Thales Group

Thales Group (French pronunciation: [talɛs]) is a French multinational company that designs and builds electrical systems and provides services for the aerospace, defence, transportation and security markets. Its headquarters are in La Défense[1] (the business district of Paris), and its stock is listed on the Euronext Paris.

Thales S.A.
Société Anonyme
Traded asEuronext: HO
CAC 40 Component
IndustryAerospace, Defence, Transport, Security
Founded6 December 2000 (2000-12-06)
Area served
Key people
Patrice Caine (CEO)
ProductsTactical radios, Remote controlled weapon stations, radars, infantry mobility vehicles, aerospace electronics
Revenue 15.86 billion (2018)
€1.178 billion (2018)
€982 million (2018)
Number of employees
80,000 (2019)

The company changed its name to Thales (from the Greek philosopher Thales, pronounced [talɛs] reflecting its pronunciation in French) from Thomson-CSF in December 2000 shortly after the acquisition of Racal Electronics plc, a UK defence electronics group.[2][3] It is partially state-owned by the French government,[4] and has operations in more than 56 countries. It has 64,000 employees and generated 14.9 billion in revenues in 2016. As of 2017, it is also the 8th largest defence contractor in the world[5] and 55% of its total sales are military sales.[4]

The CEO of Thales Group is Patrice Caine since December 2014.[6]


Thales' predecessor, Thomson-CSF, evolved from Compagnie Française Thomson-Houston (CFTH), which was established in 1893. However Thomson-CSF itself was established in 1968 when Thomson-Brandt (then renamed CFTH) merged its electronics arm with that of Compagnie Générale de Télégraphie Sans Fil (CSF).

Thales formed a joint venture with Raytheon in June 2001 to combine their radar and communications systems divisions. Named ThalesRaytheonSystems, the firm is 50% owned by both parent companies. The joint venture was restructured in 2016 to switch focus exclusively on NATO agencies and NATO member states.[7]

In 2002 Thales set up the joint venture company Armaris with the French shipbuilder DCN to offer a total "bottom up" shipbuilding capability.

In 2002, Thales Broadcast Multimedia, a former subsidiary of Thales, provided China with standard short-wave radio-broadcasting equipment designed for general public radio broadcasting. Although the contract was not at all for the purpose of jamming foreign radio stations broadcasting to China, it now appears that this is what the ALLISS antennas are being used for.

In 2003 Thales UK's design won the competition for the Royal Navy Future Carrier (CVF) and the company now participates in an alliance company with BAE Systems and the UK Ministry of Defence.

Thales Navigation, a division that produced GPS units, was sold to private equity group Shah Capital Partners in 2006 for $170 million and renamed Magellan.[8][9]


In 2006 Thales acquired Australian Defence Industries, a major manufacturer of military equipment such as smokeless gunpowder and the Bushmaster IMV.

In April 2006, Thales announced it would be acquiring Alcatel's space business (67% of Alcatel Alenia Space and 33% of Telespazio), and Alcatel's Rail Signalling Solutions division in a deal which also raised Alcatel's ownership of Thales to 21.66 percent. The French government would also decrease its ownership in Thales to 27.1 percent from 31.3 percent as part of the acquisition.[10] The deal would also include the Systems Integration activities (those not dedicated to telecoms operators, and covering mainly the transport and energy sectors). In January 2007, the 1.7 billion deal Euro ( $2.24 billion) was approved.[11]

In 2008, Thales acquired British Hardware security module vendor nCipher.[12] In 2018 it committed to divesting it as condition for its acquisition of Gemalto[13] and in June 2019 it divested it to Entrust Datacard.[14]

In December 2008, Alcatel agreed to sell a 20.8% stake in French engineering group Thales SA to Dassault Aviation SA for €1.57 billion ($2.27 billion).

In 2014, Alcatel-Lucent initiated talks to sell its cybersecurity unit to Thales.[15] The deal was signed in October that year.[16]

In 2016, Thales acquired Vormetric, a data security company, for $400M.[17]

In 2017 it acquired Guavus[18] and bid €4.76B for digital security company Gemalto.[19]

As of 31 December 2014, Thales Group was owned 26.4% by the Government of France, 25.3% by Dassault Aviation, and 48.3% float, including employee share ownership of 2%.[20]


Thales Group supplies electronic devices and equipment used by the French Armed Forces from its past as Thomson-CSF, including the SPECTRA helmet for the army and the gendarmerie. It has worked with Dassault Aviation on the Rafale and made its SPECTRA defensive aids. Thales often worked with DCNS and designed the electronics used on French ships, and it is involved in the construction of both the Horizon and FREMM programs. Thales, as Thomson-CSF, was involved in the Taiwan frigates scandal, relating to the sale of La Fayette class frigates to Taiwan.

It is also present in Eurosam as Thomson-CSF was a founder of the consortium along Aérospatiale and Alenia Aeronautica. In February 2004, Thales was awarded a contract for a new command and control system for the French Navy, the SIC 21, that will be fitted on the Charles de Gaulle, many vessels and shore locations.

Additionally, the initially planned Future French aircraft carrier PA2 involved Thales as the main designer of the ship. However, the project was cancelled in 2013.[21]

Thales is also working on X-ray imaging, finances, energy and operating commercial satellites.

By 2012 the company is mainly composed of five branches: Defense, Security, Space, Aerospace and Ground transportation.

Among the EU supported projects Thales participates in are:


The company's design won the competition for the Royal Navy Future Carrier (CVF). It is part of the AirTanker consortium, the winning bid for the RAF's Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft. Thales UK won the contract for the British Army UAV programme, Watchkeeper. It also produces the SWARM remote weapon station. Thales simulators include full motion devices as well as flat panel and other training facilities.

Thales Air Defence produces a range of short-range missile systems such as the Starstreak surface-to-air missile.


The Thales ATM (Air Traffic Management) solution is marketed under the name "TopSky", previously named "EuroCat". Thales supplies avionics to civil aircraft manufacturers, including Fly-By-Wire systems, cockpit systems, navigation computers, satellite communication, inflight entertainment and electrical systems.

In November 2017, Thales acquired a UK radar provider called Aveillant who produces software-defined holographic radar technology, which is able to detect small targets such as drones.[24]

In February 2018, Thales won on a A$1.2 billion ($946 million) contract with Airservices Australia and the Australian Department of Defence to unify Australia's civil and military airspace under a single air traffic control system, named "OneSKY".[25]

Ground transportation

Thales has major involvement in the UK rail industry as a result of the Racal merger and the 2006 acquisition of Alcatel's Rail Signalling Solutions division and transport business.[26] Thales is to modernize 40 per cent of London Tube network London Underground.[27]

In Denmark, Thales now owns 100% the "East-west Consortium" contracted for a country-wide travel card (Danish: "Rejsekort")..

In India, Thales was selected in December 2014 by the New Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to deliver a completely automatic fare collection system, as well as ticketing equipment.[28] Thales has also been contracted by Hyderabad Metro Rail since 2017 to provide train control automation and communication services for the metro in Hyderabad.[29]

In 2014, the company was tasked with equipping the public transport system of Bordeaux, France, with a contactless ticketing and revenue collection system, to be installed by February 2017. However, due to delays, the system is not expected to be operational until 2019.[28]

In Singapore, Thales was involved in a train collision resulting from a compatibility issue between the old signalling system's interface, and the new one. The accident resulted in 38 minor injuries.[30] A similar incident would occur in March 2019 in Hong Kong on the Tsuen Wan line.[31]

In Vietnam, the company was awarded a €265 million contract in 2017 to deliver the telecommunications system for the currently constructed Line 3 of the Hanoi metro.[32] Running behind schedule by one year, the metro line is slated to be launched in 2023.[33]

In Turkey, the Thales team has delivered the first High Speed Line in the country in 2009, and has completed more than 400 km of the Ankara Istanbul High Speed Line.[34]

Other activities

Thales is also a major manufacturer of in-flight entertainment systems on board airliners.[35] Thales' primary competitors in this area of business include Panasonic Avionics Corporation, Rockwell Collins, and LiveTV (originally owned by JetBlue, now owned by Thales).

Thales also produces and installs ticketing and communications systems for public transportation via its ticketing and revenue collection division. In November 2016, Thales announced its intention to divest from its transport ticketing, revenue collection, road toll and car park management business.[36] The company entered into negotiations with Paris-based Latour Capital, but the negotiations ended in 2017 after Latour Capital announced this business was "not aligned closely enough with its investment priorities."[37] After subsequent talks with Chinese investors failed, Thales abandoned the divestment.[38]

Thales international

Thales' international subsidiaries generated 52% of the company's revenue in 2008, with Thales UK being the largest of these accounting for 13% of group revenue.[39] Its large presence in the UK (largely as a result of the Racal acquisition) has resulted in several high-profile contracts.

Thales has offices in:[40]


Financial information

As of June 2019, Thales' major shareholders are the French state (25.68%) and Dassault Aviation (24.63%).[49]


Bordeaux project mismanagement

Although the ticketing system in Bordeaux was originally due for launch in summer 2017, multiple delays have pushed the new launch date back by 20 months to 2019.[50] The project’s many setbacks are considered to reflect negatively on the city’s reputation, with Bordeaux’s city’s mayor and former French prime minister Alain Juppé, calling Thales’ inability to meet its commitments "unacceptable behaviour."[51][52]

Centralised slush fund

Michel Josserand, former head of THEC, a subsidiary of Thales, and Dominique Monleau, alleged that Thales has a centralised slush fund that it uses to bribe officials.[53]


Schabir Shaik, the financial advisor to the president of the African National Congress party Jacob Zuma, was found guilty of organising a bribe on behalf of Thomson-CSF.[54]

World Bank

In 2004 the World Bank’s Integrity Unit blacklisted Thales from any of the World Bank's projects for one year because of its fraudulent practices in a US$6.9 million contract for the supply and maintenance of motorcycles in Cambodia.[55]

Taiwanese naval order

Around 1991-1993, French state owned Elf Aquitaine was involved (with other companies & countries) in selling frigates to Taiwan. On June 10, 2011 Thales Group and the French Government were ordered to pay 630 million euros (almost a billion US dollars) in fines after the courts heard that bribes had been paid to the Taiwanese government to win this large naval contract. Part (about 27%) of the responsibility was transferred to Thales Group because it held the legacy from Thomson-CSF. To this day, this is the largest corruption case in French history.[56]


See also


  1. "Le siège social du groupe Thales s'installe à La Défense" (PDF). Thales Group. 5 January 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-05-13. Retrieved 2016-04-20.
  2. "Thomson-CSF changes name to Thales". Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  3. "Thomson-CSF to become Thales - Dec. 6, 2000". Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  4. "About us". Thales Group. 2017. Archived from the original on 17 March 2017. Retrieved 17 March 2017.
  5. "The SIPRI Top 100 arms‑producing and military services companies, 2018" (PDF). Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. December 2018.
  6. "Patrice Caine". Thales Group.
  7. Editorial, Reuters. "BRIEF-Raytheon, Thales modify ThalesRaytheonSystems joint venture..." U.S. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  8. "Thales Finalizes the Sale of Its GPS Navigation Business to Shah Capital Partners". Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  9. "Shah Capital Partners completes acquisition of Thales Navigation, now Magellan". Geospatialworld.
  10. "Thales agrees to Alcatel satellite deal". Financial Times. 2006-04-05. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  11. Editorial, Reuters. "Thales shareholders back Alcatel-Lucent space deal". U.S. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  12. John Leyden (11 July 2008). "Thales swoops on nCipher for hardware encryption goodness". The Register.
  14. "Entrust Datacard completes purchase of market-leading general-purpose hardware security business, nCipher Security, from Thales".
  15. Editorial, Reuters. "Alcatel-Lucent in talks to sell cybersecurity unit to Thales". U.S. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  16. "Thales fait l'acquisition des activités de services de sécurité d'Alcatel-Lucent". (in French). Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  17. John Leyden (20 October 2015). "Thales buys Vormetric for $400m in major security biz push". The Register.
  18. "Thales acquires Guavus, one of the pioneers of real-time big data analytics". Thales Group. 28 April 2017.
  19. Francois de Beaupuy; Marie Mawad (18 December 2017). "Thales Outflanks Atos With Surprise $5.6 Billion Gemalto Bid". Bloomberg.
  20. "The Thales group Corporate presentation" (PDF). Thales Group. March 2017. p. 2. Retrieved 9 May 2017.
  21. Farley, Robert (2018-04-15). "France's Only Aircraft Carrier: Super Weapon or Paper Tiger?". The National Interest. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  22. "Thales sélectionné pour sécuriser Galileo". Spyworld Actu (in French). 25 August 2005.
  23. SESAR must be applicable globally,, March 2, 2011
  24. "Thales completes the acquisition of Aveillant, world pioneer in holographic radar technology". Nov 29, 2017.
  25. "Thales wins A$1.2 billion air traffic deal in Australia". Reuters. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  27. "Thales to modernize 40 per cent of London Tube network". Thales Group. 3 August 2015.
  28. "Thales to deliver automatic fare collection system for Bangkok Metro's Blue Line". Railway Technology. 2017-08-24. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  29. "Hyderabad metro gets Thales signal systems". @businessline. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  30. "Joo Koon train collision: Signalling system provider Thales 'could have done better', says Khaw Boon Wan". Channel News Asia. Nov 21, 2017.
  31. Claire Huang. "Hong Kong MTR train crash blamed on Thales signalling system linked to Joo Koon collision". The Strait Times. Event occurs at 2019-03-18. Retrieved 2019-03-18.
  32. "Thales to supply telecommunications system for Vietnam's Hanoi metro Line 3". Railway Technology. 2017-02-21. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  33. VnExpress. "Sluggish Hanoi metro defers Line 3 launch to 2023 - VnExpress International". VnExpress International – Latest news, business, travel and analysis from Vietnam. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  34. "Thales Global Presence Eurasia Turkey - Transportation". Thales Group. Feb 26, 2019.
  35. "Thales aims for market segmentation with three IFE systems - Runway Girl". Runway Girl. 2018-04-12. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  36. "Thales to sell its fare collection business - International Railway Journal". International Railway Journal. 2016-11-18. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  37. Ltd, DVV Media International. "Thales to sell ticketing business". Railway Gazette. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  38. Editorial, Reuters. "BRIEF-Thales says end talks with Latour Capital on sale of revenue..." U.S. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  39. "Annual Report 2016" (PDF). Thales. Retrieved 9 May 2017.
  40. "Our Global Prensence". Thales Group.
  41. "Thales win multi-million pound missile deal". 8 May 2003.
  42. "Egypt". Thales Group. Archived from the original on 2016-04-22. Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  43. "Thales investit 20 millions d'euros à Nouaceur pour sa rutilante usine d'impression 3D". (in French). 7 September 2017.
  44. "Thales Worldwide | Thales Group". Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  45. "Thales Canada, Aerospace Division is Changing Locations". Market Wire. 23 November 2007.
  46. Adam Sandle (2 July 2013). "Cesar Kuberek and Thales Lead the Way in Latin America". Ground Report.
  47. "Thales launches Search Master family of AESA radars". Retrieved 2010-07-20.
  48. "In-Flight Entertainment". Retrieved 2019-03-21.
  49. "Share and shareholding". Thales Group. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  50. "Bordeaux: Encore en retard, la nouvelle billettique du réseau TBM devrait être fin prête en mars 2019". (in French). Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  51. "Transports : la gauche contre la hausse des tarifs, Juppé parle d'abandon du tram - Rue89 Bordeaux". Rue89 Bordeaux (in French). 2017-06-17. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  52. "The EU's Achilles heel? #Transport infrastructure". EU Reporter. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  53. "Section socialiste de l'île de Ré » Thales à la barre du tribunal". Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  54. "Thales firms in Zuma indictment". BBC News. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  55. "Cambodia: World Bank Sanctions Thales Engineering and Consulting S.A. and Others in Demobilization Project". The World Bank Group. 22 November 2004.
  56. "Thales and French Government to Share in Fine for Taiwanese Bribes". 10 June 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.