Gemalto: Cheers for that 'unsolicited' €4.3bn bid, Atos. We'll think about it

We've long admired you from afar, croons French outsourcer

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Tech consultant (and UK public sector buddy) Atos has offered to buy mobile chip-smith Gemalto for €4.3bn (£3.79bn) in a deal announced yesterday.

The proposition, made on 28 November, is described by an Atos statement as one which "is friendly, compelling, and which addresses the interests of all stakeholders".

The French firm's statement also said it aims to "create a leading Group in cybersecurity technologies and digital services", and that the offer is now being made public in order to better inform the market, and prevent Gemalto's share prices being negatively impacted.

Atos chief executive Thierry Breton 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."

According to the Financial Times, Breton also said that state-owned French investment bank Bpifrance, which is the largest shareholder in Gemalto, had given the offer its blessing.

Gemalto has been in poor shape recently, due to a slowdown in sales of credit card chips. The Dutch company has given profit warnings four times in the past financial year.

Atos' revenues last year were up 10 per cent to €11.7bn, while Gemalto turned over a flat €3.1bn in its most recent full year results. Of course, just three weeks later, in March this year, the Dutch firm was warning of impending sales dip for the quarter... and outlook looked similarly gloomy in Q2. Its Q3 sales, however, were flat at €751m after an uptick in government ID business offset poor bank card sales.

Gemalto said that it would review the "unsolicited offer" and will respond by Friday 15 December. ®

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