The broadcast division of Harris, one of the largest companies in the industry, was put up for sale by its parent earlier this year. In an exclusive IBC Daily interview, Harris Morris, the division’s president, said the divestiture process is going to plan and is on track for completion by the end of the year.
“Morgan Stanley is running the process, and they do a very good job,” Morris said. “In this sort of auction they know how to manage the buyers. There has been a great deal of interest.” He also confirmed that the new owners will be allowed to retain the Harris name in the media industry.
Morris would not be drawn on who was on the shortlist to acquire the business. To the suggestion that the likely buyers would come either from venture capital or the IT industry, though, he said “that was our hypothesis from the beginning, and it still holds”.
Asked how the sale process was affecting the company’s business, he suggested it actually focuses management, as they concentrate on refining and clarifying the strategy. “But we only have a handful of folks on the divestiture,” he added. “The rest of the 1,750 of us are concentrating on the business.” – Dick Hobbs