Zenith Electronics Corp., the last television maker based in the United States, will be acquired by South Korea’s LG Electronics for $350 million, the companies said Monday.
The 77-year-old Zenith’s long battle with other color TV manufacturers for U.S. customers weakened the company financially, even as it has increased its share of the market in recent years.
Since 1993, Zenith has moved much of its assembly operation from Springfield, Mo., to Reynosa, Mexico. In May, it said it would cut 10 percent of its remaining U.S. work force of 2,000.
Zenith, which will remain a publicly traded company, said the deal will strengthen its ability to compete.
LG Electronics, formerly Goldstar Co., will pay $10 a share for 16.6 million newly issued shares of Zenith common stock and 18.6 million existing shares. LG now owns 1.45 million shares, or less than 5 percent of Zenith common stock.
When the deal is complete, LG will own 57.7 percent of the outstanding common stock of Zenith, which is based in suburban Glenview, Ill.
Zenith’s stock was up 37-1/2 cents to $8.87-1/2 on the New York Stock Exchange in late Monday afternoon trading. LG’s stock was down 12-1/2 cents to $39.12-1/2.
Other well-known U.S. brand names already have been acquired by foreign TV makers. General Electric and RCA televisions are made by Thomson CSF of France; Philips NV, a Dutch company, makes Magnavox TV sets.