VIDEO: Harris Corp. to sell its Broadcast division
1 year ago
City and economic development leaders discuss possibilities to keep plant here under new ownership
Harris Corporation is divesting its Broadcast Communications division.
Quincy Mayor John Spring spoke with Harris officials Tuesday morning and Tuesday afternoon and held a news conference Tuesday afternoon.
"I'm saddened to hear the news," Spring said. "It is my hope they can sell that business and someone will come in to see that the Quincy facility provides a high quality of work. We can try to assist Harris to keep these jobs here."
Spring said company officials told him no jobs are being eliminated yet and the company plans to keep the operation up and running for the forseeable future until a sale is made, so for now it will be business as usual for the 384 people employed in the broadcasting division of Harris.
Spring and other city leaders had about a 45 minute conference call with Chris Parsons, who is the vice president of global operations for Harris.
Spring said it was a tough decision for the company, and Quincy was committed to doing all it can to protect the local jobs. Harris has deep roots in the City, with its beginnings as Gates Radio under Parker Gates, and Spring said company leaders mentioned Quincy was one of its most well-run divisions.
After Tuesday morning's announcement, Parsons said they've been getting e-mail and phone call inquiries regarding the sale of the broadcasting division. Spring said he believes a final decision will be made by the end of the calendar year.
The news from Harris this morning doesn't make clear what the future of the Quincy plant is. Along with the 384 people employed at Harris's Quincy Broadcast Communications facility, there are 1,700 employees over in that division of Harris.
"We realize it's going to impact those 384 people, regardless of what happens," Spring said.
“The decision to divest Broadcast Communications resulted from a thorough review of our business portfolio, which determined that the business is no longer aligned with the company’s long-term strategy,” stated William M. Brown, president and chief executive officer, in releasing the company’s latest financial numbers this morning.
“The plan to sell these assets supports our disciplined approach to capital allocation, and we intend to use the proceeds to return cash to shareholders and invest in growing our core businesses.”
The move will pull Harris out of a product category with which it has long been associated, and further shake up the competitive terrain among manufacturers of high-profile broadcast components. Harris is a manufacturer of radio and TV equipment including transmitters, consoles, STL equipment and other systems.
Harris in 2011 rolled its broadcast business into a segment called Integrated Network Solutions. In the latest quarter, Harris reported that revenue for the INS segment was slowed by declining revenue in broadcast “as a result of weaker demand in North America and longer international sales lead times.”
In its latest financial report, the parent company reported revenue in its third quarter of $1.48 billion. “In connection with the process of evaluating strategic alternatives for Broadcast Communications, the company recorded in the third quarter a non-cash charge of $407 million after-tax, or $3.62 per diluted share, to write down a significant portion of the goodwill and other long-lived assets in Broadcast Communications, resulting in the GAAP loss from continuing operations.”