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Maker of Olevia LCD TVs files for bankruptcy

Syntax-Brillian ceases its TV manufacturing operations and plans to sell its Vivitar digital camera unit.

Syntax-Brillian, one of several smaller LCD TV makers to use club store sales to do an end-run around the category's traditional leaders, has filed for bankruptcy.

The Tempe, Ariz.-based Olevia television and Vivitar digital camera maker, filed for protection from creditors in a Delaware court following a year of missed sales targets, leadership changes, and accounting problems, according to Reuters.

The company's stock has dropped more than 90 percent in the last year, and its efforts to refinance and raise additional financing were unsuccessful. With just eight employees left at headquarters, it has ceased operations.

A new company, called Olevia International Group, has been created and will take on $60 million of Syntax-Brillian's debt, and the Vivitar digital camera unit will be put up for sale. The company had total debts of $259.4 million and assets amounting to $175.7 million.

Analysts that follow the flat-panel television market have been warning since late last year that there would be an eventual shakeout in the business, as more small brands piled on the growing LCD TV market.

Earlier this year, Philips announced it would no longer be producing its own televisions in North America, and enlisted Funai to do so on its behalf.