Sextant Avionique, was created in 1989 from the merging of three Aerospatiale subsidiaries with the general avionics division of Thomson-CSF. A decade later, after Aerospatiale divested its stake in Sextant, Thomson-CSF Sextant was formed. In 2000, Thomson-CSF purchased the British firm, Racal Electronics, and became Thomson-CSF Racal. The same year the company changed its name to Thales, after the ancient Greek mathematician and astronomer. The French government’s stake, meanwhile, has decreased from 58 percent in early 1998 to about 33 percent as of July 2002.