Grass Valley Exec: We’ll Be Around

(Feb. 25, 2009) GRASS VALLEY,CALIF.: Grass Valley will take care of customers through its divestiture from Thomson, a company executive said this week. Jeff Rosica, senior vice president of the Grass Valley business unit sent a note to the press stating, “I assure you that we remain fully focused on the success of Grass Valley and our customers, and that all current customer project deployments will continue to be carefully managed.”

A financially struggling Thomson announced earlier this month it would sell Grass Valley along with its digital signage business, and focus on the post market. Thomson said it had “expressions of interest” in Grass and Premier Retail Networks, but no buyers have yet been named. Both business units generated about $1.3 billion in combined sales last year.

Thomson announced the divestiture as it warned of potentially breaching some of its loan covenants. Financial advisors were hired to negotiate with creditors, while the company also sought assistance from the French government. Shares were trading at around $1.40 at the time, but they dropped below $1 Feb. 20 and are trading today at around 86 cents.

An excerpt of Rossica’s letter follows:

“Through the transition, all contractual commitments will continue to be met in order to ensure uninterrupted business for Grass Valley and our customers. I can also reassure you that our customers will continue to be looked after by the same committed team of management, factory, sales and support personnel from Grass Valley that they have known for many years.
As Thomson moves forward with the sale of the Grass Valley business, the company will be making future announcements and will work to keep the media, and our customers, informed of any news that would be appropriate.”