Thales, the aerospace and defence group, and Gemalto, the chipmaker, have announced a merger agreement valued at US $4.8 billion.
In a statement, Patrice Caine, Thales’ Chairman and CEO, commented: “The acquisition of Gemalto marks a key milestone in the implementation of Thales’s strategy. 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.”
Philippe Vallée, Gemalto’s CEO, added: “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. 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.”
Alex Mandl, Gemalto board chairman, stated: “The Board of Directors, after full and careful review, together with its financial and legal advisors, of the various options available to the Company, has established unanimously that the Thales offer is in the best interests of Gemalto and all its stakeholders. As a result, the Gemalto Board of Directors unanimously recommends the Thales offer to its shareholders.”
Over the past three years, Thales has significantly increased its focus on digital technologies, investing over €1 billion in connectivity, cybersecurity, data analytics and artificial intelligence, in particular with the acquisition of Sysgo, Vormetric and Guavus.
“The integration of Gemalto strongly accelerates this strategy, reinforcing Thales’s digital offering, across its five vertical markets (aeronautics, space, ground transportation, defence and security). Altogether, this new business unit will represent c. 20% of pro forma Group revenues and rank among the top three players worldwide, with €3.5 billion revenues in the fast growing digital security market,” added the statement.
This combined with Gemalto’s digital security portfolio, Thales believes, will enable it to be ideally 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. This unrivalled and innovative technology portfolio will put Thales in a highly differentiated position to provide enterprises and governments with a seamless response to the data security challenges that lie at the heart of their digital transformation.
Through of Gemalto, a major global player in identities and data security scene, Thales adds over €3 billion of revenue to its digital business sales and acquires a set of technologies and competencies that have applications in all of Thales’s five vertical markets.
The combination of the two firms thus creates a “powerhouse with a solution portfolio including security software, expertise in biometrics and multi-factor authentication and the issuance of secure digital and physical credentials. These technologies, which combine diverse and constantly evolving use cases, are expected to yield significant commercial opportunities and revenue synergies in the years ahead.
“Both Thales and Gemalto are experts at addressing the needs of the most demanding clients who are facing data security challenges. These include all operators of critical infrastructures including banks, telcos, governments, utilities, and general industries. This combination will reinforce and further globalise Thales’s footprint,” noted the statement, adding that:
“Thales will combine its digital businesses into Gemalto, which will continue to operate under its own brand as one of the seven Thales global business units. Both the Thales and Gemalto management teams share a common industrial vision and endorse the growth project of this newly created digital security global business. Philippe Vallée will lead the combined digital security business.”