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ESS sells HD-DVD, Blu-ray tech to SiS

Posted: 20 Feb 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Blu-ray? HD-DVD? ESS Technology? SiS Holding? Dylan McGrath?

Digital video processor vendor ESS Technology Inc. announced late last week (Feb. 16) it has sold its HD-DVD and Blu-ray DVD technologies and related assets to Silicon Integrated Systems Corp. (SiS) for $13.5 million.

The agreement with SiS covers the sale of certain tangible assets, licensing of related intellectual property and the transfer of associated employees, ESS said.

The company also said it would cease operation of its camera phone business and pursue licensing of its image sensor technology and patents. According to ESS, this action would reduce operating expenses by roughly $2 million per quarter.

ESS announced it would sell the camera phone and DVD chip lines last September, when the firm cut 25 percent of its work force.

ESS also announced that Bruce Alexander, formerly a technology investment banker at Needham and Co. Inc., has joined the company's board of directors.

"We continue to focus our immediate efforts on cutting operating expenses and improving margins while we continue to evaluate current business and explore new opportunities to maximize shareholder value," said Robert Blair, ESS president and CEO, in a statement.

Blair said ESS repurchased 3.7 million shares of its common stock for a total of $4.2 million during Q4 of 2006. The company plans to repurchase another 5.7 million shares, he said.

- Dylan McGrath
EE Times

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