Belden will immediately begin reporting Grass Valley as a “discontinued operation” on its income statement and is already in talks with companies regarding a potential sale.
Grass Valley is a profitable operation with top quartile EBITDA performance and sees this as a positive move for its employees and customers. Grass Valley does not expect this announcement to disrupt its current operations and will continue to deliver solutions to meet the needs of customers and partners.
A press statement issued by the company said: “Grass Valley’s positive performance makes it an attractive investment to those interested in the media tech space and Belden has been actively discussing options with interested parties during 2019.”
Belden will immediately begin reporting Grass Valley as a “discontinued operation” on its income statement.
The release went on to reiterate that “discontinued operation does not, in any way, imply that Grass Valley is going out of business”. It merely indicates that Belden has decided to exit this portion of its overall business.
An article on Nasdaq says “Belden’s intent to divest the Live Media business (Grass Valley) and a new broad-based cost reduction programme is expected to result in $40 million of annualised savings”.
Excerpts from a Belden press statement are below.
Belden Inc. has reported fiscal Q3 2019 results for the period ended September 29, 2019. The Company also announced two significant outcomes of its comprehensive strategic portfolio review. These include the intent to divest the Live Media business (“Grass Valley”) and a new broad-based cost reduction program that is expected to result in $40 million of annualized savings.
Revenues for the quarter totalled $620.3m, decreasing $35.5m, or 5.4%, compared to $655.8m in Q3 of 2018. Net loss was $297m, compared to $85.9m in the prior-year period. Net loss included a $337m after-tax non-cash impairment charge related to Grass Valley. EPS totalled $6.7 compared to $1.80 in Q3 of 2018.
John Stroup, President, CEO, and Chairman of Belden Inc. said, “Revenues were near the midpoint of our expected range excluding Grass Valley. Consistent with our expectations, demand trends remained softer in some of our key Industrial markets in the third quarter, but we are encouraged by the improving trends in our Broadband business.”
Subsequent to the end of Q3, the Company made the decision to pursue the divestiture of Grass Valley. Based on the approval of Belden’s Board of Directors to divest this business and the probability that such divestiture will be consummated, Grass Valley’s financial results will be presented as discontinued operations in Q4 and full-year 2019 financial statements and prior periods will be recast for consistency.
Stroup remarked: “We completed a rigorous strategic review of our portfolio of businesses, and today’s announcement marks an important outcome. We concluded that it is in the best interests of our shareholders, customers, and employees to separate Grass Valley from Belden. This will enable Grass Valley to more effectively execute its strategic plan and pursue growth opportunities. Further, this separation will simplify Belden’s portfolio and improve organic growth and revenue visibility.
“The remaining Belden portfolio will consist of strong businesses in attractive Industrial and Enterprise markets, each aligned with powerful secular trends. These include industrial automation, cybersecurity, broadband & 5G, and smart buildings. This portfolio, while smaller, offers improved predictability and multiple platforms for accelerating organic growth and margin expansion. In addition, we continue to see numerous opportunities for disciplined capital deployment as we invest in compelling inorganic opportunities in these robust markets.”
The divestiture of Grass Valley provides an opportunity for a broad-based organizational recalibration. As a result, the Company announced a cost reduction programme that is designed to improve performance and enhance margins, delivering a $40 million annualized reduction in selling, general, and administrative expenses. The Company intends to deliver improvements by streamlining the organizational structure and investing in technology to drive productivity. These actions will begin immediately, with some benefit in 2020, and the full benefit in 2021.
“Belden has a long track record of substantial growth, margin expansion, and shareholder value creation, but we are not satisfied with our recent performance. We are reaffirming our commitment to our stated financial goals, including a total revenue CAGR of 5-7% and EBITDA margins of 20-22%. The Company will be well-positioned to achieve these goals after executing these actions. Importantly, the expected cost savings will more than offset the free cash flow dilution associated with the divestiture of Grass Valley,” said Stroup.
“Near-term demand trends remain challenging, but our simplified portfolio of businesses is aligned with long-term secular trends and positioned for profitable growth. We are updating our expectations of revenue and EPS from continuing operations since Grass Valley will be presented as discontinued operations in our Q4 and full-year 2019 financial statements,” said Stroup.
The Company expects fourth quarter 2019 revenues to be $510 – $530 million. For the full year ending December 31, 2019, the Company now expects revenues to be $2.092 – $2.112 billion.