Meaning of THOMSON SA in English


also called Thomson Group, major French state-owned holding company that operates more than 115 industrial companies and subsidiaries; it derives more than half of its sales from the high-technology subsidiary, Thomas-CSF. The company was nationalized following the ascendancy of the Socialist Party in France in 1981. Headquarters are in Paris. The original company was formed in 1966 with the merger of Compagnie Franaise Thomson-Houston and Hotchkiss-Brandt, becoming known as Thomson-Brandt SA in 1972. Because its management was long dominated by career military officers, Thomson-Brandt (now a division of Thomson-CSF) was generally regarded as a technologically competent, but commercially conservative, electronics firm, relying heavily on defense contracts. In 1972, for example, its research and development department invented the video-disk system but overlooked its vast commercial potential in the home-video market, selling it instead only as an audio-visual tool in military training. Following the nationalization of Thomson-Brandt in 1982, the company came under the management of civilian directors sympathetic to the French Socialist Party in power. It was reorganized in 1983 into a holding company with a group of subsidiaries. In 1987 the firm bought General Electric's consumer-electronics division, including RCA, and sold GE its medical-equipment unit. Its products include electrical apparatus, electronic components, consumer durable goods, audio-visual and telecommunications products, military equipment, wires and cables, lighting and refrigeration equipment, and financial services.

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