Presstek sells Arizona unit


Presstek Inc. has sold off its Arizona subsidiary, Lasertel Inc., for $10 million, enabling the company to reduce its debt and focus on its primary business in Hudson, N.H. – providing and servicing digital printing equipment.The company announced Monday that Selex Sensors and Airborne Systems Inc., the U.S. arm of Fionmeccanica, an Italian defense contractor, bought Lasertel for $8 million in cash and $2 million in product. The transaction is expected to close during the first quarter of 2010 and is subject to approval by regulators in the United States and Europe.Lasertel develops and manufactures high-powered laser diodes for a variety of industries, including Presstek digital offset presses. As part of the deal, about $2 million worth of those diodes would be supplied to Presstek over two years.Presstek has long sought to extricate itself from its Arizona subsidiary as part of its restructuring efforts. Lasertel lost $5.6 million over the last three years, and about slightly under a million in the last three quarters, though last quarter it turned a $706,000 profit.In June 2008, Presstek sold off the Lasertel property in a lease-back arrangement for $8.5 million (Selex has agreed to assume the lease.) And the Presstek board voted to sell the subsidiary in September of last year.Presstek has been hard-hit by the economic downturn and the increasing use of electronic communication instead of printed material. It lost nearly $48.6 million in the first three quarters of this year. Despite cost-cutting measures, the company’s short-term debt has grown to $23.4 million. – BOB SANDERS/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW
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