Osaka, Japan, Paris, France, and Camarillo, Calif., (Feb. 26, 2002) - Thomson multimedia (NYSE:TMS, Euroclear:18453) and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (NYSE: MC) today announced they have signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding for Technicolor, a Thomson business in Camarillo, California, to acquire Panasonic Disc Services Corporation (PDSC), which is Matsushita’s 100% subsidiary specializing in DVD and CD replication and distribution operations in the U.S. and Europe.
The combination of PDSC within Technicolor Home Entertainment Services presents substantial business synergies and represents another step toward Thomson’s strategic vision to advance, enable and manage the digital media transition for entertainment, media, and content industries.
The industry-leading capabilities of PDSC and Technicolor, already one of the world’s leading providers and distributors of DVDs, CDs and Videocassettes, will create the most technologically advanced and capable optical disc manufacturer in the world. The move will also provide customers with a broader spectrum of DVD-Video, DVD-Audio and DVD-ROM replication, packaging and distribution capabilities in North America and Europe.
Matsushita Electric established Panasonic Disc Services in 1996 in order to accelerate the market acceptance of DVD players. PDSC, which now operates in 6 locations in the U.S., Mexico, and Europe, has been producing high-quality DVD discs for the entertainment and computer industries and serves several major Hollywood studios, such as Universal and Paramount. With DVD players now outselling VCR’s and DVD player unit sales exceeding 12.4 million units in the U.S. last year, Matsushita has achieved its initial objective of helping to successfully launch the DVD business.
While Matsushita will continue to own and operate the Torrance, California facility of PDSC to support the replication service requirements of its existing game software customer, the company welcomes the fact that the business in other PDSC locations will be carried on by a premier entertainment media replication company like Technicolor.
Thomson and Matsushita Electric will work to finalize a definitive agreement, which is subject to conclusion of due diligence as well as obtaining appropriate internal and external consents and regulatory approvals. Further details of this proposed transaction will be announced at the close of the transaction.
* * *
Certain statements in this press release constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the "safe harbor" of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations and beliefs and are subject to a number of factors and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the future results expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements due to changes in global economic, business, competitive market and regulatory factors. More detail information on the potential factors that could affect the financial results of Thomson multimedia is contained in the Thomson multimedia’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
* * *
About Matsushita Electric
Best known by its Panasonic brand name, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. is one of the world's leading producers of electronic and electric products for consumer, business and industrial use. Sales in the most recent fiscal year were $61.4 billion. The company is a leader in the development of DVD technologies, and played a major role in establishing DVD as the fast-growing medium for consumer entertainment content that it is today. Matsushita's shares are listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka, Sapporo, Amsterdam, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, New York, Pacific and Paris stock exchanges.
For more information, visit the Matsushita web site at the following URL: http://www.panasonic.co.jp/global/.
Technicolor is a Thomson multimedia (NYSE:TMS) business within Digital Media Solutions, a Thomson division focused on giving content providers, broadcasters, network operators, and advertisers the digital building blocks required to deploy electronic entertainment services. Technicolor is the world’s leading provider and distributor of motion picture film prints, DVDs, CDs and Videocassettes. On an annualized basis, the company processes more than three billion feet of motion picture film and has the capacity to produce approximately 250 million DVDs, 500 million CDs and 800 million videocassettes.
Technicolor is also a pioneer in digital cinema distribution technology and services as well as a leading global provider of distribution and logistics management services for motion picture release prints, marketing collateral and in-theatre screen advertising.
With main offices in Camarillo, Calif., Technicolor serves an international base of entertainment and software customers with its facilities in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe and Australia. Major Hollywood clients include The Walt Disney Company, DreamWorks SKG, New Line and Warner Bros. Software publishers include Microsoft, Vivendi Universal Interactive, Electronic Arts and Hewlett-Packard.
About Thomson multimedia
With sales of 10.5 billion Euros (U.S. $ 9.3 billion) in 2001
and 73,000 employees in more than 30 countries, Thomson multimedia
(Paris Euroclear: 18453) (NYSE: TMS), provides a wide range
of video (and enabling) technologies, systems, finished products
and services to consumers and professionals in the entertainment
and media industries. To advance and enable the digital media
transition, Thomson multimedia has five principal activities:
Digital Media Solutions, Displays and Components, Consumer Products,
Patents and Licensing, and New Media Services. The company distributes
its products under the THOMSON, RCA and TECHNICOLOR brand names.
CONTACTS - Thomson multimedia
Marc Meyer - Tel: 318.104.22.16803 -