French aerospace firm Thales buys European SIM maker Gemalto
Paris: French aerospace and defence group Thales said on Sunday it has bought European SIM manufacturer Gemalto in a bid to become a global leader in digital security. The aerospace giant paid €51 ($60) a share for Gemalto, a premium of 57% over the closing price on 8 December, Thales said in a statement. The price was also higher than a €46 a share bid offer from French tech firm Atos which Gemalto rejected on Wednesday.
The Thales offer showed that it valued the world-leading chipmaker at about €4.8 billion. Gemalto chief executive Philippe Vallee said in the statement that favouring Thales over Atos was “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.”
Thales CEO Patrick Caine said the merger marked “a key milestone” in implementing the firm’s digital security strategy, in which it has invested €1 billion in the past three years and acquired three other companies. “Together with Gemalto’s management, we have big ambitions based on a shared vision of the digital transformation of our industries and customers.” The French company, which is worth about €18 billion, said that with the merger, the Thales group will rank among the top three players worldwide, with €3.5 billion in revenue in the fast growing digital security market.