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Gemalto rejects ‘substantially undervalued’ offer from Atos

Gemalto is unconvinced Atos offered a better strategy than its standalone prospects.

By CBR Staff Writer

Gemalto has slapped down a hostile takeover bid of €4.3bn from rival tech company Atos.

Cloud and communications giant Atos, however, is refusing to give up its attempt to acquire the Franco-Dutch SIM manufacturer after its all-cash offer of €46 a share submitted on November 28 was rejected.

In a press briefing late on Wednesday, Atos confirmed its “readiness to open discussions” and intent to integrate all of Gemalto’s businesses within a combined group and maintain the brand.

On Wednesday night, Atos stated that its price reflects fully the fair value of Gemalto and presents a substantial 42% premium to its last unaffected share price.

Yet the rival disagreed, saying in a statement that the offer “falls short in addressing the interests of the Company, its business and clients, employees, shareholders and other stakeholders.”

In the statement, dated December 13 at 8pm, Philippe Vallée, Gemalto CEO defended its company’s record in creating 5,000 jobs and having “become the world leader in digital security” in 11 years.Gemalto

Further reasons given for rejection include a failure to offer sufficient deal certainty as well as a lack of a more compelling strategy versus Gemalto’s standalone prospects.

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Vallée said: “We have taken the measure of the recent changes in our historical markets, taken the responsible decisions and are now focused on leveraging the many opportunities of our fast-growing markets.

“We will soon be presenting to our stakeholders our ambitious and substantial development plan for the Company that will focus on the next generation of digital security for companies, governments and citizens worldwide.”

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Atos saw its shares dip 2.8% on early Thursday morning after Gemalto denied the unsolicited offer.

Vallee refused to confirm or deny to French press whether he might reconsider if Atos placed an alternate offer on the table.

Philippe Cohen, fund manager at Kiplink Finance, said traders expected Atos to sweeten the deal, Reuters reported.

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