SONICblue Inc. is looking for some green, and that includes putting itself on
the for-sale block.
The Santa Clara, Calif.-based electronics provider and maker of ReplayTV
digital-video-recording devices is mulling several options to alleviate its debt
The search is now under way for new strategic partners or investors willing
to either kick in money or buy the company -- or any of its business units --
The company has hired financial firm Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin to
help make inquiries.
While the company's product lines are in a good position to compete in 2003,
its outstanding debt is still a problem. As of the third quarter, SONICblue had
about $335.5 million in outstanding debt and liabilities.
"The goal of this process is to clear the way for the company's businesses to
continue their strong growth in the market, unburdened by the amount of debt now
carried on the company's balance sheet," SONICblue CEO Gregory Ballard said in a
Although DVR technology is now the video darling, the prospects for the
company are somewhat less rosy. It recorded a $32.4 million net loss for the
third quarter of 2002, and with its stock price now hovering in the
48-cent-per-share range, it faces delisting from the NASDAQ exchange if it
doesn't bring that share price up to $1 by Feb. 18.
Meanwhile, SONICblue continues to fight a legal battle with several major
networks over its "ReplayTV 4000's" ad-skipping and content-copying