Technicolor: Talks to Sell Pay TV Set-Top Biz Are in ‘Preliminary’ Stage

French technology vendor responds to report that it’s trying to unload its struggling set-top unit
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French technology vendor Technicolor SA has responded to a Reuters report that it is looking to sell all or part of itself, as it grapples with a downturn in its pay TV set-top business.

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“This is an ongoing process in keeping with management's mission to deliver value for shareholders," Technicolor said in the statement. "In this regard, Technicolor stresses that any discussions are at a preliminary stage. No strategic decision or commitment has been made.”

Reuters reported that Technicolor has been talking recently to other companies and private equity firms, including Bain Capital, about sale and merger options.

Related: Technicolor, Cisco Seal the Deal

Technicolor, which has provided media services to film and TV companies for nearly a century, paid $600 million in 2015 for Cisco’s set-top business.

Consolidation of pay TV operators has challenged that business. But the recent global shortage of multi-layer ceramic capacitors (MLCCs) has further constrained profitability for Technicolor.

For its part, rival Arris consolidated its set-top holdings around the same time Technicolor bought out Cisco, paying $2.1 billion for the No. 2 set-top maker at the time, the UK’s Pace. Two weeks ago, Arris announced a deal to sell itself to CommScope.

Technicolor’s Connected Home unit, which houses its set-top manufacturing business, generated 56% of the company’s overall revenue in the first half of this year. 

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