Thomson’s Bankruptcy Plan Approved by Creditor Groups

Grass Valley parent files to protect U.S. assets.
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Grass Valley parent corporation Thomson SA’s creditors have approved of its bankruptcy plan, the company said this week. A committee of the company’s suppliers and lenders unanimously voted to OK Thomson’s bankruptcy plan. The company filed for Chapter 15 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York last week to safeguard its American assets while it restructures its $4.2 billion debt in France. Around 47 percent of Thomson’s 2008 revenues were generated in the United States.

A noteholders’ committee will vote this week. They will comprise the last group of creditors that must approve the plan. Should it be approved by a two-thirds majority, it will be submitted to a shareholder vote at a meeting Jan. 27, 2010. If a two-thirds majority vote is not achieved, Thomson will submit an alternative, court-imposed plan in accordance with French commercial code provisions, the company said.

Shares of Thomson rose 24 percent in Paris to 1.08 euros (US$1.55) on the announcement of the vote.

Thomson put Grass Valley up for sale in February, along with the digital signage division, Premier Retail Networks. The two generated a combined $1.3 billion last year, or around 20 percent of Thomson’s revenues.