Thomson Renamed Technicolor, As Restructuring Plan Approved

Thomson SA, the Paris-based company that sells set-top boxes, video transmission gear and other telecom equipment, has adopted the Technicolor name after its debt-restructuring plan was accepted Wednesday by shareholders.
Thomson acquired Technicolor, a provider of services to the film and entertainment industries, in 2001. The company has been in talks since February 2009 with creditors to restructure its debt. In November, Thomson obtained a "safeguard" proceeding (the French equivalent of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection) to protect it from creditors before the debt restructuring takes effect in February.
As part of the restructuring plan, the roles of chairman and CEO will be separated. Frederic Rose, currently Thomson's chairman and CEO, said in an interview with Reuters that customers associated the Thomson SA name with a costly acquisition strategy that yielded few synergies.
"Thomson is a name that disturbs our clients," Rose said.
As part of the restructuring, Thomson plans to sell certain businesses, including the broadcast TV equipment maker Grass Valley.
Thomson shares will be listed under the Technicolor name on NYSE Euronext Paris starting Feb. 1 under the symbol "TCH."
Separately, Thomson last fall hired Greg Gudorf, formerly CEO of Paul Allen's Digeo DVR company, to run a newly created business unit focused on integrated digital content delivery and device management.