Thomson Prepares for Restructuring

Trading suspended on Paris stock market
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PARIS: Grass Valley parent corporation Thomson SA said it would announce its debt restructuring plan some time today. Shares of the company were suspended from trading on the Paris stock market pending the announcement, according to Dow Jones. The wire service said the company was expected to seek court protection from creditors.

Suffering from the effects of the collapsed global economy, Thomson put the Grass Valley business up for sale in February. The company estimated its debt to be around $2.8 billion at the time. Grass Valley, along with Thomson’s digital signage division, Premier Retail Networks, generated $1.3 billion last year, or around 20 percent of Thomson’s revenues. PRN was also offered for sale in February.

Thomson’s chief financial officer, Stephane Rougeot, told The Wall Street Journal in October that the sale of Grass Valley was taking longer than expected “due to tough market conditions.” Thompson was said to be talking to “several interested parties” about divesting Grass Valley.

More on Thomson:
April 29, 2009: “Thomson Scores on Breach Waiver”
Thomson said its creditors have granted it a waiver, giving the company until June 16 to restructure its 2.9 billion euro ($3.8 billion) debt due April 30.

March 10, 2009: “Thomson Drops on Loss”
Thomson today posted a net loss of 1.9 billion euros ($2.4 billion U.S.) for 2008, compared to a loss of 23 million euros for the previous year ($33.8 million).

February 25, 2009: “Grass Valley Exec: We’ll Be Around
Grass Valley will take care of customers through its divestiture from Thomson, a company executive said this week.

February 2, 2009: “Thomson Cuts Grass
Thomson (NYSE:TMS) is putting Grass Valley up for sale. The Parisian tech giant today said the board approved divesting the division, along with its Premier Retail Networks digital signage business.