Alcatel, Thomson to Form Digital TV Joint Venture

LONDON (06/14/2000) - French networks developer Alcatel SA and Thomson Multimedia SA announced a new joint venture Wednesday in digital video networks, as well as products and services for digital and cable TV networks.

The two companies said in a written statement that they expect the new company to reach sales of 150 million euros (US$156.1 million) and have 500 employees by the end of this year.

"This joint venture is very important to us, since it means we will be able to deliver to our customers the chance to offer interactivity on their networks," said Jean-Loup Bourgois, marketing and tool corporate manager at Thomson Multimedia.

The new company, which has yet to be named, will operate in France, Germany and Switzerland at first, and is expected to be in business within three months.

This is not the first joint venture with Alcatel, Bourgois said, referring to Atlinks SA, which was formed in February of this year. Bourgois is carefully optimistic when it comes to Atlinks, a project which he commented on by saying, "So far, so good." Atlinks manufactures telephone communications products for the consumer market.

Thomson Multimedia is a manufacturer of consumer products such as televisions, DVD (digital versatile disc) players, monitors and electronic components. The company has about 55,000 employees in more than 30 countries and reported sales of 6.7 billion euros in 1999. Alcatel builds networks and offers voice and data networking products and services to its customers -- other carriers as well as consumers. Alcatel has 120,000 employees, operates in more than 130 countries and reported sales of 23 billion euros in 1999.

Thomson Multimedia, in Paris, can be reached at +33-1-41-86-50-00 or on the Web at http://www.thomson-multimedia.com/. Alcatel SA, also in Paris, can be reached at +33-1-4076-10-10 or on the Web at http://www.alcatel.com/.

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