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Gemalto given $5 billion buyout offer by rival Atos

Gemalto is now in the process of making a decision in response to the unsolicited offer made by Atos, the company aiming to achieve global leadership.

By Tom Ball

An unsolicited acquisition offer of $5.06 billion from Atos, a large competitor of Gemalto, has prompted a share price surge of almost 34 per cent.

Atos appears to have been motivated to make the offer to acquire the major chipmaker by ambitions to bolster cybersecurity capabilities, responding to the growing need for a robust security stance.

It could prove to be a wise move for Gemalto to act on the offer, following a year of profit concerns and other missed business opportunities.

In a statement, Gemalto said: “The board of the Company will continue its process of reviewing and considering the Proposal together with its financial and legal advisors in accordance with its fiduciary duties to determine the best course of action in the interest of the Company, its business, employees, shareholders and other stakeholders… There is no certainty that the Proposal will lead to a recommended firm offer for the Company.”

French firm, Atos, has outlined in its proposal that it believes the deal would strengthen Gemalto’s business while creating a leading Group in cybersecurity and digital services.

Thierry Breton, Chairman and CEO of Atos said: “Atos has been following closely, and with a lot of interest, the evolution of Gemalto as a leading player in digital cyber security, IoT and payment and has long admired its global presence and strong customer and technology portfolios. We believe that a combination of Atos and Gemalto would result in enhanced global leadership in cybersecurity, digital technologies and services and in the strengthening of our positioning as a leading European payment services provider.”

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In the process of coming to a decision, Gemalto has said that it is working with Deutsche Bank and J.P. Morgan for financial advice, while also taking legal advice from Allen & Overy LLP.

“Atos has carefully considered the interest of the stakeholders of the two groups, shareholders, employees, and customers which will all benefit from the proposed friendly transaction. In addition, Atos comes forward with a long track-record of successfully integrating management teams, employees and businesses,” said Breton.

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