The leadership at Gemalto and Thales are adjusting their expectations with respect to their proposed merger, announcing that they now expect the deal to close in the first quarter of 2019.
The announcement comes after the news that the US Committee on Foreign Investment had given the merger its thumbs-up last month, marking the 6th of the 14 regulatory clearances needed from authorities around the world in order to proceed with Thales’ acquisition of Gemalto. At that time, the companies indicated that they expected to have a done deal be the end of this year, so their latest announcement suggests that they have hit an unexpected obstacle.
It isn’t clear what that obstacle is. In their newly issued statement, the companies said that they “are discussing with certain antitrust authorities on remedy proposals to address their concerns with respect to the General Purpose Hardware Security Modules (GP HSM) market.” That may point to issues with regulators in Europe, where Thales and Gemalto together comprise a large part of the HSM market.
Nevertheless, the companies remained upbeat in their new announcement, asserting that the steps being taken to obtain the remaining eight regulatory clearances “are well advanced,” and insisting that “Thales and Gemalto continue to hold constructive discussions with the various regulatory authorities involved.”
The hard deadline for Gemalto to accept Thales’ acquisition offer, pushed back from an original date of August 15th, is currently slated for March 31st of next year.