One of the biggest companies active in digital signage technology is pulling out of the market.
But Harris Corporation, the U.S. conglomerate whose main business is in government and defence-related technologies, says the decision came when it determined that its Broadcast Communications division was “no longer aligned with the company’s long-term strategy”, in the words of president and CEO William M. Brown.
It is hoped that the division might find a buyer. The company took a write-down of $407m in its latest quarter to cover assets and goodwill related to Broadcast Communications, implying that it is not looking for a huge sale price, and it has a highly-respected digital signage platform in InfoCaster.
“Over time Broadcast Communications has become less aligned with the Harris core businesses and long-term strategy,” agreed Harris Morris, president of the division. “Operating independently or as part of a broadcast or media-focused enterprise will provide us with strategic investment, increased competitive flexibility, and customer focus.”
However, concerns have been expressed that the scale of the 7-Eleven TV network which Harris operates as a managed service might prove a deterrent to potential buyers. The company would likely want the value of that contract to be at least partially reflected in any sale price, yet many potential buyers might be unwilling to commit to such a large project, especially if they are more interested in Harris’s technology assets than in managed services.
A break-up may therefore be the more likely outcome. But for now, according to Morris, it’s business as usual.