French defence electronics giant Thomson CSF has appointed
Financial Dynamics to raise its profile among the financial and defence
communities in the UK, an account potentially worth over pounds 200,000
This comes as UK conglomerate GEC seeks to spin off its defence
electronics arm, Marconi. Thomson has been named as one of the potential
buyers, alongside British Aerospace. FD would handle PR for any
potential acquisition, which is likely to be hotly contested.
Thomson’s bankers, Credit Suisse First Boston, organised the selection
process last month and chose FD after a non-competitive pitch.
Financial Dynamics is Thomson’s first PR agency in the UK and has been
appointed on an annual retainer. The agency will report directly to
Thomson chairman and chief executive Denis Ranque and FD director Hugh
Morrison will lead the account.
FD chief executive Nick Miles said: ’The brief is to raise Thomson CSF’s
profile among UK audiences. With GEC looking to do a tie-up in France,
the UK or the US, our role is to make sure the defence and investor
communities in the UK understand how international Thomson is and the
opportunities it brings to the defence industry.’
Thomson is quoted on the Paris stock exchange. It counts five business
units which supply systems and equipment to defence companies. These
are: aerospace equipment such as on-board radar, aviation electronics,
communications and command systems, detection and missile systems and
Its operation in the UK includes a joint venture with GEC Marconi
supplying sonar systems and a defence optics joint venture with glass
giant Pilkington, which supplies periscopes to navies.
The company employs 6,000 UK staff and counts itself as the second
largest supplier of defence electronics to the Ministry of Defence.
In 1997, Thomson registered a pounds 228 million profit on a turnover of
pounds 4.3 billion. Of its turnover, pounds 500 million was generated in