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Technicolor considers offer to sell Thomson Video Networks

After shedding the Grass Valley production equipment and transmission businesses earlier this year as part of a stated “divestment program,” Technicolor has now found a binding offer to sell the Thomson Video Networks business to venture capital firm Fonds de Consolidation & Développement des Entreprises (FCDE), located in Rennes, France. Should the deal go through, that divestment program would be considered complete.

Like the earlier deals that got it out of what it considered undesirable market segments, Technicolor is relinquishing the Thomson Video Networks business without upfront capital compensation, according to Joe Zaller, founder of Devoncroft Partners.

Under terms of the pending agreement, FCDE will acquire 100 percent ownership of everything considered to be part of Thomson Video Networks, including the existing portfolio of ViBE video encoders/decoders, MPEG processors, video servers, datacasters, network management, monitoring and switching product lines, as well as associated R&D centers and systems activities worldwide.

The FCDE is a capital development fund that finances small- to midsized companies. The fund is financed by the Fonds Stratégique d’Investissement (FSI) as well as several banks and insurance companies based in France.

Christophe Delahousse, president of Thomson Video Networks, said the new ownership would allow Thomson to “develop to our full potential as an independent organization.” Delahousse, who will continue to lead the division as a separate business unit, also said that the FCDE has stated its intention to continue to support R&D of its product lines.

Charles-Henri Rossignol, a FCDE executive board member, said, the investment will allow Thomson Video Networks to continue to target the satellite, terrestrial, IPTV and Web TV market segments in Asia, South America and the United States.

The companies said that during the transition, Thomson Video Networks service and support would continue uninterrupted, with all existing contracts, service agreements and warranties honored according to their current terms. All business contacts will remain the same and, until the sale is final, Thomson Video Networks will continue to operate as a business division of Technicolor.

Thomson Video Networks will exhibit its full product line at the 2011 NAB Show in Booth SU4917.