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Harris Sells Broadcast Business to Gores Group for $225M

The sale price includes $160 million in cash at closing

Harris Corp. has met its year-end deadline of selling the Harris Broadcast Communications Division. The company said today it has reached an agreement to sell the division to an affiliate of The Gores Group, LLC for $225 million.

Harris is a manufacturer of radio and TV equipment including transmitters, STL equipment, consoles and other systems. The Gores Group is a private equity firm that has a wide variety of holdings, including a partial stake in syndication giant Dial Global.

The sale price includes $160 million in cash at closing, which is expected to take place early in calendar year 2013.

“The sale of Broadcast Communications reflects our strategy to optimize our business portfolio and focus on our core businesses,” said William M. Brown, president and chief executive officer of Harris. “As previously communicated, we plan to repurchase up to $200 million of our shares after the deal closes. This is in addition to the $200 million of share repurchases already planned for fiscal 2013 and reflects our ongoing commitment to effectively deploy capital, including returning cash to shareholders.”

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CEO Harris Morris remains with Harris Broadcast in the same position. According to a story in the Quincy Herald-Whig newspaper, there were 348 employees at Harris’ Quincy facility at the time the sale was announced earlier this year. In November, however, up to 17 people were laid off from the broadcast communications division. Many of those affected worked in Quincy.

“In Harris Broadcast Communications, we are investing in a proven technology leader with great products and a great team. We are excited to provide the capital and support to transition this division to a strong and independent company further enabling it to continue developing and delivering market leading technologies to its customers,” said Ryan Wald, Managing Director of The Gores Group.

Harris Corp. officials said earlier this year the decision to leave broadcast was based on a six month review that showed the Broadcast Communications business had become less aligned with Harris’ core business and long term strategy.

Harris had a rich legacy of serving the broadcast market. Harris Intertype Corp. purchased Gates Radio in 1957 and entered the TV transmitter market in 1969. It later added Intraplex’s STL business and Pacific Research & Engineering consoles.

Harris Corp. worked with investment banker Morgan Stanley to manage the sale of the communications division.