Vitesse shuts down fab, exits optical module business

JULY 24–CAMARILLO, Calif.–Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. is closing its Colorado Springs, Colo., wafer fab because it was unable to find a buyer for the plant.

The fab closure is also Vitesse’s exit from the optical module business amid financial losses in its communications chip business.

Vitesse also reported sales of $39.7 million in the third quarter, compared to $38.9 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2002. The net loss for the third quarter of fiscal 2003 was $95 million, a $0.47 loss per share, compared to net loss of $735.9 million, or minus $3.71 loss per share in the third quarter of fiscal 2002.

The company decided to discontinue its line of optical module products due to continued depressed levels of demand for these products. The company is currently evaluating its options for the product line, including the possible sale to a third party of the related assets and operations.

Vitesse also decided to close its 6-inch GaAs wafer fabrication facility in Colorado Springs by the end of September. The closure prompted the company to record a charge for severance and benefits in the third quarter of fiscal 2003 in the amount of $500,000.

“As discussed previously, for some time we have been evaluating alternatives for the Colorado Springs fab,” Vitesse President and CEO Lou Tomasetta, said in a statement.

“Over the past few quarters, we tried to find a suitable buyer for this facility but were unable to identify an economically viable opportunity. I am very disappointed to see us lose some of our most talented and hard-working employees at both of these facilities. However, these are decisions dictated by the economic realities of the difficult environment we are currently in, and we believe they are in the best interests of our shareholders,” Tomasetta said.


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