HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang may be considering spinning off the VR side of the business into a separate entity, causing stock prices in the Taiwanese company to rise sharply today.
HTC’s having a tumultuous time right now, with rapidly diminishing cash reserved and a mobile phone market that appears to be plateauing. The company has already stated that virtual reality may very well be the future for the company in the long term, now it looks possible that the company structure may reform to fit that vision.
A report in Taiwan’s Commercial Times cites unnamed industry sources who claim HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang is considering spinning the fledgling virtual reality arm of its business off into a standalone entity, away from its faltering mobile technology arm. The HTC Vive, built on technology developed by gaming giant Valve, is currently the only major competitor to Oculus’ Rift VR headset in the PC VR space and is due to launch in April this year.
UPDATE: A later report in the UK’s Telegraph website, carried a statement from Cher Wang, HTC’s CEO, refuting the idea of a second, VR-focused spin-off company. “Recent media reports stating that Cher Wang is planning to spin off HTC’s VR operations into an independent entity that will be wholly owned by Wang and HTC are incorrect,” an HTC spokesperson said. “HTC will continue to develop our VR business to further maximize value for shareholders.”
HTC reported an operating loss of around $151M against revenue of $660M, almost half its results in the previous quarter of $1.3Bn.
Stock in the Taiwanese company seemed to rise sharply in response to the suggestions HTC are considering the new VR company – soaring 5.3% to NT$76.50 (US$2.28), with 9.57 million shares changing hand, according to Focus Taiwan.
HTC recently demonstrated it’s latest iteration of the Vive at this month’s CES in Las Vegas – the Vive Pre includes a number of technical and ergonomic improvements to both headset and controllers. The firm recently announced that pre-orders for the Vive will go live on February 29th.