Atos wants to buy security vendor Gemalto for €4.3 billion


Gemalto, a digital security specialist headquartered in Amsterdam, has suffered a turbulent year with four profit warnings leading to a share price drop of 38%.

Atos is proposing to pay 46 euros a share in cash, 36 percent above Monday's closing price, the Bezons, France-based company said in a statement late Monday.

Gemalto also said the proposal does not give enough deal certainty, given the conditions attached to it and the likely execution risks.

Since Breton took the helm of Atos in November 2008, the firm has multiplied its stock price by close to six times, outperforming French rival Capgemini and US companies Accenture and IBM. "In addition, Atos comes forward with a long track-record of successfully integrating management teams, employees and businesses", Breton says.

"After a bad year 2017, Gemalto shareholders could not hope for better news than this bid from Atos", said Gregoire Laverne of Roche-Brune Asset Management, which sold its Gemalto shares a year ago.

"Atos will obviously respect all the existing employment terms of the employees of Gemalto", it said. It is valid until December 15, 2017. In a press 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". Gemalto CEO Philippe Vallee said that as it nears transition end, the company will be presenting a new "ambitious and substantial" development plan that will focus on the next generation of digital security for companies, governments and citizens worldwide. "The Company subsequently informed Atos that it would carefully review the Proposal and respond to it before such date".

Finally, Gemalto says that Atos has failed to address the interests of stakeholders.

Clark Kinlin, EVP at Corning Optical Communications, said: "This transaction expands both our global market reach and our high-bandwidth portfolio".

Gemalto's shift from SIM cards to software and cybersecurity had initially paid off under Piou, the previous CEO, with the shares trading at about 60 euros when Piou announced his retirement a year ago.