OCZ Desperately Needs Cash, May Sell Power Supply Business

Paul Lilly

As OCZ runs out of options (and money), the company may opt to sell off various assets.

The past six months or so have been tumultuous for OCZ Technology , a company that analysts expected might sell itself after its founder and then-chief, Ryan Petersen, abruptly left. Instead, OCZ hired a new CEO who vowed to address credibility problems and turn things around, which unfortunately entailed sacking 28 percent of its staff and dropping 150 product lines. Where does OCZ stand today? In need of cash and running out of options.

Austin Craig, a contributing writer at SeekingAlpha , dissected comments OCZ made at the Stifel Nicolaus Technology Conference earlier this month. According to Craig, the CEO's tone was "was anything but upbeat" when presenting OCZ's financial state.

"We tried to monetize as much inventory as we can in order to help fund the company as long as we can," OCZ CEO Ralph Schmitt said at the conference. "I think we have kind of run that close to the ground at this point. We clearly need some infusion of capital at this point. We have been trying to wait on doing something until after the financials are out in the market. It's not clear to me that we are going to be able to do that. We have looked at everything from strategic money, private equity, PIPES, converts, all the things that you would normally look at. We want to keep the dilution factor to our shareholders kind of minimal as possible."

Schmitt mentioned that OCZ has some assets that it could sell off to raise money, including new production lines in Taiwan and a profitable power supply division, which includes the PC Power & Cooling brand.

OCZ faces several challenges in the months ahead. There's an audit of the company's finances that has yet to be completed, the need for more cash, and a stockpile of inventory to deal with. According to Craig, OCZ's smartest move is to "just clean up the books and get the company in presentable shape in order to sell it." If that's the case, who's going to buy it?

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