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Gemalto Says “Oui” to $5.7bn Thales Deal

Dutch chipmaker Gemalto has accepted a €4.8bn ($5.7bn) takeover offer from French defense contractor Thales just days after rejecting its rival Atos.

The two say the deal will create a “world leader” in digital security with $3.5bn annual revenue.

Without giving much details, the official statement claimed Gemalto’s digital security capabilities would help Thales offer end-to-end security for an IoT, mobile and cloud-driven world.

Gemalto has been struggling of late, having been forced to issue several profit warnings this year. The firm’s heritage is in mobile SIM cards, but increasingly the vendor sees most growth for the future in its encryption, biometrics and IoT security offerings.

Gemalto products will slot into all five of Thales’ key verticals: aeronautics, space, ground transportation, defense and security.

Critical infrastructure providers will be particularly targeted given the increasing pressure they’re under to repel cyber-threats and appease regulators. The EU’s NIS Directive, applying to all providers of “essential services”, will land in May 2018.

“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 Gemalto CEO, Philippe Vallée, in a statement.

“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."

This comes just a week after the firm rejected an “unsolicited and conditional” offer by Thales rival Atos.

“We believe that Gemalto — the world leader in digital security — is best positioned to grow successfully on a standalone basis and create long term value for its stakeholders, including its shareholders,” said Vallée in a letter to Thales CEO, Thierry Breton.

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