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Syntax To Divest LCoS Operation

Syntax-Brillian, marketer of Olevia-brand LCD and LCoS microdisplay TVs, said Wednesday it intends to close or divest, through a possible sale to a third party, its LCoS microdisplay and light engine operations located in Tempe by the end of the year, and drop the product category.

James Li, Syntax-Brillian president and CEO, said the action is expected to result in a one-time non-cash charge of up to $40 million, and a reduction in operating expenses of approximately $16 million annually.

He said the move is part of a previously announced 120-day action plan aimed at optimizing the allocation of assets and improving profitability.

“While the LCoS technology shows considerable longer-term promise, we believe we are at a strategic inflection point in the growth of the worldwide market for LCD televisions. Thus, for the purpose of enhancing corporate profitability, we have decided to focus on and concentrate our resources in the LCD business,” Li stated.

The former Syntax Groups, which marketed Olevia-branded LCD TVs, added the LCoS microdisplay business when it merged with Brillian in 2005.

A spokesperson for the company said the decision will impact some of those employees and officers that came to Syntax-Brillian from Brillian, but further details were not yet available. The company will continue to produce LCD TVs at its plants in California and Asia.

In other news, the company said it will vigorously fight a patent infringement claim by Funai and further denied the charges.

“Based upon a technical review of Syntax-Brillian products, the company is confident that it has not violated any licensing agreements and specifically not the patents which Funai alleges the company has infringed upon,” Syntax-Brillain said in a statement. “Consequently, Syntax-Brillian feels that Funai’s claim is erroneous in relation to the company and its products and will continue to defend against all pending and future litigation related to this dispute.”

Syntax-Brillian said it does not anticipate that this dispute will have any impact on the manufacturing of the company’s products or the company’s current and future distribution and sales efforts.