Thomson Sells Digital Film Transfer Equipment Business to Private Investors

Thomson is selling the Thomson Grass Valley digital film transfer equipment business to private investors led by PARTER Capital Group, a German private equity advisory firm. The sale includes the market-leading Spirit film scanning family, together with the Bones digital intermediate workflow tools and LUTher, a colour space management product. Financial terms of the sale are not being made public.

Thomson reiterated its commitment to the film and post production markets across all its operations, including its Technicolor Content Services operations, a global leader in the post production services industry and a major user of the Spirit, Bones and LUTher products. Thomson also remains committed to the continued development and innovation in the application-critical areas of digital cinematography acquisition and nonlinear editing, including its award-winning Viper Filmstream camera and EDIUS software.

“This is a very positive move for Thomson and for the digital film transfer equipment business,” says Jeff Rosica, Senior Vice President of Broadcast & Professional Solutions business unit within Thomson. “It enables us to better focus our efforts to bring to all markets – including the very important post production sector – innovative products and solutions that deliver creativity and efficiency. And at the same time, PARTER Capital Group, with its experienced and dedicated management team, will focus its attention on the digital film transfer equipment business with renewed vigor.”

“We are making this investment because we know these products are valued and respected in the market, and that they have a strong future ahead of them,” adds Dr. R diger Terhorst of PARTER Capital Group. “In particular, we know that the development teams are highly regarded within the industry, and we want to assure the market that we will be keeping those teams together to continue their impressive work.”

Through the transaction, which is expected to close in late October 2008 and subject to local labor requirements, all Thomson Grass Valley digital film transfer hardware and related high-end post production software solutions – including the market-leading Spirit family of film scanners and DataCine systems, Bones workflow tools, and LUTher color space management solution will be spun off into a new international company with operational headquarters in Germany.

“The Spirit family has been the industry standard for digital film scanning in the high-end post production process for more than a decade, and we have built a set of very powerful software tools around it to complete the digital intermediate workflow,” explains Jeff Rosica. “The new company structure, combined with the dynamic and entrepreneurial management, is an ideal match for the demands of this niche post production business, and we are confident that the products will continue to thrive under their new ownership.”

The 100th second-generation Spirit system has just been delivered, adding to the 250-plus Spirit classic systems still in use.

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