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French firm finishes GVG purchase

The purchase of western Nevada County’s largest private employer is a done deal.

Thomson Multimedia announced Monday that it has closed the $172 million acquisition of Grass Valley Group, a Nevada City broadcast equipment manufacturer.



Thomson said in December that it was buying GVG, a privately held company that employs 360 people at its Nevada City campus and 660 worldwide.




Thomson is a global electronics business headquartered in Paris with 2001 revenues of $9.3 billion.

Now that they have inked a deal, the two companies will look at fitting Grass Valley Group’s product line into that of Thomson, which has repositioned itself in digital video through the acquisition of Philips Broadcasting, Technicolor and now GVG.

The integration of Grass Valley Group products – what to keep and what to phase out – is expected to take shape by the end of March, said Tim Thorsteinson, president and chief executive officer of GVG.

No decisions have been made yet about Grass Valley Group staffing levels, said Thorsteinson.

Those kind of questions won’t be answered until the companies come up with a road map for the merger, said Thorsteinson.

“My guess is by the end of March, we’ll have a clearer picture of what the organization will look like,” he said.

Since Thomson is pursuing the acquisition to gain Grass Valley Group’s skill base and Nevada City factory, Thorsteinson said he did not expect major changes, up or down, in the local head count.

A major staff meeting will take place today for the two firms. Last week, Thomson executives flew in from Paris to visit GVG facilities in Nevada City.

Thomson and Grass Valley Group products will be showcased at a single booth at the National Association of Broadcasters show, April 6-11 in Las Vegas. The booth will house Thomson Broadcast Solutions products, including GVG and Nextream, at the broadcast industry’s biggest trade show of the year.


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