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
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.
Marc Meyer - Tel: 3126.96.36.19903 -