Thomson to Acquire Canal+ Technologies

Thomson multimedia will acquire 89 percent shareholding in Canal+ Technologies from Canal+ Group for roughly 190 million euros ($186 million), including existing cash and cash equivalents in Canal+ Technologies. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals.

Canal+ Technologies is a provider of conditional access and middleware technology solutions. Its software is deployed in more than 14 million set-top boxes worldwide. MediaGuard, its conditional access system, enables digital TV operators to offer encrypted TV channels on a secured platform. MediaHighway, an interactive TV middleware technology provider, allows digital TV operators to deliver a range of advanced iTV applications such as Electronic Program Guides, Pay-Per-View and home banking.

Thomson initiated the deal to expand its holdings in conditional access and interactive software systems. Thomson is also examining the consolidation taking place in Canal+ Technologies' business sectors. Immediately upon finally closing the deal, Thomson will enter into partnership discussions with other technology companies.

Canal+ operating units will be managed within the Thomson New Media Services division. Canal+ will continue to provide technology and services to Canal+ Group and its DTV operators, as well as to other third parties. It will also pursue close cooperation with all its manufacturers' licensees, including Thomson, on a nonexclusive basis.