French industrial engineering company Thales has made a deal to acquire Gemalto.
The deal arrived as Gemalto’s management was facing down a hostile acquisition attempt from Atos, which had offered EUR 46 for any issued and outstanding shares in the company, a price that Gemalto said significantly undervalued the company. Thales has offered EUR 51 per share, and Gemalto’s management team and Board of Directors have offered their unanimous support for the deal.
In a statement, Gemalto CEO Philippe Vallée said Thales’ offer represents “the best and the most promising option for Gemalto and the most positive outcome for our Company, employees, clients, shareholders and other stakeholders,” adding that the companies “share the same values”.
In announcing the proposed acquisition, the companies emphasized their focus on R&D, noting that their combined forces will comprise 28,000 engineers and 3,000 researchers. Thales also pointed to its increasing interest in digital technologies, asserting that it had invested over a billion euros in “connectivity, cybersecurity, data analytics and artificial intelligence” over the past three years, and that the new Gemalto business unit would “represent c. 20% of pro forma Group revenues and rank among the top three players worldwide, with EUR 3.5bn revenues in the fast growing digital security market.”
Thales’ offer will see a vote from shareholders at an upcoming Extraordinary General Meeting, and remains subject to various conditions, including a minimum acceptance level of 67 percent of Gemalto’s shares.