UK media concern Carlton Communications has sold its film and video processing arm Technicolor to French consumer electronics group Thomson Multimedia for just over $2bn.

The two companies have struck an additional alliance covering digital and interactive TV. Carlton is to invest $15m in TAK, Thomson and Microsoft's interactive TV joint venture.

The cash-and-share deal for Technicolor sees Carlton taking a 5.5% stake in Thomson Multimedia. Thomson will pay $1.35bn in cash.

'Our stake in Thomson cements our strategic alliance and also allows us to retain some of the upside that will flow to Technicolor under Thomson's umbrella,'' said Carlton chief executive Gerry Murphy.