Thomson unit gains $40 million in business |

Thomson unit gains $40 million in business

Thomson Multimedia’s Grass Valley business unit will take over production of routers from a Thomson facility in Salt Lake City.

A company official said the move is the one of the biggest changes so far after the acquisition earlier this year of one of western Nevada County’s largest companies – Grass Valley Group – by Thomson Multimedia. The French company had $9.3 billion in 2001 sales.

The shift of the routers from a Thomson facility in Salt Lake City will move $40 million a year in production to the Nevada City campus, said Tim Thorsteinson, chief executive officer of the Grass Valley business unit.

That represents a 20 percent increase in product revenue for the unit, which has reported revenues of $175 million to $200 million annually.

The move is not expected to result in immediate changes to the number of staff in Nevada City, said Thorsteinson.

Some manufacturing employees could be added on at some point with the shift, which is expected to take place in the next 90 days. Hiring depends on what happens in the slumping broadcast equipment sector, where lower advertising revenues have made television companies reluctant to invest in new equipment.

The company now transfers some manufacturing tasks to companies such as Varian Inc., which has a plant in Rocklin. Those firms can pick up extra work, Thorsteinson said, and if they are efficient, production can be ramped up without staff additions.

The move here of router manufacturing is one of the few changes in what has been an uneventful transition so far.

Overall, the Nevada City staff head count has remained at 350 during the last six months, said Thorsteinson, who expects few changes in the next six months.

The acquisition has not resulted in the elimination of any Grass Valley Group products, Thorsteinson said. The company’s offices in Beaverton, Ore.,. and Boston will remain open as well.

Employees subject to pay reductions have been returned to full salary, and there have been no cost-saving shutdowns, Thorsteinson said.

“We should all be happy in how it’s turned out.”

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