Thomson Thais up post lab

Electronics maker takes first steps into Asian market

PARIS — Gallic electronics maker Thomson said Monday that it had snapped up Thai film lab Cinecolor Lab, making its first move into the film post-production sector in Asia. While Thomson didn’t disclose terms of the transaction, the company said that the acquisition would serve as a platform to Thomson’s Technicolor brand in Australia and Asia.

“Our customers have made it very clear to us that they want a vibrant Technicolor post-production and release print presence in this vital region of the world,” said Lenny Raimondo, a senior VP of Thomson media solutions.

Thomson provides a range of technologies and services in the video image sector for the mass market as well as industry professionals. Thomson already manufactures and distributes DVDs in Australia, after buying Southern Star Duplitek in 2002.

Cinecolor Lab, created in 1977 and Thailand’s first film lab, is one of the biggest post-production laboratories on the Asian and Australian markets. Cinecolor boasts an 80,000 square-foot facility and its post-production services include front-end processing and release printing, digital video post-production and sound mixing, regional subtitling, video to film transfer and digital optical sound transfer.

Company said it expects the Australasian market to be prime area of growth in lab and post services over the next 10 years, adding that Thailand specifically is an emerging region in film print services for the Asian theatrical feature market. Cinecolor currently provides services to Hollywood studios such as Disney and New Line Intl.

The Asia-Pacific region counts for 40% of the international theatrical market — amounting to $3.86 billion in 2002, according to the MPAA. Furthermore, in 2002, total output from the Asian market reached 532.9 million feet of film processed from the top

seven producing countries: Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Malaysia and Taiwan. In Thailand alone, production accounted for 42% of this work, followed by Japanese production at 28%.

Thomson said it expects screen counts in Asia to grow by double-digit annual rates for the rest of this decade.

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