Thomson-CSF was a major electronics and defence contractor. In
December 2000 it was renamed Thales Group.
3 Further reading
Elihu Thomson and
Edwin Houston formed the Thomson-Houston
Electric Company in the United States.
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.
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
Hotchkiss-Brandt (soon renamed Thomson-Brandt). In
1968 the electronics business of Thomson-Brandt merged with Compagnie
Générale de Télégraphie Sans Fil (CSF) to form Thomson-CSF.
Thomson Brandt maintained a significant shareholding in this company
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.
From 1983 to 1987 a major reorganisation of
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.
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
the possibility of merging with Marconi Electronic Systems, however
British Aerospace was successful in that aim, forming BAE Systems.
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
On 6 December 2000 the group was renamed Thales.
Jean-Pierre, Thierry (16 October 2003). Taïwan Connection :
Scandales et meurtres au cœur de la République [Taiwan Connection
– Scandals and Murders at the Heart of the Republic] (in French).
Robert Laffont. ISBN 978-2221100820.
L'entreprise partagée ? Une pratique différente des relations
sociales : l'expérience Thomson-CSF, Robert Thomas (pseudonym
for a team-work with Pierre Beretti and Jean-Pierre Thiollet), Paris,
Maxima-Laurent du Mesnil Ed., 1999
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Thales Air Defence
Thales Rail Signalling Solutions
Thales Training & Simulation
Thales Underwater Systems
Soteria Search and Rescue
Thales Alenia Space
Thales Alenia Space (67%)
Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle
Digital Joint Reconnaissance Pod
Lightweight Multirole Missile
Thomson Marconi Sonar
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