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Electronics Production | December 23, 2010

Thales is to acquire SESO

Thales is to acquire SESO (Société Européenne de Systèmes Optiques), a French company that designs and manufactures very high-precision optical components and systems based on optical, opto-mechanical and electro-optical technologies.
Based in Aix-en-Provence in the south of France, SESO employs around 80 engineers and qualified technicians and generates some EUR 12 million in revenues, 80% on export, with institutional customers, major corporations and research organisations. The company serves three main markets: space and defence, scientific programmes, and high-power lasers.

In space and defence, SESO mainly supplies onboard equipment for spacecraft (mirrors and telescopes) as well as ground equipment (solar simulators, etc.). The company's mirrors were selected for the IASI and Pléaides observation satellites and will equip France's future CSO intelligence satellites. In astronomy, SESO develops optical instruments built around very large, very high-precision telescopes. The company also produced optical components for the prototype of France's national Laser Mega Joule (LMJ) project, building its credentials for the full-scale production phase and the provision of maintenance services over the installation's 30-year lifetime.

Serge Adrian, director of Thales's optronics businesses stated: "This acquisition brings Thales a set of businesses that are highly complementary to our own. There is a clear potential for synergies in very high-resolution optics, a field where SESO has already achieved international acclaim. Thales will now be able to offer its customers even more innovative systems and instruments." He added: "We will continue to grow the business in all its markets and we are also happy to have this chance to further expand our involvement in the national high-tech clusters initiative."

The transaction will close after official approval by the competent competition authorities.

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