French aerospace multinational, Thales, has struck a deal to acquire Gemalto in a deal reportedly worth around €4.8 billion (US$5.6 billion) just days after integrator, Atos, pitched a €4.3 billion (US$5.1 billion) deal to acquire the digital security provider.
The two companies announced the deal in a statement issued on 17 December, saying that they had reached an agreement on an all-cash offer for all issued and outstanding ordinary shares of Gemalto, for a price of €51 per share, representing a basic offer of around €4.8 billion, according to Reuters.
Atos’ previous pitch, which was rejected by the Franco-Dutch Gemalto, was worth around €46 per share, with the digital security solution provider and chipmaker subsequently calling the offer “opportunistic”.
Atos said it would continue to pursue Gemalto.
However, Atos’ efforts now appear to be in vain, with Thales set to combine its digital businesses into Gemalto, which will continue to operate under its own brand as one of the seven Thales global business units.
According to Reuters, Thales' CEO, Patrice Caine, said the company's offer company could see it spend up to €5.6 billion (US$6.6 billion) on Gemalto, with the inclusion of €800 million debt.
According to the companies, both the Thales and Gemalto management teams share a common industrial vision and endorse the growth aims of the newly created digital security global business that would emerge as a result of the acquisition.
More specifically, it is hoped that, combined with Gemalto’s digital security portfolio, Thales will be well positioned to offer an end-to-end solution to secure the "full critical digital decision chains, from data creation in sensors to real-time decision making".
“The acquisition of Gemalto marks a key milestone in the implementation of Thales’s strategy,” Caine said. “Together with Gemalto’s management, we have big ambitions based on a shared vision of the digital transformation of our industries and customers.
“Our project will be beneficial to innovation and employment, whilst respecting sovereign strategic technologies. We have a tremendous respect for Gemalto’s technological achievements, and our two Groups share the same culture and DNA.
“I would like to personally thank Gemalto’s management and Board of Directors for their unanimous support and I welcome warmly Gemalto’s 15,000 employees to our Group. By combining our talents, Thales and Gemalto are creating a global leader in digital security,” he said.
For Gemalto’s CEO, Philippe Vallée, who is set to lead the combined entity’s digital security business following the proposed acquisition, the merger of Gemalto with Thales represents the “best and the most promising option for Gemalto and the most positive outcome for our company, employees, clients, shareholders and other stakeholders”.
“We share the same values and Gemalto will be able to pursue its strategy, accelerate its development and deliver its digital security vision, as part of Thales.” Vallée said.
Thales said it does not anticipate any reduction in Gemalto’s workforce as a consequence of the acquisition deal.
In fact, the companies said that employees who are included in the current Gemalto efficiency program are immediately offered access to Thales’s internal job boards and to the Thales internal mobility mechanism under the same conditions as Thales’s employees.
Moreover, Thales said it has committed to preserve employment in Gemalto’s French activities until at least the end of 2019.