Thomson-CSF

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Thomson-CSF Cyrano IV airborne radar as used on the Dassault Mirage F1 Thomson CSF Cyrano IV-001.jpg
Thomson-CSF Cyrano IV airborne radar as used on the Dassault Mirage F1

Thomson-CSF was a major electronics and defence contractor. In December 2000 it was renamed Thales Group .

Thales Group is a French multinational company that designs and builds electrical systems and provides services for the aerospace, defence, transportation and security markets. Its headquarters are in La Défense, and its stock is listed on the Euronext Paris.

Contents

History

In 1879 Elihu Thomson and Edwin Houston formed the Thomson-Houston Electric Company in the United States.

Elihu Thomson American inventor

Elihu Thomson was an English-born American engineer and inventor who was instrumental in the founding of major electrical companies in the United States, the United Kingdom and France.

Thomson-Houston Electric Company business

The Thomson-Houston Electric Company was a manufacturing company which was one of the precursors of the General Electric company.

On 15 April 1892 Thomson-Houston and the Edison General Electric Company merged to form General Electric (GE). Also in 1892 the company formed a French subsidiary, Thomson Houston International.

General Electric American multinational conglomerate corporation

General Electric Company (GE) is an American multinational conglomerate incorporated in New York and headquartered in Boston. As of 2018, the company operates through the following segments: aviation, healthcare, power, renewable energy, digital industry, additive manufacturing, venture capital and finance, lighting, and oil and gas.

In 1893 Compagnie Française Thomson-Houston (CFTH) was set up as a partner to GE. It is from this company that the modern Thomson companies would evolve.

In 1966 CFTH merged with Hotchkiss-Brandt to form Thomson-Houston-Hotchkiss-Brandt (soon renamed Thomson-Brandt). In 1968 the electronics business of Thomson-Brandt merged with Compagnie Générale de Télégraphie Sans Fil (General Wireless Telegraphy Company, CSF) to form Thomson-CSF. Thomson Brandt maintained a significant shareholding in this company (approximately 40%).

In 1982 both Thomson-Brandt and Thomson-CSF were nationalized by François Mitterrand. Thomson-Brandt was renamed Thomson SA (Société Anonyme) and merged with Thomson-CSF.

François Mitterrand 21st President of the French Republic

François Maurice Adrien Marie Mitterrand was a French statesman who served as President of France from 1981 to 1995, the longest time in office in French history. As First Secretary of the Socialist Party, he was the first left-wing politician to be elected President of France under the Fifth Republic.

From 1983 to 1987 a major reorganisation of Thomson-CSF was undertaken, with divestitures to refocus the group on its core activities (electronics and defence). Thomson-CSF Téléphone and the medical division were sold to Alcatel and GE respectively. The semiconductor businesses of Thomson-CSF was merged with Finmeccanica. Thomson acquired General Electric’s RCA and GE consumer electronics business in 1987, and philips' Hollandse Signaalapparaten B.V. in 1990.

Alcatel-Lucent French global telecommunications equipment company

Alcatel-Lucent S.A. was a French global telecommunications equipment company, headquartered in Boulogne-Billancourt, France. It was formed in 2006 by the merger of France-based Alcatel and U.S.-based Lucent, the latter being the successor of AT&T's Western Electric.

The RCA Corporation was a major American electronics company, which was founded as the Radio Corporation of America in 1919. It was initially a wholly owned subsidiary of General Electric (GE); however, in 1932, RCA became an independent company after GE was required to divest its ownership as part of the settlement of a government antitrust suit.

Philips Dutch multinational electronics company

Koninklijke Philips N.V. is a Dutch multinational technology company headquartered in Amsterdam, one of the largest electronics companies in the world, currently focused in the area of healthcare and lighting. It was founded in Eindhoven in 1891 by Gerard Philips and his father Frederik, with their first products being light bulbs. It was once one of the largest electronic conglomerates in the world and currently employs around 74,000 people across 100 countries. The company gained its royal honorary title in 1998 and dropped the "Electronics" in its name in 2013.

In 1988 Thomson Consumer Electronics was formed, renamed Thomson Multimedia in 1995. The French government split the consumer electronics and defence businesses prior to privatisation in 1999, those companies being Thomson Multimedia (today Technicolor SA) and Thomson-CSF (today Thales Group). The picture shown is a "Cyrano II " fitted on Mirage III E

Thomson-CSF independence

Following the privatisation of the Thomson Group Thomson-CSF explored the possibility of merging with Marconi Electronic Systems, however British Aerospace was successful in that aim, forming BAE Systems.

In 2000 Thomson-CSF went through a series of transactions, including with Marconi plc. The major acquisition at this time was the £1.3 billion purchase of the British defence electronics firm, Racal. This made Thomson-CSF the second largest participant in the UK defence industry after BAE. Racal was renamed Thomson-CSF Racal plc.

On 6 December 2000 the group was renamed Thales.

Further reading

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