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Thales swoops on nCipher for hardware encryption goodness

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Thales, the French defence electronics firm, is buying hardware-based encryption specialist nCipher for around £50.7m ($100.3m). This works out at 300p a share, a 15 per cent premium of nCipher's closing price in London on Thursday and double Wednesday's closing price.

Cambridge, UK-based nCipher's stock has been on the up and up since April, when it announced it was discussing a sale to an unnamed company. nCipher's board has advised its shareholders to accept the offer. nCipher made pre-tax profits of £3.4m on revenues of £24.2m in 2007, compared to losses of £4.7m on sales of £21.1m in 2006.

If approved, the acquisition would see nCipher becoming part of Thales UK, enabling the latter to meet its goals of expansion into the growing sector of information and communication systems security. Technology, rather than channel or brand, is the main driver behind the deal.

Thales wants add nCipher's hardware security module range to its existing encryption products portfolio. Encryption key management software and tape encryption products from nCipher will also come in handy.

More details here. ®

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