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Electronics Production | December 29, 2005

Thales sale of its HTO finalized

Thales and Candover has finalized the sale of Thales High Tech Optics (HTO) activities in the UK, US, Singapore, Germany and Hungary.
Under the agreement, Candover has acquired the businesses, regarded as non-strategic for Thales, for a total consideration of €220 million, payable in cash. The sale has received approval by the regulatory authorities for competition (Germany and Austria) and foreign investments (USA).

Thales HTO is active in four main areas: infantry night vision, optical components, optical modules and optical coatings.

"With this sale, Thales has divested non-core businesses. We bought Avimo and Pilkington for their optronic system capabilities which will continue to be part of our key product portfolio but we do not believe it is in the best interests of these HTO businesses to remain under our ownership" stated Jean-Loup Picard Senior Vice President for Strategy, Research and Technology. "As demonstrated over the last four years, it has been our strategic intent to refocus the business on our core activities to strengthen our leading position as a large systems integrator and equipment and services provider in defence and security. This divestment will provide further considerable financial resources for both organic and external expansion in such areas."

"HTO fits Candover's investment criteria perfectly: It is a global leader in its field; it has a niche position in an industry with significant growth potential; enjoys long established relationships with its large customer base; and is led by an experienced and well respected management team" said Cyrille Chevrillon, Managing Director of Candover. "HTO provides us with a strong platform for industry consolidation and we look forward to working with management to identify acquisition and expansion opportunities."

These businesses have approximately 1,400 employees and generated revenues of €127 million in 2004.

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