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.
In 1879 Elihu Thomson and Edwin Houston formed the Thomson-Houston Electric Company in the United States.
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.
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 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 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 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.
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
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.
Marconi Electronic Systems (MES), or GEC-Marconi as it was until 1998, was the defence arm of The General Electric Company (GEC). It was demerged from GEC and acquired by British Aerospace (BAe) on 30 November 1999 to form BAE Systems. GEC then renamed itself Marconi plc.
The General Electric Company, or GEC, was a major UK-based industrial conglomerate involved in consumer and defence electronics, communications, and engineering. The company was a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.
Technicolor SA, formerly Thomson SARL and Thomson Multimedia, is a French multinational corporation that provides services and products for the communication, media and entertainment industries. Technicolor's headquarters are located in Paris, France. Other main office locations include Rennes (France), Los Angeles, Edegem (Belgium), London, Bangalore, Chennai (India), Lawrenceville, Georgia (USA) and Carmel, Indiana (USA).
The Plessey Company plc was a British-based international electronics, defence and telecommunications company. It originated in 1917, growing and diversifying into electronics. It expanded after the Second World War by acquisition of companies and formed overseas companies.
Racal Electronics plc was a British electronics company, founded in 1950.
The Marconi Company was a British telecommunications and engineering company that did business under that name from 1963 to 1987. It was derived from earlier variations in the name and incorporation, spanning a period from its inception in 1897 until 2006, during which time it underwent numerous changes, mergers and acquisitions. The company was founded by the Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi and began as the Wireless Telegraph & Signal Company. The company was a pioneer of wireless long distance communication and mass media broadcasting, eventually becoming one of the UK's most successful manufacturing companies. In 1999, its defence manufacturing division, Marconi Electronic Systems, merged with British Aerospace to form BAE Systems. In 2006, extreme financial difficulties led to the collapse of the remaining company, with the bulk of the business acquired by the Swedish telecommunications company, Ericsson.
Siemens Plessey was the name given to the Plessey assets acquired by Siemens in 1989.
Marconi Communications, the former telecommunications arm of the General Electric Company plc (GEC), was founded in August 1998 through the amalgamation of GEC Plessey Telecommunications (GPT) with other GEC subsidiaries: Marconi SpA, GEC Hong Kong, and ATC South Africa.
GEC Plessey Telecommunications (GPT) was founded in 1988 as a joint venture between GEC and the British electronics, defence and telecommunications company Plessey. A joint holding company of GEC and the German conglomerate Siemens AG acquired Plessey a year later, and GPT was converted into a 60/40 GEC/Siemens joint venture.
Thomson Marconi Sonar (TMS) was formed as Ferranti Thomson Sonar Systems (FTSS) in 1990 by the merger of the sonar systems businesses of Thomson-CSF and Ferranti. The head office of FTSS was at Cheadle Heath, Stockport, with subsidiary sites in Church Crookham, Hampshire, Weymouth, Dorset, Bridlington, Yorkshire and Rochester.
Thorn EMI was a major British company involved in consumer electronics, music, defence and retail. Created in October 1979 when Thorn Electrical Industries merged with EMI, it was listed on the London Stock Exchange and was once a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index but it demerged back to separate companies in 1996.
Tracor was a major North American defense electronics contractor which was acquired by Marconi Electronic Systems (MES), a subsidiary of General Electric Company plc, in 1998. Following the purchase of MES by British Aerospace in November 1999 to form BAE Systems, Tracor became BAE Systems Integrated Defense Solutions. Following a 2005 reorganisation, the company became BAE Systems Sensor Integration, part of Electronics and Integrated Solutions.
Thales Underwater Systems (TUS), formerly known as Thomson Marconi Sonar, is an international defence manufacturer specialising in sonar systems for submarines, surface warships, and aircraft as well as communications masts and systems for submarines. TUS is a subsidiary of Thales Naval, part of the Thales Group, and has sites in the United Kingdom, France, and Australia. TUS is made up of three subsidiary companies: TUS Ltd. in the UK, TUS SAS in France and TUS Pty. in Australia, but it operates as a single company with headquarters in southern France. TUS had annual sales of €400 million in 2006 and employed around 2,100 people.
BAE Systems Avionics was the avionics unit of BAE Systems until 2005, at which time it was transferred to SELEX Sensors and Airborne Systems S.p.A. Selex S&AS became SELEX Galileo in 2008 and from January 2013 traded as Selex ES. It then merged into Leonardo S.p.A.'s land and naval defence electronics division on 1 January 2016.
BAE Systems Land & Armaments is a wholly owned subsidiary of BAE Systems Plc. and is responsible for the design, development and production of combat vehicles, ammunition, artillery systems, naval guns and missile launchers. It is the largest such company in the world. It was created on 24 June 2005, following the completion of BAE Systems' acquisition of United Defense in 2004 and its merger with BAE Systems Land Systems. In 2007 BAE Systems acquired Armor Holdings adding to the size of Land & Armaments significantly.
Thales Nederland B.V. is a subsidiary of Thales Group involved primarily in naval defence systems. Other areas of business include air defence, communications, optronics, cryogenic cooling systems and navigation products.
Alvis Ltd. was created when United Scientific Holdings plc acquired the Alvis division of the nationalised vehicle manufacturer British Leyland in 1981. United Scientific maintained its own name until 1992 when the group was renamed Alvis plc. Alvis acquired Swedish armoured vehicle manufacturer Hagglunds AB in 1997 and the armoured vehicle business of GKN in 1998. Finally, it acquired Vickers Defence Systems from Rolls-Royce in October 2002. Alvis was acquired by BAE Systems in 2004 and became BAE Systems Land Systems , now part of the BAE Systems Land & Armaments operating group.
BAE Systems Australia, a subsidiary of BAE Systems plc, is one of the largest defence contractors in Australia. It was formed by the merger of British Aerospace Australia and GEC-Marconi Systems and expanded by the acquisitions of Armor Holdings in 2007 and Tenix Defence in June 2008.
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