UPDATED: Creditors Clear Thomson for Restructure

Grass Valley parent company files bankruptcy to protect U.S. assets
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PARIS: Grass Valley parent corporation Thomson SA won the approval of the third and final group of creditors for its bankruptcy plan, the company said today. A committee of the company’s noteholders was the final group among the three to OK the plan for Thomson to restructure its debt.

Separate committees of the company’s suppliers and lenders unanimously voted to OK the plan yesterday. The final hurdle will be a shareholder vote, scheduled for Jan. 27.

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. The proceeding is expected to be completed by February.

Shares of Thomson rose 24 percent in Paris to 1.08 euros (US$1.55) on the announcement of yesterday's vote, but slipped back by about 10 percent today.

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. No buyers have been annouced for either division. -- Deborah D. McAdams

(Image by Mike Philippens)

More on Thomson:
November 30, 2009:Thomson Prepares for Restructuring
Grass Valley parent corporation Thomson SA said it would announce its debt restructuring plan some time today.

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.

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