The French aerospace and defense group Thales has acquired Gemalto in a deal worth around €4.8 billion making an offer of €51 per share. Last week, Gemalto rejected a €46 bid by the French IT services company, Atos, saying it significantly undervalued the company.
Thales received unanimous support for its overture from Gemalto’s board, gaining the upper hand with a foray that marks the biggest bet yet for Chief Executive Officer Patrice Caine since he took over three years ago. “I am convinced that the combination with Thales is the best and the most promising option for Gemalto and the most positive outcome for our company, employees, clients, shareholders and other stakeholders”, said Philippe Vallée, Gemalto’s chief executive. Patrice Caine, Thales chairman and chief executive, said, “The acquisition of Gemalto marks a key milestone in the implementation of Thales’s strategy.”
For Thales, the offer denotes a major strategic expansion away from its core business, which covers areas such as avionics equipment and air-traffic management. It intends to slot in Gemalto in its security division that offers solutions in areas such as critical information system operations, airport security systems and cryptology and security architectures for big data. The company believes that the duo could create a global leader in digital security. Gemalto will operate as one of the seven global business units at Thales under its own brand, and the new unit will have about €3.5 billion in revenue, representing about 20 percent of Thale’s sales.