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Thales Alenia Space Fr. v. thermo Funding Co., LLC

United States District Court, S.D. New York

June 25, 2013

THALES ALENIA SPACE FRANCE, Plaintiff, - against- THERMO FUNDING COMPANY, LLC, Defendant

Page 460

June 25, 2013, Filed

For Plaintiff: Elliot E. Polebaum, Esq., Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, Washington, DC.

For Defendant: Gerald S. Greenberg, Esq., Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, Cincinnati, OH.

Shira A. Scheindlin, U.S.D.J.

OPINION

Page 461

OPINION AND ORDER

SHIRA A. SCHEINDLIN, U.S.D.J.:

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff Thales Alenia Space France (" Thales" ) filed this action against Thermo Funding Company, LLC (" Thermo" ) for an alleged breach of contract. Thermo moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim and lack of personal jurisdiction, arguing tat Thales did not adequately plead the validity of the agreement between the parties (Thales alleges personal jurisdiction on the basis of the agreement's forum-selection clause). Because Thales has plausibly alleged the existence of a binding contract between the parties, Thermo's motion to dismiss under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2) and 12(b)(6) is denied.

II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

This action arises from a series of contractual relationships between three entities. Thales is a French aerospace company involved in the manufacture of low Earth orbit (" LEO" ) satellites.[1] Globalstar, Inc. (" Globalstar" ) is a provider of satellite voice and data services that operates LEO satellites.[2] Thermo is a private equity firm that owns a controlling interest in Globalstar.[3]

A. The Parties' Business Relationships

In late 2006, Globalstar contracted with Thales's predecessor, Alcatel Alenia Space France, for the purchase of forty-eight new LEO satellites.[4] These were to be Globalstar's " second generation constellation of satellites." [5] In 2009, Globalstar and Thales executed a new agreement (the " Supply Agreement" ) ...


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