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Thomson to acquire Canal+ Technologies
 

Thomson strengthens its technology and IP portfolio

Paris, September 25, 2002 - Thomson multimedia (NYSE:TMS, Euronext:18453) has reached a definitive agreement to acquire the 89% shareholding in Canal+ Technologies from Canal+ Group for a gross amount of €190 million, including existing cash and cash equivalents in Canal+ Technologies and subject to post-closing adjustments. Prior to today's announcement, Thomson owned 3.19% of the equity of Canal+ Technologies. The other minority equity partners are Sony Corp. of Japan, Sogecable SA of Spain and U.S. software house Sun Microsytems Inc. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals.

Canal+ Technologies is a leading worldwide provider of conditional access and middleware technology solutions, marketed under the brand names of MediaGuardÔ and MediaHighwayÔ to digital TV operators. Canal+ Technologies software solutions are deployed today in more than 14 million set top boxes worldwide. MediaGuard, the third largest worldwide conditional access system, enables digital TV operators to offer encrypted TV channels on a fully secured platform. With MediaHighway, the second largest worldwide interactive TV middleware technology provider, digital TV operators deliver a wide range of advanced interactive TV applications such as Electronic Program Guides, Pay-Per-View and home banking. MediaGard and MediaHighway can run either jointly or separately.

For Thomson, this acquisition is motivated first and foremost by the technology leadership and IP portfolio of Canal+ Technologies in the areas of conditional access and interactive software solutions. In addition, Thomson is very attentive to the consolidation taking place in Canal+ Technologies' business sectors . Consequently, immediately upon closing, Thomson will enter into partnership discussions of an industrial, strategic and financial nature with other leading technology companies. These discussions will be held with the interests of Thomson, Canal+ Technologies, and their respective clients, in mind.

Canal+ Technologies operating units will be managed within Thomson New Media Services division. Like all Thomson's divisions, NMS develops arm's length relationships with the rest of the Group. This is true in particular with respect to the Broadband Access Products and Systems (BAPS) business, which provides set-top boxes and system integration expertise to network operators. Through BAPS Thomson will continue to integrate all middleware and conditional access technologies that are required by its clients.

Canal+ Technologies will continue to provide technology and services to Canal+ Group and its various digital TV operators; as well as to other third-parties. It will also pursue its close cooperation with all its manufacturers' licensees including Thomson on a non-exclusive basis.

About Thomson
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 (Euronext: 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.


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