Harris vows to stay independent


The stock price of Harris Corp. took a dive yesterday as the electronics equipment maker said it was not interested in pursuing a sale or merger. The Wall Street Journal reported that bids for the company came in below expectations. Harris is a major broadcast equipment maker, although that business is now dwarfed by some of its other technology lines.

"The Board of Directors and I have great confidence in this company, its employees and its future," said Howard L. Lance, chairman, president and chief executive officer. "Harris is uniquely positioned, with access to both government and commercial technologies, to continue to effectively serve the challenging requirements of our growing global assured communications markets,” said CEO Howard Lance.

"We believe our focus on continuing growth through the introduction of industry-leading new products, expansion of addressable markets, development of new capabilities, international expansion, and strategic acquisitions will deliver significant value going forward for our customers, shareholders and business partners as we have demonstrated in the past," Lance added.

Although Harris had never officially put itself up for sale, the WSJ reported that multiple bids for the company were received last week. However, the report said all were below the company’s target range of $75-80 per share.

Harris, based in Melbourne, FL, has annual revenues of over $5 billion and 16,000 employees. Broadcasting Communications accounted for just under $600 million of the company’s sales in 2007. Government Communications Systems (including many defense contracts) amounted to nearly $2 billion.