stepped in to make its own offer to acquire the shipbuilder.[14]

Joining the Alliance

The Alliance announced that the Assembly had voted to purchase of a majority sharehold in Lakon Spaceways on February 16, 3307. While some councillors, including Nakato Kaine, voted against the purchase, the news was met with broad approval from the public, the shipbuilding industry, and the Council of Admirals. Chairperson Landseer confirmed that Lakon's ship production would continue uninterrupted thanks to the infusion of government funding and renewed investor interest. Lakon personnel and resources began relocating to Alliance space.[15] The company's new administrative headquarters, Lakon Spaceways Central on planet 1 A in Alioth, was completed on February 19. A 5% discount on all Lakon ships was permanently applied at all stations in the system.[16]

On February 25, 3307, Lakon Spaceways placed a 10% discount on all of its ships for three weeks to celebrate the first Galactic Summit. Gutamaya and Core Dynamics likewise applied identical discounts to their own inventories.[17]

Products

Ships

Name Type Image
Alliance Challenger Combat Alliance Challenger.png
Alliance Chieftain Combat Chieftain-Ship-Station.png
Alliance Crusader Combat Alliance-Crusader-ship-in-ED.png
Asp Explorer Multipurpose Asp Explorer - Profile.png
Asp Scout Multipurpose Asp Scout - Profile.png
Diamondback Explorer Combat Explorer Diamondback Explorer new default.png
Diamondback Scout Combat Explorer Diamondback Scout - Profile.png
Keelback Combat Freighter Keelback Hangar.jpg
Type-6 Transporter Freighter Type-6-Transporter-Docked.png
Type-7 Transporter Freighter Type7 1.png
Type-9 Heavy Freighter Blaze-02.jpg
Type-10 Defender Combat Freighter Type-10 Defender with T9 and T7.png

References

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