Thales (Euronext Paris: HO) has entered into exclusive negotiations with the private equity firm Latour Capital with a view to divesting its business that provides ticketing and revenue collection for transport operators as well as road tolling and car park management systems. Presented on November 16th to the Thales Group's European Works Council, the project aims to accelerate the development of this business while creating value for its customers and employees.
- In 2015, this business generated sales of 155 million euros. It employs close to 850 people, mainly in France, the Netherlands, Mexico, Hong Kong, Denmark and Italy.
- The objective is to put in place a business plan to grow this activity by building on its existing teams, know-how and capabilities, and by developing innovative technological solutions.
- The divestment project is in line with the Thales strategy of permanent business portfolio optimisation.
With close to 850 employees mainly based in France, the Netherlands, Denmark, Italy, Mexico, Hong Kong, India, New Zealand and Egypt, this business generated sales of 155 million euros in 2015.
The divestment project is in line with the Thales strategy of business portfolio optimisation.
Latour Capital is a French private equity firm with a strong entrepreneurial focus. It is mainly financed by major institutional investors. For Latour Capital, this acquisition would be an industrial development project designed to drive growth and employment.
Employee representative bodies are being consulted on the project, which is also subject to customary closing conditions.
Besides, rail signalling, communication and supervision systems activities are at the core of the Group’s businesses and technologies. They account for close to 90% of the Group's Ground Transportation Systems revenues and are not affected by this project.
Note to editors about the Ground Transportation Systems Global Business Unit (not affected by this project)
The Ground Transportation Systems Global Business Unit in 2015 generated sales of 1.5 billion euros, which represents 11% of the Thales total sales.
Thales is one of the world market leaders in rail signalling and control/supervision of urban and mainline rail networks. These complex critical systems rely on the core capabilities and technologies required to serve the Group's markets: aerospace, space, ground transportation, defence and security.
Recent milestones for Thales’s Ground Transportation Systems business include a resignalling contract covering 40% of the London Underground, which will increase capacity by 33%; the inauguration of the Gotthard tunnel, the world’s longest rail tunnel, which relies on Thales systems; and resignalling of seven lines of the Hong Kong metro. At 30 June 2016, the order book of this business stood at a record level of 4.5 billion euros, the equivalent of almost three years of revenues.
The global market for rail signalling is experiencing steady growth of about 4% a year as demand continues to increase in both mature and emerging markets.
Thales intends to develop its transportation activity and to make it the world market leader as one of the Group's core businesses, focusing on rail signalling and communication and supervision systems. The Group expects to further strengthen this world leadership position thanks to its unique portfolio of technologies — including cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, Big Data and connectivity — that are key to the digital transformation of the rail sector.