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Thomson SA

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Thomson SA

Technicolor SA
Public Company
Traded as TCH
Industry Media Services
Founded Paris, France, Thomson SA - 1893
Boston, Massachusetts, USA - Technicolor Inc. (1914)
Headquarters 1-5 rue Jeanne d’Arc, 92130 Issy-les-MoulineauxFrance
Key people Frederic Rose, CEO – Rémy Sautter, Chairman of the Board
Products See partial offering listing.
Revenue € 3.580 billion (2012)
Net result of € (22) million (2012)
Employees 14,639 (31 Dec 2012)

Technicolor, SA, formerly Thomson Inc and Thomson Multimedia, provides services and products for the communication, media and entertainment industries. Technicolor's headquarters is located in Issy-les-Moulineaux – France.[1] Other main office locations include Rennes (France), Los Angeles (California, USA), Edegem (Belgium), London (England, UK), and Bangalore (India).

On January 27, 2010, the company changed its name to Technicolor SA, re-branding the entire company after its American film technology subsidiary.[2] Thomson's US subsidiary became Technicolor USA, Inc.[1]


Technicolor began as Thomson, named after the electrical engineer Elihu Thomson, who was born in Manchester, England, on March 26, 1853. Thomson moved to Philadelphia at the age of 5, with his family. Thomson formed the Thomson-Houston Electric Company in 1879 with Edwin Houston. The company merged with the Edison General Electric Company to become the General Electric Company in 1892. In 1893, the Compagnie Française Thomson-Houston (CFTH) was formed in Paris, a sister company to GE in the United States. It was from this company, that the modern Thomson Group would evolve.

In 1966, CFTH merged with Hotchkiss-Brandt to form Thomson-Houston-Hotchkiss-Brandt (soon renamed Thomson-Brandt). In 1968 the electronics business of Thomson-Brandt merged with Compagnie Générale de Télégraphie Sans Fil (CSF) to form Thomson-CSF. Thomson Brandt maintained a significant shareholding in this company (approximately 40%).

Consumer electronics

In 1982, both Thomson-Brandt and Thomson-CSF saw nationalization due to the efforts of François Mitterrand. Thomson-Brandt was subsequently renamed Thomson SA (Société Anonyme), and soon thereafter merged with Thomson-CSF. GE then sold the rights to make RCA- and GE-branded televisions and other consumer electronics products in 1988 to the French Thomson Consumer Electronics, in exchange for some of Thomson's medical businesses. In 1988 Thomson Consumer Electronics was formed, and then renamed Thomson SA. In 1995, the French government split the consumer electronics from the defense businesses of Thomson Multimedia and Thomson-CSF prior to privatization in 1999. The company then went through a series of transactions, including with Marconi plc, before becoming Thales in 2000. In 2005, Thomson bought Cirpack and Inventel.[3]

Exiting the consumer business

In 2004, Thomson set up a joint venture (TTE) with China's TCL, giving to TCL all manufacturing of RCA and Thomson television and DVD products and making TCL the global leader in TV manufacturing (Thomson still controlled the brands themselves and licensed them to TTE). At the time, TCL was hailed as the first Chinese company to compete on the international stage with large international corporations. Thomson initially retained all marketing of TTE's products, but transferred that to TTE in 2005. In June 2005, the Videocon Group of India announced, that it would acquire the color picture tube manufacturing business from Thomson SA for €240 million. In early 2010, Thomson sold TV brand RCA to ON corporation.

In December 2007, Thomson SA agreed to sell off its Audio/Video and Accessories businesses (the RCA and Thomson brands except communications products such as cordless phones) to Audiovox. On October 2007, Thomson SA agreed to sell its consumer electronics audio video business outside Europe including the worldwide rights to the RCA Brand.

Entering the digital video business

In 2000, Thomson Multimedia purchased Technicolor from Carlton Television (owned by Carlton Communications) in the U.K. and began a move into the broadcast management, facilities and services market with the purchase of Corinthian Television, becoming Thomson Multimedia until 2002 and acquiring the Grass Valley Group. Thomson then purchased the Moving Picture Company from ITV and the internet startup Singingfish, but then sold it to AOL in late 2004. In 2004, Thomson increased its stake in the Bangalore, India based company Celstream Technologies, which specializes in product engineering. Cirpack, a softswitch manufacturer, was incorporated and acquired in April 2005. In July 2005, Thomson agreed to purchase PRN Corporation for $285 million. In December 2005, Thomson re-purchased the Broadcast & Multimedia part of Thales Group.

In September 2005 Thomson first showed its Infinity camcorder. At the April 2006 launch, this was described as "a new line of IT-based acquisition, recording and storage devices."[4] It was designed to end the stranglehold of proprietary products in this market and was inspired by Grass Valley's then VP of Marketing Jeff Rosica's trip to Fry's Electronics in Burbank to buy a computer backup device.[5]

However on January 29, 2009, Thomson announced its intention to sell the PRN and Grass Valley businesses to focus on services business and improve its financial position.[6] This was one of the consequences of an enormous financial crisis in 2009, which forced the company to a total financial restructuring to avoid bankruptcy.[7] From 2010 to February 2011, "Technicolor" (having rebranded itself) divested these sub-businesses: Grass Valley and Broadcast to the Francisco Partners in July and December [8] along with the Transmission business to PARTER Capital Group; Head-end to the FCDE (Fonds de Consolidation et de Développement des Entreprises), and reintegration of PRN.[9]

Re-entering consumer electronics

After years of hiatus, Thomson Consumer Electronics made a comeback just recently and resumed making electronic consumer products such as large and small household appliances, televisions, audio/video machines including its accessories, digital receivers, phones, lightings, health care, and soon cameras, and video surveillance equipments.[10]

Thomson began making mobile phones including for elderly people[10] [11] [12] and shortly after, that it began to make smartphones.[13]

The company is making digital cameras, for example the waterproof Thomson 5MP Digital Camera.[14][15]

Private equity investment

On June 20, 2012, Vector Capital won a competitive bid for a minority stake in Technicolor,[16] beating JP Morgan with a surprise, last-minute bid.[17] With the investment of €167 - 191 million, Vector Capital will retain a minority stake in Technicolor of up to 29.94%.[18] Following the deal, on June 21, 2012, Technicolor named Remy Sautter as Chairman of the Board and appointed two Vector Capital representatives to the board, Alexander Slusky and David Fishman.[19]


Executive Committee

  • Frederic Rose - CEO
  • David Chambeaud - HR & Sustainability
  • Vince Pizzica - Corporate Partnerships & Ventures
  • Michel Rahier - Operations Services & Transformation, Connected Home
  • Lanny Raimondo - Entertainment Services
  • Stéphane Rougeot - CFO & Strategy
  • Boris Teksler - Technology

Business Groups

Technicolor operates under three main activities servicing a variety of global markets:

  • Entertainment Services: Entertainment Services develops and offers video-related technologies and services for the Media & Entertainment industry. It includes Creative Services (content production, preparation and creation), Film Services and DVD Services (physical media content distribution), Digital Cinema (digital media content distribution) and IZ-ON Media (formerly PRN - Premier Retail Networks).
  • Digital Delivery: Digital Delivery increases the Group's capability to capture the growth resulting from the shift to digital distribution. Hardware & software technologies for delivery platforms.
  • Technology: Technology comprises Intellectual Property licensing, Research & Innovation and MediaNavi. The Licensing business is responsible for protecting and monetizing the Group's Intellectual Property portfolio and generates most of the Technology revenues.



  • The company protects and monetizes the company’s extensive 40,000 patents portfolio, including the MP3 / MP3HD audio codec
  • Mobile TV
  • IPTV
  • Home Networking
  • Professional Video
  • Online Video
  • Out-of-Home Networks
  • Broadcast Networks
  • Media Content Management
  • Content Security

Products & Services

  • Film Production
  • Theatrical Distribution
  • Home Entertainment (DVDs)
  • Television Broadcasting
  • Commercials
  • Game services
  • Post Production
  • Professional Video
  • xDSL Modems & Gateways
  • Business xDSL Gateways
  • Home Networking & Accessories
  • Set-Top Boxes
  • Cable Modems & Gateways
  • Softswitches
  • SmartVision Video Service Platform
  • Distribution & Transmission
  • Content Tracking and Security
  • Licensing
  • Professional Services


External links

Companies portal
  • Technicolor official site
  • Company data: Yahoo! Finance
  • Member of the Digital Watermarking Alliance – Furthering the Adoption of Digital Watermarking
  • Article: Le modem cable/VoIP Thomson THG520 sur (French)
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