WAUKEGAN, Ill. -- Automotive-components manufacturer Cherry Corp. said its board of directors has decided to explore what the company termed "various strategic alternatives" for its semiconductor unit.
Although company officials declined to provide additional information, similar announcements by other corporate entities have usually resulted in a sale or a spinoff of the affected division.
Waukegan-based Cherry said it retained Banc of America Securities LLC to advise it on strategic alternatives regarding its wholly owned Cherry Semiconductor Corp. subsidiary, which is based in East Greenwich, R.I.
Cherry's other business units include the automotive switches and modules segment, computer keyboard, and switches and controls segment. The semiconductor unit sells custom, semicustom, and standard ICs used in automotive power- train controls, electronics, instrumentation, and entertainment electronics.
In its last quarterly results announced Dec. 21, Cherry's revenue and net income fell as the company encountered production problems at its domestic automotive operation and capacity constraints in the semiconductor business.
In its fiscal year ended Feb. 2, 1999, Cherry's sales rose to $475 million, up 5%, from $452.1 million, in fiscal 1998. The semiconductor unit contributed about 24%, or $115.1 million, to fiscal 1999 sales.
Cherry has eight subsidiaries in the United States and seven other countries, including Australia, the Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, and Mexico.