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Western Digital Agrees to Sell Circuit-Board Business to Testar

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Western Digital Corp., a struggling manufacturer of computer components, said Wednesday that it has agreed to sell a circuit-board repair business to Irvine-based Testar Inc. in a move that will eliminate 100 jobs.

Western Digital, also based in Irvine, is selling the business as part of a strategy to quit the circuit-board manufacturing business, said Robert J. Blair, company spokesman. The plant was part of a circuit-board manufacturing plant that the company shut down in August.

The sale price was not disclosed.

The deal is expected to close in February, pending approval from each company’s board of directors.

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The move was expected because Western Digital is now focusing its resources on disk drives and semiconductor-related businesses rather than circuit boards.

Western Digital said the layoffs will be made in mid-February. Testar is expected to hire only 35 of the employees, Blair said. The layoffs will bring Western Digital’s worldwide payroll to 6,300, down from a peak of 7,700 in August, 1990. In Irvine, the company will have 1,450 employees after the layoff, compared to 1,800 a year ago.

Brian Campbell, manager of the repair center, will join Testar as a vice president of operations.

The company said laid-off employees will receive severance pay, an extension of health benefits and outplacement counseling.

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