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Thomson-CSF's new look
December 6, 2000: 8:12 a.m. ET

French defense electronics firm renames itself Thales to help buff image
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LONDON (CNNfn) - French defense and electronics firm Thomson-CSF SA gave up on the hyphen Wednesday, announcing it will liven up its image by adopting a new moniker - Thales - in a high-brow reference to an ancient Greek philosopher.

The Paris-based company, which earlier this year purchased U.K.-based defense company Racal, is looking to dress up its profile as a three-tiered company in the defense, aerospace and information technology markets.

Thales, pronounced "talis," was the name of a Greek philosopher, mathmetician and astronomer who lived between 625 and 547 B.C. graphic

Chairman Denis Ranque told a news conference the group had decided on the name change, effective on Dec. 18, to reflect the changes at the company over the past year.

"We are changing our name because we, as a group, have changed significantly," Ranque told a news conference, adding the company was dissatisfied with its image under its former name as it did not reflect its growing international stature.

He also said the Thomson-CSF (PHO) name was often confused with French consumer electronics maker Thomson Multimedia (PTMM), which recently joined the blue-chip CAC 40 index, alongside the defense company.

-- from staff and wire reports graphic


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