Cannes: Alcatel sole master on boards of satellites
The French group, which has bought up Thales' shares in its Alcatel Space subsidiary for almost 800 million euros, intends to accentuate its telecom positioning.
Manoeuvres at Alcatel: the group has announced on Wednesday May 16th the takeover of Thales' share in its Alcatel Space subsidiary for 795 million euros. Riviera economy is really interested in this total purchase acquisition from the first European satellite manufacturer (and first world manufacturer in 2000 for communication satellites). One of Alcatel Space establishment is indeed in Cannes La Bocca (the second important site is in Toulouse) and has experienced a wonderful rise in power for the last two or three years. Thus, some 2.000 people work there at the moment while it was only composed of 1.200 employees in 1998.World leader for telecommunication satelliteAlcatel Space is a young company. It was born in 1998 from the merger of spatial activities of Aerospatiale, Alcatel, Thales and Cegelec. But, in 1999 and 2000 it has experienced a great development. The company has generated a turnover of 1.3 billion euros (more than 8.5 billion francs) in 2000 and has reached a world leader standing on the market telecommunication satellites. Last year, there was ten order entries in that industry (+60% since 1998). And 2001, with 3 supplementary satellites to build for GE Electronic, seems very encouraging.Other examples. Alcatel Space, which as well deploys its satellite technologies in radar observation or in meteorology, has recently got the biggest contract for scientific satellites (369 million euros) ever allotted by the European space agency in that field. Also a success in army: late November 2000, the group got the realisation of military telecommunication satellite system by Syracuse 3 satellites, for an amount of 9.125 billion francs.As good as American giantsFor Le Monde newspaper "this takeover for 795 million euros (5.2 billion francs) is a new episode of the re-shaping of the European industrial aeronautical and spatial scene. Two spatial poles have been progressively constituted since 1998: Alcatel Space – resulting from the merger of Aerospatial's satellite plat-forms (which has become EADS), of Alcatel's payloads and of Thomson-CSF's ground stations (which has become Thales) – and Astrium – which was born from the rapprochement of spatial activities of the Franco-British Matra Marconi Space and of the German Daimler Chrysler Aerospace.Now, the European spatial industry is as good as American giants such as Lockheed, Boeing and Loral. It has managed to get 50% of the "open" world market, that is to say broadcasting and telecommunication business satellites.The recruitment champion in the departmentThe sole master on boards of satellites, Serge Tchuruk, the CEO of Alcatel, will be able to achieve the integration of spatial activities within its telecommunication group. We want "to develop synergy between Alcatel's telecommunication and Internet occupations and Alcatel Space's spatial occupations, to combine land networks and spatial technology," Pascale Sourisse, the chief executive of Alcatel Space, explains. Alcatel thinks that spatial components combined with land telecommunication networks is a key-element in the information transmission line. "The aim is to be able to make a complete offer in terms of land and satellite networks and to provide solutions and services from the top to the end", Pascale Sourisse says.Alcatel will now have the means to express this vision since it becomes the single great industrial leader in telecommunications and spatial activities. These new ambitions and these new stakes can only have positive impacts on La Bocca's site. Which would result in term of occupations. The establishment in Cannes has by the way become the first recruiter of the department with 750 recruitments over twelve months.