SOURCE: Thomson

July 01, 2005 11:07 ET

Thomson Transfers Its Videoglass Business in France to Spanish Glass Group, Rioglass

PARIS -- (MARKET WIRE) -- July 1, 2005 -- Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453) (NYSE: TMS) today signed agreements under which the Spanish glass group Rioglass will take over its glass cathode ray tubes glass activity, Videoglass, situated at Bagneaux-sur-Loing in France. Rioglass intends to set up a glass-conversion activity for the automotive industry on the site.

Rioglass specializes in glass parts for the car and transport industries, and has a prestigious client base, including Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Seat, Skoda and Volkswagen. The group operates six factories in Spain, Belgium and Brazil.

The Rioglass transfer meets Thomson's objective of maintaining a glass manufacturing activity at Bagneaux-sur-Loing. The Spanish group will convert the Videoglass business into a windshield, rear-view window and car-window manufacturing activity. Rioglass is well-positioned in this strong growth market, and will employ at least 300 of the 445 people on the site. Application of the Group's early retirement agreement and a voluntary redundancy scheme will allow Thomson to find solutions for all Videoglass employees.

"Rioglass, a well-known manufacturer for the car industry, has a project which allows Bagneaux-sur-Loing to maintain manufacturing jobs and an activity based on the site's long-standing expertise in glass," said Didier Trutt, Executive Vice President at Thomson. "Today's agreement represents a unique opportunity which Thomson is determined to finalise in cooperation with the local authorities and employee representatives."

The Rioglass project, which follows Thomson's disposal of its cathode ray tube activities to the Indian group, Videocon, is in line with the financial position confirmed by the group on 28 June 2005. The agreement allows Thomson to achieve its objective of identifying an alternative manufacturing activity for the site in 2005, rather than by 2007 as originally planned.

The agreement with Rioglass, which is subject to French employee information and consultation procedures, is expected to take effect in the fourth quarter of 2005.

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