SAN FRANCISCO — Digital video processor vendor ESS Technology Inc. has sold its HD-DVD and Blu-ray Disc DVD technologies and related assets to SiS Holding Ltd., a Hong Kong-based electronics distributor, for $13.5 million, ESS said Friday (Feb. 16).
ESS (Fremont, Calif.) said it would cease operation of its camera phone business and pursue licensing of its image sensor technology and patents. The company said this action would reduce operating expenses by roughly $2 million per quarter.
ESS announced it would sell the camera phone and DVD chip lines last September, when the firm cut 25 percent of its work force.
The agreement with SiS covers the sale of certain tangible assets, licensing of related intellectual property and the transfer of associated employees, ESS said.
ESS also announced that Bruce Alexander, formerly a technology investment banker at Needham and Co. Inc., has joined the company's board of directors.
"We continue to focus our immediate efforts on cutting operating expenses and improving margins while we continue to evaluate current business and explore new opportunities to maximize shareholder value," said Robert Blair, ESS president and CEO, in a statement.
Blair said ESS repurchased 3.7 million shares of its common stock for a total of $4.2 million during the fourth quarter of 2006. The company plans to repurchase another 5.7 million shares, he said.