It may be losing a fortune at present, but there is plenty of hidden value in Thomson Multimedia SA, sources in Paris have been telling Reuters, which says the company is to be sold on to Daewoo Electronics Co also for the symbolic one franc. They say it will be structurally profitable from 1999 at the latest, and that while the group made a loss in the first half, technology licenses inherited with RCA Corp’s consumer electronics business should bring in $190m a year from 1999. Thomson Mult imedia has been heavily involved, and massively invested, in the development of digital television and is a leader in decoder technology as well as a member of the Digital Video Disc consortium. The company reportedly lost $600m in the first half – a $220m operating loss, a $240m restructuring charge and $140m in interest charges – but Thomson Multimedia declined to confirm the figures. The group was already working on a restructuring, closing eight production sites in the US, Germany and sout heast Asia and cutting 5,000 from its 49,500 workforce, mainly outside France.
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