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Technicolor SA

Technicolor SA
Société Anonyme
Traded as EuronextTCH
Industry Creative industries
Founded 1893 as Thomson SA
1914 as Technicolor Inc
Headquarters Issy-les-Moulineaux, France
Key people
Frederic Rose (CEO)
Didier Lombard (Chairman)
Products See partial offering listing
Revenue €3.449 billion (2013)
Number of employees
14,639 (2012)

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

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, ProScan and GE-branded televisions and other consumer electronics products in 1988 to 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]

Private equity investment

On June 20, 2012, Vector Capital won a competitive bid for a minority stake in Technicolor,[10] beating JP Morgan with a surprise, last-minute bid.[11] With the investment of €167 - 191 million, Vector Capital will retain a minority stake in Technicolor of up to 29.94%.[12] 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.[13]


Executive Committee

  • Frederic Rose - CEO
  • Michel Rahier - Deputy CEO - Operations Services & Transformation, Connected Home
  • Stéphane Rougeot - Deputy CEO - Finance
  • Tim Sarnoff - Deputy CEO - Production Services
  • Fabienne Brunet - Human Resources & Corporate Social Responsibilities
  • Sandra Carvalho - Marketing & Communications
  • Esther Gaide - Deputy Chief Financial Officer
  • Quentin Lilly - Home Entertainment Services
  • Vince Pizzica - Corporate Development & Technology
  • Boris Teksler - Technology, Intellectual Property & Licensing

Board of Directors

  • Didier Lombard, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of STMicroelectronics - Chairman
  • Virginie Calmels, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of EuroDisney and EuroDisney Associés SCA; Director, Iliad - Director
  • Lloyd Carney, CEO, Brocade - Director
  • David L. Fishman, Partner of Vector Capital Corporation - Director
  • Nicolas Grelier - Employee Director
  • Bruce Hack, Former CEO, Vivendi Games and Vice Chairman, Activision Blizzard - Director
  • Hugues Lepic, CEO, Aleph Capital - Director
  • Laura Quatela, President of Eastman Kodak Company - Director
  • Frederic Rose, CEO, Technicolor - Director


  1. ^ Cohen, David S. (January 26, 2010). "Technicolor reinventing itself". Variety. 
  2. ^ "Thomson Acquires Cirpack, the European Leader in Softswitch Solutions". April 21, 2005. 
  3. ^ David Tamés. "NAB 2006: Camera Wrap-up". CreativePlanetNetwork. 
  4. ^ "A conversation with John Naylor". Kino-Eye. April 28, 2006. 
  5. ^ "Thomson to Sell Grass Valley". January 29, 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-29. 
  6. ^ "Technicolor Company Profile". Hoovers. 
  7. ^ "PE Firm Makes Binding Offer for Grass Valley". July 27, 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-03. 
  8. ^ "Technicolor sells head-end business to FCDE, keeps PRN". 24 Feb 2011. 
  9. ^ David Benoit (25 Jul 2012). "Vector Capital beats J.P. Morgan in Technicolor wildness". Wall St. Journal. 
  10. ^ "Vector Capital wins Technicolor deal". Wall St. Journal. 20 Jun 2012. 
  11. ^ "Technicolor's general shareholders meeting approves the capital increases proposed by vector capital". 20 Jun 2012. 
  12. ^ Georg Szalai (21 Jun 2012). "France's Technicolor gets new chairman, seals deal to sell stake to US firm". Hollywood Reporter. 

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