According to the statement, Grass Valley, currently being divested, is not within Technicolor’s strategic re-focusing, centered upon services for content creators and distributors. The worldwide market for professional broadcast equipment, where Grass Valley does business, has been in sharp decline – about 30% since the end of 2008 – mainly as a result of declining broadcaster budgets and advertising expenses. Like all companies in the sector, Grass Valley faces serious economic difficulties, as evidenced by a 31% decline in revenues between 2008 and 2009 and losses totaling € 87m in 2009.
The reorganization plan, which involves all major Grass Valley sites worldwide (Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, USA, France) will be presented to duly-designated personnel representatives in the countries involved.
Towards this end, since the beginning of this week, Group affiliates have held meetings with works councils in the Netherlands and Germany as well as French (Comité Central d’Entreprise) and European (Comité d’Entreprise Européen du Groupe) works councils. The meetings were held in order to present a reorganization plan needed to enable Grass Valley to return to the break-even point in the current economic context. The plan was based upon Grass Valley’s reorganization into three distinct activities: broadcast, head-ends and transmission. It would include a 25% reduction in Grass Valley headcount by eliminating 625 jobs worldwide.
The company reiterates its desire to implement the plan in a responsible fashion; it seeks to engage in a dialog with employees, while taking each individual’s situation into account, consistent with the company’s human resources policy.