By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Reston, Va. — Two-way wireless data network and mobile and Internet communications services provider Motient has filed Chapter 11 in a prearranged agreement with its creditors to eliminate $335 million in debt. Motient, which plans to convert much of its debt into stock, will eliminate more than $40 million in yearly interest payments. The company said its restructuring plan significantly improves the company's ability to achieve a breakeven number this year in its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA). Motient said the restructuring will not affect the operations of its nationwide wireless data network, its subscribers or employees. The plan, which needs court approval, could allow Motient to emerge from bankruptcy protection by this spring.
Westborough, Mass. — Two-way wireless Internet messaging and mobile information company Arch Wireless has filed a plan of reorganization, following its early December petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company, which is buried under $2 billion of debt, said it would issue new common stock. Its operating subsidiary, Arch Wireless Holdings, will issue $300 million in notes due in 2007 and 2009. Arch said it expects to operate in the normal course of business during the reorganization proceedings.
Santa Clara, Calif.— SONICblue — makers of Rio digital audio players, Go-Video DVD players and ReplayTV digital video recorders — raised its fourth-quarter revenue estimates to $78 million to $80 million. This represents a 45 percent increase in revenue growth for sequential quarters, and is $21 million to $23 million above the previous revenue guidance for the three months ending in December. The company said its Rio and Go-Video businesses were up more than 50 percent sequentially in the fourth quarter.
New York — Satellite radio broadcaster Sirius Satellite Radio is issuing a public offering of common stock that is expected to result in gross proceeds of about $158 million. Sirius is selling 16 million shares at $9.85 per share. The proceeds are expected to fund the company's business efforts well into the second quarter of 2003, according to Sirius.
Santa Cruz, Calif.— Headset provider Plantronics has acquired privately held Ameriphone, a supplier of amplified telephones for the hearing impaired. The Garden Grove, Calif.-based Ameriphone will join Plantronics' Walker division, a supplier of amplified telephones, specialty handsets and communication test equipment. Although the companies did not reveal financials details, the deal is said to be valued at about $10.4 million. Plantronics acquired net assets less cash of about $4.6 million and goodwill and other intangibles of about $5.8 million. In its fiscal year ended in December, Ameriphone reported net revenue of about $11.8 million and operating income of $1.1 million.
Cypress, Calif. — Remote control maker Universal Electronics expects net sales — affected by a decline in product demand — to range from $27 million to $28.5 million in the fourth quarter, and anticipates meeting the lower end of its earnings guidance for the same three months. The company said it is faced with economic pressures as well as industry uncertainties influencing the cable and consumer electronics business. Universal reported that orders in December were lighter than in prior years, when many companies restocked their inventories for the upcoming year.
San Jose, Calif. — TiVo said its sale of 2.1 million shares of common stock to an institutional investor for $14 million takes advantage of an attractive opportunity to supplement its working capital. Proceeds from the mid-January transaction are expected to bolster the company's capital resources and provide for additional flexibility in achieving its goal of cash flow breakeven by the end of its next fiscal year.
Mountain View, Calif. — Handheld computing maker Handspring has made a public offering of 7 million shares of its common stock at a price to the public of $5.50 per share. The company intends to use the net proceeds for such things as capital expenditures and investments, and may also use a portion to fund acquisitions of complementary businesses, products or technologies or to make strategic investments. In addition, Qualcomm has separately agreed to investment $10 million in Handspring, and will purchase 1.8 million shares of common stock directly from the company.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.