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Helionetics Will Leave Irvine Headquarters, Reduce Holdings


IRVINE — Helionetics Inc., the troubled high-technology holding company, aims to sell off one of its units and move its headquarters to Van Nuys.

Helionetics, which lost $21.6 million last year on revenue of $66.9 million, plans now to concentrate on bringing to market products in development including a computer, a laser for cardiac surgery and a fire-protection filter for large buildings, said Bernard Katz, Helionetics' chairman.

Helionetics, based in Irvine for 15 years, will move its 12 employees there to Van Nuys within a few weeks, Katz added. It employs a total of about 100 in other locations.

The company said it plans to spin off KSW, a New York-based provider of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and piping systems. It will distribute its 80% stake in KSW Inc. to shareholders by the end of the year in a deal that must be approved by the KSW board.

KSW reported pretax income of about $1.5 million on revenue of about $36 million last year. Helionetics expects the spinoff will result in formation of KSW as a publicly traded company.

Katz said the spinoff is intended to enhance KSW's value to shareholders. He said KSW has a net worth of $12 million, but its value has been overshadowed by Helionetics' poor performance.

Meanwhile, as previously announced, Helionetics is trying to sell its 65% stake in Tri-Lite Inc., a former Irvine company that recently relocated to Cleveland.

In addition, Helionetics is pursuing plans to sue the American Stock Exchange, which halted trading in its stock last fall. Recently, Helionetics shares have been trading over the counter at a price of about 50 cents a share.

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