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Bank Consortium Wants Thomson CE Unit

Reuters reports that investment banks are putting together a consortium to bid more than $6 billion for the French consumer electronics giant Thomson, The Business newspaper reported on Sunday.

The banks have been driving the approach after Thomson Chief Executive Frank Dangeard said earlier this month that he was open to any offer that reinforced the company's position as a world leader in video and set-top box technology, it added. According to the paper, sources say Silver Lodge, the U.S. venture capital firm which has already invested $500 million in Thomson through a private series of convertible bonds, would be involved.

Investment firms have been approached in the last two weeks to join the consortium ahead of any bid, but it is not known if contact has already been made with the company, it added. A Thomson spokeswoman told the paper, "We don't comment on market speculation."

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